The Great Purge of 2014

It was a bitterly cold winter the weekend that I set out to rid my house of unwanted clutter, trash, and all traces of un-organization. Matt left me for the great state of Colorado in order to perform a wedding. And there was never better timing as we had just come off a great Christmas break toting home a few wonderful new treasures with no place to put them. We live in a modest 1 bedroom apartment with two closets. It goes without saying that we don’t exactly have the luxury of keeping what we “might use later down the road”…although I’ve tried. We’ve stuffed things in all sorts of nooks and crannies of our little home and it has been driving me nuts for a while.

Well, inspiration came and it could not be tamed. I was home with my mom for a whole week and once again noticed her efficiency of keeping just what they need, everything having a place, and living an overall simplified and de-cluttered life. I truly want to imitate that. It’s hard being the sentimental person that I am. Things possess memories and meaning and that makes it difficult to throw them away even when they are no longer useful. But it’s not always the sentimental things that get me. Clutter piles up. I really don’t need 14 bottles of lotion with just a drop left. I don’t need to keep all those bags that I never use. And we don’t need to hold on to clothes that don’t fit anymore. It was time for me to live in the present and I wanted to ride the waves of motivation and inspiration as long as I could.

I developed phases of the house that I would tackle. Phase one: kitchen. Phase two: bedroom and bathroom. Phase 3: living room/laundry closet. Phase 4: front closet. Phase 5: desk area. It was one of the most exhilarating things to complete a phase. (I’m easily entertained.) I think my favorite was the kitchen. I seriously kept going back into the kitchen to stare at my beautifully organized cabinets and see how everything had the perfect place to live. I kept piling things into the living room as I tossed them. I was amazed (and horrified) at how it kept growing. Who knew how much you could collect in less than 800 square feet?

I was telling a friend about my eventful weekend and she asked me an interesting question, “is this one of those ‘get rid of everything and regret it later’ moments?” I stopped and it only took me two seconds to reply. “NO!” I have been needing to do this for a while and then was convicted that we really don’t need all the stuff that we keep acquiring and we really do need to live more organized. And honestly, if I did get rid of something that I really regret…I can always go out and buy it later. I’m not worried. I am, however, thankful every time I come home now. I breathe a sigh of contentment knowing that I have just what I need where I need it. It’s freeing really.

So here are some pictures that might just inspire you to do the same! Take it from me; you won’t regret this… if you are serious about it. Did I mention that I made it through the entire Anne of Green Gables three part dvd series while cleaning? Yeah, it was a good weekend.

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It started out looking like this.

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And this.

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And ended up looking like this.

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And this.

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Our fridge filled with friendly faces.

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It’s beautiful.

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organized on the man side too.

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Yes.

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Room to spare.

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This was a very cluttered space before. And so tiny!

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This was the phase I was least looking forward to. Craft supplies are a beast to go through!

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To give away.

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To throw away.

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Found this gem while cleaning out some of Matt’s things.

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Sentimental things.

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4 thoughts on “The Great Purge of 2014

  1. Wow! Impressive! We could all learn a lesson here. The process is just as important. To start something that challenging and complete it will have benefit even down the road. Not to mention the satisfaction you felt was reward enough.

  2. You are always an inspiration to me! This is the best way to live, organized and clutter-free to always be free to lend a helping hand or minister to someone. Not having to worry about stuff! Now that I have received more motivation from you, it’s time again for me to go through this process! (It has only been a couple months since our last big purge…but my oh my how things accumulate in a family of 7! And I love how your mom’s lifestyle motivates and encourages you, and how you look to her as an example! You were blessed with an amazing family!

    • Michelle, I’m so glad this has inspired you..and yes I have been very blessed with the family God has given me. I can’t imagine how you do it with a family of 7! THAT’S inspiring! I guess you just always take it a little at a time, room by room, space by space.

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