10 whys of purging {day 3 of 31}

Purging stuff from our homes and lives, de-cluttering our spaces and minds, all of that is fine and good. But it’s BEST if we’re doing it with a purpose. I want to make sure that I’m clear from the get-go that there’s method and meaning to my madness.

Most of the time anyway.

I also want to thank you guys for being so darn enthusiastic about getting rid of stuff. You inspire and encourage me and motivate me to be all God wants me to be. Hugs!

Maybe I should start with 5 NOT-Whys of Purging:

1. I feel guilty that I have so much stuff while others go without.
2. I like to play the martyr.
3. I secretly want to be Amish. Or homeless.
4. I think God wants me to be miserable.
5. I want to drive my husband completely bonkers.

10 Reasons for Purging the Unnecessary From My Home and Life

1. The more I get, the more I want, and the more unhappy I am with what I have.
2. When I have less, I love each thing more (crazy but completely true).
3. Uncluttered spaces (counters, closets, shelves) make me grin like a clown.
4. I am indecisive and easily overwhelmed. The less choices I have, the less panic attacks.
5. The happiest people I know have less stuff than me (and I know the Secret to their joy!).
6. I have more time and space to do the things I love most.
7. No matter how much I try to out-give God, he won’t let me.
8. God’s best gifts aren’t things.
9. Material stuff is losing its hold on me, and it feels good.
10. I feel so unencumbered, so light-hearted, so FREE.
11. When I live more simply, others can simply live.
12. I don’t want there to be a glaring gap between what I own and what my poorer friends own.
13. I’m finding joy in Jesus that I used to look for in my stuff.
14. I want to store up treasures in heaven not down here.

Oops! Sorry! I couldn’t stop. I just wanna keep listing things all night long. It’s so tempting to cram everything that’s in my mind and heart into one blog post, but I keep reminding myself I have an entire month. Woohoo!

Challenge Time!

Your mission (should you choose to accept it): look around your house and find FIVE ITEMS you can get rid of. And I’m not talking about pieces of trash or old newspapers. Five things you’ve had around for a long while and you just don’t need/want any more. They’re not useful, not beautiful, and they’re certainly not helping you live out God’s calling on your life.

Your prize: Every single person who purges 5 things (and tells me what they were) will get a free copy of my e-book, The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky. If you already have it, you can win it for a friend or just have the supreme satisfaction of knowing you’re on your way to an organized, simplified, purposeful life.

Go get ’em, friends!

73 thoughts on “10 whys of purging {day 3 of 31}

  1. Milenda

    I am starting this in 2014! ;p If you are still giving away the book, I would love it too.

    I am packing up: 5 small drinking glasses, 4 large drinking glasses, and an assortment of utensils from my drawers that I don’t need. I generally have the homeless shelter pick things up, or craigslist free listing.

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  4. mj

    just found your site and am interested in hearing about your progress. I have been doing some purging myself.

    I’ve given to Goodwill – 1 bad toddler boys clothing, 1 bag of men’s clothing, 1 bag of women’s clothing, 5 wicker baskets

    I’ve given a tricycle to a mom down the street

    I’ve given the trash man 3 bags of trash from my children’s rooms, blurry photos, small scraps of scrapbooking paper and a chair that was not able to be salvaged.

    I’ve recycled 2 bags of old school papers, junk mail and newspaper inserts

    and I’m not done yet!

  5. Ann

    I purged
    a dining table and 4 chairs
    2 side chairs – leather
    1 TV stand
    1 15″ TV
    20 boxes of small stuff

    All given to the Human Society Thrift Store

  6. Amanda

    I purged:
    1) beat up chenille pillow
    2)a play table that I’m afraid my kids will climb on and fall off.
    3) My favorite pair of jeans…I went down a size Yeah!!
    4)A pair of shoes
    5) some baby clothes

  7. Lesley

    1) A cow halloween costume my 6 year old wore as a baby.
    2) Moon sand
    3) a pair of shoes that are too big for me.
    4) Vases
    5) Baby blankets

  8. kim

    Well, in fact I am moving here soon, so I’ve been purging a lot:
    1. a red cloth basket (goodwill)
    2. duplicate knives (2 but I’ll only count it as one)
    3. Fake tulips in a vase (though I love tulips)
    4. a set of trays for food that are plastic and don’t need anymore
    5. an old set of sheets that we didn’t need anymore

  9. Lisa

    Things I purged:
    1. two pair of shoes
    2. bag full of paperbacks
    3. picture that was given to me
    4. sweater that was given to me–I never wore
    5. computer desk

  10. Amy P

    I cleaned my boys’ closets last night and got a bag full of stuff to donate! I forgot to come back to the computer to report!

  11. Kristine

    1. an outfit gifted to my daughter 4 years ago but still had the tags on!

    2. A toy cash register never opened donated to charity.

    3. A bag of clothes/shoes sent to consignment.

    4. Coupons that I’m not going to be able to go through.

    5. A cool giraffee piece of art I have no use for anymore!

  12. Melanie

    I purged a pair of shoes (haven’t worn them in more than 8 years), 8 plates, 6 bowls, 2 glasses and 4 mismatched mugs. (I recently bought new dishes but hadn’t yet cleared out the old. Thanks for the nudge…)

  13. Susan

    My son came to my house and I made him purge his things that were here. (Okay, some were mine. I just had to make sure they were purge-able. Is that a word?)
    1- old computer parts and pieces.
    2- dead laptop
    3- teddy bear his 3rd grade teacher gave him.
    4- train track and parts
    5- old clothes he’ll never wear again.

  14. Laura

    1. Big purse/bag with the straps that never stay on my shoulder.
    2. The black dress in my closet that will never fit.
    3. Sandwich griddle we got 10 years ago and is still in the box.
    4.Baby tub. The boy is almost 2 and we haven’t used it in at least 9 months- it’s time already!
    5. The black heels that hurt my feet and aren’t practical with an almost 2 year old to chase down.

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  16. Andrea

    This gave me the motivation to stop thinking about it and actually put stuff in my pile for Goodwill!

    1. old laptop
    2. old printer
    3. 4 books that haven’t gotten any interest on paperbackswap.com in over 6 months
    4. 5 boxes I was holding onto just in case I need something to wrap a gift in (really??) or ship something (I did keep a few for these purposes, but this was 5 too many!)
    5. incentive spirometer (the breathing thing they send you home from the hospital/surgery with…that you never need to use again)

  17. Erin

    Thanks for the push Marla!
    I will donate these(plus more!) to the new thrift store our church is starting called Second Chance.
    1. Craft scissors(24 in all) purchased for card making.
    2. My daughters size 2T dress up clothes(she now wears a size 6).
    3. All of my “I have a dream” jeans. Get real!!
    4. Shoes that I only have one of…how did that happen?! Those went in the trash BTW.
    5. A whole box of books that I already read, or only read half of…years ago.

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  19. Darlene

    Ah man, I am moving into a MUCH smaller living space so needless to say that I am in GREAT need of purging!!!!

    Today I purged:
    1. A shirt not worth trying to get the HUGE wax spill out of.
    2. At least a couple of pounds of needless papers.
    3. A ridiculous board game someone left here.
    4. A CD labeler that I wanted so badly that I’ve NEVER used in the past 3 years.
    5. Several jars of grains that I’ve stored in pretty jars thinking I’d get all creative and cook them.
    6. A lovely homeschool planner I’ve never used.

    And…I’m not done. I’m still working on it.

    Whew!

  20. Christian

    It looks like I’m one of the few guys that has posted on purging items.

    1. 20 plastic coat hangers.
    2. 15 CD’s.
    3. 1 blue small cooking pan.
    4. Back issues of magazines I no longer read.
    5. Two old cutting boards.

  21. Valerie

    1. Several small random baby toys Sean has long outgrown.
    2. Lots of clothes Sean has outgrown…being donated to women’s shelter here.
    3. Misc clothes that are too big/don’t fit right…also donated to women’s shelter.
    4. Bag of shower gels/lotions received as gifts that I can’t use…also being donated.
    5. Random cat toys the girls won’t play with, canned food I got them that they refuse to eat…. being given to the Humane Society for the kitties there.

  22. Tracie

    This has been on my heart all day. I love how God works!
    1. A large bag of unopened lotions, body washes & shower gels.
    2. A tea light candle holder (a thoughtful gift that I’ve never used.)
    3. A box of pregnancy stuff (Time to let go.)
    4. A piece of exercise equipment that was given to me- I never used it.
    5. A Christmas gift that never made it out of the box because we can’t figure out what it is.

    This is going to be a weekly project. Thanks Marla!

  23. The Lovely One

    5 things I got rid of today (either threw away or added to my donation pile):

    1. old lesson plans (from when I was a teacher 10+ years ago)
    2. An entire cd rack full of cd’s that I never listen to anymore.
    3. 4 cookie sheets that were old and stained.
    4. 2 boxes full of old towels.
    5. 3 baby toys my son has outgrown.

    I still have so much to do! I could probably play this “game of 5” every day!

  24. Jaymi

    1. Christmas cards w/ pictures of other peoples kids from the last 8 years.
    2. a book that I have not read and have no interest in reading
    3. a ceramic pot that was a gift but not my taste
    4. a strap from a car seat that we no longer use/need/own
    5. a tony gold clock shaped like an apple.

    Sadly, these were all in the same drawer of my dresser (scary!).

    BTW, I love the title of your ebook.

  25. Julia

    Things purged:
    1). Creative Memories memo board that I’ve had for 3 years and never used once.
    2). Baby clothes that my son will never fit in (I gave them to an expecting friend)
    3). Whale bath tub, that’s time has come and gone.
    4). My favorite boots that have a whole in the toe. (It was time to let go)
    5). Pre-pregnancy white pants that will never be post-pregnancy white pants.

  26. Debby Weller

    1. Cleaned off 2 huge bookshelves of homeshcooled books and clutter. Donated the books.

    2.Cleaned out herb cabnet. Cleaned my kitchen cabnets out also. Got rid of pans and dishes I no longer used.

    3. Cleaned the bathroom closet and vanity out. I couldn’t believe all the almost used stuff I had collected.

    4. Cleaned my laundry room cabnets out.

    5. Cleaned my hubby’s room. Put away everything that needed put in proper place and threw away all the clutter of papers that were old and lying around. I will be cleaning his tools up this week also. I won’t be getting rid of any of those but I’m tired of them laying around. Our of all the things I purged, my hubby’s took the longest!!

  27. Sallie

    I love your reasons for purging and can SO relate! Here are my items from today.
    1. A pair of rarely worn shoes
    2. A summer jacket that someone else will love to have
    3. A wicker basket w/ 4 wooden apples in it (a fall decoration for someone else, perhaps)
    4. Four music CDs
    5. A Bible study book that I’m finished with, but it can be used again (I didn’t write in it).
    Also, I’m determined to purge at least one item each day for the remainder of the 31 days! Thanks so much for getting me fired up for this!

  28. Marla Taviano

    This is FABULOUS, friends!! I’ve been out of town all day with a bunch of my wonderful family. Now off to soccer. Then I’ll e-mail all of you your free e-book! Woohoo!!!

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  30. Jennifer

    I am so inspired by your posts so far…thanks for the encouragement and reminding me that we all have too much stuff!
    I purged my kitchen and got rid of a coffee maker, waffle maker, duplicate utensils, 4 serving trays, 6 glass vases, all of the extra measuring cups and spoons…I really only need one set not 3 and lots more….crazy how much stuff I had in my tiny kitchen that I never use.

  31. Megan at SortaCrunchy

    Okay, not a challenge entry, but I have to say “2. When I have less, I love each thing more (crazy but completely true).” YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Yes to that!

    And number 4 – let all the P-Perceiving types REJOICE! Any time I can set myself up to make fewer decisions, the better for my life and health.

    Can’t wait to read more inspiration from you, sister!

  32. rene

    GREAT encouragement…just what I need! I will be following …and…purging! THANK YOU.
    Rene
    1. not used shelf
    2. old printer
    3. 4 baskets
    4. metal basket
    5. 2 picture frames

  33. Ruth

    I don’t need a free ebook (I have it already) but I went through my kids’ drawers today to exchange summer clothes for autumn/winter ones, & I ended up getting rid of quite a few items I never or hardly ever put on them. I love purging; been doing it kind of continually, like you! To me, it is therapeutic. 🙂

  34. michelle

    A book that I have passed around to everyone I know and am not going to read again, an immersion blender that either doesn’t work right or I just don’t know how to use, an extra cell phone charger, a bag of clothes that will fit my friends daughter and a bag of baby clothes that even if I have another, would probably not use.

    But I don’t want to stop! The day is young!

  35. April

    Ok… I just started following you because I NEED to get rid of stuff. Lots of stuff. So when I saw your challenge I jumped right up and went to work. But it is NOT as easy as I thought it would be.
    1. my old-school nikon camera and lenses that I keep saving because I’m sure I will find time to “sell” it on craigslist or ebay. Yeah, right. Better just take it to Habitat instead.
    2. box of clothes that don’t fit the kids
    3. winter boots that I meant to take to habitat last year
    4. box of clothes that I might wear someday
    5. a couple purses that I keep saving to go with “that perfect outfit”
    Wow. I really feel like that should have been easier. Weird how I start thinking that I shouldn’t get rid of stuff because I might need it someday soon. Someone else could be using it right now if I would just LET GO!
    Thanks for the 31 days of Purging. I will keep following.

  36. Carrie

    I haven’t purged anything yet but definitely going to take a good look around my home because I know there are things I should get rid of, many of which I could donate for a good cause. But I just had to say I soooo identify with numbers 2 and 4 of your 10 reasons for purging!

  37. Julie Holmquist

    I have gotten rid of clothes my 2-year-old “might” wear in a couple years. I got rid of some toys he hasn’t played with in a very long time, and last but not least, I got rid of some books I’ve been thinking I will re-reading but haven’t yet.

  38. Kasondra

    I just set aside:
    1) A sitz bath I was given and never used
    2) A mostly full box of post partum pads (I think I used 2 and switched to regular pads after that)
    3) Chux Pads (I used ONE out of the bag)
    4) A wipe warmer (we started using cloth wipes so I wet them with warm water right before use)
    5) Our old vacuum

    These items are going to the Airman’s Attic on base. It’s kind of like a free thrift store for the Airmen.

  39. Jen Hanson

    I have to admit that out of the why nots… or not-whys rather – I do struggle a lot with #1. Or maybe (sometimes), it’s less feeling guilty and more just not being able to justify the amount of stuff that I have in comparison to most of the world. It’s when I try to justify it that I feel guilty.

    Love this list. Gotta go find my five things…

    1. Marla Taviano

      Yeah, I know what you mean. I love it when I can look around, say, my kitchen, and think, “This is pretty and efficient, but I don’t need to feel guilty because there’s no excess.”

  40. Alysia

    1 laundry basket full off clothes out of my daughter’s closet going to my niece. 1 stack of clothes and 4 pairs of shoes out of my closet going to a resale shop. A trashbag of broken and unused toys out of my boy’s toybox. A stack of old school papers from my kids that were being saved for who knows what, thrown away (without them knowing of course!!) And various items from my fridge that were expired or (ewwww) getting moldy, in the trash! That felt good. I also have a loft bed in the garage getting ready to be listed on craigslist, And a laundry basket full of kids clothes going to goodwill. =)

  41. GinnyLou

    Hooray for purging! I’m sending a walker, a jumparoo, an baby car seat and base, and a whole stack of small toys and baby clothes to the consignment sale! I’ve also emptied out a file cabinet full of utility bills from before 2005…enjoying the shredding process!

  42. Tracy

    My old 35 mm film camera+bag+flash (my first love), two wall sconces, 3 purses, several kitchen-y storage items, and some decorative baskets!

    Thank you for the encouragement to take this challenge!

  43. Fiona

    One backpack, one sock (!) two books and one tote bag.
    But yesterday I was so inspired to purge that I cleaned out my entire dresser – sock drawer and all – woohoo! A fat bagful into the bin 🙂
    Thanks for doing this, i really need to purge before we start renovating soon.

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