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Friday, June 8, 2012

Get Rid Of The Stuff

I have been working for over two years now to get rid of the junk in our house.  After we were rudely told that we had too much stuff, by someone I would actually like to thank now, we were offended.  At first.  Then we realized that they were right and we started getting rid of the stuff.

We had lived in our house for nearly three years and had three kiddos by then.  I saved everything "just in case" we might need it.  It took over our attic, garage and every closet we had in our house.   When we had to quickly move to Wylie and Michael was stuck doing all of the moving because I was two to three weeks postpartum, he told me we had to purge.  I was upset.  I didn't want to get rid of baby items that we could eventually use.  I liked all of our stuff.  I also watched the stress and pain on his face when he was moving everything.  I knew it needed to be done.

So we started going through everything.  We would take a box, go through it, and decided if we could sell it, throw it away or if it just had to stay.  It took us a few weeks, since Bell was so tiny, but when we finished we felt lighter.  It was a good thing.  My parents and sister had a garage sale for us and we were able to make some much needed money from the items we sold.  

Then Michael joined the army and we decided to move in with his parents.  As we were packing all of our stuff, we would go through things here and there.  Again trying to get rid of as much as we could.

Michael and I would go to storage and go through boxes, decide on furniture that needed to go and take boxes back to the house with us to go through.  We donated lots of items, got more for another garage sale and threw away things that just shouldn't have been kept in the first place.  I continued to do the same when Michael was in BCT (basic).

A lot of the decision to get rid of the stuff after he joined the army is the weight limit they have for moving household goods.  Typically soldiers in the lower ranks are either single, have a spouse or maybe have one kiddo.  Now, because of the economy, more married people with kids are joining and making it work with the allowed amount.  We are allowed 8,000lbs.  Seems like a lot right?  It can be depending on how much furniture you have.  Some people have full bedroom suites with dressers and such for each bedroom.  That weight adds up fast.  Tools, clothes and books are heavy.  

We worked hard to get under the allowed amount and we did it.  We came in with 4,700 lbs for five people.  Since then I have done two more rounds of purging.  We have added things to our house.  Tv, bed, Bella's bed, entertainment center and such.  We have tried to keep track of how much it has weighed too try to stay under.  If you go over you have to pay so much per pound.  Not something we want to have any part of.  :)

I participated in a good friend's group this year with the goal of getting rid of 2012 things in the year 2012.  I have gotten rid of 2401 so far.  Actually I need to add four things to that official count.  

We go through each room in our house once a month to make sure we haven't missed anything that just needs to go.  The only things that I don't use the "if you haven't used it or worn it in six months get rid of it" rule is with maternity clothes, regular clothes when I am pregnant, precious baby items that I can not part with and our one box of memory items.  

Michael and I share a tub for our memories.  We go through it along with everything else and we haven gotten rid of things when we feel we can.  He has items from vacations and a bank his grandfather made him.  I have items from my grandmothers and my hospital socks from the day I had Sunny.  I just recently gave Bella the Sunshine Care Bear that Michael had given me after Sunny.  I cried when I gave it to her, remembering when and why I got it, but seeing her playing with it is precious.

Letting go of stuff is good.  It makes you feel lighter.  More free. there anything you can give up?

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! I started cleaning out in earnest when Judah was about 1. By then it had been about 3 years since I'd really gone through stuff since i had 2 back-to-back pregnancies. It started as a Spring cleaning but by the time Christmas rolled around and I was still working at it I had to admit this this was an all out purge. We're now 2 and a half years in and have gotten rid of so many things and there is still so much more to go through! I've found though that the more I get rid of the smoother our household runs.