Purging is Fun

My internal countdown clock seems like it is going quicker and quicker. It’s like the days are speeding by and we only have 2 ½ weeks until our big moving day.

I’m a pretty organized person, but it is simply shocking the kind of crap you accumulate in almost a decade of living in the same house. So, I figured that this was the perfect time to attack one of the tasks on my Project Me list: Get Rid of 50 Things that I Don’t Need.

When the contract came in on our house, we had exactly 6 weekends to work with before our moving weekend (October 22 – 23rd). As I previously mentioned in a post, since I’m losing my job we can’t buy a new house to move into at the moment. However, we totally lucked out because my parents have a rental property that is going to be vacant the week before we need to move in to it. Ironically, the rent is exactly the same as our current mortgage and the space is almost identical to what we currently have. We can stay there until I find a new position and then we can resume the search for our dream house.

The one drawback of the rental house is the lack of storage space. The closets are quite tiny and there is no basement or other storage area. In order to live as clutter-free as possible, we decided to pack up only the essentials for the rental house. All off-season stuff and non-essentials will be stored in my parent’s basement until we do our final move.

I’m not a big clutter person anyway, so I used this opportunity to keep from being like that scary lady in the Labyrinth.

Instead of just taking everything in a room, throwing it into boxes and dragging it to the new place, I’ve made things a bit more difficult.

Everything in our current house has been reviewed and put into one of the following categories:

  1. Pack away at my parent’s house (off season clothes, books, decorating items, board games, extra furniture, etc.)
  2. Pack away for the rental house (everything we really need to live at the new place, along with our furniture that will fit)
  3. Sell – on craigslist or at a yardsale
  4. Donate to goodwill
  5. Trash

As of this past weekend, we’ve taken 4 truckloads and 1 SUV load of stuff to my parent’s house for storage. Yes, this is stuff that we can currently live without, but will need in our final home. Honestly, it’s still a lot of stuff. So it’s possible that when we finally do unpack it a bunch more stuff will be sold or donated.

Everything left in our house right now is going with us to the rental house. Some of it is boxed up, but most of it is in use for the next couple weeks. We have a bunch of empty boxes standing by for the day stuff gets thrown in and transferred to the new place.

We sold a couch, chair, two bookcases, a futon and a TV on craigslist. A bunch of people got awesome deals on furniture that they needed and we got money to put into our “buying stuff for the new house” fund. (6 items)

We tried to have a yardsale this past Sunday, but due to the weather being cold and rainy it was pretty unsuccessful. According to the rules in our house, anything put out for a yardsale is not allowed back in. I did bend the rules a teeny bit this time and rescued about 5 items. The rest (which filled up the back of my SUV) went straight to Goodwill. (30 items)

At the end of each season, I do what I call my “closet switchover” where pack away everything from the previous season and bring out stuff for the next. This year, when I packed away all my spring/summer stuff and brought out my cooler weather clothes I was brutal when deciding what to get rid of. Two big boxes of clothes were donated to Goodwill from me alone. My husband added another large bag when he went through his own clothes. (30ish items)

So, it looks like we’ve gotten rid of almost 70 items without even counting stuff that went straight to the trashcan. YAY, goal completed!

Not only does it feel wonderful to get rid of clutter we don’t need, it’s always nice to donate to our local Goodwill. The organization channels 84% of their revenues into job training programs that benefit hundreds of thousands of people each year. Also, as an added benefit we can claim tax donations for our contributions.

I’m feeling pretty great now – I completed a “Project Me” task, we gave a ton of stuff to a local nonprofit, we packed up 4 ½ truckloads and moved it out of our house, AND we have some money to buy things for our new place!

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