Thursday, January 03, 2008

The great purge

As much as moving can be a tedious chore, there’s a lot to be said for packing up and moving every few years. It means you never really get the chance to collect too much ‘stuff’.

We’ve only been in our house for three and a half years, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m married to a pack rat.

Now I’m not saying that I’m a saint when it comes to the pack rat syndrome, because goodness knows I keep my fair share of ‘what the heck is this anyway’ and ‘when will I ever use this again’. But I’m a lot better at going through things and pairing down than my other half is. When my dresser drawer is too full to close, I’ll pull out all the shirts that have no business being worn anymore and toss them in a garbage bag. When my other half’s dresser drawer is too full to close, he just pushes harder to squeeze it all in. It’s no wonder he ends up with a drawer with about two dozen unworn T-shirts.

But regardless of that one example, we have a lot of ‘stuff’. Everything from old cell phones and empty boxes from electronics that we probably don’t even own anymore, to old childhood mementos that you can’t remember what you’re supposed to remember from them and unwanted gifts that you wouldn’t even dare re-gift.

So, with a new baby on the way and the need to make the most out of the space we have in our house, I started the purging process during the week off work in October.

At that time, I emptied our storage area under the stairs – which was so full you could barely walk in. (I mean does anyone really need five (yes five) picnic baskets/knapsacks when really, a big cooler or two is far more useful (and already taking up space in the same storage area?) Then I cleaned out the two closets in the basement.

When I was done, I combined the ‘unwanted stuff’ with the ‘unwanted stuff’ from the garage cleanup earlier in the year and together I had a full car of boxes and bags to go to Goodwill.

Just before Christmas, between cleaning out my side of the closet and some other odd and end places, we took another few boxes to Goodwill.

Last week, during the Christmas break, the great purge started to take on a whole new level. The office upstairs is going to become Austin’s room this spring, so that means that everything in it needs to find a new home. The desk and computer moved downstairs to the new family room and I started packing up the room.

In the end, I only have one box for Goodwill, two garbage bags and two recycle bags, but I’m well aware that much of what I boxed up may never find a new home in the basement, meaning more garbage and/or Goodwill bags to fill.

The next room on my purge list is the spare room in the basement. In that room is a double bed, a dresser and built-in floor to ceiling shelves. For three years, those shelves have been the place things go to die. Now, I need the shelf space (for much of the stuff from the office) and really, if things went there to die – shouldn't that mean they’re dead by now and we can get rid of them?

I think I’ll start on that room this weekend. And if I get really ambitious, when that room’s done, I may start on Ryan’s workshop. Goodness knows you can’t even walk into that room, let alone find anything. But then again, Ryan might kill me if I touch anything in there.


Sera said...

Funny... I was thinking of doing a great purge this month as well :) Good to know I'm not alone!

SnH said...

Hey - while you're doing a purge, box up anything you think you could sell (like one of your five picnic baskets maybe?) ... I want to do a garage sale in the spring, have a dozen or so boxes of stuff that I've 'purged' in our recent move. Anything left over is going to goodwill, but may as well try to sell it! Join me in my garage sale adventures!