Why I’m NOT Purging

posted by Andrea | 03/20/2012

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly; I really have NOT purged much these past couple of months — and it’s not because I’m too busy, too lazy, or any other excuse!!

The reason I haven’t been purging is because I haven’t been bringing more stuff into our home. Besides groceries, my new computer, and some choice baby items, I honestly haven’t brought anything into our home for months {probably since before Nora was born!}

I didn’t buy any new Christmas decorations, Dave and I haven’t bought any new clothing, I haven’t purchased any new items for the house/kitchen/etc., Dave hasn’t purchased anything for school, and we haven’t even purchased much for Nora! I have done some online shopping — but that was mostly for Christmas gifts, baby gifts for friends, diapers, and other perishable items that we used.

So since we haven’t been adding anything, I haven’t felt the need to purge anything! 

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even realize my “lack of purging” until a couple weeks ago when I got a few emails from readers asking why I hadn’t blogged about any recent organizing projects… I suppose it HAS been awhile!  Dave and I are planning to do pare down our master closet when he’s home over spring break, and I plan to go through our kitchen stuff in preparation for our kitchen renovation… but other than that, we really don’t need to purge anything right now.

We actually have 2 completely empty closets in our house, a couple empty drawers in our kitchen, several empty drawers/cabinets in our bathrooms, and even an entire room with nothing but a bed in it!

How We Avoid Bringing In More Stuff

Obviously every family, person, and home is different; but here are a few things that help us limit what we bring into our home. PAPER:

We toss junk mail ASAP, recycle magazines and newspapers after we read them {or we read them online}, we pay all our bills electronically, and we don’t get any paper statements. I’m also somewhat annal about filing… everything :)

CLOTHES:

We rarely buy clothes. Period! I borrowed ALL my maternity clothes, and promptly gave them back within 2 weeks after Nora was born. We also borrowed tons of baby clothes, and I’ve already returned the 0-3 month stuff.

Dave’s wardrobe is pretty simple; and I’ll be honest, I wear the same things over and over again! We usually shop for Dave’s clothes in August {before the new school year} and I don’t think I’ve purchased a new piece of clothing since last spring {before I knew I was pregnant!}

As Nora continues to grow, we will save much of her clothes for future children or for friends/relatives, but I’ll keep it in tubs at the top of her closet.

BOOKS/MOVIES/MUSIC:

We get all our books from the library {and then return them}. We don’t watch {or own} many movies, but when we do, we rent them or watch them with Dave’s parent {they have a Netflix membership}. And we don’t have any CD’s because everything is saved digitally on our computers, MP3 players, and iPhones.

TOYS/GAMES:

We don’t have many toys or games {yet} but I know they will be coming soon! So far, Nora has one very small basket of toys and one shelf of books in her nursery. For now, we keep her toys in her room; but once she’s older, my goal is to transform the large landing area at the top of our stairs into a play area. There’s a huge closet off the landing area and I’m planning to keep all the toys, games, and kid’s things in there.

HOBBIES:

We are fortunate that neither one of us has hobbies that take up lots of space. Dave enjoys basketball, running, lifting weights, and reading — none of which contribute to clutter in our home.

I enjoy blogging, digital scrap-booking, sewing, and house projects. The first two don’t take up any space, I only allow myself one small bin of sewing things, and house projects usually don’t require storage after they are finished.

OTHER ITEMS:

Like I said, I haven’t been shopping in months — which makes it pretty hard to bring anything in. We did get a fair amount of gifts for Christmas and for Nora’s birth — but thankfully, many of them were “usable gifts” like meals, diapers, gift cards, or other items we actually needed to replace something else.

So the reason I haven’t done much purging since before Nora was born is simply because we haven’t been bringing things in to add clutter to our home.

Not only have I saved loads of time and money by not shopping, I’ve also saved space by not accumulating clutter in our home, and time by not needing to purge as regularly.

I’ll admit… after thinking and writing about my lack of purging, I’m definitely in the mood for another big purge. We’ll see what happens when Dave is home over spring break and I have a little extra time :)

When was your last purge?

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21 comments

  1. Shannon

    03/20/2012

    I actually purged a bunch of paperwork a couple of days ago! It felt really good.

    I’ve thought about signing up for online statements for our bills but I hesitate because I like to have the actual bill in my hand. Do you print the statements from the websites or do you just refer to them online?

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  2. Beth

    03/20/2012

    I was inspired by some rearranging at Christmas time (to make room for the tree) and started a HUGE purge right after the holidays. I went through my entire house, top to bottom, front to back, and moved tons of items to what we now refer to as the “garage sale holding area.” I loved the pared down, less cluttered look of things so much that I am now working on round 2 through the house! Can’t wait for the garage sale my sister and I will have in the spring to move all that stuff out and have some extra cash as a bonus!

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  3. JD

    03/20/2012

    Wow! That is what I call the best of both worlds. Good for you. Still working on de-cluttering everything and making huge progress. On the surface our home does not appear cluttered but it is. Every nook and cranny in cupboard, closets and drawers is overflowing and it drives me crazy. I will get this under control.

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  4. Tammy Skipper (@Tammy_Skipper)

    03/20/2012

    I purged clothes from my dresser and closet after purchasing some new clothes. I would love to pull everything out from the closet, clean it and pare down even further, but time did not allow. A quick ten minute purge while putting laundry away this weekend made a huge difference. I think April is going to be full of deeper cleaning and purging now that we have been in the house for a year.

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  5. sarah

    03/20/2012

    Like you I haven’t purchase much of anything to follow the something new in something old outrule but as my kids have outgrown clothing and toys it has been time to go thru our hand me down bins and purge the outgrown items to various charities or friends with younger/smaller kids. Both my hubby and I have space hogging hobbies/lines of work but there is still tons we can eliminate. I have two bags in my car to be donated on my next errand run :)

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  6. Amy

    03/20/2012

    I just recently made a huge purge/donation to the VVA. I finally got my husband to go through all of his clothing and get rid of some. He had been holding onto items he could no longer wear and some that were from the early 1990′s! In the end he let go of over 50 pieces of clothing! We also donated some kitchen gadgets that we didn’t use, some infant DVD’s that my 5 year old son doesn’t watch any longer and some knick knacks that we didn’t use or want. Once a month I go through closets, cupboards, drawers etc. and pull out things we don’t need, use or want and put together a donation. I figure my trash could be someone else’s treasure. :o)

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  7. Kelekona

    03/20/2012

    Some people reach a stage of periodic micro-purges and don’t really have a need to make a major purge. To have a lifestyle of true non-aqquisition seems a bit idyllic.

    [Reply]

  8. Lisa

    03/20/2012

    I’m purging for 40 days! My kids are older, and I have not been as frugal as you! Today I blogged about the garage!

    :)
    Lisa

    [Reply]

  9. Katherine@YeOldCollegeTry

    03/20/2012

    I did a mini-purge of my maternity clothes when I got them out again for the third go-round. This time I made myself pitch all those clothes I thought I might wear, but never actually did for the first two pregnancies. That’s a pretty good indication, right? I’m also doing the Project Simplify with Simple Mom, which has motivated me to cull our kids’ clothes and toys. Other than that, I feel mostly on top of things.

    Last January I started my blog with a resolution to get rid of five things per day for the month of January. That cleared out a ton of stuff!

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  10. Natalia

    03/20/2012

    This morning – I organized the food containers and got rid of some older ones I didn’t use in a long, long time.
    Last evening I filled up two large bags of papers from our office.

    The recycle bin is filling up and I don’t even miss any of those things! Oh, I thank God for the recycle bin!!!

    Over the weekend – I took out 1 box and 2 bags of items to be donated, and my “Donation Station” has 4 more items in it, already!

    Your blog is such an inspiration!
    I can’t believe I collected so much clutter in my house! I will be purging for a while, now…
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  11. Kim

    03/20/2012

    When you mentioned sewing items, I immediately thought of 2 items I haven’t touched in almost 3 years: a rug hooking frame and a brand new, still in the box serger a friend gave me. I want to hook rugs again but don’t know if I will. I think sergers are pretty complicated to thread and I barely have time to sew at this season of my life. Should I save or sell? Stuggling with the thought, but maybe I should????? Oh, never mind, I know your answer. :)

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    Emily Reply:

    Hi Kim, couldn’t help chuckling at your comment. My husband gave me a serger for my bday last year and it sat in the box for 7 months because I was scared to use it! :) If your serger is already threaded then you will never need to re-thread it. Just clip your thread next to the spools then tie on the new thread. Loosen your machine tension and pull the thread throug until the new thread is going through all the needles. After my 7 month delay I’m so glad I forced myself to use my serger. I LOVE it and use it for all my sewing projects! :)

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    Andrea Reply:

    Wow emily — I never thought of doing that with a serger. I don’t have one — but was always too intimidated to use one b/c of the treading part. Now I’ll use your trick. Thanks!

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  12. Tara

    03/20/2012

    I don’t want to offend, but isn’t it unethical to use someone else’s Netflix membership?

    That aside, I think it’s great that you aren’t bringing anything new in. We’ve been purging for months and months, and stopping the influx has definitely helped the cause. It’s really hard to fight the “I need this! I might use it some day!” mentality, especially with my craft and sewing supplies, but I have stopped seeking out new stuff, so that’s a step in the right direction.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Tara, we watch the movies WITH his parents — so his parents are getting the movies and we just watch them too. We aren’t ordering specific movies just for us. So no, I personally don’t think that’s unethical :)

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    Tara Reply:

    OH! That makes so much more sense. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    [Reply]

  13. melissa

    03/20/2012

    I almost fainted when I read your post. Not that it was that unusual….unless you looked at my house. I REALLY need to work on the purging, the not buying, practically everything!

    [Reply]

  14. Katie

    03/20/2012

    I’m doing a 40 bags in 40 days challenge…I’ve been cutting back on shopping and buying, etc. too lately but three kids will do it to you every time! No matter how pared down or organized I think I am, I can always find more to get rid of!

    http://theterpblog.blogspot.com/search/label/40%20bags

    [Reply]

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