Sunday, March 30, 2008

Purge Baby Purge

I'm ready. I'm feeling it. It is Purge Time!

Unfortunately, despite Mr F's "yeah let's do it", he is having a very hard time letting go. So I've come up with a few purging steps.

Step #1: Write down the things you are saving and are non-negotiable. This is to be done from your memory... not while sorting through a box that had been sitting in your basement storage room for 7 years. If you know what you are saving and have a purpose for saving it then so be it. If you are ready to go all out this is the only step you need... Mr F is not ready for that yet. I know for us the stuff we are intentionally saving is a very small percentage of what is down there.

Step #2: Write down the things you are saving that you know you would like to get rid of. This is also to be done from memory. I find that many things are hard to toss once I see them even if I was ready to purge them.

Step #3: Exchange lists and sort out the "keepers" and the "giveaways" for your spouse/purge partner. What you don't have to touch or see you don't have to be effected by. That might be the last step if you were really in a hard core purge zone. Everything else that wasn't accounted for could be trashed or donated.

BUT that is a bit extreme for us so we're going to move on to....

Step #4: ALL the stuff that was unaccounted for shall be assessed. And hopefully sorted by category. Trash and obvious giveaways will be separated. The remaining items in question shall be reviewed by their owner/s and then re-stored.

Step #5: In two months repeat Steps 1-3 with the remaining items.

This whole process may need to be repeated several times but in a few months you will only be keeping things you consciously and objectively want to keep. Your partner is only removing the things you said to remove and discard, you are still in control of your things. You are enlisting their help only to remove the "oh now that I see it I remember how much I really like it" aspect of hoarding. Everything that remains after the first 3 steps you must look at before you re-store it. You don't have to trash it or make a decision but you do need to assess everything that you are keeping so that you can be effective in carrying out steps 4 & 5 in a few months. This, my friends, could work.


Last night we sat down to make our lists. Here's what we've got so far...

Keepers - Mrs F:
2 saris I got in India
Nana's oriental plate collection & silk dining room curtains
Social Work books
Couples Therapy paper
crystal candlesticks
Nana's antique pitcher set
Silver Coffee Urn
Copper Chaffing Dish
our extra everyday dishes
box of frames
sewing machine
sewing cabinet
wedding cake stuff
hand-me-downs for Baby
American Girl doll armoire

Keepers - Mr F:
baseball pennants

Giveaways - Mrs F:
social work papers
high school art portfolio
cake plate & server set
misc candles & candle holders in bin
vanity table from Kid's room
old American Girl clothes
all magazines
G'dad's old model train
old humidifiers
CD jewel cases

Giveaways - Mr F:
sports jerseys
old portfolio pieces
laundry hamper


Marie said...

LOL..was it hard for Mr. F to part with the beloved "laundry hamper"?

Sounds like a good system!! Good luck with the great purge! And even if only a few things go, at least you'll know EXACTLY whats down there and will be rid of a few more things! And who knows, in a few more months, maybe you won't need some more stuff! I know when we started this in our attic, I REFUSED to let go of some old dolls and such (because they had been given to me by my grandmother who had, at that time, recently passed away). About a year later, I was able to go through and only keep the truly special items and give the rest away (originally I couldn't part with anything that even remotely reminded me of her).

And now, as we are overcome with more and more kid stuff, I've purged out more of my stuff because I am so SICK AND TIRED OF ALL THE DAMN STUFF!!!!! My 9month old is so "deprived" because we only have about 1/4 of the "stuff" that we had for the first and second. And you know what? She's fine and usually plays with random non-toys rather than real toys anyways (as did my other 2, but I HAD to have EVERYTHING). Right now she is fascinated by the box her diapers came in. Go figure.

OK, enough. (can you tell dh is off at work and I am dying for adult conversation?? one more "SHE'S TOUCHING/LOOKING/BREATHING AT ME" and I may crack!)

Mrs. Furious said...

"one more "SHE'S TOUCHING/LOOKING/BREATHING AT ME" and I may crack!"
I feel your pain!

the laundry hamper... YES... this is a big three compartment one on wheels. I've wanted to get rid of it for years since inevitably stuff gets shoved in and is never seen again. For the last year or so Mr F just uses this as a place to "drape" his laundry on top. It is huge, takes up space, and isn't even being used effectively. And of course there are about 4 other laundry baskets ready to be used in a 4 foot radius. That thing is hitting the curb as soon as it stops raining!

And as for the sentimentality... that is a big part of my hoarding (obviously) so I think the lists will work well for me. As long as I don't think of it/see it what do I care if it gets thrown out? I won't miss it. Of course this system does rely on Mr F to actually make time to purge everything on my list which could be problematic.

Heather said...

Wow, this sounds very elaborate! I agree though when you look at things you have a harder time parting with them. I pulled down a box yesterday thinking the whole box could go in the trash, but then remembered that I wanted some of the things in there. So I cleaned out most of it. I also made the Goodwill pile, hooray! Don't tell my nephew, but he's getting the Nerf gun I won at the Christmas party for his fourth birthday. It has glow-in-the-dark foam darts!

Deb said...

This make me giddy just reading it! As much as I (now) know I'm a hoarder, I do get a high off throwing things out. I was inspired (by my revelation the other day) to do another clean-out this weekend, and I've got two huge boxes heading to Goodwill tomorrow.

There was a great bit on NPR this weekend about purging "the box"... you know... that box of memorabilia that seems to follow you from house to house, even though it's virtually meaningless. I'll try to scare up the link for you guys. You'll laugh about it, if nothing else.

Mrs. Furious said...

was it on This American Life? or Weekend Edition? I'll search.

elaborate? yes... but Mr F agreed to it. Before that he was in full on crazy defensive mode and I had to drop a couple of f-bombs I was getting so frustrated. I'll have you know, after spending some time investigated the storage room, that he has got to have 1000 comic books... maybe more.

Kiki said...

Mrs. F, I am emotional hoarder, like things I bought for myself when I was young...Ken asks allt he time"Can I throw this out?" and my standard response is,"I'm not ready yet." Maybe I need to make a list, distance myself from it...somehow.

PS. I posted my mom in an outfit, just for you!!! Enjoy!!!

Mrs. Furious said...

The list has helped. If only because it is a tangible reminder of what things were truly important enough for you to remember and which are not.
I did some clearing out today... there is so much stuff that we are not keeping and it is hard not to just get overwhelmed by the sorting and bagging up or trash and donations. But I will persevere. I'm hoping to get through it all by June. (I've been saying that for the last 3 years!)

Claire looks good. Age appropriate but youthful. Her face looks really youthful... is it the pink shirt? Love it. Of course my mother and I have the exact opposite length problem...

Kiki said...

I think that pink shirt definitely does help, but up close she looks good too, we come from good stock, Swedish, so I think that genetics has a lot to do with it!!! I have a lot of trouble with older women "trying" to hard, but I am usually honest and will try to help guide them toward a look that is still fun, but age appropriate.

With a move around the corner I think it is going to be the kick in the pants I need to purge, who wants to move boxes of ephemera(sp?). Yuck!!! Maybe there is a benefit to this moving every couple of years...what's the saying, "a rolling stone gathers no moss"?

Kiki said...

As for the length issue...I'm sure it is frustrating...can you find petites usually? I know we carry an ankle length at the store...its a 30 inch inseam. Still too long? It comes in petite online.... I'll investigate some lengths in the mall this week and see what I can come up with!!!

Kiki said...

Oh, how tall are you?? That will help.

P.O.M. said...

I'm very excited to see the progress. Man, I have NO life.

My best friend just cleaned out her shit and brought 2 boxes to MY house to give to my sister (baby stuff). I have a TINY apartment and these 2 boxes are taking up my "living room." I won't see my sister for about a MONTH. ARGH - this is driving me crazy.

There is just to much STUFF in this world sometimes. I wish I could live like a Spartan sometimes.

mary said...

Oh no. You're giving away your old American Girl clothes?!! Won't Kid and Baby want them one day? Children love to use their parent's old things -- I wouldn't get rid of them! (Can you tell that I'm a bit of a hoarder, too??)

mary said...

And Grandad's old model train!! Oh no! That's a valuable collector item, isn't? (I'm totally derailing your efforts, aren't I?) But I'm with you on the old magazines. ;)

Deb said...

Here you are, m'dear:

"Moving My Emotional Baggage"

Mrs. Furious said...

oh I'm laughing over here....
Fear not the AG clothes were not exactly stored well and are stained and "nibbled on". The amount of cleaning to get them all sanitized (they were in my mother's attic for years) isn't worth it. I did save one outfit. I am saving the wardrobe I had for my AG doll since it is wood and we can hose it off outside!
The model train wasn't an "antique" and I doubt even a collectible. I think it is HO but we tried using it around our tree for several years which usually resulted in Mr F throwing tantrums as he had to constantly tighten up the tracks, etc.(it had seen better days) We got a new one for Kid.

I'm 5'3. Ankle is usually good but sometimes oddly long. My mother is only 5' and she is much harder to fit... even petite lengths can be too long. Sometimes our Gap will have returned petites but not too often.

Mrs. Furious said...

Believe me you have more of a life than I do. ;)

Mrs. Furious said...


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