Our series that helps you live more intentionally & authentically continues. It's time to finally put quality of life FIRST!
At this juncture of purging, you’ve now gotten rid of the obvious stuff that you know had more to do with your relationship with time and procrastination rather than indecision. It’s the stuff you kept or stashed because getting it all the way out of your life and beyond your front door seemed like…well just a huge a pain in the ass. Especially annoying when Netflix just pinged you with an alert that the long- awaited second season of that series you adore, has just been posted for your viewing pleasure. Oh darn. Click. Snuggle, snuggle.
Well, hopefully you managed to stuff a few trash bags and at least got the chipped, the broken or useless-to-everyone crap (that even thrift stores don’t want) to the curb. Not so bad. Right? Already you’re beginning to see progress and what’s left is now the stuff you know for sure you’ll never use but nevertheless is in good shape.
Wait, you say? Some of it is perfectly good and maybe later on you might need it (even though you already forgot you even had it)? Okay now just remember you probably have only rediscovered it BECAUSE of the purging process…seriously? So what you’re really saying is that now that you’ve re-seen it, you might want it AGAIN? Um, no fair! If you lived with it “out of sight” this long, you forgot you don’t need it? Well you still don't. So, you really can’t wage the argument that you re-want it …yet. Because the next pass is about to ensue.
This is when we begin to tackle…err… ease into the realm of indecision. Just a bit. One toe.
Now I must make this caveat before I go further.
Those who actively go through the purging process, versus just downsizing, are the first to say it’s a completely different experience and certainly far different than simply reading about it.
While some of you are only perusing this out of curiosity, those who have actually done this purging process thus far, will attest that for them a whole lot more has already come up emotionally. It’s partly because in the process of sifting through everything (looking for the basic junk) one can’t help but see everything else too (even though the purging of those things should happen sequentially in other phases). While you know you’re not supposed to leap-frog, you can’t un-see either.
Things start getting personal and many claim (in various ways) that there’s an almost “out of body” feeling that begins to creep in. Mental movies start playing in their heads. Think of it as a little entertainment while one goes through the tedium of sorting and searching. Oddly enough this sense is actually triggered by the objects themselves.
Remember, encoded in every singe thing we own is the memory of when, how and why that thing got under your roof.
It's no different than looking at a photo album where the images instantly transport one back to the moment and circumstances when it was taken? Well, our things do the very same thing. And just like a bad photo of yourself that makes you cringe every time you see it, an object can do that same thing too. LOL
Some even say that just cranking up the music, and tuning out the rest of the world (while they re-saw what they’d collected) created a very “in-the-moment” vacuum – a space where their senses were heightened and concentrated and where time itself seemed to stop. “Memories, like the corners of my mind…”
I know…sounds very woo-hoo but in truth, when was the last time you turned off your info screens and unplugged to do something meaningful, just for you?
This is actually “creativity” itself beginning to surface in the only way it can with quiet, focused concentration…where the heart (outside of time) feels safe enough to open and the mind (always judging everything in real time) is over-ridden.
Any artist or crafter or writer or (fill in the blank) will attest that part of the reason they are propelled to do what they do, is because of that transportive absorption that happens. When they finally look up at the clock, and inexplicably literally hours have passed, it’s magic.
So while the process of purging can read well, it’s nothing compared to the actual experience.
Okay, now we begin the Debunk and Detox phase:
We’re debunking the perpetuated myth of why we need things that no longer apply to the lives we now have (let alone want).
We’re detoxing ourselves of that feeling of potential loss should, these things we’re emotionally (and inadvertently) hoarding, suddenly vanish.
Naturally in a totally capitalistic society, it’s ingrained in us from birth (by man), that we are what we ownand worse, we aren’t what we don’t. Certainly it’s not by God. Otherwise we COULD take it with us. LOL
So ease up on the cringing and judgments because that comes from years of being pummeled about how many toys constitutes “success”. Also know that for the first time in our history over half of our population is rethinking all this too. Yep, one out of every two people (whether they verbalize or act on it or not) are re-thinking the exact same stuff versus quality of life issue. So there’s never been a better time to purge and reinvent or even explain it (if you must) than right now.
Now it’s time to go through the stuff that you, in good consciousness, won’t throw away because you might have outgrown it, but someone else might be thrilled to have it. So this is when you need that information about those thrift and consignment places I asked you to find in your local community. Yep, kind of a drag, unless you’re like me and LOVE going to those places already!
As you begin to go through the “perfectly good” stuff, the only deciding factor is not if it usable…but do you still want or need it?
By that we mean this:
Do you want it enough to continue to pay for the space it takes up?
Have you used it in the last year?
Does it meet any of these qualifiers to earn its keep?
I like it because it makes my life easier.
I like it because it makes me feel good and tells my story accurately TODAY
I like it because having it, adds daily quality to my life.
If the honest answer to all the above is none of the above, than in the black bag it goes, outbound for the nearest donation center.
Don’t allow cherry picking:
If you are entertaining the idea of creating a pile especially earmarked for people you think might want or like your discards…don’t. Here’s the thing. Most of the things you think people MIGHT want…they usually don’t. If they do, they never come right over and take it out of your home. Weeks usually go by, which means that the momentum of purging gets stymied. If you really do think others might want some of your stuff then tell them where you’re taking it or make it an all or nothing proposition. “Here’s the whole bag dropped on you doorstep.” Bye-bye now.
If you think you’ll save it all up for a big garage sale…you won’t, because you haven’t already. Then strangers pick over your stuff leaving the junk. So, you still have to get rid of it anyway. So skip the detours and donate direct.
This is when the obvious stuff we mentioned gets the boot. It’s that list of stuff like the salad spinners (when you only by it pre-washed in the bag) and those “What was I thinking?” things ordered after midnight on QVC. LOL
It’s also the stuff that has antiquated (old electronics, etc.) and the things related to space-robbing brain farts you thought seemed like a good idea at the time. It’s also the duplicates like the 5 frying pans you clank through looking for your one favorite.
In fact it’s all the stuff you’ve been rummaging through to get to the stuff you really use. It’s the crap taking up prime real estate where the stuff you love and DO use, SHOULD be.
So far we haven’t taken the big plunge into the things that might hurt a little – things that are from the life you thought you’d have (sigh) and things that others tell you that you should never part with (hiss). That’s next.
However, just remember, as your creativity comes out to play, you’ll actually start to begin thinking of how you really want to live now—things you’d never have considered until now.
You Can Do It!