Monday, April 29, 2013

Purging All The Things: Do You Want The Things Back?

Last year the Mister and I decided to put buying a house on the back burner, and commit to staying in our rental for another year.  Thus the Big Purge happened. I was tired of lugging around all this furniture I had no space for.  In fact, earlier in the year, tired of not being able to use the garage, we put all the spare furniture in storage. When we decided to stay in the rental, I got rid of nearly all the furniture in storage.  I sold it on craigslist and I gifted it to friends and babysitters.

I didn't stop at furniture--I got rid of drapes and rugs and vases and tablecloths and you name it, I got rid of it.  If it didn't have a specified place INSIDE my rental house, I got rid of it.  (I did keep hand me down children's clothing, Christmas decorations, and my former professional wardrobe in bins in the garage.  Having been out of work for five years, I could probably get rid of my professional wardrobe at this point. I haven't yet reached that mental point of giving it up yet.)  When the big purge was over, I think we had gotten rid of probably about half of what we owned.  

Then, after the Big Purge and the "we will live in this rental forever", circumstances changed where we could buy a house.  So we bought a house.  A house with 900 more square feet than our rental.  

We gave away half our stuff, and six weeks later bought a much bigger house.  Two rooms are nearly empty.  

Do I want all the stuff from the Big Purge back, you might be thinking?  

No.  No, I don't.  

Out of the dozens/hundreds of items I got rid of, I regret only two.  I got rid of our microwave, because the rental came with one and I didn't need the one we had. My main questions when getting rid of items were 1) do I need this, 2) can this be easily replaced, and 3) do I have a dedicated spot for this item inside my house?  Since I didn't need it, it was easily replaceable, and I had no where to put it in the rental, I got rid of it.  Of course, the new house did not have a microwave.  But, luckily $99 at Target got me a new one. The only reason I miss the microwave is that I am bleeding money at the moment and if I had just hung onto that damn microwave for six weeks I could have saved myself $99.  Its not the microwave I miss, it is the money.

The other item I wish I had held onto was the nursery rocking chair.  I loved that chair. It was puffy and overstuffed and comfy, and I loved reading to the kids in that rocker while they sat on my lap.  It was even big enough that I could have a kid on my lap and one sitting next to me, and a third sitting up on the edge of the arm.  Unfortunately, the big overstuffedness that made it so comfortable also made it too large to fit in any of the small rooms in the rental. When we switched Princess into a big girl bed there was no room for it in her bedroom (there was barely room for it when she was in the crib).  There was no place else to put it in the house or garage, so it went to storage.

I did not want to get rid of the chair, but I had no space for it, and it had to go.  I sold it to a young woman with a baby and a 2 year old, and funny enough she was from New Jersey, so I hope that she gets as much enjoyment out of it as I did.  At the heart of it, my feelings about that chair were not really about the chair so much as that time in my life.  That chair was my first big purchase for our nursery when we found out we were pregnant with our first child.  I spent many a night there rocking my babies.  Getting rid of that chair meant that I have big kids who don't need rocking.  Getting rid of that chair is the end of an era.

Maybe my babies don't need rocking anymore, but I miss that.


Anyways, there you have it. I got rid of half of our stuff and I only want one item back.

The best part of the big purge?  This is the first move ever where I have not felt like I am drowning in boxes and holy cannoli where on earth am I going to put all this crap.  This is SUCH AN AMAZING FEELING.  I'm not sure if its because I got rid of half our stuff or because I just added another 900 square feet--probably a little of both--but I am feeling that I can handle this! There is even room in the garage! Once I get the boxes unpacked and organize stuff, the garage should be fairly empty. I may even purge some more!

The house is unpacked now, although not entirely organized. The kids' rooms are mostly organized, the master bedroom is just piles of stuff all over the floor (the closet situation is...going to take me a while).  The living room/playroom is mostly empty of furniture and I cannot figure out at all how to arrange the room. (Its also a staging ground for dirty laundry and wet clothes drying racks and it is the very first thing you see three feet in the front door.) The garage is still full of boxes and will be for a while.

But the books are unpacked in the family room!  And this place feels like home.

Have you ever purged and wanted All The Things back?


  1. It does feel good to purge. It must feel good to be in your new home now:)

  2. Congratultions on your smooth move! I am glad you don't want your stuff back...and even your feeings about the chair aren't really about the chair.

    I have purged many, many times. So far, I can remember only one thing I regret getting rid of--a particular edition of Richard Bolles's "What Color Is Your Parachute" Books. There was a new one every year--but I didn't realise how great mine had been until I saw other editions.

  3. I was just wondering if you were regretting getting rid of all that stuff!
    I think we all do this - we keep stuff out of the fear that we'll want it or need it again. I have been getting rid of SO MUCH stuff, and I am sad when it's going but I never miss it afterwards.
    But I still can't bring myself to get rid of the stupid $30 ugly wooden Craigslist glider, so I do understand that feeling. I better get to rock a lot of grandbabies someday.

  4. No! No regrets!
    It is so awesome that you are basically unpacked. It took us MONTHS when we moved--because we didn't purge until after. Cane and I talk about probably having only one more move left in us (after the kids are launched and we can move to a smaller place), and our fantasy is to pretty much purge everything unless we totally love it.

    That said, I have a wicker rocking chair sitting in our storage shed. No place for it, but can't part with it. First "real" furniture I ever bought. And babies. Mine are 15 and I still can't let it go. :-)

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  6. Good for you! No regrets!

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