I remember when my husband and I finally started to get serious about our clutter. We were camping with some friends of ours. We were talking around the fire about how I can’t stand the clutter! Our friends were sharing their experience getting a dump bin to really declutter a whole house. It really struck a cord with us! We were always fighting about our stuff and maybe there was hope afterall. I had visions of how I wanted our lives to be. I wanted to be free to go with the flow and do things whenever I made the time! The ease of playing with the kids, being crafty, or baking easily, even some simple DIY projects; but everything always seemed hard or awkward to pull out of whatever hideaway place it was put.
Our house was weighing us down! We were unpaid slaves to it all. It got to the point that I didn’t want to have guests over, and yet we love entertaining! I couldn’t even clean the house properly because the whole day would be spent moving stuff around so that I COULD clean. It was a disaster; if cleaning is too hard, it doesn’t happen! That’s a downward spiral I HAVE to avoid!
Maybe we need to think more big impact!
Our lives had been turned upside down for a couple of years before the house got to the extreme state that it was in before the purge. In 2016, my two boys and I all started college, JK, and daycare at the same time. Throughout my college program everything that I had been doing around the house went to the back burner. We entered survival mode; the ultimate nemesis to an organizer! Doing only the bare minimum that needs to happen in the house in order to make it through each day. “Ignore this for now”, “no time for that”, “put it in the basement for now”, “I’ll get to that later”. The mode that leads to piles upon piles.
In 2018, after finishing college and getting a job I tried to tackle small areas or rooms to pull ourselves out from drowning in the house, but again it seemed like my efforts were just being wasted. No matter how many hours or days I put into sorting or cleaning another tornado would sweep it all to the floor again behind me! We couldn’t even walk from one side of our storage room to the other. Sometimes I would literally have to sidestep through a space just to get into the room! Like in my craft room/office for school! What a great physical demonstration of neglect! And how embarrassing!!!
I remember admitting to our friends that I was at the end of my rope.
“I just don’t know what to do anymore!”
Before we actually decided on renting the bin, we needed to make sure it was worth it for us. My husband and I did a lot of work looking at our stuff. We went through the house and put stickers on furniture pieces that we wanted gone, we decided on the general order that we would try to tackle our stuff and we decided what time of year would be best. We picked the first week of school, that way the kids would be out of the house for at least a few hours of each day.
I have always struggled sorting through my stuff for purging because some of it was worth a fair bit of money, or could be. I tried selling a few things here and there on different second hand sites, but so many people wanted to negotiate deals that were too good to be true. We had set up garage sales but it takes a lot of work, a full weekend and generally there was always stuff left over. I also knew that some of the stuff should probably go to the waste management centre to be recycled in some way. All of that kind of detailed sorting makes procrastinating so easy. Its easy to post something but then just hold on to it if it doesn’t sell. Even loading up a truck or the van with load after load seemed like it would have no impact on our mountain. Its a goal to reach, but we were in over our heads.
The bin would cost approximately 400$, we would go through as much as we possibly could in 1 week. Or we could sell some stuff and get maybe 200-300$ total, then we have to factor in a timeline of realistically maybe 6 mo of really going through everything and we have to factor in still taking loads to the dump or donation centre. So with a total loss under 1000$ the bin became the best choice for us. It is a lot of money to think about in a short term, and we had school debt to pay back as well, but throughout the year we would probably spend that much on buying bins to be able to fail at sorting our stuff anyway! The bin option may not be for everyone, but like I said before, I needed a BIG IMPACT! and I needed it NOW!!!!
Fast forward a month or so, and we have a truck backing into our driveway delivering us the bin!
I was giddy with excitement. I had the kids come out to watch it being dropped off.
I can remember thinking to myself:
“this is our next chapter, this is how we take our life back”.
It was so very long overdue. I would lie awake in bed way more often than I ever let on; I was being haunted by it all! All our stuff, all our clutter! Once the bin was positioned on our driveway and the truck driver had driven away, the kids and I went inside the bin to check out the new home of our many belongings. The boys danced as the walls thundered with echoes, I stood watching them but was lost in my own world. I kept imagining how exactly I would fit everything that I wanted out of the house into this huge yet seemingly tiny amount of space. Its definitely going to be more mentally than physically challenging, but I was ready! I was excited!
Stuff is kind of like technology these days. It can do a great job enhancing our day to day living, and help us to stay focused and motivated on what we want from life. Or it can get in the way, cause procrastination, and cause us to miss living life to the fullest.
Now to start filling the bin!
Stay tuned for more details about the purge next week. Friday there will be a Christmas special!
Thanks for coming home
Just look at these before pics!!! OMG!! Its scary to share these pictures and it brings my anxiety to a boil just looking at them! No one wants to live like this!
Such a life changing experience.
It truly was. Now its much easier just to take a load to where it needs to go. I do sometimes consider another bin, but I am also happy that we no longer have as much straight up junk that needs tossing.
[…] back to before The Purge, Part 1, I realize that I was stuck in this mindset that everything has value and […]
[…] For me, the basement is my big source of “just shove it in the storage room, or the pantry, and we’ll deal with it later.” We don’t have nearly as much down there as we did before the big Purge (if you haven’t read that post yet, you can read about those shenanigans here!). […]