Recently I tore through our house in a mad fury, making piles marked “toss,” “donate” and “keep.” I wish I could say my actions stemmed from some of that refreshing springtime energy, but, in fact, it all stemmed from frustration.
This latest heavy purge was the result of being buried by an avalanche of boxes, bins and bags when I tried to get at the summer gear from our storage room. Going in for that one quick item turned into two hours of cleaning.
I’d like to think that I run a pretty organized home, and I do make sure that things never devolve into all-consuming chaos. Yet, it’s so easy to let things collect and pile up, especially with a family of five.
While it’s hard to let go of some items, especially the sentimental ones, you do need to take a step back and realistically evaluate which items you truly need.
For instance, I had a really hard time when I went through the girls baby clothes, blankets and those cute little socks. To reconcile my desire to declutter with my nostalgic need to keep some items, I decided that one medium bin of baby keepsakes is all I get, and I donated the rest.
I use this same method whatever the items in question, evaluating the storage space, and what is needed versus wanted.
In the avalanche fiasco that I previously mentioned, I found some old towels, some baking pans, and some miscellaneous kitchen items. Knowing that I hadn’t used any of these items in at least two years, I questioned whether I really need to keep them at all when their only purpose seemed to be getting in the way?
I also stumbled upon my my old hair crimper in the avalanche, a hair-styling tool that has barely seen any use since my teen years. I think I might have crimped my daughters’ hair twice in their lifetime, so I knew I was holding onto it for sentimental reasons. That nostalgia likes to hold me back sometimes.
I’ve learned through my many household purges that some days I’m more sentimental than others. If I find I’m tossing items into the ‘keep pile’ for little reason, I force myself to walk away and tackle the job another time.
Once I’d cleaned up the avalanche, I remembered that my initial mission was to get out some summer items. After finally taking said items into the twins’ room, I realized that I needed to sort through their stuff as well. Each new season is a good time to take out the outgrown and bulky items; in doing so, you’ll discover what you need to purchase.
I made quite the pile to donate just from their clothing alone. There were quite a few dresses that were too small for them now, yet they wanted to hold onto them because ‘they twirl great’. Luckily, my twins know that their beloved items are going to other kids that need and want them. It warmed my heart to hear my daughter say she’s happy that others girls will get to have fun in her ‘twirling dress’.
When I donate items that we no longer need, the girls come with me. I’ve always included them in any pay-it-forward initiative, to teach them the value of giving back and thinking of others. They are always happy to come along and help. Well, that and they love to look around Value Village for things to buy, too. On our last trip to donate, they each picked out some superbly inexpensive costume jewelry.
This latest purge was needed and it has really helped to keep the clutter to a minimum. We do tend to hold onto a lot of unnecessary items, and for the longest time. Yet, it feels great to donate, and it makes way for new items that are needed and will be used. I guess I should tackle my own closet next; I’m pretty sure I still have a couple sweatshirts in there from high school.
Suddenly I’m humming a song you just might have heard once or twice … let it go, let it go!
How often do you take items for donation?
Value Village is more than your favourite thrift store- they also support nonprofit organizations like Canadian Diabetes Association and Developmental Disabilities Association, among others, in your community. Remember to donate your reusable items to local nonprofits at Value Village! In addition to supporting the nonprofit, you’ll also be helping planet Earth. Value Village, Good n’ Thrifty! Learn more: http://www.valuevillage.com
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Value Village via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of
the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Value Village.