Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How I get rid of stuff

I have been slowing going through all the rooms in the apartment and trying to get rid of things. We don't really have a lot that we don't use or love because we move so often. We've moved almost every year for the last 7 years that we've been together. Before that I was in college and moved every year to a new apartment for the school year. I've lived in 10 apartments in the last 12 years. That's a lot of moving and it makes me tired just thinking about it. When we moved from Seattle to Pittsburgh, we got rid of everything even our furniture. We were able to fit everything we owned including our pets into a 4 door sedan and a teeny tiny trailer.

I like to keep the amount of things we own to a minimum and my desire to own less seems to grow every year. I've also been working on buying things that last longer and using items until they're worn out. I donate a lot of the stuff we don't need because we didn't really use it that much and it still looks good.

My new plan of attack is to buy less stuff. I've started making list before I go to Target and not buying anything that isn't on the list. It's been challenging but I know I don't need any of that stuff and I'll probably be putting in the donate pile in a few months when we move again.

This is how I get rid of items:

1. I go through one room a day and make a bag for donating and another for throwing away. If I'm unsure about getting rid of something it goes in the donate bag. I usually give myself a few days to decide before I take everything to donate.

2. Have one box of memories or sentimental items. Philip and I both have a medium sized cardboard box of old photos and sentimental items in or hall closet. If I have something that I really want to keep but I don't use it or want it out for decoration, it goes in the box. I know I should probably let go of some of my silly knick knacks but I feel ok about having only one box.

3. Put clothes away for the season. I like to put away my winter clothes each year to make some space in the closet and it helps me to go through my clothes twice a year. When I go to put items back in for the season, I always take another look at them and decide if I need to get rid of things or donate them. I'm not a great clothes shopper so not having the things I need really motivates me to go buy new items.

4. Get rid of items that pile up. I try to go through our mail and coupons but I still find piles of receipts and mail I didn't know if I'd need later all over the apartment. We have a receipt drawer that I clean every few months and a small basket for mail and coupons that I go through and throw away expired and not needed items. I'm so bad at remembering to use coupons! I also recycle all of my magazines. I have so many magazines and I used to keep them but after 10 moves, I've realized they're too heavy and I usually never go back to read them anyway.

5. Throw away the old stuff. This might seem obvious but I never seem to do it. I buy new make-up and hair products but I never actually throw away the old stuff. I use a hair product a few times, decide that I hate it, and then I keep it for 5 years just to make sure that I really don't want to use it. We have a small kitchen right now with about 4 cabinets so I've been getting rid of food items that I know we'll never eat and I finally threw away a ton of hair products and make-up containers with only an ounce left in them.

+ cookies
+ clean laundry
+ Annie dog dreaming

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