Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Purging Pointers to Get You Started!

I like to talk myself through things, literally. If you were to walk into my house at any point during the day, you would think I was entertaining a few people. Nope, just me, myself and I.  It's like getting psyched-up before the big game, adrenaline pumping, crowd cheering you on!  Some of my best ideas have been discovered while talking with myself ..... So, whatever works!

Well, this morning I needed a good pep talk as it was Day 1 of Lent and my household purge. It is always hard for me to get started on big projects. So I thought I would share a couple of pointers that I discovered during this process to help you get started as well. 

----- Pick a really overflowing spot that has been driving you crazy!  Something easy in content, like plastic shopping bags or that mountain of towels in your linen closet. You want to fill a bag quickly to get you revved up and eager to do more. Don't start with something sentimental, like photos or kids possessions,  or anything time consuming like office papers.

For example, I started in our library as it is the drop-all spot of our home. It lies between the common area and bedroom area of our home, so it piles up with things going to either zone.  Such as laundry, odds and ends from reno projects and this ......

Those are two blow-up mattresses that have been in the corner of my library for a few weeks now. We had family visiting so the little ones used them to bunk in with their cousins. However, we discovered that both mattresses had slow leaks when the kids woke up flat on the floor in the morning. Oops!  I grabbed two more beds for the next evening but these two damaged ones ended up here ..... and never moved.  I kept telling myself that I was going to patch them when I had some extra time ..... yeah right! That's not going to happen ..... So they were the first items in the garbage bag. Good-Bye! And they were sizable, so the two of them took up more than half of the bag.

----- Check your local waste collection bylaws. Halfway through my morning of purging, I realized that I was putting a lot of recyclables and garbage in with my donations. I figure the last thing we want to do at the end of this project is to backtrack through 40 bags and separate it all!


So I grabbed a clear bag for  garbage,  blue for recycling and black for donation (as that is what our local waste management requires.) And I don't know about you, but our collection laws are strict. We have officers that do random spot checks curbside, tag bags that do not pass inspection and even fine homeowners. So not only do we want to avoid these penalties, but we also want to help the charity workers who sort through our donations and of course our environment.

----- Make lists as you go. I have been using an exercise book to keep my purge project halfway organized. It keeps me on track and although I don't follow it strictly, it is nice to have guidelines when your mojo starts to dwindle.

I made a list of target areas in the house that I need to tackle and I continually add to it as I go along.

I am a procrastinator and find lists keep me on target. I would be tempted to stop purging and paint my linen closet if I thought it needed a fresh coat. But now I just write it down in the margins for a later time. Also,  when I purge an item that I want to sell instead of donate, I'll take note of the item, plus a price and certain details such as it comes with a manual or extra parts. These side notes help immensely later on.

----- Keep a tally of how many bags of garbage and recycling you send to the road each week from this purge project. The paper and packaging is all stuff that has been kicked out of the house. But I cannot hang on to garbage for end results! So a tally will do just fine.

I hope everyone is having as much success as I am through this process. It has been so rewarding to see that donation pile grow each and every day! Let me know how you are making out!


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