purge who you're not {day 19 of 31}

If you’re like me, you hang on to a lot of stuff for “someday maybe…” Or “but what if I….?” Or “when I have more time, I’m gonna…”

Like, for example, “I’ve never used this wok or this rice cooker or this electric bread knife, but someday I’m probably going to start.”

Or, “I don’t have any use right now for all these dress pants and fancy shoes, but in 10 years when I go back to work, I may need them.”

Or, “I spent a boatload of money on all these scrapbooking supplies and even though I hate scrapbooking now, I can’t bear to get rid of it.”

(I’m trying really hard to concentrate on writing this post, but a few hours ago, 48 exotic animals–lions, tigers, grizzly bears, cheetahs–escaped from a farm 55 miles from here. I’m trying to stay up-to-date on the whereabouts–and why-in-the-hecks–of these creatures on the loose. The owner, who also has baboons, monkeys, etc., in his house, was found dead. Egads.)

Okay, so lately I’ve been evaluating the stuff I’m holding onto and asking myself, “Will I REALLY need this later, or am I just fooling myself?” I think it’s important to kind of lay out a vision of who you want to be, the path you want to take, and weed out anything that isn’t going to contribute to that. Of course, none of us really knows exactly what the future holds, but we can still plan and dream.

Some silly examples:

Do I really need five 9×11 pans? Will I ever be a hostess with the mostest who makes a million delicious dishes for Thanksgiving at her place? No. I’ll make 2, possibly 3 things at one time at the max and have everyone else bring stuff. If that’s not an option, we’ll get Chipotle.

That Pampered Chef apple corer is a fabulous, time-saving idea, but I’ve owned it for years and keep cutting my apples with a knife. I don’t know why; I just do.

All the cute little picture frames I have scattered around the house were great for a time, but they get too dusty. And I’m too lazy to replace the pictures.

I’m a size 10. Not a size 8. If I ever become a size 8, I’ll head on over to the thrift store.

No one in my family likes oatmeal. Why is it in my cupboard?

We use the same 6 cookie cutters every Christmas. Why do we have 20?

I don’t need all these books on marriage anymore. Mine is perfect. (just checking to see if you were paying attention)

I. Don’t. Like. Crafting. And my daughters need very little supplies to keep them happy.

Here’s Who I Am (for better or worse):

A girl who likes jeans and t-shirts (preferably with some sort of justice slogan or outline of Africa and most likely in some shade of grey/black).

A girl who would love to come speak at your women’s retreat (or men’s retreat, for that matter) but will wear old jeans and an Africa t-shirt unless you specifically tell her not to.

A girl who will also occasionally wear a shirt that says “Blessed” because she most definitely is, and her friend Jackie, owner of Dress Blessed, is stinking awesome.

A girl who loves to make Scrabble magnets and washer necklaces but NO OTHER CRAFTS.

A girl who can’t stand to spend time doing her hair (or her make-up).

A girl who loves books about loving the poor (and other related topics) and most other books can’t hold her attention these days.

A girl whose metabolism is slowing but her appetite is growing and she wants to eat healthy, whole foods, but craves (and scarfs down) bad, bad stuff.

A girl who reeeeeeally wants to get rid of all her Blushing Bride books before Cambodia. $1 each (+shipping). E-mail me.

A girl who loves to give, not because she’s unselfish, but because she knows a secret (it is so much stinking fun!!).

A girl who wants to like wine and black coffee (and even diet pop) but her palate just isn’t mature enough or something.

Okay, somewhere along the line, this list of “Defining Yourself and Purging Accordingly” became “Confession Hour.” Forgive me. It’s after midnight, and there are grizzly bears out there.

So, tell me:

1. What is one thing you USED to be and aren’t anymore?

2. What is one thing you think you MIGHT be someday (but probably won’t be)?

3. So what are you going to get rid of???

25 thoughts on “purge who you're not {day 19 of 31}

  1. Amanda W.

    I just found your blog from a friend who reads it and knows I’m just now starting to de-clutter my home. I’m finding your hints and tips VERY helpful.

    I wanted to comment on this one though, because of the animals. I live Canal Winchester, only about 30 or 40 minutes from there (and I went to Muskingum College years ago), and I was thankful that it was a rainy day so most people were staying inside anyway. What a crazy day that was!!!! Glad it’s over.

    Anyway, I’m going to add your blog to my reader and wait anxiously for your cleaning words of wisdom 🙂 Glad I found you!

  2. jess

    i’m catching up from yesterday. and i just wanted to say hi. and that i like this post & I like you, friend. 🙂 hope you’re having a good day!

    last i heard there was a monkey with herpes (?!?) and a wolf running around and everything else was dead. insane.

  3. Krysten

    1. I used to be a photographer, back when there was this cool stuff called film. The digital age came along and I never bothered to switch over. Doubt I’ll be using my old cameras much anymore!
    2. I’m starting to think that “someday” I’ll be organized…but, uh… maybe not. I’m just a hot mess. : )
    3. Getting rid of accumulated teachery stuff that I bought before I actually had a teaching job thinking I’d use it someday. It was cute and on sale. I am a sucker for that combo. Now that I’ve been a teacher for several years and still never touched it, I’m admitting that someone else could probably use it instead. (someone with a lot more skill when it comes to organizing and a WHOLE lot more cabinet space.)

  4. Tonia

    I used to be a highschool math and biology teacher,’and don’t think I will be again. Though I might, but I’m highly doubtful. If anything it’ll be may only. So I got rid of about 40lbs of old papers this weekend (I guess I did this early) and lots of textbooks that’ll be way outdated if I ever go back.
    I got rid of all my books that I was convinced to buy while watching Fox news. Thank God I don’t have cable and stopped wasting money on them!
    I too need to get rid of my “work” clothes that are too small for me. AND, I second you on the scrapbooking. I totally hate it and my sweet #2 is my boy and won’t have one probably. I think that’ll be on my list of things to go through tonight…..Get rid of cricut and scrapbook supplies. Oh maybe someone will buy it off craig’s list

  5. Sharon W

    Marla, I totally think you can sell all the items you listed that you don’t need. (Well, I don’t know if anyone wants the oatmeal, especially if it’s already been opened…) I always need more 9×11 dishes (trying to cook in bulk these days and two 9×11 dishes don’t do it for this gal who refuses to hand wash dishes) and I don’t own a single cookie cutter! But I recently saw a post on all the fun things you can do with cookie cutters. Besides making cookies.

    I used to be way more social than I am now.
    I might be skinny again one day, but probably never my pre-baby size.
    I have a donations truck coming tomorrow. So far I’m getting rid of some baby related items that we never used and won’t use the next time around. And all the shoes that I decided to toss after I read one of your posts last week. And a bunch of sermons on cassette tape. My previous car had a tape deck (yes, I actually paid to have it installed in 2004) but my current one doesn’t. So no need to keep the cassette tapes.

  6. valerie (in TX)

    I too have some gifts (expensive ones!) from well-intentioned family members – stuff I’ve had for years and NEVER used. It’s going on ebay to raise money for my mission trip next summer! 🙂

      1. Marla Taviano

        I don’t think they had much choice. The sheriff’s department wasn’t equipped with tranquilizers when it all started happening and they couldn’t risk them killing humans first, and the ones they tried to tranquilize this a.m. weren’t affected by it, so they had to kill them. 🙁

  7. Candice

    I like this! I have a few crafting items that need to go for sure. Some ugly scarves and hats too. The main problem for me is gifts that well intentioned family members give that are not my style, but I don’t really know what to do with. Suggestions?

    1. Marla Taviano

      That’s a tough one. We stopped doing extended family gift exchanges, because we were buying lots of presents for people we didn’t really even know that well. If it’s people who DO “know you well,” well… I’m not sure. Can you sell/re-gift any of it? Will these family members know if you don’t keep it? Could you all sit down and talk about not wasting money on things that others don’t really like (that probably isn’t an option).

      Anyone else have any ideas?? (Maybe I’ll do a blog post about this.)

      1. Sharon W

        We no longer give gifts on birthdays (except to kids and the parents make a wish list, so they get what they are okay with bringing into their home). Instead, we get together once a year to celebrate all the adults birthdays. We go out to eat and pay for ourselves.

        For Christmas it’s been a huge struggle to agree on anything as a family. For a while we did white elephant gifts, which I LOVED! Only buying (and receiving) one gift (well, plus a gift for each kid) was awesome. But some people wanted to buy for everyone.

        So, last year everyone did what they wanted. We got some stuff that we won’t ever use and I just put some of the items in a pile of things to donate. My husband and I started a new tradition last year of giving money to a charity in our families name. I made little cards explaining what we are doing, based on the Advent Conspiracy. http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

        We have sold high priced gifts from in-laws on Craigslist and I just pray when my sis-in-law visits that she doesn’t ask to use the electric hot water thing. Or the wine glasses. Lately she’s been sending us an Entertainment book each year – we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this gift.

        One lady I met at the zoo said she has the grandparents buy a zoo membership for her family as a gift each Christmas. I think that is a fantastic idea.

  8. kim stewart

    I was always “room mom” when my boys were in elementary school and we would “party” for every holiday. I had theme jumpers and vests for many holidays which I would wear. Last spring I decided, with my boys in high school, I was in a different place and I wasn’t going to ever wear them again. I gave them to a kindergarten teacher that goes to my church. She was thrilled and just Sunday told me she had just worn on of the jumpers on “Apple Day”.

      1. kim stewart

        I did cross my mind! LOL! I also thought I could use it as an incentive to get home work done, as in “If you don’t finish your homework I’ll be int o see your teachers in my jack-o-lantern pajama pants and pumpkin vest!” That’s what you call real motivation!

  9. Stewart Peters

    I made it painfully clear to Bethany that the stuffed turtles held a special place in my heart and were staying with us. It is ON!

  10. Bethany Peters

    1. I used to like cupcakes and bright colored outfits and Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake. Now my daughter likes all those things so if she doesn’t want them (or can’t wear/use them), I’m getting rid of them!
    2. I think I might alter those ill-fitting clothes someday, but I probably won’t so I need to get rid of them! (unless I can use the fabric for banners or coasters or a patchwork quilt)
    3. Every time I buy a new box of diapers I empty out the diapers and put the box in my room and slowly, but steadily fill it up with things I want to get rid of. I cleaned out the living room toy basket and got rid of about 15 random things (foam football, stuffed turtles, Grover, mini baby doll accessories)

    1. Marla Taviano

      Your #1 makes me smile. 🙂 And what a great idea for the empty diapers box! I’ll take some of your little trinkets (basically all that stuff you mentioned) for our treasure box at Linden (where we meet with our reading buddy).

  11. Ruth Chowdhury

    Okay okay you got me. Lol. I got rid of MOST of my scrapbooking stuff but held onto the basics. But I don’t have any desire to scrapbook, nor the time, nor do I ever expect to have the time, and if i DO have the time I’d much rather be spending it doing something else. So I think I’ll let go of the rest of it. I guess i should also get rid of the dress pants that are several sizes too small. I want to be at “that weight” again but it’s so far away and there are thrift stores down the road i can treat myself to for losing the weight. I’ll keep thinking. I’m sure there’s more.

    And that is so crazy about those loose animals! I’m gonna go look it up on the news now… 🙂 keep safe!

      1. Ruth

        Lol! Oh I know. But for realz, you helped me get past the “rut” I was in with decluttering. I needed these questions to be asked. Thanks! 🙂

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