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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Moving Experience

I recently moved from one house to another. From a three level house to a one level, from a great big kitchen to an itty-bitty kitchen, from 2 big bed rooms to three medium sized bed rooms, from 2 and half baths to 2.

We have driven CARLOADS of stuff to the Salvation Army, I have taken huge rubbermaid totes of toys and construction paper to the local preschool. We had a gigantic garage sale on Saturday and Sunday. People took so much stuff away. They bought things I was planning on throwing away! I sold an empty box that used to hold stationery for a dollar.

Last night hubby and I cleaned out the last of the debris and detritus of a mostly empty house. We found another load of stuff for the Salvation army, a few boxes for the Domestic abuse shelter, and another box for the school. We threw out several cardboard boxes last night, 2 huge contractor's bags of garbage, and three 40 gallon trash cans FULL of trash. It actually was breaking my heart.

I try so hard to recycle and give leftovers to charity and honestly I don't buy a lot of stuff. I feel like I am undermined by a wonderful, but frankly, more materialistic husband, loving but over-gifting grandparents and a culture that cannot conceive of a simple children's party without freaking gift-bags. I am not a paragon of virtue when it comes to "Ooh, shiny!" but I need to do better and inspire my family to do better.

Because as much as I need to organize, the best way to have a clutter-free life is to not have clutter in the first place!

What are your tips, tricks, ideas for living more simply?


  1. Right? Except it would kill my spirit, but I think I my "pretend" to move every 6 months or so.

  2. This post gave me goosebumps! I LOOOOVE a good purge!
    I can't give advice because my basement looks like something from Hoarders. But I swear my husband works against me sometimes! When we get rid of something (furniture etc) he wants it out of sight immediately. So instead of waiting for trash day he puts it in the basement.
    Looking forward to renting a dumpster soon!!

  3. Living simply is not getting overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done and understanding that there will ALWAYS be things you need to do. So I have learned to make a list. Big lists and small lists, and I put them in places I will always see them. The idea is being able to scratch stuff off the list, one at a time. It feels good to do too. Looking at everything all together is frustrating and daunting but focusing on one thing at a time makes the tasks seem achievable (which they are). Plus I am putting it out there all my wants and needs. It is no longer stuck in my head, it is now tangible!

    Being able to let go of things I don't need anymore is tough as well. But I look at it this way, if I haven't touched, looked, used, or needed the item in at least 2 years, I will not miss it when it is gone. If it was a gift or something that reminds me of someone, I should put it in a place it can be seen so making a place for "warm feeling" stuff is also important.

  4. I agree Angela. It is not just about purging the unwanted it is about making room for the loved! Excellent!

  5. We might be moving soon so clearly I can relate to this post! I wish I had tips to share but really, the only thing I can think of now is what I do in our house: Clean and purge when your husband is not home...(and is unaware that you're getting rid of his 'junk')....hehehehhehe.....

  6. The husband is pretty good about getting rid of stuff, but my kids (I have 2 of them) they will literally SOB over toys they haven't played with in months. Mostly the stuffed animals, they all have names, they all have back stories, they all have specific functions in the herd of cuddly toys. No ideas there.

    But I have been getting them to do a 1 in, 2 out purge. For every 1 toy I bring in they have to get rid of 2 toys. I also have been encouraging people to give them more consumable gifts, such as tickets to the movies or the zoo or stuff like that.