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Sep
06

Getting Rid of Stuff

It started with the popcorn maker.

We were trying to de-clutter the house to get it ready to go on the market.  My first job was to tackle the small appliance cupboard.  I thought “Do I really NEED a popcorn maker?  Popcorn is easy to make on the stove….”  And out it went, into the pile of unnecessary.

I went through the whole house in this mindset.

Do I need it?

Does it add value to our lives?

I involved the kids, asking them to go through their toys and pick out the ones they don’t play with.  More was added to the pile.  And as a secret between you and me I also went through the kids toys when they were at Grandma’s house.  Straight to the thrift store went another few boxes of toys.  And a word of warning if you attempt this one, don’t take the kids to the thrift store the week after you have donated a bunch of their toys without their knowledge!  Luckily they were young enough that I could just say “Isn’t that funny! Someone donated a bunch of the same toys you have!”

So is my house now minimalistic and clutter free? Um…no.  I still have a bunch of crap that I could not, at the time, part with.  But every week something else is going into the pile of unnecessary things accumulating in the garage.  Because really, how many vases do I really need when I won’t even let my husband buy me flowers?  Seriously, they are too expensive and a waste of our hard earned money.  For the one or two times a year I have fresh flowers in the house, couldn’t I just use a nice cup?

I’m feeling the need to have a garage sale soon.  Purging can feel so good!

I need to go through the house with this mantra:

“Soon we will be backpacking through Asia, soon we will be backpacking through Asia, soon we will be……..”

 

Curious how traveling families live their lives out of backpacks and suitcases?  Read about how they are living with less by clicking the links below.

Family on Bikes: Enjoying life with less

Break Out of Bushwick: Live with less – Lessons learned from downsizing

Family Travel Bucket List: Living with Less and 5 Kids? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Around the World in Easy Ways: Living with Less

Carried on the Wind: Living with Less

Our Travel Lifestyle: Does having all our gear again really make us happier?

Livin On The Road: Four Kids and Almost No Toys

The Drop Out Diaries: Anchors Aweigh

Discover Share Inspire: 1 Truck, 2 Continents, 7 People – How We Live With Only Our 321 Things

New Life on the Road : Living With Less Stuff

Got Passport: Carlin had a Point Less Is More In

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24 comments

13 pings

  1. Tracy says:

    I’m happy to hear that there’s another lady in the world that thinks flowers are a waste of money! I’d rather see them in a garden. And you didn’t really take the kids to the thrift store the next week did you? Woopsy!

    Getting rid of your stuff is hard. We failed miserably at it. But it sounds like you are onto a great start!

    1. worldschooled says:

      Yeah, I totally did take them to the thrift store the next week. Didn’t even think about it! But now I know for next time…..

  2. Lisa Wood says:

    That was so funny – about the kids toys! Lucky they were young enough to not realise that they were there own toys…did they want to buy them so that they could have more of the same toys!!!

    I love how it all started with the popcorn maker and you went from there.

    Backpacking around Asia sounds like so much fun!!! Its amazing how getting rid of stuff feels so good :)

    Happy de-cluttering. Keep saying your saying, and it will all be worth it!

    Cheers
    Lisa

    1. worldschooled says:

      They totally just shrugged their shoulders and kept browsing. I though they might come home and look for the toys but by that time they had forgotten about it already. Lucky I came out of that one unscathed!

      1. Lisa Wood says:

        Gosh I bet your happy that they had forgotten about the toys by the time they got home!!!

        Cheers
        Lisa

        1. worldschooled says:

          Yup, I had a big sigh of relief!

  3. lisa Shusterman says:

    Before we left for our trip we purged big time. Then we packed up everything we had left since we were renting our house for the year. When we came back and unpacked our boxes, we looked at some of the stuff and said “What ever made us think we couldn’t live without that?” So we had another big purge. Now I do my best to not even accumulate stuff. I love living with less. Enjoy your purging.

    1. worldschooled says:

      Thanks Lisa! One of my downfalls is we have free storage by way of a shipping container on my parent’s property. But if or when we settle down again we will have kept all of our best things.

  4. Melissa Banigan says:

    Oh, man, I realized I had a vase problem when I moved out of my old place and found no less than TEN big glass vases! Don’t know how I collected them, because we never ‘do’ flowers in my house. Needless to say, they’re gone now!

    1. worldschooled says:

      Yes, I have to go through my vase cupboard…….

  5. Rebeca says:

    We just have to keep on keeping on! Every time I go through things, I cull out more. It’s like we can only handle so much each time. “Does it add value to our lives” is a great question to ask.

    1. worldschooled says:

      It is a process that never stops. I think even when we are living out of a backpack we will still have to do the purge every once in awhile!

  6. Val Joiner says:

    I certainly second the no flowers notion. Total waste.

    When we’ve had a purgefest I feel like at least I own what remains… instead of my stuff owning me. We have a standing purge rule at our house (if your bring something in, something goes out) but even with that I still had to take big boxes to the consignment and thrift stores last week. And yes, there were a bunch of vases in that batch. I think you just stop seeing them after awhile and unless you stop to do a mindful purge, they don’t register on your radar one way or the other.

    Happy purging! It feels so good doesn’t it?

    1. worldschooled says:

      That is a really good rule. We do something like that with toys. My oldest boy has an obsession with stuffed animals so whenever we buy a new one at a second hand store the rule is he has to get rid of two toys at home. If he wants it bad enough, he agrees.

  7. Amy says:

    I love the process of purging. We even seem to be able to accumulate unnecessary stuff in a 22 foot caravan. We ended up getting rid of about 40 shopping bags full of stuff again last month. How on earth do we manage to gather up so much stuff?

    1. worldschooled says:

      Where does it all come from? My big downfall is that I love to shop at thrift stores. I just can’t not buy it when its $1.25! I have to get better though. Its just more junk!

  8. Barbara - The Dropout Diaries says:

    Yep, carrying a popcorn maker around Asia would be a complete pain.
    Sometimes it is hard to pare down, but once you’ve done it, you don’t really miss much at all.
    I remember how I used to pore over catalogs, trying to decide what to buy. Now I don’t even look at them. I know I don’t need anything more than what I’ve already got.
    Keep thinking about your big trip. I promise you, you won’t miss any of your stuff when you’re traveling.

    1. worldschooled says:

      I do my best not to look in catalogs any more. I don’t even look at flyers. If I need to get groceries I look at the flyers online. Otherwise I see the department store ones and start to want that new pair of shoes or the trendy sweater…..Its just best not to look!

  9. Susan says:

    Love it. You’re getting closer…and I know how exciting it is. The process did get harder for me when it started to get to my beloved kitchen stuff or Christmas decor, but it’s all just “stuff” that can be replaced. The memories of the adventures in Asia will last a lifetime!

    1. worldschooled says:

      And that is what I want to collect….Memories, not things.

  10. Rita Pepper says:

    I too agree that flowers are a waste of money and would rather admire them in a lovely garden.
    As for getting rid of stuff I keep sorting stuff out then end up keeping half of it, Now I do have to be brutal and just get rid of stuff that hasn’t been looked at for the past 3 years .

    1. worldschooled says:

      It’s hard isn’t it? You really have to have the right mind set and be in a ruthless mood to do it.

  11. lindsey says:

    if you have trouble getting rid of your “maybe” piles, put that stuff in a box for a week or two and see if you try to take anything out during that time. if not, it definitely all gets donated. you don’t realize how many things you dont really use, but this way you’ll also realize things you might not be ready to part with and you can save it before you go and buy another because you miss it.

    1. worldschooled says:

      That is a good way to do it! With my clothes I have been getting rid of everything I haven’t worn in the last year. Surprisingly, it a lot!

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