This post was originally posted on February 12th, 2013, but it is worth a read as you prepare for the next 91 Day Declutter Challenge.
While I take a minute to share an organizing thought, my 3 week old baby is sleeping peacefully next to me. I love hearing his little sleeping sounds. The last 3 weeks have mostly been a beautiful, sleepless blur, with plenty of bumps in the road. There are a few thoughts that have stood out to me and today I am going to share one with you.
As we struggled through infertility before my recent pregnancy, one way I attempted closure was to slowly purge the baby equipment remaining from my older children. Over time, we got rid of everything except one item I kept in case. It was a baby bouncer seat. The day finally came when I was ready to gift the bouncer to another family, so I loaded it in my minivan to drop off the next time I was out.
Ironically, that same day I decided to take a pregnancy test. I wouldn’t have even taken the test if my husband didn’t suggest it, because I had given up all hope. I was hosting a baby shower at my house that day. Friends had already started arriving when I snuck away to the bathroom really quick to take the test. I knew I’d enjoy the shower more if I could officially squelch any distracting thought that I might be pregnant, because I truly expected the test to be negative. Next to me now is the proof that the test was positive.
After the baby shower, I went to my minivan and took the bouncer out. You would think that this is a happy ending and a case for keeping a plethora of things just in case, but that is not the end of the story.
Since we’ve brought our baby home, we’ve been unable to lay him flat to sleep because of his reflux One day it occurred to me that we could use the bouncer as an inclined place to sleep. Perfect! And I thought maybe the vibration will help him feel like he is being held, because this baby is happy as long as he is being held.
Unfortunately, the battery compartment had completely ruined in the 5 years since it was last used. The vibration was so important to me that I went ahead and bought a new bouncer seat that day. We’ve dragged our used bouncer seat that is large and awkward through a move and it has taken up unnecessary space for a long time, all the while it was self-destructing because we accidentally left batteries in it. Not to mention, the wear and tear that came to it when my kids found it and crawled all over it and bent some parts beyond repair. And because I tried to keep it, the seat was deprived of actually being useful for someone else in the meantime. We would have been better off to sell it or donate it the instant we were done using it, while it was still in excellent condition and someone else could have gotten more use out of it.
There is so much stuff all over our homes that we are keeping in case, and these things are lowering in value every second they aren’t being used by someone who would appreciate them. By the time we get around to decluttering them (the time will come), they are completely useless. Clothes being given to the needy are so much more useful if the clothes are still in style. And that doesn’t apply to just clothes. So many things lose relevance the longer we wait.
I already know I’m going to get emails and comments about all the reasons you should keep this or that, trying to prove the purging principle incorrect. Go ahead, I love to hear from my readers, even when you disagree. However, I’ll go ahead and say that certainly I understand some things make sense to keep in case, but what I’m referring to are those things that WE KNOW SHOULD GO. I think you can all close your eyes and think of something you have kept long enough. When in doubt, get rid of it!!
Do you watch those antique reality shows? Do they make you think the junk in your house is increasing in value? My guess is that 99.9% of your junk will never be remembered or missed! And really, the other .01% is worth being a casualty. Some casualties are okay.
It is impossible to truly organize a space without purging and removing excess. What are you holding onto that needs to go? Go ahead, get rid of it!