52 Weeks: #7 Purge Until It Fits

Are you new to 52 Weeks of Organizing?  Catch up here.

Hi everyone, did you have a successful organizing week?  It’s time to hear if you crossed something of that list of yours?

I took a big box of stuff to the thrift store earlier this week.  Mostly clothes from my closet.  The number of items I hadn’t worn in some time was starting to add up.  Time to get rid of them!  Need some help to do the same thing?  Check out Tip #41 in my book, Clutter Rehab.  You can also find it here: 11 tips to help you part with your clothes.

I was reading through the links last week and I gave a little whoop when I read this post by Lynn of Mom Starting From Scratch.  Lynn had a bit of an a-ha moment when she did some de-cluttering today.  She realized that sometimes we don’t see the things we surround ourselves with anymore.  That moment came when she laid eyes on this do-dad on her wall and wondered “what is it?” and “do I even like it?”

She’s now replaced it with something she truly loves.  Way to go Lynn!

Next I noticed that Cassandra of Aubut Life wasn’t going to let non-matching containers stop her from organizing her “secret” closet.  She dived right in using what she had and her closet went from this:

to this:

Thata girl!  So much better!

Remember it doesn’t have to be matching to be functional, nothing wrong with a good old-fashion cardboard box either.  Do the organizing FIRST which involves removing everything from the space, sorting and purging before worrying about how you are going to contain it. Don’t eat your dessert first my friends as tempting as it might be!

Now don’t get me wrong, clever storage solutions will definitely help you maximize space but you don’t want to be organizing clutter just because you can.  Why spend dollars on products to organize something you have absolutely no use for or to put off making a decision about?  Do the tough stuff first and then have some fun :)

We all only have so much space available to us…stop fighting it and purge until it fits.  You’ll feel better, your house will feel lighter, your stress levels will go down and your chaos will be reduced.

Did you catch that?

Purge until it fits!

Questions to ponder:
1.  Let’s talk stuff!  What have you tossed out this week?
2.  Have you ever regretted something you’ve gotten rid of?  Why?
3.  How tempted are you to rush out and pick up pretty organizing containers first?

Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments.  You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to a post of an organizing nature that you feel will help and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Organizing, Purging

Comments

52 Responses to 52 Weeks: #7 Purge Until It Fits

  1. 1
    Ms. Shelby Michalek says

    Answers to your questions 2 ponder!
    1. We are a family of 3 with a new baby to be born in March. We live in a 2 bedroom house and will not be able to move for awhile yet. My husband and I have enough room in our bedroom – but since we’ve moved twice (long distance due to military) in the last year we have a lot of boxes of junk from our moves that just ended up in the bedroom. In the last couple weeks we’ve thrown out at least 3 huge trash bags of junk (not garbage mind you, just junk). We have a LONG way to go but I’m so proud of my husband (and myself) for being able to get rid of things that while perfectly useful but seriously not neccessary (who really actually needs a dozen half used pencils found in a box of junk when there are several perfectly good ones neatly organized on the desk that we already barely use!?)

    2. NEVER! Most things we get rid of are things we totally forgot we had and weren’t using! I mean, occasionally there was the “Oh! You found that sock after 5 months! I threw it’s mate away because I’d thought this one was long gone!” moments but you get over it.

    3. I’d LOVE a cute organizing system but some months we eat potatoes and gravy 3 weeks in a row for dinner because our budget is that tight. To buy something to organize when we have perfectly decent cardboard boxes around is something we cannot afford.

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Love reading about your journey Shelby! You are doing really well, way to go!

  2. 2
    HeatherB says

    OH I am SOOOO tempted to just rush out and by cute containers. I gaze at them longingly. (okay I admit sometimes I do more than gaze.) But then I realize I actually have no where to put them.

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      I know the feeling! I must admit to having a small stash of containers for an organizing emergency :)

  3. 3
    LisaC says

    We moved this summer, and threw out a lot of stuff while we were packing, even though we thought we didn’t own much that we didn’t love or need. This house has a lot less storage, so when we got here, we purged again. Now I feel like I am much better at looking at things that come in to the house and making a decision right away about stay vs. go. We have a new baby and I keep thinking I need to buy her some new containers. :) But you are right…use what we have and worry about cute another time.

    • 3.1
      Laura says

      When we moved here in August I didn’t think I had much stuff either after all the purging I did before we moved. Turns out this home had a lot less space so I purged till it fit and I don’t miss a thing! Congrats on the new baby!

  4. 4
    The Bearded Iris says

    Great week for not only organizing, but also for MAINTAINING the one major hot spot I tackled: my kitchen window sill dumping ground. I mean seriously, do visitors to my house *really* need to see my husband’s Beano Meltaways? I file that under the category of TMI.

    One of the reasons I was putting so much JUNK on that window sill was to act as a visual reminder for my tasks & errands… need to buy new light bulbs, give dog his medicine, sew this button on, etc. But having all that clutter also cluttered up my mind. Instead, (Clutter Rehab Tip #47 – utilize notebooks and lists) I downloaded a fabulous To-Do List app for my smartphone (“ToodleDo”… LOVE IT!), and put all the tasks THERE instead of IN MY FACE, collecting dust and stressing me out. Having these tasks on the list enabled me to purge the things like burned out light bulbs and old medicine cups. Plus, I have the list with me all the time because it is on my phone. LIFE CHANGING.

    Can’t thank you enough, Laura! I’m learning so much from you!

    http://beardediris.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/the-process-of-getting-organized-and-changing-habits/

    • 4.1
      Laura says

      Such an inspiration as you share how you are overcoming your problem areas, thank you! Your windowsill looks so much more calm and relaxing now. All the visual clutter gone, woohoo!!

  5. 5
    Janene says

    I don’t think I’ve EVER regretted throwing something out.

    I LOVE pretty containers ~ but they are rarely in our budget and I don’t get out enough to look for a good deal. :(

    I tossed a lot of half full boxes this week…you know, when your kids only have 2 packages of fruit snacks or oatmeal or fruit roll ups left in the box and you have the entire box taking up space? I combined all of those half empty boxes into a plastic shoe box so I only have 1 FULL box instead of 3 or 4 almost empty ones!

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      Oh consolidating! That’s one of my favorite things to do, it makes me so happy! :)

  6. 6
    cassandra aubut says

    Thanks for featuring my closet! That was a dreaded project, but I am so happy it is done!

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      You did a great job!

  7. 7
    ctdaffodil says

    I look forward to Fridays and Saturdays – I can sit with my coffee and look at all those blogs who link up here to see what others are doing to organize. It is very inspiring – but maybe I should use some of that time to de-clutter a spot or 2 in my house ;-)
    I have my list of 52 spots/projects but no blog of my own to report on though….
    I’ve gotten 4 done so far….
    1. Hall linen closet – purged and re-containerized the contents (got rid of 8 sets of sheets for beds we dont even have anymore!) Sack full of towels to ASPCA….
    2. Laundry room – when the washer dies its a good time to purge the room for the new one….
    3. My purses – there aren’t that many but they are put away and none have a pen, 36 cents in loose change or crumpled tissues inside them anymore.
    4. The feminine drawer in my bathroom – condensed packaging…no half boxes/containers

    This week will be the kids playroom and my scrapbooking supplies – our local scrapbook store is having a customer tag sale for new product credit (I love this idea) I’m going to use my credit for adhesives and some scouting paper to finish my boys’ books.

    • 7.1
      Laura says

      You are doing so well, keep it up girl!! Isn’t it the best feeling!

  8. 8
    ctdaffodil says

    Oh and to answer your pondering questions –
    1 – tossed lots of half open boxes of items…pantry and bathroom
    2 – I’m learning that I don’t need to keep EVERYTHING! I do regret getting rid of my kitchen scale – now I’m doing Weight Watchers it would be handy….
    3 – I’m constantly tempted to go buy new containers – but reading here and watching late night tv (Clean House reruns) I have resisted the temptation for the most part – I did have to buy a tub with a handle for our family’s OTC medicines – but that was really part of the linen closet project to contain them all

  9. 9
    Lynn Brownlee says

    Thanks for the mention! I can’t tell you how many times I have sat at my kitchen table this week and thought, “I love that picture! So glad I got rid of the bunny in a bonnet!”

    • 9.1
      Laura says

      So rewarding for you!

  10. 10
    Kirsten says

    Good thing to think about as you are purging. Have I ever regretted throwing something out? No never, most of the time it isn’t even being used so what’s the point in having it. Thank you for the boost to finish my sewing room organization. Its taking a little longer than expected but I’m getting there. I actually had one of those tiny plastic three drawer containers in my cart yesterday. As I walked around the store I thought what am I doing, I don’t even know if this is going to work in the space I have or not. So I put it back, yeah me :) Back to purging, hopefully with some completion pictures next week.

    • 10.1
      Laura says

      Love to hear it, whoot!

    • 11.1
      Laura says

      Amen to that!

    • 12.1
      Laura says

      Good luck with your purging Shonda!

  11. 13
    Amber Pamper says

    I’m a big purger!! I looove getting rid of junk. :)

  12. 14
    ter@waaoms says

    I added a few things to my yard sale pile this week. Some clothes that I’ve decided I’m never going to wear again. I am anxious to get rid of some more of my clothes but am waiting til I loose a little more weight. I’ve lost 20 lbs so far! Though to be honest, I may have to get some new pants soon because the ones I have are falling off … in other words they are BEGGING TO BE PURGED! :) (though I may get a couple pairs altered). I also purged some more kitchen stuff. I have so much kitchen stuff. Part of that is due to the fact that almost every gift we got for our wedding was kitchen related! I’m now paying attention to which I use the most and eliminating what I never touch. I haven’t taken pictures because there is no real dramatic changes but it’s slowly coming along.

    • 14.1
      Laura says

      Wow congrats on the weight loss, so great!

      • 14.1.1
        ter@waaoms says

        Thank you! I began losing weight without even trying so now I’m trying in hopes to lose even more! :)

        Thank you for continuing to inspire me. Yesterday, I added even more to my yard sale pile, including a couple dictionaries. I always kept them for reference but yesterday I had a “let’s get real” moment and reminded myself that the last several hundred times I needed to look up the definition of a word I looked ONLINE not in the dictionary. So away it went into the pile.

        I’ve got to admit though, that I’m struggling with things that belonged to my husband. :( even things I know he had not used in the last few years of his life.

  13. 15
    Shannon says

    Lately I have really been getting into “repurposing” instead of buying new storage containers. I have repurposed everything from washed out artichoke heart jars to baby formula containers. I even modge podged a baby wipe tub recently to make it prettier! I just feel like I’d rather only spend money on storage containers when I really have to (and I have plenty of them that I am also constantly repurposing!)

    • 15.1
      Laura says

      LOVE repurposing! It’s so fun to find new uses for things, awesome!

  14. 16
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    I’ve been working on decluttering for a while now…(2004ish? probably earlier?) and I have NEVER regretted getting rid of anything. We’ve gotten rid of so much stuff over the years, and I can’t even name 3 things! I’m still working on it, periodically. Maintenance is an ongoing thing, and I really try not to bring “stuff” into the house. Most of what we get rid of now are things that our son outgrows, or gifts from people, stuff that we just don’t care for! (eeek, lol) off to look at other people’s projects. I just love looking at before & after decluttering projects!

    • 16.1
      Laura says

      Maintenance is so important isn’t it. It’s amazing how fast chaos can sneak it’s way back in.

  15. 17
    Lisa J says

    I finally organized by pantry and laundry “room”. I used the cardboard carriers from when i purchased bottled water to help keep like items organized and straight on the wire shelves. It works because they are not boxes and i can see what i have and what i need to add to my grocery list. Makes it easier for the kids to find their snacks as well :)

    • 17.1
      Laura says

      Great re-purposing, that’s what I like to hear!!

  16. 18
    Martha (MM) says

    Questions to ponder – 1. I’ve tossed so much that I don’t even know what I’ve tossed anymore!
    2. I have no problem with tossing, just don’t know how I accumulated so much to begin with, and no, I can never remember regretting giving away anything! I say it’s good karma to give :-)
    3. I haven’t been tempted to go buy any organizing systems but am looking for what I’ll want and need when we move – can’t wait!
    Thanks for hosting!

    • 18.1
      Laura says

      Moving is a lot of work isn’t it. You’re doing so well with the purging though, you are making it so much easier on yourself in the long run.

      • 18.1.1
        Martha (MM) says

        Thanks Laura I agree. The hardest part isn’t just the massive purging at my house but to top it off I had to do the same thing at my mothers house. Let me also include my daughter’s apartment full – we’ll be combining 3 households when we move! After all this I just might become a total minimalist!

  17. 19
    Terri says

    Great pictures, will have to take pictures of my recent bathroom organizing project, I love organizing it brightens my psyche. Had to organize out of necessity, had knee surgery and arthritis flare couldn’t bend down to get things out of cupboards in the bathroom, put everyday products on top of my counter and it looked messy. Went to Container store and bought organizers with handles, small lightweight ones that I could pick up, I put things in them that I use more often and placed them back in the cupboard, I also bought pretty colored organizers and put makeup in one, larger bottles in another, smaller tubes in another. Now when I leave the items on top of the counter the counter looks cleaner and I can put the things away when visitors come.

    • 19.1
      Laura says

      Sounds like a great solution for your needs, that’s what it’s all about. Love it!

  18. 20
    Heather says

    1.  Let’s talk stuff!  What have you tossed out this week?
    I got rid of the mismatched earrings, jewelry I never wear, and a bunch of electronics cords, old cell phones and old cameras.
    2.  Have you ever regretted something you’ve gotten rid of?  Why?
    I usually don’t regret something I’ve thrown away. I might wish I had the item at some point but usually once it is gone, I forget about it.
    3.  How tempted are you to rush out and pick up pretty organizing containers first?
    I’m tempted to, but I really want to get the perfect container AFTER I have purged my stuff. I would have no idea if what I was buying was practical for the amount of stuff if I buy first organize later. I have been browsing though!! 

    I didn’t get as much done this week as I usually do, but I started a second job and I have been keeping up on laundry and regular cleaning so that I don’t fall behind. It is much more tempting to organize than clean or do laundry though!

    • 20.1
      Laura says

      Trust me I know all about that LOL. Organizing and cleaning are definitely two different things. Hate cleaning but it is easier when things are organized :)

  19. 21
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