June Purge: The Results

by Andrea on July 7, 2011

At the beginning of June, I set out to purge 100 stuffs from our home in 3o days.  The goal was to live in a more clutter-free space, which according to one study would lead to about 40% less housework.  I wanted to touch everything in our home and decide whether or not to keep each and every item.  After 30 days, I am very happy to say that we purged… A LOT.  Check out just some of our pile, and yes that’s a large fake check from probably 2007:

In the end we added 48 items to our home this month, while purging 381 stuffs, giving us a grand total of 333 less stuffs in our home.

What you should know about us, that may help you set up your own goal:
– we live in a one bedroom home
– there are three people and one dog
– we both work full-time
– we have  a 10 month old boy
– I am pretty motivated at meeting goals

When I set the goal, I knew that 30 days was great.  It was long enough to get something accomplished, without working at it every day.  Yet, it was short enough to keep me motivated and have an end in sight.  Next was deciding how many items to purge.  I went with 100 items.  Well, I pulled that number out of you know where.  I had no idea if it would be hard, easy, or just right. In the end, I think it was a great goal for our family and with the exception of our clothes (which we had gone through in the last four months) and my massive pile of knitting supplies, we really did touch everything.

I started by keeping a list of things that I was purging (recycling, donating, giving, trashing) and a list of things we were bringing into our home. I kept an additional list of areas needing purging so that I wouldn’t forget them.  It’s easy to think of desk and medicine cabinet, because they are in your day to day routine.  But what about behind the couch or under the bed?  Those were the sneaky places that I needed some help remembering.

1. Cleaning out under the bed was the most satisfying.  There was a some crazy stuff under there (see #2 below) and more dust than I care to admit.
2. Apparently we are collectors of old cell phone boxes.  In the end, that tally came to NINE.
3. Everyone contributed, including Kiwi with some of her toys and Mo with some of the stuff he’s outgrown.
4. We had a lot of e-media that was not necessary, functional, or being used, including two cassette tapes.
5. For days after cleaning out my kitchen junk drawers, I repeatedly walked by, opened up the drawers, and admired my handiwork. Yes, I am a dork, but it was instantly calming.
6. I own a lot of costume jewelry, but I can now see it all and will hopefully wear more of it.
7. I tried to stick to the task at hand.  It was really easy for me to get distracted and start thinking about beautifying each area with labels, baskets, what have you.  That will be for another month.  This month – just purging.

In the end, there were three great outcomes as a result of this exercise.  First, we became acutely aware of everything we brought into our home, and that way of thinking will stick with us.  Secondly, household work really has been cut down.  Finally (and Brian’s favorite), it’s nice to be able to go into a cupboard, pantry, drawer, or closet and quickly get what you are looking for without having to wrestle with whatever else is in there or lose a toe when heavy things come tumbling out.

I’m thinking of making this an annual activity.  Happy purging!

Linked up to Serenity Now.

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