Purging 15 plus years of stuff …Where to start the liberation?

So I started the overwhelming task of purging my possessions. 15 years of living in one place allows for a lot of stuff to build up . I have stuff I don’t even know I have!.I have stuff I bought and never even opened! I have stuff I haven’t seen touched or used in years!WHY!! Because it’s just easy to buy and pack into a house,shop,garage,basement or closet and forget about.

Have you ever seen a show where they open up a closet and an avalanche of stuff falls out on top of the person ? I think I have one of those some where .Scary you never know if that bowling ball on the shelf is going to take you out! The good news is I found about $300.00 worth of stuff I can take back unopened so far! It’s kind of a weird sort of savings program.

I also threw out a lot of odd ball stuff that was pieces or parts to things long gone.I found expired food and medications empty containers old magazines and books that no longer appeal to me as well as shoes and jackets I havent worn in years.

The real problem is a lot of the stuff I paid good money for and it’s hard to get rid of.The other problem is we attach feelings and emotions to things inanimate objects .I got that in Maui or my kid gave that to me or my wife.How about that was uncle/aunt so and sos favorite ,whatever. How do you part with it?

My wife and I are struggling with that very dilemma.So we talked it over and we are going to take it in stages .First we are going thru the house and finding the easy things to part with.The junk out dated stuff broken things or things with missing parts. Old books, clothes, shoes and magazines. next stuff we can put in a yard sale.Another stack will be donated items. Then the things we can put on Craigslist.

I gotta tell ya it’s been pretty liberating so far just the little bit We have unloaded .There is still a lot of mixed feelings about the process but other people I have talked to or read about that are on the other side of this process are so happy and wished they had done it sooner than they did.

We are excited about progressing into this new chapter of our lives ,simply less stuff .Less stuff to deal with less to maintain less to worry about and less to drag around on our new adventure.This will be one of the hardest best things we have ever gone thru.How about you could you live with less? how would it change your life? Can you see yourself  starting the process of lightning your load ?Think about the possibilities.

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10 responses to “Purging 15 plus years of stuff …Where to start the liberation?

  1. Kevin,
    Can understand the “stuff” easy enough but what about tools and equipment? Or will you keep shop as backup?

  2. Kevin. I really enjoy your blog. Small is beautiful. So is correct spelling. This is a dilemma for you – whether or not to bother with a spelling and grammar checker. (Please take note of the spelling of “dilemma.”) Eenuff sed?

    • Mitch – Seriously, why would you take the time to post that?! What a downer to post something from the heart then have one of the first comments be a spelling/grammar criticism. It’s free – you didn’t pay for it. If you don’t like the writing style – don’t read it. If you really have the burning need to act as the Super Speller Crusader, maybe volunteering your time to teach students, or foreigners just learning the language, would be a positive extension of your talents?

  3. How exciting, Kevin!!! We’ve been in the same house for 15 years too. I’m not sure where all the stuff comes from… I can only assume that it multiplies while we’re not looking.

    Getting rid of the stuff in stages is working for us. Our first go round, we did NOT get rid of anything that “hurt”. If we had any sort of sentimental feelings about the item, it stayed – for the time being. We had a “cool crap” garage sale, selling everything for LOW prices, and we made $1000. I’m pretty sure that other’s will think that you have a lot of cool crap too!!!

    The next step, for us, won’t happen until we’re ready to “move in” to the Tiny House. We’ll put the things we need and love inside. Then, whatever is left will have to be dealt with.

    Our first “out building” will be a storage shed. For things like the Christmas Tree and Christmas dishes – emotional attachments that we can’t part with. I just have to remember that “things” don’t have memories. I have memories.

    “If it doesn’t fit in the Tiny House we probably don’t need it”. This phrase has been very helpful over the past few months. I no longer come home with stupid items that I really don’t need.

    The nice thing is, getting rid of the “stuff” it is extremely liberating and good for the soul. It gives closure to one chapter of our lives and makes us excited for the next chapter to begin!

    I’m excited for you!!!

  4. re: things with sentimental value
    one useful suggestion i’ve heard is: take a picture of the sentimental item, then keep the pic and toss the item. after all, the sentiment comes from the memory, not the item, and a picture will recall the memory just as well.

    my parents decided to move into a senior independent-living place, and had 1 month between when they decided, and when they moved. they’d been in the same house for 33 yrs. i spent a week helping them sort thru stuff. let me tell you, it’s an eye opener! makes you re-think your own “treasures” when you watch someone else go thru the process, and you realize just how subjective “treasure” is. it’s inspired me to start going thru some of my treasures/crap.

  5. I’ve gotten rid of about 80% of my possessions in the past two years. My approach? When deciding to keep something, I pretended that I was in a store and the question I asked myself is whether it was something I would buy for immediate use. Most of the time the answer was NO.

    I can count on one hand the number of things I regret giving up, and the regret is fleeting. I can’t begin to tell you how FREE I feel now — good luck!

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