As many of you know – we have set a deadline to finish renovating our house and to have it on the market.  I’ll tell you about how the renovations and house sale are going in another post… but in this one, I wanted to vent about STUFF!  We have so(!!) much (!!!) stuff (!!!!) and I hate it!  I really do!  How have we managed to accumulate this mountain of crap?  I’m not even much of a spender / shopper… and yet… over the period of 7 years, we have accumulated what now (in my eyes) resembles a junk heap.

We have a big house… so most of our friends are blissfully unaware of the all the stuff that lurks in dark spaces and hides in all of our cupboards.  And the problem with STUFF is that it drains me… emotionally, mentally, physically – it drains me!  Because stuff requires:

  • regular cleaning
  • organising
  • repairing
  • tidying up
  • and storage goodies to KEEP the stuff in… and SPACE.

Even trying to get RID of the stuff is a brain-drain… (and I have often entertained secret thoughts about burning down our entire house with all the stuff inside) – the thought of The Stuff magically vanishing is often far more appealing than the thought of meticulously organising and going through all of the stuff – even if it’s just to get rid of it.

For example – for every item I pick up, I ask myself:

  • What’s this item?
  • What’s it used for?
  • Will I need it?
  • Do I even use it?
  • Do I like it?
  • Is it sentimental to me?
  • How did I get it?
  • Was it expensive?
  • Is it new or barely used?
  • Is it broken?
  • Should I fix it?
  • Was it a gift from somebody?
  • Will they mind if I throw it away?
  • How do I get rid of this thing?
  • Do I sell it?
  • How much should I sell it for?
  • Who should I sell it to?
  • Do I give it away?
  • Who will I give it away to?
  • (I hope they make proper use of it).
  • (I hope I don’t give it back to the same person who gifted it to me).
  • Maybe I should just throw it away.
  • (but isn’t that wasteful?  I would much prefer that it goes to somebody who uses it and appreciates it)
  • Where should I store it in the meantime?

Aaaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!

Asking those kinds of questions for every single item that I pick up is draining!  And, I’ve recently read this fascinating article on decision fatigue – and what the negative side effects of decision fatigue are!  (clue:  bingeing and other unhealthy behaviour).

So… let’s just say that my Big Fat Purge is going a lot…. slower… than I anticipated.

Here’s the first results – in pictures.

This – let me remind you – is just a tiny, teeny tip of the proverbial iceberg.  What you see in these pictures are simply ONE small area of our home.  This particular grouping of stuff is the Kid’s Arts & Crafts & Learning materials.  I haven’t even touched on my office – or Nick’s studio (both a terrible nightmare in terms of too much stuff!).

Here’s what we’ve managed to accumulate:

I mean, for a start, do we really need 13 pairs of scissors?  Really?  And how many HB pencils does a person really need?  And what’s with the small mountain of glitter?  Who needs all of that glitter??  And all of those wax crayons?  Or the pipe cleaners?  And the endless puzzles (many of which have never even been put together).

Here’s another view:

Scrapbooking material!  A bag of colourful pegs!  10 plastic rulers!  Luminous Easter Eggs with torch!  Variety of colourful tissue paper!  Fabric paint!  A set of 3 Bug Pictures for the wall… I mean… this stuff has to go!!!

And this is what I’m keeping (for now):

  • A few (not dried up) paints and some good brushes.
  • A basic set of stationery (only need 1 eraser… 1 sharpener… 1 ruler, etc)
  • A box of good colour pens & kokis (all in working order).
  • A bag of good pencil crayons (all in working order).
  • A few favourite books and some learning material.
  • Wooden stamp set that we all love.

This is our basic, toned-down kid’s art & learning stuff for the next couple of months while we wait for the house to sell.  Obviously, when we travel, we’ll cut down on this even more – taking only the bare, bare minimum with us.

I feel lighter already… just looking at that neat little pile.

The rest of the stuff is either going to be given away or sold.  We’ll hold a Big Fat Purge SALE… in our yard (within the next month).  Everything not sold on that day will be loaded up and sent off to a charity shop.

I’ll keep this blog updated on my Purge-Progress…. (if only to motivate myself to carry on and not give up in a fit of frustration).