The Purge Begins

No, not like the TV show. I’m talking about stuff–my stuff. Way too much stuff that’s collected in my house in the 25 years we’ve lived here, and has got to go before we move next summer.

I went through a big purge of stuff a couple years ago, but never got around to my office or garage. Let’s not even talk about my husband’s garage–yes, he has his own, he is Mr. Goodwrench, after all. But even in the parts of the house I got to, clutter has re-accumulated since the last purge. In some cases, not enough was purged to begin with–there’s still stuff there that I don’t want enough to move. So out it must go.

I’m happy to save I’ve managed to decrapulate my office, working just fifteen minutes a day over the past two weeks, Flylady style. (And isn’t “decrapulate” a great word?  So perfect for what I’m doing.) Today I worked in the basement, where there were still wood scraps, tools, and mostly trash from back last summer, when I was building mudroom and closet shelves for our flip house that we sold in July.

Now the purging will get tougher. I’ve hit the areas I missed on the last purge, so now it will really be a matter of asking if I want something enough to be worth moving it–and asking that of almost everything. The other challenge is that a lot of what needs to go is my husband’s, but he’s the kind who will wait until right before he needs to begin packing.

One side of my future office, with less bookshelf space than the current one (door is to the right)

Much of what I need to get rid of is books–and you all know how tough that is! In some cases, these are books I loved–but not enough to re-read them (something I almost never do anyway). I gave away a few boxes of them in my Readers Group Newsletter, then stopped due to just not having enough time and energy. Now it’s time to start that back up, so if you want to win a box of books, now’s a great time to join! Just click the link above.

House Update: Not much has gone on since our visit, as it’s mostly rained since then. The waterproofers were able to get their work in on the day we left, before the next rain, and plumbing for the basement drains is in. But this week is finally supposed to be dry, and they should be able to get the basement floor poured, then framing begins!

What I’ve Been Reading: My new Kindle Paperwhite came in this week, yay! I can now read in the dark again. Still haven’t finished anything there, now that I’m reading two novels–the paper one I already started, and am continuing when I go to bed before my husband, and an ebook I’m reading when it needs to be in the dark. So nothing to report there yet. In nonfiction, I finished Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. (On a funny note, when we first got our daughter a cell phone, she used to get tons of calls for Dave Evans from bill collectors until I yelled at one and told them the phone number was an eleven-year-old girl’s, and we didn’t know any Dave Evans. Somehow, I don’t think it was this guy. 🙂 ) I will admit this book didn’t do a lot for me, mostly because it turns out I’m not its intended audience. It’s focused on careers, and is geared toward people who are unhappy with their life or just don’t know what they want to do, and is full of exercises to work through to get ideas and figure that out. It’s ideal for recent grads, retirees looking for an encore career, or for anyone who wants a big change in that area. Judging from my recent career win in getting approval to take my job with me when we move, you might correctly guess I’m not in that position. The book also had lots of examples about people who were going through that, which I enjoyed. I guess what I got out of this the most is assurance that I’m on the right path with the changes I’m working on right now, and that’s not a bad thing!


What I’ve been Writing: Another 1400 words–which equals goal met, whoo-hoo! The app has really helped, especially on those days I just don’t feel like writing. Okay, I did take two of those this week, but my goal allowed for that, so no worries. I also met my goal of increased output on the days I did write, and got over 200 words each time. Still not tons in itself, especially considering how many people won NaNoWriMo this year (or even participated and “failed” to success by writing more than they otherwise would have), but hey, I’ll take it! is also helping me with decluttering. Like writing, I have a goal to work on that at least five days/week.

Since this week is likely to be a busy one with all kinds of holiday to-do’s coming up, I’m going to stick with the same goal–200 words/day, for at least five days. Other goals include continuing with the purging, and getting the Christmas decorations up and most of my shopping done (thank you, Amazon!).

What about you–do you have stuff you need to purge? What about books–how do you purge them? If you celebrate the holidays, how are your preparations coming along? And how are you doing with whatever goals you may have, whether writing or otherwise? I’d love to hear from you–please share in the comments!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

6 Responses to \

  1. Oh my gosh, stuff! We moved three years ago but didn’t have time to do a real purge. So there’s stuff still in boxes–in my studio, in the shed, in the storage unit. Stuff I can’t find. Boxes that might have things I want so I can’t just get rid of them all. I so hear you on the purging.

    I like your 200 words and five days goal. I also like the idea of a weekly goal. I am going to add that to my list of things I’m thinking about adding in while trying to figure out what works for me for getting things don.

  2. I have a tremendous amount of things to purge. Between my kids growing up through their teens and my husband’s death in January – there’s a small mountain. He was not tidy, it used to become a point of argument, and I gave up for a few years. The house is messy, and then some.

    Our family goal in 2019 is to get the house and yard clean and keep them that way. My personal goal for 2018 is to know each and every item in my bedroom. I may not get there before January 1, but I am going to be a LOT closer!

    Great job on your writing and decluttering to date!

  3. Do I have stuff to purge? Not really. Oh, I have books I need to get rid of and papers to shred (which I am doing slowly, but surely), but our purge happened this summer DURING the move. It was not fun. Good on you to start now. Just take it slow. Ask your daughter if she wants anything. If she doesn’t, and you thought you were saving it for her, then maybe it’s a good thing to toss now. And that bit that if you haven’t used it in a year (or two or three or four…) you probably don’t need it, is a good rule to follow.

    I’m happy to report I finished decorating for the holidays. I put up more than I usually have, but then the house is clean! Yay! I also like that there’s more room for the tree (which, believe it or not, was one of the things I looked for when we selected plans for the house). As you go through your Christmas decorations, now would be a good time to see if there is anything you can toss (or give away), too!

  4. Great job, Jennette! Stuff? Yikes. We haven’t purged since we merged our two single lives into a married one. Don’t ask about my basement and garage. One of my goals for 2019 is to get some of that stuff recycled out of here.

  5. Kim, you’d be surprised what you could do in just 15 minutes a day going through stuff! I have done this a number of times, and I’m always surprised how much gets done in that short amount of time. Weekly goals are a must for me – good luck figuring out what works for you!

    Shan, thanks! My husband has tons of stuff, but most of it is in the garage. Once it’s decluttered, it’s so much easier to keep on top of keeping the house clean!

    Stacy, those are all good tips! Most of our daughter’s stuff is already out. I am in the process of selling the kid-sized violin she played for one or two school years. I went through the Christmas decorations last year, but there’s probably more to purge. And I’m so with you on the tree – we’re so excited our new house will have room for something besides a super-skinny one!

    LOL Lynette – it’s always the basement and garage, right? Good luck with your own decluttering!

  6. Oh, we’re mid-purge here as well, so… yeah, definitely must borrow that word. Forward mission decrapulate!

    I hear you about Designing Your Life… I peeked at it and set it down. It didn’t seem to fit my life at that point, and it sounds like you had a similar experience. Did you get more from it than the chance to scold a telemarketer? 😉