How to Get the Itch to Pitch

How to Get the Itch to Pitch at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Okay gals and you few guys that read here.  I’ve got the itch to pitch.  Not just in the spring but all year round.  It feels great, I stay on top of the clutter in my home and my house can breathe!  Here’s what I don’t understand.  The annual urge to purge.  I look back over all the things I’ve decluttered over the past year week by week and think to myself how overwhelming that would have been if I’d done it all at one time.  Each week on Instagram I share my purge pile that I drop off at our local thrift store each Wednesday.  Why Wednesday?  Our thrift store is only open Wednesday and Saturday and usually Saturday’s we are busy doing other things.  So Wednesday it is.  I make my drop off and then I check out what is new in the store.  I share my piles in hopes of inspiring others to also get purge happy :)

My 2014 Purge Piles

My 2015 Purge Piles

Here’s 6 steps I recommend to help you too get the itch to pitch!

1.  Recognize that purging is for everyone

I’ve gotten a few comments on my purge pictures wondering how someone with such an organized home could have so much to purge week after week.  And here’s the thing.  I have an organized home because I do purge week after week. Purging is not just for the disorganized.  Regular purging is for everyone so whether you think you need it or not, you do.  Life doesn’t stand still and we don’t live in bubbles so stuff is naturally going to be a part of our lives.  It’s only a problem if we allow it to be.

2.  Set yourself up for success

Regular purging needs to have somewhere to collect or you’ll just move clutter from one area of your home to clutter up another.  That’s discouraging and highly demotivating if you ask me.  You need to create for yourself a donation station somewhere in your home.  Grab yourself a cardboard box or a laundry basket and put it somewhere you can easily access.  The easier you make this for yourself, the better success you’ll have at actually using it.

3.  Do it regularly even if you don’t feel like it

This goes for any habit you are trying to introduce….the more you do it, the easier and more natural it will become.  At the beginning you will need to push yourself, set reminders, have someone hold you accountable but I promise you it does get easier especially as you exercise your decision making muscle.  Make it a daily goal to add at least three things to your donation station.

4.  Consider carefully your stuff disposal strategy

There is a very good reason I go weekly to the thrift store to donate my stuff.  My donation station isn’t that big and I don’t have a lot of extra space in my home to collect things I no longer use or love.  I know many people want to hang on to their stuff to sell at a garage sale one day or sell on Craigslist or somewhere similar to make a few bucks.  And there is nothing wrong with that, provided you actually do it.  Most people never find the time so stuff just sits there, in a perfectly good space that could be used for so much more.  Should I mention the number of people who don’t park in their garages because of the stuff they are accumulating in there for a garage sale that may or may not ever happen.  Not to mention all the time it takes to put a garage sale on.  It’s crazy!  If I held on to all my weekly purges like you see in the pictures above, I’d need a whole extra room to store it all.  Instead I give to our local thrift store where all the proceeds go directly to purchasing new equipment for our hospital. That makes me feel pretty good!  And in the US you can actually get a tax deduction for your thrift store donations.  Here’s how to do it.

5.  Invite the whole family to the purge party

Now a party of one isn’t much of a party.  Invite the whole family to party with you and see how much fun you can have.  Make it a competition to see who can collect the most.  Let everyone know how the donation station works and to feel free to make a deposit to it anytime they want.  And whatever you do, don’t second guess what your kids put into it.  The younger they learn this skill the better!

6.  When your house begins to breathe, so will you!

Last week I wrote about giving your home the space it needs to breathe.  When your house begins to feel lighter, you will as well as a result.  Tension will leave your shoulders, you will be able to think and relax and even sleep better.  When you experience this awesomeness you will be so motivated to keep it going.  Do it!

Clutter and chaos don’t have to be the norm in your home.  The best way to fight these two power houses is with order and organization and it all begins with the itch to pitch!  Now go do it!  And then come back and tell me what the first thing to go is?

I’m waiting……

Still waiting…..

Need more motivation?  These posts may help:

The Clutter Creep and Why We Allow It to Happen

How to Part With Stuff You Are Emotionally Invested With

When You Don’t Know Where to Start

 

Filed under: Purging

Comments

19 Responses to How to Get the Itch to Pitch

  1. 1
    Christy Greer says

    I notice in your purge pictures you have several containers/baskets for organizing. I have made the mistake of living by the philosophy that if I can contain it, I can keep it. I even have containers full of containers! I appreciate your post because I am getting the itch to pitch!

    • 1.1
      Laura Wittman says

      You made such a good point Christy! I think a lot of people get trapped thinking that same way but organizing clutter doesn’t make you organized (I’ve been trying to teach my husband this for years!). Purging has to come first in the PROCESS, always :)

  2. 2
    Bennie says

    These are all very good points, thanks for the reminder to purge throughout the year.

  3. 3
    Thieu-Tiet Parsons says

    Not only purging regularly is important, NOT dragging things home from the thrift store is equally vital if not more.

    We MUST resist this urge of buying things at the thrift store if we don’t have a specific need or use for the items. Just like there are people who can’t purge, there are people who can’t leave a thrift store not buying. Remember the joke: “a woman would spend 50 cents buying a 1dollar item that she doesn’t need…”?

    • 3.1
      Laura Wittman says

      Yes that’s a great point for sure! We can get ourselves into a lot of trouble buying things we don’t need whether it’s at a thrift store or not. I’m definitely guilty of that because I love me a bargain :)

  4. 4
    Thieu-Tiet Parsons says

    BTW, the article is a good & much needed reminder for me, someone who can’t purge w/o hyperventilation or migraine headache (from heavy thinking & rethinking :D)

  5. 5
    Rachel @ Useful Beautiful Home says

    LOVE this Laura, thank you! You have an awesome perspective on the topic of purging! I shared this post on Facebook. :)

  6. 6
    Marcia Francois says

    100% agree with you! We don’t have thrift stores here but we all donate things to our nannies/ domestic helpers or leave them outside the gate. If you blink, they’ll be gone.

    • 6.1
      Laura Wittman says

      Yes in Ontario my parents just have to leave things out on the curb and everyone knows that it’s okay to take if they can use it. I think it’s brilliant but for some reason it doesn’t work here. Weird!

  7. 7
    Seng says

    Loving these tips!! I think if I took your tip on making it routine, it would make it a lot easier for me to part with things I haven’t used in two years ;)

    xo,
    Seng
    http://www.sengerson.com

  8. 8
    Angie says

    Love this! In 2014 one of my goals was to remove one thing from my home each day and then for convenience sake it turned into “7 things Sunday”. Best goal ever for my home! I’m not as strict in 2015, but I still try to collect a few things every Sunday and put them in the donate box.

  9. 9
    Becky L says

    Your ideas are a great encouragement to me, as always. Been going thru older magazines today and recycling them as well as a couple unneeded catalogs and junk mail. Sigh! Thanks!

  10. 10
    Sherrie says

    The only factor that motivates me is when it gets to the point I keep knocking piles of junk over in my room. Until then, I either live w/ it or only do small cleans.

    The last time it got to that point(knocking stuff over), I offloaded a box of Barbie stuff, one tall kitchen trash bag worth of stuff, 2 storage containers I don’t need anymore, and a Walmart bag of stuff. And thinking about it, i still need to finish my closest at some point and another run through in my room.

    that actually worked out in my favor really well since when mom asked me what I wanted for easter, I was able to ask for the 6 drawer sterelite cart I needed to organize my lego instructions. And THAT was yet another bonus since I was able to finally finish sorting out the lego instuctions that I needed to put in the to trade pile. Oh, and those 2 containers i sent in were 2 of the ones that used to hold instructions. the 2 that went didn’t really work out that well so they were pitched. However, the other 2 containers i kept, the 6 quart flat sterelite latch boxes, stayed since they have a lot of use.

    And the instructions i traded in, along w/ other thing, helped me to get parts i really needed, including stuff for a couple minecraft sets i built based on what i had. And i still have 2 bags of misc tradables so i can do another order for some of the 1x and 2x basic grey and brown bricks i need to replenish my supply.

    “We MUST resist this urge of buying things at the thrift store if we don’t have a specific need or use for the items.”

    Actually, there’re rare cases It can work out. I once paid a couple bucks on a trading card storage container I had no clue what I could exactly use it for but knew that maybe it could work for organizing lego parts.

    It’s now occupied w/ 2 lego scooters, a lemonade stand(and accessories), and a few other parts. Used to also hold Lego movie figures but I built a lego stand for them and moved them out.

    And I bought a 3 section Barbie accessory container for a buck one time, no clue what to use it for. It now holds my mimi figures and a few small bears from some toy I had when I was younger.

    or, and i know its not a thrift store but still an example, i got a total of 4 of the small latch boxes that are a buck each at dollar general. Had no clue what to use 2 of them for but they are now occupied. Same thing w/ 2 of the 2 parts of the 2 section flat containers from dollar tree. within a matter of hours of the 2 packs being home, they are being used. And i am pretty confidient what i could use another 2 pack for if it wouldn’t be for the fact i have other containers that i need use to get my small stock pile down.

    • 10.1
      Sherrie says

      Well, time for me to prep myself for round 2. Closest is going to get tackled sooner then later. I asked a relative to pick up a few 18 gallon storage containers so I can organize 3 catagories of toys i’m not collecting at this time but i’m not willing to part with since I like them to much to get rid of so I want to keep them safe and better organized. the toys are pokemon which were a big part of my life for nearly a decade, zoobles which are just so cute i can’t get rid of them at this time(I might down the line), and LPS which I really loved in the past and I don’t want to part with.

      And if I can make room on my desk(that’s another project), I have a small container of lego junior figures that would look so cool on the desk and lego is still a major part of my life.

  11. 11
    Linda says

    Help! while I do tend to be fairly organized I’m in the process of moving part of the year to a warmer climate and sub-lease my home. I plan to leave it fully furnished with kitchen wares and linens. I need to reduce or get rid of all other personal belongings that I will not be taking with me since where I am going is will not be permenant.

    Pictures, picture albums and other paperwork stuff is my worry. Any suggestions on what I should keep to store?

    • 11.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Sometimes when people are having a really hard time with deciding what to keep I suggest they find some sort of limiting container. Purchase a keepsake container and what you decide to keep must fit inside. It really helps to force you to really think about what is most important and those are the things you should keep. No one will be able to decide that but you. All the best with your move!

  12. 12
    Tina says

    I enjoyed reading your blog I so need to declutter

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