Monday, January 24, 2011

Getting Rid of Stuff

This morning I read. As I read, I thought about what I would need if I had to minimize my household belongings to 10 boxes. Wouldn't 10 boxes fit into the back of a wagon? Probably. So what would I pack in those 10 boxes? Obviously, not furniture. What would be the most important possessions in my home? Is there anything that I feel like I just cannot live without? Well, technically, there is absolutely nothing in my home that I can take with me when I die. There are sentimental "things" that I would like to look at from time to time like my photographs, and my books, but those would be useless to me otherwise. Mentally, I made a list of things that I feel that I just cannot live without. In my mind, those things went into the 10 boxes. Then, I charged myself a hundred dollars for each box to move them to another place where I might "settle" if I were moving. In light of paying money to take the stuff with me, I realized that it didn't mean as much to me as I thought it did. In reality, I would settle for just the photographs, and some books. That cut me down to 2 boxes instead of 10.
With all of this in mind, and a desire to be organized, I decided to get rid of some "stuff." This all started back in the Fall, and to date, I have gotten rid of about 8 truck loads of "stuff." I also watched a couple of episodes of Hoarders. If you've been wanting to clean out, this show will convince you to delve into the backs of closets, and the eaves of attics. No box has been left unturned in my house. And I'm not finished yet. My husband says that I have to make a mess to clean up a mess. So I've made a few messes. What of it? I have purged and cleansed my inner storage. Now I'm working on organization. I've been spending time trying to "teach" the kids where things are supposed to go. Surprisingly, they are beginning to put things in the right places.
As I've been cleaning, here are the two questions I've been asking myself? "Do I really need it? Can I live without it?" Chances are that the answer will be "No" at least 9 times out of 10-- to both questions. That means that you can cut up to 90% of your clutter just by asking yourself the same things. Give it to the local thrift store. You can get a receipt for what you think it's worth. (I don't get the receipt.) Bag it up. Get rid of it. And if that doesn't work, you can always watch Hoarders, again....


  1. Lana, I have been on that journey too! We have pared down so much over the last few years. Only keeping things that are relevant to the now (well, except the books..but those come in handy too) and I am trying to convince the house that all we need as far as clothes go is much less than we have*** (I keep suggesting white shirts and blue jeans for everyday and just a few nice outfits for going out or heading to worship... It would keep the washing down to just basics and would help our electric and water bills.) Anyway, I know the journey you are on.... and the simple truth is we can survive with much less stuff around us.

    Love ya!

  2. I just did the same today to my kitchen pantry! Oh, it feels so good to pass by (deliberately, mind you) and spy those clean shelves with tins and jars lined up like soldiers in a row... and know the stuff I don't want in there has found a new home. Sigh :)