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No DIY to share today. I’m knee (waist? shoulder?) deep in this:

The bottom drawer of my remodeled primary closet (one of the first “finished” projects I’ve ever done in this house) broke. Which should be an easy fix most of the time, but with the way the cabinet is built, the broken drawer spread the entire two side panels apart when someone (who shall remain nameless and as innocent as an angel) jammed the drawer back in place when it wouldn’t cooperate. So, since the two side panels are slightly off by about half an inch, the bottom two drawers won’t catch on the track slides, and needs a more time-consuming fix (aka more than hitting with a hammer, so I’m procrastinating more than I should).

But I realized: if I’m going to have to pull out the drawers to fix the cabinet, I might as well go through those drawers to get rid of clothes I don’t need or wear anymore. And if I’m going to actually have a small stack of stuff to give away, I may as well fill an entire bag (or two). And if I’m going to get enough of them together to haul to Goodwill, I may as well go through the baskets and get rid of anything else I don’t think is worth keeping.

Halloween stuff. Old handbags. A basket of shoes I thought I’d already gotten rid of. Yikes. My closet is now an embarrassment.

I’m realizing that I just as easily could have called this post “If You Give a Girl a Broken Drawer” (I have been accused of personifying this book more than a few times to know it’s an accurate assessment).

I’m also realizing I’m putting a completely trashy pic of my house on the internet… again. But you guys seem to love when I share the imperfect stuff (blogs are full of perfection, aren’t they? I get jealous too). So, here it is again (shudder).

For the next few days at least, it looks like part of my energy will be spent purging ALL THE THINGS. It’s long overdue, and it’s not just for my clothes/handbags/shoes. The kitchen will be having its own inventory as I’m washing dishes and putting things back into cabinets (things got a little dusty and I’m slowly cleaning everything within reach).

I’m also damn tired of eating off the cheap college-y crap I bought from Walmart five years ago, so I’m ready to have matching plates and glasses without logos on them like a grown-up. After all, I buy the good toilet paper and paper towels these days. #movingonup

I guess it’s all coming to more of an urgent item on the to-do list now that I’ve spent the last few months contemplating a move. Even though that’s been delayed a little longer than I first thought, the reality has sunk in. I think it’s all going to be simple until I am slapped in the face with having way too much shit for one person. Time to let go and simplify.

None of this is really all that appealing blog-wise, but I’m curious to know how others find themselves suddenly doing spring-ish cleaning at random times of the year. Does it just reach a point where you simply have to start chucking things in the trash? Do you mentally set dates on your calendar for purging? Does anyone have tips that don’t involve just throwing everything away and starting over? Spill.

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  1. We just did a mini purge. My Mother-in-law had a yard sale this past weekend asked if we had anything we wanted to sell. We went through some of our stuff and loaded up my car. Wish we could have gotten rid of more but I think it would have taken a long time to go through all our crap. And we just didn’t have that much time before the yard sale.

  2. I’m going through a whole-house purge as I gear up for a move, too. I read a tip that helped me decide what to keep and what to donate/toss — ask yourself if you’d buy it again. If not, out it goes! I’ve gotten rid of literally three carloads of accumulated junk, and it feels amazing. I’m also becoming quite a pro at Craigslisting without getting murdered.

    1. Great tip. I have tried that before and I think I’ve also heard it phrased as “do I like this enough to carry it during the move?” and out it goes :) I’d love to hear your not-getting-killed Craigslist tips as well!

      1. Take a lot of clear pictures from different angles (4-5 seems to be the sweet spot), and include the brand name and a link to the full-priced item whenever possible. I sold a Target bookshelf and some nice Oneida plates by demonstrating just how much they were saving by buying mine. Do your research to see how much others are selling similar items for, and price yours just under that.

        Safety wise… If it’s small enough to load it in your car, meet in a public parking lot during daylight. If it’s small enough to carry but too big for your car, haul it out to the driveway and lock up the house while you meet them (also during daylight). If all else fails, invite Dad over for cupcakes during the showing. Dads will trade a lot of time and labor for baked goods.

  3. I am in a constant state of purge. City living has taught me well: a new pair of shoes means an old pair is out the door. Same thing for any article of clothing or any decor item. Storage space in NYC is at a premium and I’ve moved often enough (14 apartments in 18 years) to want to keep things as simple as possible. Constant. Purge. Highly recommended.

  4. It will feel so good when that mess is gone! When you donate you have to make a list of items donated and then get the slip from them. Yes, it is a pain, and much easier to look and throw into a bag for donation. However, the time is worth it for taxes. I have had to insert all donations into TurboTax when my husband files. I get to see our money come back. And I know the pain. I have two growing girls and a ton of clothes I donate. We have a HUGE closet with all the shelves and rods–so fancy. Yeah, for my Life is Good tees and exercise pants! The shelves are filled right now with clothes in need of donating…and recording for tax purposes. :( It is a pain but feels so good when I am done. Great clothes for someone else to enjoy and we save some money on taxes. :)

  5. I never do spring cleaning – it’s all about fall nesting for me! Something about the changing seasons and knowing I’ll be spending a lot more time indoors when the winter comes, plus almost-fresh eyes after spending so much time out and about and not at home while I enjoy the summer weather…September and October is when our house gets a deep cleaning, serious purging, and sometimes a little redecorating.

  6. Mine is always spontaneous. I’ll be putting away laundry, need an extra hanger, and two hours later I have a pile of thrift store donations. I always use the same method when I’m cleaning out a space. I designate four piles – “keep”, “toss”, “donate”, and “goes in another room”. I’m not finished until each of those piles has been addressed (the last one always being the hardest, because things migrate from EVERYWHERE!). This method works well for me, and has helped pare down my belongings for 3 major moves in the last 5 years.

  7. One in, one out is my rule, too. I went all crazy a few weeks ago and purged almost the entire content of my wardrobe. Now that I only have less than 50 items left, getting dressed is more easy than ever. Everything goes together and works within a color scheme of two basic and two accent colors. Owning less actually increased my outfit options, strange as this sounds.

    I go by this: When evaluating what to keep, try to build outfits with this item. Can you come up with at least three outfits? It can stay. If not, out it goes.

    Good luck with decluttering. The process is dreadful, but the feeling of space and relief afterwards is great.

    1. I’ve been trying to subscribe by the “one in – one out” philosophy as well and I love doing that! My closet space is not miraculously growing so if I really want a new shirt I have to say “see ya” to an old one. I love feeling organized and decluttered… it does wonders for your mind!

  8. I recently went though a cross country move. It makes you incredibly honest about whether or not you need something when you calculate the cost of shipping it and/or deciding whether it makes the cut to make it in the car for the big drive. I sold every last bit of furniture that wasn’t either sentimental or expensive. It was cheaper to sell and repurchase ikea stuff than it was to ship it from NYC to California. Same with clothes. If it hadn’t been worn in the last 12 months it went out. Sadly a lot of books didn’t make the cut because they were too heavy as well. Whatever I couldn’t sell on Craigslist,” I put up on freecycle (why drop things off if people will come pick it up instead?) and the rest of the items either went to goodwill or out on the stoop for people to grab. All in all I downsized so well that when I got to California I couldn’t fill my apartment. The fresh start felt amazing though.

    Best of luck!

  9. Oh! And I started about a month out before my move. The closer it got, the quicker I was to toss or donate items. I think out of pure exhaustion. Lol.

  10. I have been simplifying a LOT lately. Two years ago I moved from a HUGE old farm house that I lived in alone to a small two bedroom with my BF and his two kids. Clutter has been slowly suffocating me! I am all about getting rid of excess and living with less.

  11. September is actually when I tend to be most inspired to purge ALL THE THINGS. (Though I have been known to do things like Holley mentions above.) The last time I decided to do a purge, I made a rule that one large trash bag would be filled every week. I’d do it on trash night. More often than not, the bag was filled with things for the Goodwill, and not actually trash. I began in the basement and worked my way up. I am the anti-clutter. If I don’t love it/use it/need it, it’s gone. Otherwise I feel strangled by the schtuff.

  12. I hate clutter, that’s why I have a general cleaning every week. It’s a must for me or I will lost it if I see a single clutter on my house.

  13. I’m sure you’ve heard of the purge technique for your closets: turn all of your hangers around. Then, as you use an item, right the hanger. At the end of some time limit (ie. 3 months) whatever is still turned around gets axed!

    Could you adapt that for shelves? store things backward? fold them inside out, etc. Then at the end of 3 months toss out anything still in that state!

    Good luck with your purge!

  14. I love that I’m not the only one that this happens to lol. Also… I so recognize a wig lol. I only knew what it was because I just got one to practice on [and its not very user friendly].

  15. I am one of those who go in a room to get/do/put up something and 4 hours later have 3 or 4 huge garbage bags for the curb. And always starting around 9 / 10 pm. I do this several times a year as the mood hits.

  16. Movie idea…. The Purge: House Clean Up. This is something I should probably do before it is Winter and I become extra lazy. Thanks for the motivation!

  17. I can’t stand clutter. It’s hard for me to leave my house if the pillows aren’t straight on the couch. I might have a problem.

  18. I always start this when I’m digging in the closet for something to wear for formal occasions. I tend to store longer and fancier dresses in the back of the closet and digging on the way in I usually discover several things I haven’t worn in a long time. And once I start a donate pile I figure I will go through the whole closet, and eventually the whole room. I did this a few months ago and it felt great.