The Big Purge

Like most Americans, we have a lot of stuff.

I have boxes that date back to when I lived in the dorms.  Boxes from each apartment move in my 20’s.  Boxes from each home we’ve lived in as a couple, both in Missouri and here in Minnesota.  When we moved last May, a lot of our boxes got shoved into the basement completely unpacked or even opened.

I would love to just go downstairs and pitch the boxes- you know, the theory that if you haven’t used it in a year, you don’t need it?

But a lot of our things aren’t in use or aren’t on display because we have toddlers with autism.  Autism-proofing a house doesn’t mean we can’t use or love our things, it just means that right now, the safest place for our things is packed away.

But…I do have a lot of things I would be more than happy to part with.

So we are starting to purge.  Room by room.  Drawer by drawer.  Closet by closet.

If the item is redundant, not our style or not useful it’s on the chopping block.

Last Thursday I started in on the kitchen.  This has always been a tough room for me because I love to cook.  Love it.  I love all the special tools and I love my collections of things like mixing bowls and cake stands.  But I don’t need all of it.  I don’t have a place for all of it.  I don’t use all of it.

I am going to keep all my cake stands- they prove to be useful time and again and even though they are not the easiest things to store currently, I love them enough to keep them until I do have a place to display them.

My rooster collection. I kept some, I donated some.  In trying to minimize the clutter, I realized I do not need 15 roosters hanging out in my kitchen.  A lot of them had been gifted to me and I do love that people noticed my “theme” and helped build my collection, but I am only keeping a few.  That was a tough call to make.

On Saturday I went through the remaining kitchen boxes and found a handful of items that were on the fringe:

4 espresso cups and saucers that had never been used but packed away right after I bought them
A pair of Le Cruset salt and pepper shakers that came with something else
A bedside carafe with tumbler that I had gotten from my MIL
A Glass canister with a silver lid
and a bowl my parents had brought back for me from Mexico

I let the items sit there, waiting to find a place to live in my kitchen, or a place in the boxes to sell or donate.  I loved the little cups, so dainty and sweet, I repurposed them as scoops in my flour and sugars.  The salt and pepper shakers went into the box, we’ve never really used them and they don’t match our colors anyway.  the carafe was hard to part with.  It is very cute but not so practical in a house with boys.  I’m not sure I really used it much when we didn’t have kids- I think I like the idea of it more than I like having something else to dust or break.  The canister, although very useful just couldn’t make the cut- into the box.  And the bowl from Mexico?  I waited too long on that one and J tossed it onto the floor this afternoon, breaking it into 30 pieces.

So, I feel like we’ve made good headway in this room.

I still have a few boxes in the basement.  A few big appliances.  Boxes and boxes of cookbooks.  I cannot think about parting with my cookbooks.  Books in general will be very hard for me.  I love my books and we both would like a small library someday so the thought of getting rid of perfectly good hardback books is tough to swallow.

Do you tend to keep items longer than they are useful just because of sentimental value?



Copyright @ Minnesota Mom 2012