Month Three: Purging Possessions

Lowi’s actual bookshelf

We are knee-deep into month three of the Simple and Free Challenge and it’s a good one, friends.  This is the month that we are purging our homes of excess possessions. If I am honest, I started purging “things” while we were still working on our closets.  I just couldn’t help myself and since it really is within the spirit of the entire challenge, I figured Jen wouldn’t mind. We have made many trips to Goodwill over the last couple of months giving away bags of clothes, accessories and some small home furnishings.  My sisters, however, analyzed my closet when they were here and they commented that they thought I could purge more. While I am sure I could purge more from my closet, I have gotten rid of A LOT. Clearly, I need to get rid of more. If any of you feel like you need or desire a judge and jury to decide on how well you have performed with any given challenge, I am sure the sisters are available to come to your house, too.

I have also been helping our youngest prepare for her first apartment so I have been sifting through my giveaway pile to make sure she gets the extra glasses, utensils, pots and pans, bakeware, etc…She has also purchased some items from Goodwill which is an awesome place to go for your first apartment or before you buy anything for your kitchen.  I know this is a side note, but she scored Pottery Barn plates and glasses for a fraction of what it would have cost to get these items at Target, so thank you to the kind person who rid her home of fine dinnerware.
Giving away the excess in your life feels freeing and it also makes you want to keep going. It’s like a renovation project on your life. You clean up one area and it bleeds into the next. Suddenly, you realize that you have so many areas in your home, your diet, your bookshelf, your closet; your life that you want to get rid of anything that is just taking up space. I feel like I am in a reality TV show combining Marie Kondo, The Home Edit, Jen Hatmaker and the Hoarders. I want anything and everything I own to give me joy, but also fit into clear plastic bins, but also not too many bins because then I look like the hoarder that I am and I don’t want Jen to be disappointed in me either.

Okay, I’m not really a hoarder in the truest sense of the word, but there are areas of my life in which hoarding seems like an accurate description. For example, my bookshelf looks relatively neat and tidy. However, the bottom half of my bookshelf has doors and behind those doors are as many books as I can store. I have this secret desire to own a home with a library and so I rationalize keeping these books because how ridiculous will my library look with just a smattering of books? Also, how wasteful it would be to own a library and have to go buy more books? I know, I wouldn’t HAVE to buy more books, but books give me joy and therefore Marie Kondo stays part of my reality TV show. Marie would want me to keep the books because they give me joy, right?

Then there is my nightstand which has three drawers and they are also full of books and “important papers.” I like to keep notes, cards, letters, lists, receipts, wrappers and apparently tags from new clothes. There really is no telling what you might find in my nightstand. I clean it regularly, but it’s usually just a futile act of reorganizing the things that need to go in the garbage. A few months ago, I put all the cards and special notes in a box in my closet so my nightstand would be clean and organized. Guys, it looks like I asked a toddler to clean her room and she shoved everything she owns in my nightstand. What does one call this kind of behavior? Disorganized Hoarder’s Syndrome, perhaps?

Whatever it’s called, I need to get rid of the junk, giveaway the excess, and get a handle on this book situation because I am obviously never going to have a home library. Marie Kondo just needs to sit quietly in the corner while I give all of my joy away.

Needless to say, this Simple and Free Challenge is really stretching us in ways we didn’t expect. When we signed up for this 7-month adventure we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I also don’t think any of us thought we’d be wrestling with the daily task of deciding among excess, joy, those less fortunate and organization. Trust me, it sounds way easier in her book than it does in reality.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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