Every now and then I need to purge.  I am feeling the need today.  It came after a conversation with our oldest son who was contemplating a move to a new smaller apartment.  He knew that his current belongings would just not all fit into the new place and so he wanted to get rid of stuff.


It got me to thinking how different my children’s lives are when it comes to possessions .   I tend to hang on to things.  Usually past thier point of usefulness.  We had the same couch and chair and ottoman that we got when we first got married until a move overseas spurred us on to clean house after almost 25 years of marriage.  We had moved wedding presents and boxes that had been left unopened after several moves and finally it was time to just get rid of the excess.  It was a great feeling to cleanse ourselves of all of that.


Our boys have always shown us that they are not really attached to “things” like I am.  When a new gaming console came along they would pool all their games and trade them all in to get the new system.   I, on the other hand, probably would have saved that original one and kept it in a box someplace where it was not doing anyone any good.  If it could be sold on Ebay  or Craigslist  –that is what they did.  I find myself wishing I could do that with a bit more ease.


Purging a house of “things” is not a bad thing.  Purging a life of things that are not healthy or contributing to a good lifestyle is also a good thing.  Every now and then it is important to take stock in what needs to be released from my life and just do it.  Today is the day and I think I will start by cleaning out my email.  At least it is a start, right?




  1. You are so right. I hang onto things way too long and my daughter instead with her frequent moves has no trouble at all with purging.

    • It is just funny to me how the boys don’t think twice about donating or getting rid of something and I dither and obsess about it!!! Will I need it later? Will I miss it?? What if I can’t find another one if I need it later?? Silly!

  2. Gosh, I’m with you on this one. I hate to get rid of things. Earlier this year when we were pondering a move to London that would mean selling our home here, I dreaded the necessary purge. We aren’t going anwhere immediately, so my stuff remains–which drives poor Sara a bit mad.

    I think email is a perfect place to start. Good luck, my friend–and let us know how it goes. I’ll be curious to hear how it feels.

    Hugs and Happy Purging,

  3. It sure is a start… And I did it last weekend, and it felt great! I swing both ways with the purging. I am constantly painting and changing colors in my house. I have no thoughts about redecorating. But, cleaning out my closet? Throwing out that pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in 5 years? Never! I may want to wear it again….

    • Totally understand!!! I have so many clothes I just need to get rid of. My life is different than it was 5 years ago since I am not in need of “working” clothes but yet I still hang on to them because I love them or they remind me of good memories or silly things like that. Even though I will probably never wear them except to church now….

  4. Good post, Beth Ann. I have had moments in my life of purging, and I typically do purge my clothes closet periodically, but there are a lot of things in the basement that made it to this house when we moved . . .

    I keep telling myself that once all the kids are settled in homes of their own, I can get rid of some of these things they might need, (but probably don’t want). 🙂

    My emails are a whole other thing. But at least they’re in folders.

    I wish I had a fraction of your energy. Can you send some my way?

    • I know what you mean about the stuff that belongs to the kids. I have boxes of stuff that is theirs that I just can not part with. Someday! I do use the gmail folders and labels so that does help a lot but it gets ahead of me…

  5. Purging your e-mail is a good start. I try to keep my box at 500—-and it used to be 300, so I think I need to be a little more ruthless. Less Ruth is probably okay too. (I don’t really have a Ruth.)

    • It is hard to keep it down for me. My husband has a cow when he sees how many unread messages I have. I really needed to do a personal email and a advertisement/offer/news email but I feel like it is a little too late to do that so for now I try to wade through them all and delete….and mark and archive….it is NOT a perfect system, that is for sure.

  6. Boy, that is something that you will feel good about AFTER the fact.. I cut mine by about 2/3 ‘s last week, it wasn’t easy. Time consuming to be sure, but I set about it with determination, and had a sense of accomplishment at its completion. Good Luck Beth Ann.

    • It is VERY time consuming. I order so much online and hence there lies the problem. Every place I ordered from sends me multiple emails weekly…sigh. I am too much of a consumer, i guess.

  7. I have had the urge to purge for awhile, but there is no place to get rid of a lot of it. I am throwing away a bag every week in the garbage and some I give away to charity. But, some things have too much value to just give away. With the economy the way it is, not many people are buying “stuff”. We tried to sell some in a garage sale … plenty of people came, but nobody bought anything. (I’m not sure what that says about my “stuff” … hmmmmm). I have started giving things I value to people who I know will appreciate them. That way I know that, down the road, it will have a home where it is well cared for. As for my e-mails … I won’t even go there. I spend time clearing it, but I am getting new junk mail faster than I can delete it. It is totally out of control. Not sure what I did to deserve that, but it is what it is. So, I am with you on the purge … just looking for a place to dump.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

    • We have given so much stuff away! I agree that it is a nice thing to give things with meaning to folks now instead of waiting. My mom has done that and I know that as we are finalizing the auction at my father in law’s estate we have a lot of that on our mind. Dumping the unnecessary stuff is not always easy—-especially the stuff that no one else wants!

  8. Helen Brown says:

    I join you in purging but it is hard. Some things go to the Thrift Shop, some to Goodwill, some I am saving for our Sebring garage sale and some I don’t really know where it should go.

    • I am totally with you! It is hard to get rid of things and decide where they should go. Now your crafting stuff you do NOT have to worry about! It will all eventually have a good home…..:-)

  9. I think because my mother’s house is so full of stuff —- and I mean FULL! that I have learned to be much less materialistic than most…. I figured after I moved that if I had not touched the box for three years it needed to go away… permanently.
    Now I find that my kids bring me their stuff to get rid of too!

    • That is great that you are not a hoarder at all. After working through all the stuff in my father in law’s house it has made me more determined. But still….I manage to collect….

  10. I do a “purging” at least once a year, especially in the kids rooms. They accumulate so much stuff and I really don’t like too much clutter. I also finally cleaned out my closet a while ago and got rid of anything that I haven’t worn in at least a year! And not that long ago I got hubby to finally clean out the garage of all his old and out-dated computer equipment… now we have room for a ping-pong table!!! Most of the things that get purged, go to Goodwill or are other wise donated. It always feels so good when I’m done. I am definitely not a hoarder.

    • It does feel great, doesn’t it? I always think that someone else will find a great use or place or get happiness out of finding a great buy from something I donated.

  11. My Odd Family says:

    We moved into my dearly departed husbands childhood home where all seven of the “children” had moved but left their treasures and nobody had ever gone through his mom’s belongings after she died. I boxed, delivered and tossed over the years much to Joe’s horror but I insisted his mom would have wanted her children to enjoy her things not keep them stored in boxes and it was time for the kids to move out. I was hard hearted and ruthless. :-D. When Joe died I kept things I felt might mean something to Cole and meant something to me but passed most of the rest of the stuff on. All his ratty t-shirts that I complained about for years were turned into a quilt for Cole and became a priceless treasure—Guess Joe got the last word on that one… ;-D

    • That is awesome!!! I think you did just what you needed to do and who would have known that it would fall to you to take care of it??? Sometimes I think it is easier for the non-child to do it because the attachment is somewhat different. Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. You set a good example for me, Beth Ann. I’m having trouble parting with unread emails, just imagine what the rest of the place looks like!

  13. There must be something in the air – we purged some stuff we had been saving for our kids when Corry & Cid came this weekend. What a nice feeling not to have to cart this stuff from hubby’s mother around anymore. I loved my mother-in-law, but the stuff definitely needed to go to her grandchildren & we had not seen them to be able to do it.
    Also while we were cleaning up the suite for their arrival we went through out clothes & sent off a very large garbage bag full to Goodwill. It feels great!
    As far as emails, this is more difficult. I try to go through first of all looking for emails that are just acknowledgements & delete those right away if I don’t need them. Then I go through the comments from blogs so I can delete them also (because I’ve read the original blog already), then I read the posts & file them in folders. This way I can get rid of the bulk of my emails before I settle down to read & it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Hope this tip helps.

  14. Oh Beth Ann – thank you so much for the reminder – my email needs some SERIOUS purging! Off I goooooo…….

  15. Beth Ann,
    I am such a keeper. I will not call myself a hoarder…I just hate to get rid of my “things”. I, too,think I might use it or need it one day!My hubs is the total opposite! My daugher, exactly the same as me! Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    • I never thought of myself as a keeper of things but I am afraid that I am. Having a really difficult time with the “family” stuff—-cleaning out my father in law’s house has been hard just because there is so much we don’t want to just sell at an auction—more cleansing this weekend and then we should be ready to go in May for the sale.

I love your comments--each one makes me smile and makes a difference for Comments for a Cause! Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: