As I’ve written about before, each year, twice a year, I do a thorough purge of items. I also like to take that opportunity to do a deep clean of our place. Last year, that didn’t really happen due to the Big Sick, but this year, I’m on track.
I started feeling the urge to go through things last week. I went through my closet and did an initial pull of all the things I likely wouldn’t wear (even if I could fit in all of them). I tend to put things in three distinct piles as I go through them: give away, donate, or trash.
Since we take good care of most everything, donation tends to be the way to go. There are always exceptions, and some things I just wouldn’t feel right about even donating, so those go in the garbage. I only ever give things away if I know someone who specifically wants that particular item.
I like a spare environment. I abhor clutter. I’m sure that dates back to growing up and both my parents having issues keeping things (even when they didn’t need to).
I try to be very conscious about what I buy during the year. Inevitably, I buy things we don’t end up using, despite the best of intentions (oh, salad spinner, we hardly knew ye), and I can’t see keeping them around and collecting dust (where we live, there is so much dust and debris from the busy street we live on). Even if they are things I really like but don’t see a use for, off they go.
I also like organizing. And re-organizing. After things are purged, I try to see if there is a better way to store what is left.
I can get intense about this.
Again, before I make purchases, I try to ask myself: do I want to be the custodian for this item? Do I want to be responsible for its maintenance and care and storage? If the answer is no to any of those questions, I try to avoid it. I also try to ask myself if I really need it in the first place.
It’s a process. I’m better than I was, but not as good as I’d like to be.
This year, my initial sights are set on our linen closet. I have all our camping and art supplies stored in there, as well as our towels and laundry. I keep feeling like it could be used to far better effect, I’m just dreading pulling all the items out to go through them. It’s going to be a whole thing. However! I’m also looking forward it, so I can take stock of what is there, and what we actually need to keep around. For instance, we always talk about going camping, but we rarely do. I’m sure keeping the tent and sleeping bags is a good idea, but all the little things that wind up taking up loads of space can probably go.
I also take stock of the decorations and art on the walls to see what I still really love and what can be replaced. Most of the art we have hung is art I’ve painted, and I’d very much like to paint some new, more vibrant things to replace them. Sometimes it’s nice to change things up.
I also made the decision to finally donate my bicycle. I haven’t used it in years, and it’s far past time to see if someone else might make use of it. It also takes up a lot of precious space, and I’m trying to be better about that all the time.
Brimley, I’ll miss you, buddy.
Do you go through periods where you sort through all your things and purge? What drives you to do so?