Purging your belongings 101

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Do you want to do a deep, thorough clean on your home? Did you realize you went overboard with quarantine impulse buying? Are you concerned that you may become a hoarder? Purging 101 will break down how to thoroughly rid your home of unnecessary belongings!


Reflect on your relationship with things

Before you even pick a room to tackle, reflect on your relationship with things. Are you prone to cling to everything because it’s special? Sentimentality can potentially hold you back from a free and clean home. Perhaps you can’t seem to part with all the creative pictures your kids made for you. Maybe you ended up with a dearly departed relative’s entire wardrobe. What about all those souvenirs from family vacations? No matter the reason, you can’t allow sentimentality to take total control over your decision on what to keep and what gets voted off the island. Consider what, if anything, might hold you back from cleaning out those closets.


Sentimental belongings

This isn’t an easy obstacle to overcome for most people. A tactic I find useful is to categorize the object in question. For example, during our first purge, I found a picture one of my sons drew for me. I created an art category and gathered every picture, craft, and painting that they had ever made for me. I picked two from each child and threw out the rest. Did it hurt their feelings? No, because we discussed it ahead of time so they knew and understood that we can’t keep everything.


Inheritances are a touchy subject since the items in question were once owned by a loved one who is now gone. This is where the reflection part is especially useful. This is where you put logic before sentimentality and ask what is truly important. The circumstances will be different for everyone. For example, my grandmother LOVED holidays. She had hundreds of knickknacks, including about 10,000 snowmen. Instead of keeping every knickknack that was pushed in my direction, I kept one glass angel. It seemed that while she loved snowmen, they were dime a dozen. However, she only had one glass angel with gold on its wings that she put up every year. I would admire that people angel every Christmas and I now carry on that tradition … minus the thousands of tiny snowmen.


Getting down to the nitty-gritty of purging

Pick a room. Now divide that room in half and pick one side to start with. Your house will look like a disaster before it starts to come together, so don’t panic. Start grabbing items and decide whether it has a crucial purpose in your household. Have you used it in the last three to six months? If it holds no purpose and you don’t use it, consider selling, donating, or tossing it out. Seasonal items are excused from this since they’re purposely stored until their designated holiday comes around.


Taking out the trash

This may seem like an obvious one, but I still feel the need to cover this portion. If the item you come across is broken, it’s probably trash. A broken stapler won’t sell well. However, some broken items can still be sold for parts such as computers and game consoles. I just sold two broken 3DS handheld consoles on Mercari for $40! Not too shabby. The buyer will most likely use them for parts or fix them to sell.


Donation pile

This is simple enough as far as choosing what gets donated and what doesn’t. The tricky part is knowing where to donate. If you’re just looking to get rid of your donations quickly, you can drop it off at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. If you want your donations to go to people who are truly in need of clothes, shoes, furniture, and other necessary items, research your town. Many churches have community closets that directly help individuals and families in need right in your community. 



A yard sale is a quick way to sell your unwanted items, but it may not be possible depending on your state’s COVID restrictions. Perhaps you just don’t have the time or energy to set up a yard sale. Sales aren’t always a guarantee and you may end up packing up unsold items to deal with later. Yard sale apps may be useful in this situation. Yard sale apps allow you to make sales online and meet the buyer in person to exchange the product for cash. These yard sale apps can make you some decent money, but it is a risky business. Never meet someone alone or at night. If you feel uncomfortable with a potential buyer, trust your gut.


If yard sale apps are your cup of tea, I don’t blame you. I prefer the ease of selling and shipping from one app. It may take a little longer but can be lucrative if you have patience. Video games, trading cards, cameras, tablets, home décor, women’s accessories are just some of the more high demand categories according to Mercari. Mercari is my favorite because it protects the seller and buyer. Once an item sells, you’ll print out the shipping label and pack it up. The best part is USPS has package pick up which means you don’t have to go farther than your mailbox to have the item shipped to the buyer.


I hope this article finds a way to help you whether you’re doing an intense deep clean on your house or just need to declutter. Happy cleaning!

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