Ok, I am going to talk about my experience with purging and breaking the habit of hoarding (so far). I wanted to purge for so many years but did not do it. I would start and get so overwhelmed I would stop. I would get emotional about an item or that thinking “I can do something with this…. Someday.” then put it back.
What changed my mind was MOTIVATION, which I did not have before. When my husband and I decided that we could afford for me to live in the semi with him, I was motivated to pack up the house and make the biggest move of my life.
I started with things I thought my kids would like. I gave them whatever they wanted. I was surprised they didn’t want much. I gave stuff to friends also. I love the fact that some stuff stayed in the family and some stuff was going to my good friends who will enjoy them and think of me when they use the stuff.
Then it got tougher. I went to the things that “I can do something with this someday” stuff. Most of that went in the trash or I donated to entities like the local senior center because it as stuff like material, patterns, yarn and the like.
The donation was easier because I knew this stuff that I thought was so important to my existence was going somewhere where it could be used. They were very happy with all the stuff I took and that made me happy.
The next I needed to conquer was the stuff I knew I didn’t need with my lifestyle change. Things like kitchen stuff that cluttered the countertop, pans I would never use and things like that. I had lots of towels, bed sheets, clothes, and other household stuff that would not fit in our semi or our 5th wheel RV that were not necessities.
I pared down pretty well; the kids, the thrift store, and the senior center made out pretty well.
OK, now came the toughest part of all, the emotional trigger stuff! I called in reinforcements for this one. My friend Chris is a no-nonsense kind of gal and as I held things up, she would ask me what was so important about that object. I would sit and think about it, remove the emotional attachment to it and put it in the donate box.
As we went along, all she had to do was give me her look and I would put that item in the donate box. If an item meant enough to me to keep it, it is now up in the attic, like pictures or books I want to keep.
My daughter is buying our house and said I could use one part of the attic to store what I want to keep. I went from a 1200 square foot house full of stuff to 14 totes in the attic and whatever I have in the RV which is 40 foot so…. Not much!
I am proud of myself and thanks to Chris, I feel good about what I worked through emotionally. This was not only a physical journey but an emotional one too.
Letting go of so much unnecessary stuff has been a freeing experience to say the least. I still enjoy shopping and getting new things, but it is different now. I ask myself the following questions: do I really need it, do I have room for it, what am I willing to give up if I get this, and/or do I love it.
If you have been wanting to purge but are not able to, ask yourself the questions above, give your stuff to someone who will love it and use it, a center or assisted living place, or give it to a family member or friend. It will be okay.
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