Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Great Purge

I mentioned in a previous blog that I've been feeling overwhelmed by everything I had to do this year. I have a lot of big personal changes going in the next few months that are taking up all my time and energy. At the very top of the list is a moving from and selling my home.

This year I plan to move out of the house I’ve owned for almost six years. Since the new place I’m moving to is bound to have less space (or at least we want to try and utilize that space for something more than storage) I’ve spent the last several months, sort and resorting through my things. Determining what I don’t need.

It’s amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in such a short time. Stuff you don’t need, stuff you’ve out grown, stuff you haven’t used in years but just never put the energy behind getting rid of. It’s amazing to me that I haven’t done a great purge like this before. It definitely would have been more enjoyable to live in my home if I had. But a move is the only thing that would have ever motivated me to do this decluttering.

It does feel good to get rid of this stuff. Its cleansing to get let go of all this stuff holding me down, but I’m doing my best to not just purge my home, but to help others by doing so. While most of the obvious stuff is going to goodwill (I’ve made three trips this year with clothes alone, and have several more treks to go), I’ve worked very hard to find places to send even the more unusual of used items.

If you have some stuff you’d like to purge and are looking for a few good places to send it, here’s a few great causes I’ve found.

  • For animal stuff (I have cat toys and treats my cats didn’t like, along with some left over stuff from some of my earlier guinea pigs) reach out to your local ASPCA, or you can go on Petfinder.com and find a local shelter in your area for the type of animal you had (I found a guinea pig rescue not that far from my home) that will be happy to take anything you can give. And if you can, add in a little food, or a donation while you drop off your used stuff, to help those that are taking care of all our furry friends.
  • Used Bras. No one really wants these pieces of used clothing. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have some very expensive bras that I’ve merely grown out of (a side effect of losing 80lbs over the last two years). With a little internet research I found a few organizations that will take used bras, including http://freethegirls.org/donate/give-bras/. This organization sells these used bras in other areas of the world, and helps pull girls out of the sex trade.
  • Glasses. Have any old or broken glasses around. Donate them to the Lions Club, they will fix them up and give them to those that can’t afford to get glasses of their own. http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/our-work/sight-programs/eyeglass-recycling/
  • Old cellphones. Have an old cellphone you’re not using, along with all those old chargers that don’t fit any other phone. You can donate it to Hpeline with Verizon that provides phones to victims of domestic violence to help them get in touch with the help they need. http://www.verizonwireless.com/aboutus/hopeline/index.html     
  • And of course if there’s anything else you don’t need any more, there are still the good old favorites, goodwill, the salvation army, and of course you can offer it for free on Craigslist or freecycle.

Don’t be like me. Don't wait until you absolutely have to declutter to start on this process. Take the opportunity now to get rid of anything you don’t need, and help someone else.

Is anyone else in the same boat as me? Anyone else doing some spring cleaning and getting rid of some much needed clutter? Or even just cleaning (I definitely don’t do that as much as I should)? Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re cleaning up this spring.


Tina Donahue said...

I've moved more times than I'd like to remember. Always a hassle. Great post, Willa. I've often given my nearly new underwear to Angel View (a charity in So Ca). Your post gave me even more ideas for charitable giving. :)

Fiona McGier said...

I pack away seasonal clothing every 6 months. When I take the container out twice a year, if there's anything in it I haven't worn in a year, I give it away. I do hold onto a few things that I might fit into if I lose a little weight, but I'm not holding my breath about it.

I usually give clothing and household stuff to Goodwill. They make it so darned easy, what with the drive-up drop-off! And the AAUW has a used book sale here yearly in the spring, as does my library. The only problem there is that I absolutely CANNOT attend or I end up buying more than I gave away!