With the move quickly approaching, we are getting serious about our purging efforts. Every time I look around at all of our stuff, I can’t possibly imagine how we’ll fit it in to our tiny house – and this coming from a family who doesn’t have a lot of stuff given we have way more than I thought we did. We keep the knick-knacks to a minimum, but there are still some areas that are a little out of control or take a lot of space, like the kitchen (I love to cook), and my closet (I love to shop).
One of my fellow bloggers and friend, Angela of BirdieBelle (she’s hilarious, you must read her blog), is working on a deep purge too and asked how I’m tackling it. Do I do storage? How do I decide what goes and what stays? It was such a good question that I thought I’d expand my answer and share with all of you who are no-doubt tackling a little spring cleaning too. The below are 5 things I feel have helped us through this process. We didn’t really know where to begin when it started, but all of these elements came to us as we went about the purge and it has made a huge difference in chipping away at it. Hopefully it will help you too.
- Keep Only What Brings You Joy. This is a rule that a friend shared with me early on in the process. She read it somewhere, so I’m sorry I can’t reference where it came from, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? The trick is to make sure that both you and your partner find joy in something.
As we emptied out our kitchen cabinets we came across one section with an endless amount of vases. It was a little ridiculous and embarrassing. The good thing is that we didn’t actually purchase the vases – many were given to us as gifts or hand-me-downs. But many of them I hardly used as I always have my go-to vases (just as I do in my closet… funny how that works, eh?). Suffice to say we donated most of our vases and only kept a few that we both really like.
- Keep What You Know You’ll Use Later. The thought of repurchasing all of our wonderful wine glasses, martini glasses and beer glasses made my stomach turn. I love hosting parties (even with young kids, an epic dinner party without a sitter is totally doable!) and while I inevitably always break one of the glasses at said dinner party, I still want to look forward to hosting another dinner party in the future without the financial burden of repurchasing our wonderful glasses. The same goes for some beautiful serving platters as well. And part of our 16-place settings, as it doesn’t make sense for us to keep all 16 in the cupboard when we’ll likely only be able to have 2-4 guests over at any given time (and we’d have to eat on the floor…). So we are keeping 6 place settings, 6 juice glasses, 6 water glasses and 4 wine glasses (two juice glasses can always be used for wine if needed!) available for everyday use. Everything else that we love are in boxes market “LT” for Long Term Storage.
- Consider the Long Term Borrow. This can’t work for everyone, but stop and ask your friends if they’d like to borrow larger furniture items you really love. We are so lucky that a few of our favorite pieces will be kept out of storage and in our friend’s epic new farm house they’ve been restoring. They’re doing the opposite of us, so it made perfect sense for them to take a bed, nightstands, a couch (that we love!!), and a coffetable. They are going to purchase a few items from us to, but we basically invited them over to “go shopping” and both sides are more than pleased with the situation. They are upsizing considerably and we are doing the opposite, so it’s a financial win-win.
- Wardrobe Capsule Your Closet. Last week my friend sent me a link that has been L I F E C H A N G I N G. The second I clicked through and read the post about wardrobe capsules, it was as if a light blub went on and I’ll never look back at my disorganized and stuffed-to the-gills closet. That very night I threw on a robe and took everything out of my 1.5 closets and tried on everything I owned and purged. It felt so good. I was focused and determined. I am still giving away some epic pieces to friends and the rest I will sell (and I’m still not fully done purging). I was also able to return pieces that I purchased 1.5 years ago but hardly wore or didn’t wear at all, so feeling pretty proud of myself there.
What is a wardrobe capsule? You can find out here on Un-Fancy, but basically it’s breaking down your wardrobe into 4 seasons and making a capsule for each. You only keep your current capsule in your closet while the other three are stored under your bed (which to me sounds much better than the garage, a basement, or an attic) and you rotate said capsules every three months with the seasons. At the end of each capsule you expire anything that is worn out and you can replace it at the end of the season (on sale!) or the following season. Some items obviously carry over from season to season, but it makes it easier to know what you have in your closet and makes purchasing items that much easier.
Personally, I have always been known to rock a “uniform.” It’s a fairly basic approach to fashion and involves lots of layers. This is my style and it always will be. It’s functional but it’s me. Knowing this about myself, after I read the blog I was suddenly allowed to get rid of all the things in my closet I was trying to be. Sounds weird, but it’s true. All those bright, multi-colored pieces? Gone. I am a neutrals girl with understated accent pieces. So take a gander at Un-Fancy and let me know if you tackle this project, because it has been a life-changer, game-changer, everything-changer and it’s only been one week. Simply put, I feel free again and it gives me a clean lens to look at the rest of my purging with. Don’t use or it don’t care for it? Then it’s gone.
- Avoid Storage Units. If at all humanly possibly, avoid these because they are a waste of money and you’ll end up taking items there over time and filling it up so much that you’ll need a bigger unit. Just get rid of anything that you’re not using. If you don’t have room for it, can’t coordinate a long-term borrow, then sell it. It’s as simple as that. There is no reason to pay someone else to hang on to your stuff because likely you’ll forget about it and it’s basically you flushing money down the toilet every month. You’d be better off selling it or donating it, because in either case it’s money back in your pocket instead of it seeping out of your bank account every month.