How I Keep Up With Regular Purging

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2018
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It would be an understatement to say that our children got spoiled this past Christmas!

Between Nora’s birthday, FOUR Christmas parties, gifts from teachers at school and at church, gifts from friends and neighbors, and some ridiculously good deals from our local thrift store, our home acquired many new things over the last 6 weeks.

I do try really hard to monitor what comes into our house on a daily basis, but it’s getting trickier now that Nora brings so much home from school, all 3 kids love doing crafts, andย one of our favorite “pastimes” is visiting our local thrift store to see if they have any good deals. ๐Ÿ™‚

Seriously… I got this Nike track suit for only $1.50! Simon was so excited because he wanted “running clothes”!

Since we have so much more coming INTO our home these days, I really have to practice regular purging to keep things from getting too out of control.

I don’t have a fancy system or cute donation bins… but so far, the simple system I’ve been using for years and years continues to work well for us, even as the volume of things entering our home continues to increase.

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How I Keep Up With Regular Purging:

For starters, I keep a medium size box in the laundry room (conveniently located between our kitchen and back door). Anytime I come across something I no longer want, need, use, or love from anywhere on our main floor or basement, it goes straight into this box.

If it doesn’t fit in the box, I set it on the counter next to the box — really large items go out to the garage.

Using a box seems to be the simplest method for me as it’s sturdy enough to hold our items without tipping over, plus, it sort of “hides” the contents so I don’t have to look at them every single day.

Also, the fact that it’s RIGHT by the back door makes it really easy to move the contents out to the car when I’m ready to bring them away (I need to make it easy or I won’t do it as regularly — who can relate to that!?!?)

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Since I often purge while I’m playing with the kids upstairs, I recently put a second donation box in our large storage closet right off the landing area.

Any time the kids decide they don’t want a certain toy, game, book, or article of clothing, it goes in this box. Also, any time Nora or James outgrow clothing, it goes in this box (Simon’s clothing is usually passed down to James).

Once these boxes are full, or whenever we make our next trip to the donation center, I quickly pull the things out of the boxes and put them into grocery bags (or larger garbage bags) and load them up in the van.

This simple system for purging rarely ever feels like a “big deal” or super “time consuming”. It’s just something I do a few minutes at a timeย (literally 1-2 minutes) on a very regular basis. In fact, there is rarely a day that goes by when I don’t put at least 1 item in our donations boxes.

Honestly, if I’m going to keep up with the amount of things coming into our home on a daily basis, it’s only natural that I should also be removing things from our home on a daily basis. And since I have a designated spot to put the donations, it’s super easy for me to take 10 seconds to walk to the box and deposit the items. My kids even know what the boxes are for and will put unwanted items in on their own!

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It certainly helps that organizing and decluttering are activities I REALLY enjoy doing — but I do think that designating a specific spot in your home (or even several spots throughout your home) for castoffs will make it easier for you to part with your unneeded items for good!

Also, it’s helpful for me to simply focus on PURGING – not necessarily ORGANIZING. The goal is simply to remove unwanted items, not necessarily reorganize the items left over.

Of course, there are still times when I set aside 20-30 minutes to go through a specific area of our home in attempts to purge AND better organize that space.

I just did a quick purge and reorganization of Christmas decorations and toys last week, I purged and better organized my closet and Clara’s closet the week before that,ย I purged and cleaned up our gift wrapping supplies last month, and I’m gearing up to purge our filing cabinet next month in preparations for tax season!

 

But the main purpose of my donation boxes is to make it REALLY convenient and REALLY easy to rid my home of anything I no longer want, need, use, or love.

What will YOU purge today?

If you need a little extra motivation, read this post on how to quickly declutter 100 things from your homeย — I promise it won’t take as long as you think!

Filed under: OrganizingHomePurging

 
 

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14 comments

  1. Kristi

    01/10/2018

    Completely off topic, but is Dave a runner? Iโ€™m trying to imagine why/how Simon would decide he wants a running clothes (the suit you found is adorable!! And a steal!).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — not really! He has done some triathlons in the past and he do run sometimes in the summer, but I know he would not consider himself a “runner”. Simon is just silly!

    Also, I love how you assume Dave must be the runner in the family because you know I’m not running anywhere any time soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Trudy

    01/10/2018

    Historically, I do a January purge, after I put away Christmas. What I purge during this time are my hidey holes…..anything in a drawer, closet, cupboard that one may not see everyday. It seems that if something is sitting out in the open, you notice more readily that it needs to go. I’m trying to look at all the stuff I’ve hidden on myself…lol. Sometimes, it’s not to dispose of, but to consolidate or make sure the bins are labeled with what is in it. I think the key is to know where what you have is….another thing I do is to try to make sure like things are together….all the bedding is here, the cameras are together, etc.

    I work off a spreadsheet that lists the actual thing I need to look into and when I complete it I get great satisfaction of crossing it off. The plan is to take it to a donation center or have Vietnam Vets come for it by end of January. So far, I have four trash bags and three boxes waiting to donate and several bags for trash.

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  3. Rhonda

    01/09/2018

    I’ve become a “regular purger” after reading your blog for several years. I find that it really is easy to get rid of at least one paper grocery bag full of items each month!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we usually take at least 1 bag away every month… and then there are times (like this week) when I do a major over-haul and I fill up the entire trunk with stuff we no longer need, want, use or love. It sure feels good!

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  4. Bats

    01/09/2018

    I just saw the kitchen photo on Facebook. Can you explain why you acquired so many items you don’t need that are still in good enough condition to donate? I understand purging clothes children grow out of or decor you no longer like, but why did you get more cupcake pans or another double boiler in the first place? Or do you just not use a double boiler but used to? I got a few new kitchen items recently, but they replaced broken ones. Not a criticism, but I am just trying to understand why this is a constant/ everyday activity because I don’t think I have a lot of extra formerly useful items that wouldn’t be useful to me still. I do have a lot of papers I don’t need, but nobody else needs those either. ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I KNEW someone would ask this question! Honestly, I was sort of asking myself this question as I purged the drawers and cabinets in my kitchen today ๐Ÿ™‚

    For starters, purging my kitchen is NOT an “everyday activity” as you mentioned. Yes, I purge kids clothing, crafts, paper clutter, unloved toys, and “trash items” every day/week/month — but not kitchen things. In fact, I haven’t done a major kitchen purge since we renovated our kitchen 5 years ago — so it was due!
    That said, most of the things I purged today were still gifts from our wedding 11.5 years ago. Things we used to use but don’t anymore. Things I thought I wanted but realized I don’t need. Etc. etc.

    Also, due to the nature of my job, I get lots and lots of kitchen gadgets to review in hopes I will feature them on my blog — I regularly donate most of these things as I’m not interested in them.

    And finally, I get quite a few kitchen-related gifts from friends and family who know I enjoy cooking. I always try everything out, but often end up purging most of it since I like what I already have and don’t need or want something different.

    So yes, it was time for a big kitchen purge — now I’m good again for another couple of years!

    Oh, and when I say “purge” I don’t necessarily mean “donate” — it could mean trash, recycle, etc. When I say “purge”, it simply means the item is no longer in my home — so yes, there was a decent number of things I just trashed because no one else would want them either!

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  5. Shelly

    01/09/2018

    I keep a box that I put stuff into. When I go to the donation center I just pull the entire box out and dump the contents into their bin. The box goes back into my car. No sorting if it is in the box it goes.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, our donation center doesn’t have a big bin so I have to transfer everything into bags. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice just to take the box and dump it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. JJ

    01/09/2018

    I LOVE your loft!!!! And the idea to have a purge box!!!

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  7. Sheri

    01/09/2018

    You always seem to find such great stuff at thrift stores. Since I also live in West Michigan, are there any specific stores that you recommend? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We love Revive (Hudsonville), Love INC (hudsonville), and the Bibles for Mission store (Jenison). We always find the best deals at those 3 places!

    [Reply]

  8. Lynn

    01/09/2018

    Great post! I will be purging my pantry and office/extra bedroom closet this winter. I found out that a large chrome wire shelving that I still have in the box in the garage (we bought two a few years back on sale) will fit perfectly against the back wall of the office closet. I am going to put it up there and use clear bins and labels for reorganizing! I can’t wait to see the end result!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    score! That’s why I ALWAYS tell people to wait to buy any storage shelves or organizing container until after they purge. It’s always amazing what treasures we find as we set out to get more organize!!

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