How to purge

With 2018 upon us, organizing and making room for all the new Christmas gifts seems to be a priority on many peoples' to do lists. Whether you are becoming a full blown minimalist or just doing a little early spring cleaning, you may need a little help to get you started.

Here are tips that have really helped me in my journey that I think you will find helpful too! 

how to.png

1. First get rid of anything in your home that is broken or damaged. Old toys, clothes with holes in them...sweaters that are pilled and leggings that are faded, just toss them. Step one should be relatively easy!

2. Once you sort through anything that is damaged, move on to anything that doesn't fit or that isn't age appropriate for the kiddos. Heck, I even had twin sized sheets and there is not a twin sized bed to be had in our home. Especially being a military family, we have made the mistake of buying very specific tapestry and home decor for certain homes we have lived in...BIG MISTAKE. The concept of thinking ahead and buying neutral colors was foreign to me...If you have items in your home just sitting around in a closet waiting to perfectly fit into your future homes, just do yourself the favor and let them go. 

3. Once you get rid of everything from those two steps and you are feeling the urge to keep going, then get rid of anything you own that makes you feel uncomfortable. Maybe you have gained a few pounds or lost a few pounds and those favorite jeans you have stored away just don't fit right anymore...donate them! Maybe you have a cute pair of leggings but they cut you too low in the waist leaving you hiking them up twenty times when you are out on the town, get rid of them! Are you like me and will buy a pair of shoes a half a size too small because they were on sale and didn't have your size?...time to say goodbye! Get rid of anything that doesn't make you feel like a hundred bucks! It's a hell yes, or it it a no! Only keep clothes that fit you perfectly TODAY and say good bye to all the what ifs of tomorrow! I had this one summer where I bought a ton of dresses thinking I needed to expand my wardrobe and be a dress person...off they went to Goodwill because I AM NOT A DRESS GAL. I love dresses for date night, but just to "toss on" all causally to look like one of those chic moms, just a'int me.

4. The next step takes some thought, but it's brilliant. It's the 90/90 rule I picked up from "The Minimalists". If you haven't worn it or used it in the last 90 days and you don't foresee yourself using it in the next 90 days, its gotta go! 

Ok! So you have made it this far! Congratulations! How are you feeling?? If you are feeling good about your big purge then stop right here. You did an amazing job and you are on the right track for a stress free 2018!! You now have plenty of room for all your Christmas goodies!

BUT...

If you are like me and are wanting to seriously overhaul your home then read on for some additional tips!

5. Have you seen the documentary on Netflix, The Minimalists: A Documentary About the Important Things? If not, start there. This movie inspired me so much and if you made it to here to step five, I'm thinking it may inspire you too!

6. Go back through your closet again. Really look at each piece this time. Do you love it? In the words of Marie Kondo, "does it spark joy?"...look at the piece and decide immediately. If your gut says no, toss it right in the bag, if your answer is yes, then leave it and move on! Remember, if it it not a HELL YES, then it is a big fat no!

*PURGING TIP: use black bags. If you decide something doesn't bring you joy toss it immediately in the black bag so that you can't see through the bag to contemplate the item further later. Stick with your initial reaction and jam it in that black bag and don't look back. If you use clear or white bags, you will see an item after the purge and I guarantee you will pull something out of the bag and put it back in your closet. Use black bags, decide, and don't look back! 

7. Organize your closet putting all like items together. Start to recognize the value in having just one of an item. I cannot tell you how many duplicates I had of things...I am not talking about having three black t-shirts, I am talking about the other stuff...stuff you don't wear every day like coats, shoes, sweatshirts, fleeces, sweatpants, etc. I had two cream long dressy winter coats. I maybe wore ONE of them ONE time each winter so having two was definitely unnecessary. I also counted EIGHT sweatshirts, SEVEN fleece zip ups, and FIVE pairs of fleece lined leggings that you wear under your jeans (I have owned those leggings for three years now and never wore a single pair one time). One is plenty. Buy an item that is of great value, wear it, love it, take care of it, and when the time comes, replace it. There is NO NEED to have back ups hanging around in your closet taking up space. "Let the store, store it for you". I love that quote. You can read more about rediscovering the value in owning ONE of an item in Joshua Becker's amazing book called Clutterfree with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home. It's a great read!

8. Sheets and towels. Get rid of the excess people. Keep two towels per person and you'll have plenty for your family and for guests that come to visit. As for sheets, only one pair fits on the bed at a time, so buy a great set of sheets, use them, wash them and put them right back on your bed. Stop keeping half a dozen extra sheet sets on hand because I promise you you'll only use the set you love. If you can't get laundry done that quickly or if you are like me and still have kids, then keep an extra set on hand for accidents since they still nap through the day but discard the rest! 

9. Be ruthless in your kitchen. Get rid of all the "unitaskers" and duplicates. Keep what you use on the reg and discard the rest. Glasses and cups were our biggest issue in the kitchen. Be ruthless here. We had every cup imaginable for every single alcoholic beverage you could possible dream up and not only did we have a variety we had at least six of each! We whittled down to two of our favorites and chucked the rest. Junk plastic cups we got from restaurants over the year quickly followed suit as well as all those damn tiny coffee mugs that don't hold anything but the coffee. I like my coffee like I like my kids...real sweet...so there best be room in that cup for a splash of milk and creamer. If not, in the donation bin it goes. 

10. Just get rid of all your DVD's and CD's unless you have a device in your home that you use on the regular. If you have upgraded to Netflix and Amazon Prime for 90% of your movies then stop holding on to these things thinking that some day you'll drag them out of the cabinet. You won't. A'int nobody got time for that these days when you can just yell at "Alexa" to put something on. 

11. PURGE THE TOYS. This is another area you need to be ruthless in. Get rid of all the stuff they haven't touched and don't feel guilty. Get rid of the endless buckets of toys they dump. Get rid of the pile of stuffed animals they have that collect dust. Try to focus on keeping open ended toys like crafts and blocks and watch how engaged they stay! It's a miracle! Let them take advantage of the imagination they were born with and stop with the toys. It was a game changer in our house. 

 Let the house you live in set the limit for what is to be inside and let go of the rest.Imagine a life where every single thing around you brings you joy or adds true value to your life. Detach, create space that allows you to live and be free in your home. Create a space that allows you to say "YES" to your kids more. 

Just start somewhere small and see how you feel! Start with tip number one and see how you feel! If you have any questions or need some extra guidance, please reach out!! Sometimes we hang on to things because of emotion we attach to the item. Reach out to me on Facebook at "The Drifting Anchor" and lets work through those emotions. 

Have you embraced the mentality "less is more" in 2017? How did it benefit your life and family? I want to hear from you so that we can collectively encourage others to hop on the purge train!

Good luck, and remember #minimalismisthenewblack

Until next time...