Here is some visual evidence of what I was up against in the context of all the stuff I had stored in my parent's basement:
As you can see, it was a mismatch of boxes, furniture and bags. It was quite the task: that's for sure! I started by making notes that read 'donate', 'garage sale/sell', 'keep/store', 'keep/move' and 'garbage/recycle'. I then just began going through everything and matching it to the corresponding note and sorting everything into piles. I consolidated a lot of the stuff I wanted to keep to either move or store in a few plastic boxes instead of having all sorts of random bags and whatnot hanging around. It took me a few days and a little help from my friends but I did it!
What I learned in doing this purge:
- Sometimes it's hard to part with material possessions because of the perceived value and/or emotional attachment associated with these items;
- It definitely helps to have an unbiased second or third party to ground you in reality when trying to decide whether to part with certain items;
- In the end it's just stuff and it ultimately doesn't make me a more happy person nor defines who I am as a person or my worth to society;
- It feels really great to purge myself of a lot of the stuff that has been weighing me down physically and emotionally for many years.
- I've spent a lot of money over in the years in accumulating all this stuff and sometimes spending money I didn't have;
- There are many areas in my life that I can look to for becoming more minimalist;
- Now that I've purged the best way to continue in my minimalism quest is prevention;
- The best form of minimalism is to appreciate and use all the possessions I already have as well as loving and taking care of them.
Here is my 'after' picture of all my stuff:
The top left picture is the stuff to move, the top right picture is stuff in storage in my parent's basement, the bottom left picture is a couple pieces of furniture to move and the bottom right picture is the stuff to sell, donate or throughout. As you can see, it's a lot more manageable and organized.
I'm personally feeling much lighter after doing this purge and I hope it inspires others to do the same. It took a move to motivate me to get my butt in gear for my purge but you don't need an excuse: you can purge at any time. If you're thinking about doing a purge in the near future here is a handy chart, that my sister found and sent me, that may help you sort through the chaos:
Good luck with your purge and please share what worked, what didn't work and what/who helped you in your journey to minimizing your life. As always here's to your uncommonly wealthy life! :)