pure + lovely’s simple spruce-ups in the suburbs :: the obligatory systematic purge

via so haute

For the love of all things holy…I’ve been totally feeling like this lately. via so haute

Except that business lady is me, and that paper: is the laundry, toys, groceries, projects, children, lists, old mail, toys, magazines…toys…did I mention toys? You name it… A symbolic representation of my life, in one big mountainous, overwhelming pile of unnecessary junk. Cut to me shoving that last item in the door before one massive cave in ruins all of my grab, toss and hide routine of work… only to realize a small child (I guess it belongs to me?) calling from within. Parental fail.

I took a few day off last week, as I realized, much to my dismay, I was long overdue a major purge. I’ve been burning that proverbial wick at both ends, and I had faced one of those anxiety inducing moments when that horribly over crowded junk drawer got the best of me for the very last time… And nothing else could happen until that ridiculous state was changed. I tend to do that. I get something in my head, and just can’t let it go until I make it possible…I kind of freak out over it until it’s changed, made better or preferably all of the above. One may even argue that I have some serious issues…others may argue that I am a misunderstood genius. Most opt for option b…just sayin.

SO, I felt it only appropriate, that for this week’s SSS topic, we discuss the ever dreaded yet oh so liberating topic of purging.

The most important thing you can do, regularly, for your home, and family.

source unknown

Yes, this topic has been spreading around the web like wildfire. I think there’s something about the fall weather, because this time, one year ago, I had my last major purge. I tend to put my purges into categories. There are minor, necessary purges, that occur once every six months, and usually include my chlidren’s clothes and a few small, obnoxious things that need to go. Then there are the major purges which occur once a year, where I act like a psycho, and chunk the broken, ridiculous kitchen toys, choking hazard marbles, and everything in between, from every cabinet, drawer, basket, nook and cranny of my house.

Side note to all relatives and friends: I love you all, dearly, and am incredibly greatful for birthday/christmas presents. But we now have a no minute pieces rule, as it applies in the mills home and toys. Please note this new policy will take effect immediately, for the sake of my own sanity. Thank you.

For the record, that photo above makes my heart flutter. There’s something about a well organized space that totally makes me all kinds of euphoric. Lined drawers and color coordinated bins with great design are worth the work, in my book, alone.

But sometimes pretty bins and blissfully organized, prettily lined drawers…just aren’t enough.

I need more than pretty. I’m still in survival mode. I need functionality. I don’t know where the rest of you are, but there’s also something about the photo above, that seems completely unattainable in my life right now. My three small children would destroy this in 2.5 seconds, from the moment I proudly placed the last colored pencil in its rightful place. It would go sailing across the room after Emerson created her latest masterpiece on the wall. So I think there’s something to be said for organization, and the practical applications in our lives.

via martha stewart. {Bless her I-actually-have-a-crew-of-minions-who-do-this-for-me-so-I-can-take-pics-and-make-you-feel-worse-about-your-unattainably-and-impossibly-imperfect-life… heart.} I mean seriously? this is great and all, but please, someone tell me when I will have the TIME to place every last paper clip into a bowl, alongside the cotton balls and (what the heck are those green things?) green beans.

If I were to simply go to the store and purchase a plethora of pretty crates…they would sit in my home, along with the rest of the junk. Yes, they are motivational, but sometimes, the pretty holders aren’t the answer. Sometimes the pretty things can add more clutter to the clutter.

I think we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, to have the perfectly organized home. I know I do. I think that’s ten kinds of ridiculous.

Here’s my confession of the day: I tend to be a surface cleaner. I drive the hubs crazy. As illustrated above, I freak out about once a week, breaking out the clorox wipes, etc while I sterilize our home. But that’s where it ends for me. Because I don’t really have the time for anything else. I shove whatever is in my way, cluttering my countertops into the nearest drawer. Which naturally leads to… cluttered drawers. SO between obsessive compulsive self, and my spazoid children…my home is fighting a battle it just can’t win.

SO, my idea of purging isn’t all about necessarily making things prettier. That’s just the nice after affect of all of it. Or searching for that perfect container as an answer to it all. It’s about sticking to a system that’s developed over time, and benefitting from it. It’s tried and true. It’s one of the best things you can do for your family, and your home. It makes the other things easier, when the clutter is cleared from your life. And it’s one of the greatest, most liberating experiences for you and your home.

With the phase I’m in, in the past, I would wait until my kids went to school or were out of the home to start purging the place.

typical cabinet in the mills home.

but this last week, taught me something very important with my biggest hoarder of all at home with a virus. Aiden was watching like a hawk…everything that I did. The child loathes chance. Bless him. Probably because I rearrange rooms as my hobby. I’ve totally given the kid a complex.

But this time, I gave it to him straight. I simply explained that there are toys crowding our home, that he no longer plays with. There are children who do not have toys, because they are not as fortunate as him. We should share our toys with other boys and girls who don’t have any, because this is the right thing to do.

The child totally helped me purge. He was in on it, as I had appealed to his sensitive side. There was a little resistance in the beginning, but you know what? with the systematic implementation of our new lil system on a regular basis…I’m teaching him more than one thing at once, and we’re forming great habits for life.

(the slight mention that out with the old, making room for the new…didn’t really hurt, either.)

So here are some of the things I am doing my best to adhere to:

Before I ever bring it in, questioning if I REALLY need it.

This can be hard, especially in the business I’m in. HELLO. I specialize/obsess over unique finds. There may be something I find in the flea market perusing I do, when I realize I may never come across it again. I think there’s a definite prudence that should be used when decorating your home and clothing your family. There’s a big difference between “American” need, and “third world country” need. That being said, I think the rationale is in the middle. Yes, I need a shirt on my back. Am I going to freeze to death if I do not have this? No.

So, that being said, if I DO decide I “need” it (and my bank account/financial manager hubs agrees) I’m really trying to stick to the one item in, one item out, rule. Whenever I bring something in, I will find it a challenge, to find a like item that I no longer use, and donate it. The more I purge, and the more I adhere to this process of thinking, the less garbage bags I tend to toss/donate in my big massive once a year shindig kinda purge.

source: cottage living

why? because I’ve already done it. Last year, I counted 18 bags. That is a new level of ridiculousness. But what can I say? with two babies born back to back…the stuff just KEPT coming. This year, I counted around 6. can I get a round of applause, ladies and gents??? Along with a nice side order of NO judgement?

So, what’s holding you back, if you haven’t already done your fall purge? It’s free. In fact, you may even get paid to do it. I found two lost starbucks & one books a million gift card, and about ten bucks. Alongside some missing pieces to some baby items I’m ready to sell…who knows how much money I made from this little clean out? Not to mention, I feel like I can BREATHE again.

What are some policies you stick to with your own home?

What are some you want to try?

Got any tips you wish to share?

I want to hear!

{-leave a comment…here!-}

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