Everyone is Marie Kondo’ing and purging the heck out of their homes right now. If you don’t know who that is, she wrote a book and now has a Netflix show on her cleaning method. People love it.
And by people, I suppose I’m included in that, too. New year, fresh start, and all that. Granted. We started before the New Year, and we don’t usually do anything like this for the New Year. Although, I’ll be honest, I don’t say we’re Marie Kondo’ing my house, because I actually don’t love her show (sorry!). I think it’s helpful, but I think I’m leaning way more minimalist and just want her to tell everyone to throw out everything, haha!
Anyway. We started a few weeks before Christmas when I was just really annoyed with our closets. Both the kids closets were so full you could barely open the door. Our entryway closet was just stuffed, but we rarely opened it other than for coats and the diaper bag.
So I grabbed some trash bags and got to work.
Y’all, I’m so upset with myself that I didn’t take any pictures of how much stuff we got rid of just from our closets! We donated a TON and threw away at least two garbage bags full. The closets are now organized and functional, and it started an addiction.
A purging addiction.
Next I hit up my wardrobe. I purge this quite often, but I still found myself with a garbage bag to donate and a garbage bag to throw away. We’ve gone through the laundry room, junk drawer, bathroom, kitchen cabinets, gotten rid of a table, working on getting rid of a dresser…we’re just tearing through.
Dan and I don’t like stuff. We hate clutter, and I generally purge through one area of the house every few months. Never (other than moving) have I done our whole house in one stretch of time, though, and I LOVE IT!
why we’re purging
Like I said above, Dan and I just hate clutter. I had purged through the kids toys a while ago, and I really want to try and go way more minimal there. And that really motivated me to think about why I want to go more minimal with my kids’ toys and not other areas of my life. If they would benefit from less, wouldn’t I?
Imma be clear that we are noooot minimalists (I think I could lean more that way), but the idea behind minimalism is really appealing to me lately.
Dan asked me why the other day. He’s been talking about minimalism for a while, but I’m a bit newer to the idea of it.
Y’all. I am finding so much freedom in having less. Freedom from junk and clutter and cleaning, but freedom from this “Keeping Up With The Jones'” mentality. It’s no secret that advertising is everywhere. I’m very active on social media, and that’s become another form of advertising. Constantly being shown the newest thing and told the latest deal. And it can be really hard to not feel like you need to keep up or get the newest trend.
Going more minimal is giving me permission to not keep up! And it’s ok! And it’s enjoyable, and it’s freeing! I am so, so enjoying the freedom to not think I need what everyone else has.
We also don’t have a large home. Trying to purge larger items and furniture is freeing up a lot more space inside our home which I LOVE!!
We are doing a spending freeze for the first three months of the year. And it’s going perfectly with all the purging. My former tendency was to purge, but then to go out and think that meant I had permission to replace it. We’re not spending money, so there’s no buying replacements. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
how we’re purging
We are going room by room and section by section in our home. I know Marie Kondo’s whole deal is if an item “sparks joy.” Not my thing, honestly. I think about the last time I used the item. If I can’t even remember, it’s gone. (For the rest of this post, assume gone means trash or donated.) If I remember but it’s been over a year, it’s gone. Broken, worn out, or missing pieces- gone. Duplicate, unwanted, not needed- gone.
The biggest trap for me to avoid when doing this is, “but I might need this if…”. Chances are, that situation will not happen. And if it does, is it really going to cost that much extra to replace it?? Probably not. Throw it out. I’ve been really merciless during this process, but I love it. Like I said, Dan and I don’t like stuff. I know a lot of people have emotional attachments and find it hard to get rid of things, but we honestly really enjoy it.
what we’re purging
Like I mentioned, we started with the closets. I wanted to be able to open the doors without being flustered. I wanted things to be organized and easy to find.
From there I moved on to my wardrobe. (You’ll notice there’s no special order here. I just wrote a list of what I wanted to purge and went off that.) Wardrobe is easy for me because I purge through there often. But I tried to really challenge myself this time. If something didn’t flatter me or make me feel good, it went. I had a lot of business casual clothes from when I worked in an office. It’s been 5.5 years, y’all. Why do I still have them?! I don’t see that at any time soon in my future, so they went.
I did this with my shoes. I never wear heels because my husband isn’t that much taller than me. One pair of nude heels were kept, and the rest were donated. Were they super cute? Yes. Could I remember the last time I wore them? Nope. Did this with jewelry, purses, coats, scarves- all of it.
We also purged the bathroom. I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping this clutter free. Somehow the bathroom accumulated SO MUCH CLUTTER! So many old bottles of hair products I didn’t use or empty shampoo bottles. We got rid of a whole trash bag, and our bathroom isn’t even that big. I organized our drawers and it’s so much easier to keep clean when everything has a specific place!
I went through my nightstand which had sooo much junk. We went through our “junk drawer” and really organized that space, then went through fridge and pantry. Condiments we no longer used, anything expired or sketchy, things we didn’t like- so much old food thrown out. I hate this because I feel like I’m just throwing out money, but it’s so nice to start with a clean slate and see everything you have and actually use!
We had done our kitchen cabinets a few months ago, but we went through again and donated 2 garbage bags full of stuff. I hit up our laundry room which becomes our junk room, and that has made it so much more spacious in there!
The hardest one for me was books. I LOVE books, but I noticed I had a lot of books that I had read but hated. So I really had to stop and ask myself why I was keeping these. The answer came quickly and was that I really just wanted people to see how well read I was, how smart and accomplished and cultured I am. Um, that’s dumb. I still have a lot of books, but they’re ones I LIKE and want my kids to read or want to be able to loan out and read again!
So what’s the trade off for all of this?
First of all. It is SO FUN! I seriously love it and kind of want to start purging for other people.
A few days after we started, I asked Dan if the house felt lighter. I know that sounds weird, and I can’t really explain what I mean, but literally the house feels lighter. Even though a lot of our junk was hidden away and not visible everyday, it just feels like a load off.
I’m more productive. I’m not spending time every day cleaning things up (other than toys because #kids). There’s no stress about cleaning or clearing out junk. I’m able to focus on what I want to do that day and get it done.
It’s easier to keep our house clean. Everything has a place, and it’s easy to find that place. We end our day with everything picked up and put away, and that lets me start my day off right when I wake up.
I feel less anxious. I’m not overwhelmed by mess and junk, and I’m not constantly thinking about how badly I need to clean something out.
Finding what we need is easy. Again, everything has a place, so we know where to find it. Even picking out my clothes is easier. I got rid of everything that didn’t flatter me or make me feel good, so now I know everything in my closet fits me and makes me feel good. It makes me excited to pick out an outfit for the day!
There can’t be an easy without a hard!
It’s difficult to change my mindset. I’m so used to seeing spaces that are “perfectly decorated”, meaning that there’s stuff. So I have to consciously stop myself from saying, “oh I need this for this space,” or, “oh this would look great there.” Other people’s home may be beautiful, but that doesn’t have to be the standard to which I measure my home. I don’t need the same stuff other people have. It’s a hard thing for me to learn, though!
It can be hard to emotionally detach myself and my worth from items. I never thought I was very emotionally attached to things, but I am attached to more than I thought. My books, for instance. I wouldn’t have thought I was emotionally attached to my books, but when I forced myself to think about it, I definitely was putting some part of my identity there! I don’t want that to be in things, so it’s a bit of a detaching process.
what we’re learning
Like I mentioned above, we’re doing a spending freeze for the first three months of the year. This is already teaching me so much about what I want and what I need. Purging through #allthethings has been really helpful, as well, in showing us what we really need and things that we just want. And it also shows us just how much we have wasted our money on!
When I purged through Oliver and Zoey’s room, I got rid of a lamp. I specifically remember buying this lamp. It wasn’t long after I had found out Zoey was a girl. I saw it at Marshall’s, and I just haaad to have it. Y’all, I never even put a light bulb in that freaking lamp. It’s just been sitting there. Is it super cute? Yes. But even though it was inexpensive, I just can’t help but think about how many items like that are around our house. Items we’ve barely used but spent money on. Done with that!
I do want to say, there are some wants that are worth it. My s’mores maker, for instance. Does it take up space? Sure. But does it make my life easier so I can eat a s’mores a day? Absolutely. So it stays. I’m not a monster.
But I’m learning to look at something and ask what it’s purpose is going to be. How long can I expect to have and use this? If it’s decorative, is it something that I can still have around in a few years, or will it be out of style? If I don’t buy it, will I even remember that I wanted this?
I remembered this really simple thing the other day. The majority of the time, I don’t even realize I want or need something until someone tells me I do. And this isn’t news. This is the point of advertising. To make us think we need and want something. And I’m incredibly susceptible to it. “Oh my gosh, everyone has this sherpa jacket, I obviously need it.” Um, no, Alex. You’ve never even considered a sherpa jacket. You don’t need it.
So in that, relating to above, I’m retraining my brain to seeing that other people have that and that works for them and their lifestyle and their financial situation, but mine is different, and it doesn’t work for me. And that’s ok. It doesn’t make me inferior or less than or worse off.
OOOOOK then. If you made it through this post- BRAVO and you deserve a cookie. This was so long, but I truly am loving this process and wanted to share! I know this is the trendy thing to do right now. But everyone has their own reasons for doing it and motivation behind it, so I wanted to share mine!
Also- a book I borrowed from my friend that I really loved was The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. If you’re looking to start organizing and minimizing, make sure to check it out!
I’d love to hear if you’re doing any purging or organizing this year! Love to hear what people are up to to start out the new year!
Have a phenomenal day!