This great article about purging 40 bags of crap for the 40 days of Lent was shared on Facebook by a friend, and I thought I would share it with you guys. My hubby and I have definitely benefited from clearing our home of the crap that we never use, but we still have a lot left to get rid of. I LOVE the idea of using Lent as a motivator. Instead of giving up a food (or in addition to), try giving up a bag of stuff you don’t need to someone who does, each day of Lent.
This is such a win/win/win proposition. You’ll have less garbage just taking up precious space in your home, your home becomes more peaceful because of it, you give the items to someone who will use and love them, and you can even claim the donations on your taxes if you want to. Here’s some helpful hints from the article for letting go of the things you’re reluctant to purge (as usual, my comments are in blue):
On those days when you’re feeling craptastic and “Crap Clingy” ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really, really love it? This doesn’t mean, “Do I love the person who gave it to me?” It means, “Do I use it regularly, or does it make me smile when I look at it?” This is extremely personal. Others may not understand why I still cling to a whole ton of books, but then I may not understand why they keep a ton of cheap souvenirs from every city they’ve ever visited. Don’t feel guilty about keeping something that makes you smile, just because others don’t understand its worth to you. But don’t feel guilty about getting rid of stuff you never use, either.
- Would I buy it again? In other words, is it valuable enough to you that you would spend money to replace it if it was broken or lost?
- Have I used it in the past year? With the exception of seasonal items, I’d dare say things should be used even more often than that in order to merit a place in our space. But if this is hard for you, try getting rid of everything you haven’t used in two years, then wait a few months, and try to get rid of things you haven’t used in a year. Remember, you’re keeping these items from being used and love by keeping them in your home for dustcatchers.
- Would it be hard to replace if I needed it again? This is the hardest thing for a lot of people. I don’t want to get rid of this because I might use it again someday. Chances are if you haven’t used it in a year or two, you’re never going to need it. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a great/useful/ingenious item. If you’re not using it, it can’t be the great/useful/ingenious item it was intended to be. This is especially good to consider for small appliances and power tools. It’s not amazing if it’s just gathering dust.
- If I were free from guilt, would I want it? Meaning, just because it was great-aunt-whoever’s, or was given to you buy dear friend x, doesn’t mean you should be obligated to keep it if you never use it. Take a pic if you’d like, for the memories. Maybe even write a short bit in the caption about the person who gave it to you, and then give it away to someone who will appreciate it.
I know I’ve been pushing the “get rid of stuff” thing a lot, but it really does bring peace to your household. It’s so much easier to take care of the things you really use and love if you’re not spending all your time and effort shuffling through and caring for the things you don’t love.
And if you’re not ready to commit to 40 bags yet, try just a little. Every little bit helps, and once you get rid of the first few bags, maybe the added peace and sense of accomplishment will inspire you to do more.
BTW, the pic above was posted on Becoming Minimalist today, and I thought it went well with this article.
How about you guys? What do you find hardest about getting rid of stuff?