the urge to purge

purge: to rid, clear, or FREE your home of whatever is unnecessary or undesirable.

That’s it. I’ve had it. THIS TIME I’m purging all the non-essentials ONCE AND FOR ALL.

I mean it.

Are you thinking about purging some junk but don’t know where to start? Here are some things I’ve gotten rid of lately, in case you’re at all interested.

DVDs— This one wasn’t hard for me. I don’t really like movies. Gabe loves them, but he doesn’t like watching the same ones more than once. Except for Top Gun which he’s seen upwards of 47 times. We got rid of cable a couple months ago, we have a $7.99/month Netflix subscription, and he’ll occasionally get $1 movies from red and blue kiosks around town.

Anyway. I have one movie on DVD. You’ve Got Mail. Gabe kept the Bourne trilogy, Top Gun, and his Brian Regan collection. The girls have 4 seasons of Full House, 2 seasons of Punky, 2 seasons of Little House, a few Strawberry Shortcakes, and some other random ones (probably 25 in all).

Do you really need all those DVDs? Life is too short to watch some of those ever again, wouldn’t you say?

Books— I already discussed some of my new criteria for keeping a book in this post. Some other books I got rid of after keeping them forever: 4 of my 7 Beth Moore Bible Study workbooks, books the girls will probably never read, and my blue book collection (my 20+ books are down to the 3-4 I really love).

It’s hard to explain, but I really love looking at my bookshelves more now that I know every single book is super-awesome. (and I’m going to go through them at least one more time)

Clothes— Let’s face it. I wear the same few items of clothing ALL. THE. TIME. I finally got rid of the only pair of dress pants I own. I haven’t worn them since 2007. I got rid of one of my two bathing suits. It just doesn’t work. (and I reeeeally need to get rid of the other one too, but that would require shopping for a new one. OH THE HORROR.) I got rid of my 2 pairs of size 8 jeans. I got them at the thrift store and fit into them briefly a year or so ago. I wear size 10, not 8. If I ever lose my baby gut and fit in a size 8 again, I will march my skinny(er) booty down to the thrift store and buy a new pair.

I’m DONE holding on to clothes for Someday, Maybe, and What If. What can YOU get rid of?

Random Decor— Some of the stuff I keep year after year is really pretty pointless. The white basket with the ivy on top of the bookshelf in my bedroom? WHY? Gone. The picture frames I really don’t even like? Gone. The baskets that just encourage me to keep more crap? Gone. The antique baby clothes? Not gone yet, but they will be. Anybody want them?

My new philosophy: Less is more. Don’t keep ANYTHING I don’t love with a PASSION.

I think that’ll do it for today.

So, tell me: What do you need to purge (or have you purged) lately? And what’s holding you back?

p.s. The girls are on Spring Break next week. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll blog regularly, pop in here and there, or take the week off. I’ll let you know.

57 thoughts on “the urge to purge

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » the light at the end of the de-cluttering tunnel

  2. meghan @ spicy magnolia

    Marla!! I’ve been a quiet reader lately. 🙂 Last time you did a purge, I followed suit and it felt so good. I’m not sure I have the umph to go through it again right now; although when I seriously start nesting, I think it will naturally happen.

    I hope you have a fabulous spring break with your girlies! I’ve been thinking a lot about you and wanted to send online hugs and love! 🙂

  3. Sharon

    Loved this post!!! Am making my way through my clothes. It’s so hard though because after I’m done having kids, I really do hope I can fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes (the majority of the clothes I own fit into that category). But my sister is coming over next weekend to give me her wonderfully wise and blunt opinion on what to keep and what not to keep. I need to go through the boxes of stuff in our basement which is full of things that I may want some day….. But I really hate spiders. And am so afraid one (or an army of them) will jump on me as I dig into the boxes. Maybe I can work on that on the weekends when hubby is home so he can kill them for me. Yeah, I can’t even kill them. That’s how scared of them I am! Anyways, I am so thankful that you posted about Simple Mom and her weekly hot spot challenges. And how you’ve taken serious action in your home. I am so motivated to get our house as cleared out as much as possible.

  4. Allison

    Reading your blog and all the comments = MOTIVATION!!!
    Although, I really feel like I don’t have nearly as much stuff as I used too. At the same time I just requested hubby to think of a way to add more cupboards in the kitchen 🙂 I am a sucker for kitchen supplies 🙂
    I wanted to start getting new dishes, like one set a month, but he reminded me that we already have dishes. So I’ll just be patient and wait til we only have 2 dishes, 2 bowls and then start thinking about new dishes 🙂
    Also, living in Bush Alaska helps, because you have to pay per pound to bring things home…do I really need it?
    I think I’ll go clean out our cubbies in the entry way and maybe our winter gear.

  5. Kara

    The hubby & I started purging 3 years ago. It started with clothing & shoes. Now, we are house downsizing! This is good because it also eliminates the “need” to fill rooms with stupid furniture & junk!! We sold our 2700 sq.ft. home. And, we are hoping to rent a house that is between 1100-1500 sq ft. 2 bedrooms. 1 bath. One floor. DONE & DONE.
    Our visit to Haiti helped, too!!

    OK, one thing that I should purge is my VHS collection of my favorite movies…Yeah, can’t even watch them! But, to invest in a VCR would be cheaper than to purchase them on DVD. 🙂 hehheeeeeee!!!!

    1. Marla Taviano

      I’m a sucker for stories of people who move from really big houses to small ones. LOVE it! Ours is 1400 sq ft and pretty much perfect for what we need. Sometimes I’m tempted to go under 1000. 😉

  6. colleen

    I’m “attempting” to purge…noone here at the house truly appreciates these efforts because of the Plethera of junk that I own…I could probably start with all my old college papers and school lessons that I’ll probably never use again…I could then go onto all the cassette tapes and VCR tapes that we’ll never watch…I’m sure my husband would love to be rid of the empty boxes that i store for when the toys are finished, that I would than plan on having a garage sale…can you picture this of me? I did get rid of 2 garbage bags and 1 bag to goodwill this week…but I’m slow going…

    1. Marla Taviano

      I’ve been in your basement. Sweetheart, it’s time to let it go. No one really cares if your USED toys are in the box. They’re just going to pay their dollar, take it home, and throw the box away. I have a VERY strong desire to help you. You can pay me in spaghetti sauce. 😉

  7. Jen Hanson

    Need to purge: Craft supplies, DVDs, CDs, Books, Clothing (again), Games, Trinkets/Decor. I’ve got big plans for a MAJOR purge in the coming months – but trying to readjust to life-after-Africa, not to mention edit all those photos and videos from Africa, while trying to find the words to blog about Africa. Hello. Purging will have to wait for just a bit.

    I think the biggest thing holding me back from a major I’ll-only-keep-it-if-I-really-love-it kind of purge is that I am SO CHEAP and I always think I’ll use these things eventually. Sometimes I do, much of the time I don’t, but I get so mad at myself when I find that I’ve purged something I need and now have to go buy again. Hate that.

    1. Marla Taviano

      I felt EXACTLY the same way after we got back from Cambodia. I still have photos and videos to post!!

      I used to have that fear too, and there have been maybe 3 times TOTAL that I’ve ever regretted getting rid of something.

      1. Jen Hanson

        So yeah… now you know the real reason behind my desperate need/desire to purge – MAKING ROOM FOR TWO BABIES!! I started this weekend with clothing and the game closet. Was exhausted after just an hour. This is going to take longer now that I’m doubly knocked-up, but there is a nothing-to-be-ashamed-about pile of garage sale items slowly growing in our living room.

  8. Nina

    We just purged cassette tapes the other night (so many memories in those homemade song mixes!), and the closets a couple weeks ago. I had dress clothes and “office clothes” that I bought in the 1980s and never wore! Oh, mercy. My closet is a LOT cleaner, and we’re hoping to make a little money if some of those nice clothes sell at the consignment store. (Who am I kidding? Blouses and navy blazers with big shoulderpads, anyone?)

    I love reading your organizing/cleaning/purging posts since I’m doing a lot of the same thing right now!

      1. Nina

        I actually saved the jackets of some of my favorites so I can recreate them–in the original order I devised in seventh grade!!–on my iPod. 🙂

  9. Rachelle

    I need to purge our storage shed, coat closet and help motivate my husband to clean out our barns. I went through my clothes a couple weeks ago and shed 2 trash bags. Clothes are admittedly my one major weakness when getting rid of stuff. I attach memories to clothes. The other thing holding me back is, I married a keeper. Yep, he’s a keeper alright! 🙂

  10. Mandy

    My husband and I started purging a few years ago when we read The Irresistible Revolution. We continue to purge after receiving gifts, at the change of seasons when we switch our wardrobes from winter to summer, and at other random times when a room starts to get cluttered. It’s very freeing to be rid of all that stuff! There’s a store at our dump (or whatever you call the place where you get rid of trash/recycling) that sells used things and my husband drops stuff off there pretty often. It’s amazing, too, how often we will have something that someone else wants for some reason – perfect chance to give it away! I love not being ruled by stuff. The more we get rid of, the easier it gets.

    Funny about the size 8/size 10 jeans thing – that happened to me, too! Good thing my sister is a size 8.

  11. Krysten

    I have purged books and movies to sell on I also purged stuff out of my bathroom. For more inspiration on purging you may want to check out Good luck on all your goals!

  12. Gaylene

    Every time we move is purging time. I love it. I am a firm believer that if you don’t use it or it is not personal, give it away. Now that my husband and I are in our “just the 2 of us again”years, we have moved into a place where if you bring anything in, something must go out. Clutter drives me nuts, so that helps.

    And now, as God is speaking, perhaps it is time to purge some things from my soul as well.

    Enjoy purging!

  13. jess

    i love it love it love it love it love it! i can totally feel the weight lifted off your shoulders. 🙂 especially the basket w/ ivy…when i read that iwas like…oh, yeah…good choice.

    i LOVE decorating it’s def. a hobby & a creative outlet for me…but i look around and thing the same thing WHY? It’s a delicate balance of being creative w/ decor and having crap that’s pointless.

    i purged movies just yesterday.
    and i purged the nursery closet a few weeks ago. still hoping for another wack-a-mole, but we can borrow what we don’t have.
    and i purged the kitchen the other month–good bye quesadilla maker.

    i’m genuinely excited for you!!

      1. jess

        i just reread what a wrote. sounds like we’re going to borrow a wack-a-mole. that might not be a bad idea.

        you can def. pray for us!! We would like another w-a-m ASAP so we can love him/her AND so we can purge the REST of the baby stuff that is hovering over us in our 5-person/1500 square feet! April is historically a good month for us. 😉

  14. ellen

    Clothing — my theory is — if you don’t wear it — pass it along through a ministry somewhere — and you can get new stuff to replace it. 🙂

  15. Mary

    you’ve ALMOST inspired me. i have the urge, just not the purging down part yet 🙂 we have junk EVERYWHERE and it drives me NUTS!!!!

  16. Addie

    Wow…. I so envy you and all the time that you must have to do this… thats my enemy – time, I dont feel like I can even start if I cant finish it – even small sections become overwhelming…. but I definitely have been feeling the need to purge so I think I will at least take a few baby steps this weekend! Thanks for the push.

    Oh, and I will please, please, please take the antique baby clothing – as a photographer, I am always looking for good pieces that I can use… 🙂 (and all our photography profit either goes to missions or our next adoption, so you can feel good about it too)

    1. Cheryl Pickett

      Good for you in taking the baby steps. I coach authors and sometimes the need to finish is a big issue for them too. Break it down as small as you need to, one shelf, one drawer and when you do that much, congratulate yourself. Even if it takes a while, it will still get done :-).

  17. Bethany

    This post gives me so much joy inside! I have a HUGE pile of stuff for you–do you really want it all? I think I need to start praying before I go through my stuff, asking God to help me really see what I need because I like to hold onto items that I really shouldn’t be.

    I was up late last night purging items–it’s so hard to stop once you’ve started! Thanks for the inspiration Marsy!

  18. Wendy

    CDs from college. I love purging. Spring is the perfect time to toss out. I really need to get read of some random decor I keep in our basement in case we get a big house someday and I’ll actually need it. 😉
    ~ Wendy

  19. Nanette

    I have so many books. Mostly, I don’t keep anything (my husband fears for his things), but books are something we both agree are precious. I also won’t buy a book unless I’m sure I want to read it many many times.

    Now that we have our little girl, I have so much fun looking at all the books I’ve saved for her WITH her. And looking forward to reading all the other books I have for her as she grows into them.

    I was reading “Laura Charlotte” to her which is about a girl who has her mom’s stuffed elephant that was made by her great-great-grandma. I was feeling a little blue that I never saved any of my old toys or dresses, but then I realized what I had saved to share was ALL THOSE BOOKS!!!

    Anyway, sorry for the random thoughts. Go purging!

  20. Kathleen-NM

    You crack me up and are SO a girl after my own heart! I just did the same thing, purged the closet big time! I cannot bear to part with books, it is the hardest thing! I had clothes that were screaming out of date. Purged frames, baskets, my old teaching biology material gone… I kept telling my hubby “some day I might…” Ha!

    Keep coming…you are a BRIGHT spot in my day!


      1. Kathleen-NM

        Yes, and Praying about it. For sure in Jan. 2011, Houston, right? Until then here is my fantasy…. MT flies out to Albuquerque to speak to one of our groups (MOPS, Women’s Ministry, Luncheon….pick one) then we take a quick road trip to CO ( only 6.5 hours) so she can see Joanne, I will hang out with friends, drive back. Home sooner than later… It would work, don’t you think?

        No pressure to have my closets cleaned/organized by then, right?

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