My post last week abut the purge ended with us just starting to do the hard work!
The first couple of days of any project are always the best! Energy is high, muscles are strong, and there are easy things to make decisions of whether to keep or toss. Best of all, for the most part you can see progress pretty quickly…Then it keeps going…and going…and going…..and STILL going!
It is such a crazy process to try to go through your entire house of stuff in one week!
We decided that we had to start with the big impact stuff. The big ticket items! We started pulling furniture out from various rooms and putting it all into the garage. Looking at it more closely (and out from beneath its own clutter!), we decided that most of the furniture was still in decent shape and had more life to give. We were also afraid that we may not have enough space in the bin, so…
We decided to put a big FREE sign at the bottom of the driveway.
We ended up putting a lot of stuff down there and so many people were thrilled with our generosity. Such a great feeling when the stuff has stopped adding to your own lives to hear the excitement of random strangers. My favourite part of donating my stuff is seeing people be excited to own it themselves, which is rare to be able to witness!
After a lot of the big pieces were gone, and some broken stuff we were holding onto for who knows why, we could finally see some real progress.
We could see the house in a new refreshing way.
It gave us even more motivation to push on and sort more!
We started in the basement, then methodically worked our way through EVERY inch of our house!
I can understand and appreciate all the emotions that people on hoarder shows or decluttering shows go through. If you’ve ever watched one of those shows and wondered why people are fighting or walking away from the process…I get it. Watching it, it seems so black and white. Its garbage, get rid of it, or sell it etc. Truly though, it sucks to keep questioning why you kept whatever item, or if it really means enough to you to keep it. We defintely had hard times. We blitzed through the house pretty quickly, some of those shows the process goes on a lot longer.
Seeing all your clutter reminds you of all your good intentions and your lost motivation. It’s all proof of failed or forgotten projects and promises that you made to yourself or your partner or family. Its so much more than just going through stuff! Its coming to terms with how you got there in the first place.
I can remember sitting in my office, nay burried in my office and after putting hours of sorting time into the room I started to look around…
I just burst into tears!
There was still sooooo much to go through! And worse, I wanted to go through everything to make the most of having the bin!
I felt like I was getting nowhere!
After the first couple of days we started to jump around from room to room because it was getting into smaller items, and decisions were harder to process. We had to continue pushing and motivating each other to ensure we would keep going.
It was a ton of work!
As I walked around the house to take a break I was still feeling like we were only just scraping off the tip of the iceberg. It was overwhelming!
Part of cleaning up is making a mess, and we definitely had to make a HUGE mess of pulling everything out of drawers and closets and shelves. I mean, just look at that pile of clothes! OMG!!
As the week went on, we were able to get rid of a lot of our stuff by putting it out at the end of the driveway. We did manage to make it through basically the entire house! I think we added up 36 bags to the donation center! Another I don’t know how many garbage bags of stuff into the bin! We filled the bin almost to the top!
It would have been very interesting to have information on the weight before and after filling the bin. I definitely felt EVERY pound of that weight come off my shoulders.
Its such an interesting process. Like I said before I highly recommend it to anyone who is simply at their limit and feeling like there is no way to start sorting their stuff. Before the bin I felt like any amount of small improvement that I made, was just overwhelmed by the chaotic state of all our stuff. It reached a point for us that we couldn’t fit enough organizing bins in the house in order to even sort all the stuff. There was just way too much!
So I give you, the almost full bin! It’s not a great picture, but it gives the idea!
I had a surprisingly large set of mixed emotions when at last we closed the bin and the driver took it away. I almost felt panic set in because I wanted to keep the ease of tossing things close by. I also felt pressure building up because now we had to find homes for EVERYTHING that we kept! We had to find ways to maintain our level of stuff, because I could also feel the fear of getting to that state once again surfacing in my mind. I was incredibly relieved that we had decided to go all in with the bin, and truly take advantage of it. We needed desperately to get out from under our clutter so that moving forward we could figure out how we can regularly sort our clutter.
I imagine that you are eager to see some after pictures, so stay tuned for the before and after pics coming Friday!
Great post. I could feel your pain – a life changing experience for sure.
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