I got my husband to help me this past week with a major purging effort in our house. We took a carload to Salvation Army, then went home again and grabbed more stuff. This time we took golf clubs to a used sporting goods store. They bought four of them for $20, not too shabby, and we took the rest over to Salvation Army. We also stopped by UPS store to send a big box of craft supplies to a friend. I finally admitted that I’m never gonna be a scrapbooker, much as I think I should be, so I posted on facebook that I’d give them away to anyone who would pay the shipping. I got a taker within minutes, so that was great! I’m feeling lighter already. We also went through paperwork a few weeks ago and threw away mountains of paper. I’m surprised our shredder didn’t quit on us, but we got through it all and stuffed the recycle bin and trash can.
There’s always something else to go through, some other area of the house that needs to be sorted out, but I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on it now. If only we could keep stuff from continuing to enter the house! But junk mail and magazines continue to arrive along with the bills and cards, and we end up going shopping, often for things that we need and sometimes bring home a “want” that eventually ends up in the give-away pile. I’m trying to cut down on those kinds of purchases in the last few years. It helped living in a tiny house for a year and a half before we moved here. Made me realize what I can live without. And every time I visit my sister I’m inspired to do more. She’s pretty good at going through her kids’ toys every few months and purging. Sometimes it’s a solo job, where she removes items they would otherwise fight her on but never notice are missing. Other times, she puts all of one kind of toy (dolls, or teddy bears) in a pile and lets each girl pick one at a time until a box or bin is full. After that, the rest are donated. She’s teaching them to keep what’s important and to avoid the hording instinct that runs deep in our family. Trust me, if you saw previous generations in my family and the stuff they’ve accumulated, you’d understand. And I think every family has that to some extend. I have to fight against that instinct. I’ll feel bad for a while after getting rid of things, but I keep reminding myself how little I used/wore/liked the item, and eventually I forget about it.
Now, if only it was as easy to actually organize the stuff I have left. Sorting papers between “toss” and “keep” is easy. Sorting them into categories and filing them takes a lot more time.