Have you experienced a purge high lately?

I’m a constant purger.  I absolutely love to throw things away.  It makes me feel great and light and free…whoot!  Unfortunately, too many hold on to stuff so tight that they never get to feel this high that comes from letting stuff go.  If you haven’t felt it in awhile, you really must.  It’s simply the best!!

Since January I’ve already made two separate trips to the thrift store to drop off stuff.

Purge Pile #1

Purge Pile #2

I am pretty strict about the “one in, one out” rule.  So with everything that came in for Christmas, something else had to leave.  One toy in, one toy out.  One sweater in, one sweater out and so on and so on.  We don’t have to wait to “find room” for our new things because we simply replace the new where the old use to live (although sometimes a little tweaking is necessary).  It makes life so easy and stress free and I don’t have to be the bad guy with the kids.  I’ve done this with them since they were little that they just think this is the way everyone does it :)

The second pile you see above happened at about 8:00 pm one night while I was playing hockey with the kids in the basement.  All of a sudden, as we were dodging this and that on the floor, the room started to feel smaller and smaller.  How hadn’t I noticed it before now?

That was it, game over, mommas got to organize!  The kids just roll their eyes, they know the drill.

Anyway it became very clear to me right away that we had quite a few toys down there the kids had outgrown.  My baby (6) isn’t a baby anymore.  Out, out, out.  The toys that is, not my “baby”.  So an hour later we had collected some things for the thrift store (above), a big bag for the garbage and my hubbie took out to the garage a huge play table that I will sell.

Oh how great it feels!  What a sweet and glorious high!

Seriously you’ve got to try it for yourself, just don’t take my word for it.

Here’s what you do.  Grab some garbage bags and fill them.  End of story.

Okay, okay I know it’s not that easy for some.  But it could be that easy if and when you just decide that enough is enough already.  If you have more stuff than space, you purge till it fits.

As you are working, don’t let yourself get distracted in other areas of the house…remember focus on the task at hand.  If you’ve got a lot of stuff to clear out then print off my purge labels and make an area for each category.  Then it’s just a matter of starting.  Initially you want to do a quick purge and not be held up hemming and hawing about any one thing.  Put it to the side.  Keep going and go back to that item later if you have to.  You’ll see that as you keep moving, this purging thing gets easier.  You’ll slowly start to get a small taste of the high and you’ll yearn for more.  Go, go, go!

Before you know it, you’ll be done.  You’ll look around and think to yourself.  Gosh this gal Org Junkie really knows what she’s talking about!

Well maybe you won’t say those exact words but you will be buzzing from your organizational high.

That’s when I say to you.

Welcome to my world friend, welcome to my world!!!

Filed under: Clutter Control, Purging


40 Responses to Have you experienced a purge high lately?

  1. 1
    raven says

    I purged two huge lawn and leaf bags of assorted cr*p just from my office last night. I was amazed, it didn’t seem like that much when I started!

    We’ve already done the semi-annual toy purge (we do it before birthdays, too) and the playroom still feels cramped. I’m hoping to get the girls to let go of some more in the next few weeks.

  2. 2
    Melissa says

    YES, yes and yes! And it feels SO amazingly wonderful. Today I …. dropped off 52 lbs (!!) of infant and toddler clothes to a shelter (that’s 3 big black bags full), dropped 3 boxes of JUNK that I couldn’t sell in 2 garage sales to the Salvation Army, boxed up 3 large boxes of infant blankets/bibs/supplies for a children’s shelter to drop off tomorrow and threw out a black garage bag of junk. I feel wonderful. My garage looks great. It was SO hard to get started. Avoided it for months. But once I did start – bang, I was purging like crazy. And after I finish my dinner I’m heading back out to the garage to set a table up to be ready to purge more tomorrow. Tomorrow’s agenda – toddler toys handed down to me and never used. Outta here!

  3. 3
    MemeGRL says

    Wow, you got me on the right day! My husband and I stayed up way too late last night taking down the Christmas tree and organizing the ornaments. We chucked a lot of ornament boxes and pared down the collection. We reduced the ornament tubs from 6 to 5–still too many but a great start. Then the living room was looking so good without the tree, we rearranged the furniture. We only took out one small sofa table (I think that’s what you call them–the narrow table that goes behind a sofa) but then in shifting what we had, it all changed and I love it. Even the kids were thrilled this morning–the space is so much more open. And the way the light catches the sofa in the afternoon is a real invitation to settle in and read.
    Finally, it is January 20 and we’ve already had three different groups call to see if we had anything for them to collect and my resolution is to say “yes” every time. Every week I’ve had a purge and it is finally starting to make a difference. I know I’m on a roll now; I opened a kitchen drawer today and without batting an eyelash, dumped it out, quickly sorted it, and put about 60% back in and moved the rest on to somewhere else (either where it belonged really, or to the “out the door” box).
    I know there will be ups and downs…and this is SUCH a first-world problem, I’m embarrassed to be sharing in some ways. But–I know folks here will understand the “rush” of paring down to the often-used and much-loved only. Thanks as ever for the continuing inspiration!

  4. 4
    Fab says

    I totally get what you mean!!! I love the amazing light-headedness I get after purging!! I just purged a whole lot of toys and clothes and unwanted kitchen equipment last week, and the house feels so much better now!

  5. 5
    nebuchudnessar says

    I am a constant purger too. It was so nice to clean out the toys 2 weeks ago

  6. 6
    Karen Leschnik / rambling mum says

    Oh yes! Just last week I took 6 shopping bags of my ruthlessly outsorted clothing to charity plus 1 bag to the rubbish. Tomorrow’s task – the kitchen utensil drawer. It is so full but I know there are items in there that we did not use at all last year. If we didn’t need it in a year, we don’t need it now!

  7. 7
    Claudia-cipi says

    I need to purge a lot to fit my little house space…
    Thank you for the great ideas in your blog.
    I will try to purge for next 3-4 months, I guess.

  8. 8
    Kim @ Homesteader's Heart says

    I keep a plastic bin close by at all times. When it’s full it goes to the GoodWill and then I bring it back and fill it again. It’s a constant process it seems.
    I love a good purge high. LOL!

  9. 9
    Jo says

    I love it too – I always have a bag or two ‘on the go’ for items which aren’t needed anymore.

  10. 10
    Ellie says

    Still decluttering the kitchen. I’ve been considering donating the cups and saucers that go with the dinnerware. We never ever use them but they make the set complete. After reading today’s post, into the donate box they go. This decision should have been obvious.

    Thanks again for helping me over stumbling points.

    • 10.1
      Elizabeth says

      I had that hang up to! How could I separate the set?!? But I did it! Good for you!

  11. 11
    Living the Balanced Life says

    I cleared out an entire corner of clutter that had been plaguing me for months. I did it just before Christmas as everyone was coming to my house! Now I love to look at that corner, it is the clearest place in the house! Next stop for me? Our linen closet/medicine pantry. Most of the stuff in there is from when the kids were still at home. Now it is just a guest bath, SO much in there can be just thrown away! And that excites me. We are a strange bunch, aren’t we?

    I wrote a post that goes along perfectly with this idea:
    THE best organizational tool EVER

    Happy purging!

    • 11.1
      Laura says

      Awesome post Bernice! Thanks for sharing it here!!! And yes I couldn’t agree more :)

  12. 12
    Shirley says

    Yes, we just started organizing our house and we started in the office. Our file cabinet had not been purged in 4 years. You could imagine all of the old files we had in there. Started cleaning out the old files and filled a bag full of papers that needed to be shredded and another bag of trash. Our two file cabinet that was full of files just went down to just 1 drawer and the second drawer is empty. It felt so good to get rid of all the old stuff

  13. 13
    Molly Smith says

    I needed to read this so badly. I’m in a real pickle. Thanks for the nudge and all the suggestions.

  14. 14
    Cynthia H. Bannister says

    I just discovered your website and the 52 weeks declutter and organize. Love it and have posted the address for it on my facebook page. Started also little clean and org. projects.

  15. 15
    Averiesmom says

    Great ideas! I would caution, if you’re SURE some of your things are “junk,” maybe it’s best to simply toss them out instead of making an organization sort them and THEN dump them. I’ve read that happens a lot… Of course, if it’s just junk to YOU but you’re sure others might enjoy it…go for it! :)

  16. 16
    jerilyn says

    I purged our filing cabinet and that’s it. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and not having any nesting this time. All I want to do is sleep! However, starting to get out the baby clothes, gear, toys, feeding things, etc. all make me excited to get rid of it! It just takes up so much space… and I really don’t have that much. But I have to admit that I am going to hold onto it for maybe 2 more years just to make sure that we are done. It would cost way too much to replace it all if we did have another.

  17. 17
    annika says

    oh yes, yes I have!! it feels fabulous! I do it constantly this time of year.

  18. 18
    Diann @ The Thrifty Groove says

    I have a laundry basket upstairs near the bedrooms. It is for clothes that no longer fit and are acceptable to be donated. Once the basket is full we donate everything. It is constantly in rotation. This week I have been deep cleaning the kitchen. And am so proud of purging as I go. if it hasn’t been used in the past year, it was thrown out or donated. you are so right, it is such a freeing feeling!

  19. 19
    Maria says

    I love your enthusiasm and I envy your skills! I am wondering tho if you ever have “purging remorse”. And if so, how do you deal with it?

    • 19.1
      Laura says

      Honestly I have never once had remorse. Usually once it leaves my hands I’m happy knowing someone else is going to put it to good use.

  20. 20
    Em says

    We had to re-do our master bedroom after a drunk driver crashed though our wall. (No one was hurt and insurance is covering replacement!)
    My husband and I decided to switch dressers to enhace the look of the room. Well the dresser I have now is about 2/3 to half the size as the one I had before. I have a big pile of clothes ready for the local St Vincent De Paul store. Who needs so many t-shirts and pajamas!
    Many other things that were taken out of the room are NOT going back in!!!!!
    Every situation has a silver lining!

    and it does make me want to do other rooms too, as I shift things around. I hope the momentum lasts and I can get to the kitchen and clean the “scary drawer”…you know the one that you have to look as you reach so you do not get stabbed, poked or prodded by the weird utensils that it holds.

    thank you for the reminder to “get started”!

  21. 21
    Love and Lollipops says

    I know just what you mean…and I’ve wondered about this…can you get addicted to purging? I enjoy sorting and organizing my cupboards and I am always looking for things to throw away. Yet , in spite of this, I often feel very “disorganized”. Sometimes I think I want it to be too perfect.

    Really enjoying reading your blog – thank you!

    Georgia :)

    • 21.1
      Laura says

      Yes our expectations can definitely get out of sync with our reality especially if others live with us. I gave up trying to have the perfect home long ago and am a recovering perfectionist. Everything has a home but it’s not always put there. Thankfully though i know it won’t take long to get everything back into place when it does get out of hand. Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it though right away :)

  22. 22
    Danielle B says

    Why YES I have! I purged 13 (yes THIRTEEN) bags of clothes, one very large bag of shoes (18 prs!), a few odds and ends (comforters, lamps) and a box of dishes!

    And I’m not done lol! All donated to the Salvation Army! I could have consigned a lot of it,just didn’t want the hassle.

    I’m not sure how many bags I threw out as trash. (less than 13 bags lol)

  23. 23
    stacy says

    Yep once I get started I find it hard to stop. So I get started on my refrigerator gonna finish tomorrow.

  24. 24
    Glimmering Girl says

    I just moved and I find using a move as a reason to purge is always a great idea.

  25. 25
    Karen says

    Yes! I understand~ I place empty boxes to fill by my front door~ one for Mom, Sis, Daughter, free pile at work, post on free_cycle… grab the tall kitchen waste basket and place it next to where I’m working… off I go! Fun, fun, fun!!!

  26. 26
    Eileen says

    I’ve been needing to do a purge for quite a while now. I sometimes need a little push to get started, so I’m glad I stumbled upon this post. Very inspiring~thanks!

  27. 27
    Julie H says

    This week I dropped off a van full {the back was packed and I had bags up front too} of stuff to a local thrift store. I took pics of my van so packed….love it! Everyday I aim to find a few more things to purge…it is an addiction. :)

  28. 28
    Bethany says

    I think I like getting rid of stuff more than getting new stuff.

  29. 30
    Annette says

    I have a question and this is what is keeping me from organizing this section of our finished basement. I have all the kids toys from when they were young in boxes, bins and on the floor. Nothing is organized so I have games with pieces in multiple boxes, Barbies and clothes and items all mixed throughout the boxes, etc…. I hate to donate it when nothing is complete (i.e. missing pieces), but I also can’t get myself to throw it out. There are literally 100 Barbie’s, hundreds of items for her and the dollhouse all scattered throughout. What do you suggest? It’s been sitting in a corner of my finished basement (a 5 ft by 5ft section) for two years now, because I just don’t know what to do!
    Thanks! Annette

  30. 31
    Alice says

    I’ve been purging my office/ art supplies for the last week, and this weekend I hauled off all the trash and recycling. I couldn’t believe how much JUNK there was! My entire car was filled with things to discard. I still have a big box for Goodwill, another box to sell, and a box of art stuff to donate to the school. I’ll be dropping those off this week.

    Last night, I was looking at my tidy new area and thinking about how light and free I felt, having culled those pounds and pounds of things from my life. And having pared down to the things I can really use, I’m inspired to actually USE them! Also, I finally have some space in which to create. So yes, I really feel the purge high today!

  31. 32
    Jessica says

    I’m a newly converted purgeaholic. My husband loves to purge and I was the opposite. I always would find a place for something even if I didn’t need it. Well now I’m pregnant with my 4 child and I just want to get rid of everything. My goal lately has been to get rid of 1 trashbagful per week. This has been quite easy and luckily we live next to a donation spot so I load it in the car and it’s gone.

  32. 33
    Susanne says

    I’ve already this year sent a huge bag full of clothes to a store my friend owns and the thrift store box is quickly filling again. It does get addictive.

  33. 34
    crb says

    wow, it’s so nice to hear someone else describe purging and organizing the way I see it, and how it works in our house…and the way the kids know the deal. I’m actually raising pretty good little organizers (7 and 4). My sister thinks I’m crazy with my purging. She is a boarderline hoarder though, not really but compared to me she is. And I don’t have to do it as extensively as I used to now that i maintain a pretty managable amount of “stuff”. Just recently organized the kid’s legos. It is sooo much easier and more fun to create now! I feel happy to know there are other people like me in this world. When I’m having a bad day or really stressed out about something, sad or even lonely, how good it feels to reorganize my cupboards or a drawer or two! That’s a pretty healthy coping mechanism as well don’t ya think? Thanks!

  34. 35
    Beth R says

    I am fairly new to your blog, and have to say I LOVE the idea of organizing. I dont have much stuff in the house that would really be considered trash or junk. Therein lies my problem. I have many items that are brand new, still in boxes. Never used. It might be a duplicate of something but just slightly different. Ex: 2 pressure cookers. Both expensive (over $100 each) but different sizes or some such nonsense. This is not something I use often ,since I now live alone. I may only use this item a couple times per year, but when I need it I am so glad I have it. I simply CANNOT throw something like that away. Garage sales are not an option, I hate them. And I wont ever sell that pressure cooker for a price that wont aggitate me. Basically Im not going through all that time and effort for the minimal $ return. That is one hurdle.
    But the room that needs the most attention and makes me flinch is my office. I sold my business in 2008 and am desparate to clear that room of all the crap. I no longer do payroll, keep invoices, hire and fire. I no longer have the need for all that crap.That is one room in my home that needs serious help. I have no idea how long to keep certain documents. I’ve heard 7 yrs but different doc’s have a different time line. Also what I must keep , how to store it etc.
    Is there somewhere on your blog that addresses that issue? I also have a serious love of office supplies , so throwing away legal pads , pens, scrath pads,sharpies, post its will be almost impossible :)
    Its all the other paper crap that needs to be shredded and file cabinets cleaned out and removed.
    Sorry to ramble on like this, I think I am mentally ready to do the purge , just need some direction.
    Thank you for this site and all your advice. I know it will be worth it when the crap is gone.


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