7 TIPS TO HELP YOU PURGE YOUR STUFF

One morning, I woke up to get ready for work and I was a little behind schedule. I had no clue what to wear and really most of my clothes were dirty.  After shuffling through a myriad of colorfully mismatched pieces, I could not find anything suitable quickly enough. I ended up grabbing a simple denim shirt dress, a cape and tights with my favorite boots.

On my drive to work, I thought about the amount of crap in my closet. I don't mean just my clothes, I mean everything. I just have too much stuff. This wasn't a sudden realization. I knew that the clutter in my life was really getting in the way of my level of efficiency and peace in my own apartment. I knew for a fact that I would no longer be able to live in this kind of chaotic dysfunction (Yes, I'm being dramatic, but that does not mean it isn't true!)

The real problem was I could not find the energy or motivation to do it. I kept trying to pull a few things out of my closet here and there, but it seriously was not working. Some things would just end up back on a hanger (or closet floor) and I was about ready to give up. For any large cleaning task, it is really important to make sure that you prepare yourself for  it.

STOP PROCRASTINATING

My apartment has this really useful storage closet built under the stairs (seriously a wonderful use of space!) However, there is a serious dilemma with spaces such as these:

YOU FILL IT WITH JUNK.

Not only is it filled with junk, it is hidden. It is the place where you toss things when you have guests on short notice. It's the place that gets forgotten and filled more and more until you come in and find that The Boogeyman has decided to take residence there. (Seriously the Boogeyman will move in. That is why you have to stop procrastinating because you definitely don't want the Boogeyman living in your junk wasteland) The longer you wait to purge, the worse it gets. You will lose things, buy more stuff and in general, waste money because you don't know where things are. It is time to get a handle on your stuff today.

If you've filled a box to drop off at your local thrift store, take it. Right now. I'm serious; bookmark this page, get in your car and drop that box off. The longer it sits, the more likely those items will filter themselves back into your life or in the back of a closet. If you have a full junk drawer and you know it it is more junk than drawer, empty it. Like yesterday. 

HAVE A CLEAR HEAD

Getting rid of the things that you have been clinging to for half of your life can be emotional. Trust me when I say it will be much easier if you are in the right mindset. Read about minimalism, find out how a cleaner space has helped someone so you can be encouraged to do the same.

Plan ahead. If you know you have a huge task ahead of you, set aside a day and know that is when you are going to be cleaning. This way you are mentally prepared for it. Eat a great breakfast and get to work and you will be much ore effective. I promise (Tweet me if you aren't and I'll give you some more advice!)

ASSESS YOUR PRIORITIES

Being able to simplify your life means that you are also able to determine what it most important. Make a list of the things you need and eliminate the things you don't. It sounds really simple, and it can be.

Go room by room and make a note of what items you need in each room. Create a plan that will help you overcome the junk in each room.

START WITH SMALLER TASKS

If you have a lot of belongings, it will take some time to really make some headway on a purge. Starting with less daunting tasks can give you a sense of accomplishment that will propel you to take on the larger projects. Head into your bathroom cabinets and throw out the products you never use (ahem...separated nail polish, that cleanser you hate, and that bottle of lotion with two dried up globs in it). Pull old papers out of your desk. Clear a small space, like your coffee or dining room table. I am telling you, having one clear space will make you feel so much better. From there you can move to a bigger task like your overflowing closet.

BE HONEST ABOUT THE THINGS YOU NEVER USE

Come on  you know you don't use that 5-year-old blush that broke your skin out. Why is it with your makeup still? Throw it away it expired 4.5 years ago anyway.

This is something that can generally be difficult because of the fact that we don't like to feel like we are wasting out money. If you spend $20 on a moisturizer and it breaks you out, don't send it to the product wasteland where it will surely dietake it back to the store immediately. The same with clothes that don't fit properly, shoes that cut your feet, and anything else you find that you have not used within the store's return timeframe. It is so worth it to just get your money backeven if you have to get a gift card. Your life will be much simpler when you don't have useless things haunting your dreams. I know, I know, this can be hard. It is sometimes embarrassing to return stuff. Hey, my hands are raised here! I tend to be an impulsive spender and later realize I never needed the item. I will swiftly pack that stuff up and take it back.

ENLIST SOME HELP

One day, my best friend was helping me clean (AKA telling me I need to throw crap away) and I just kept holding on to certain things. She gave me one of those stale faces and was like "throw that away"

When you're having trouble with the last tip grab a roommate, your sister, best friend - someone who will tell you the truth. Someone who will question why you are hanging on to that ratty t-shirt from the 7th grade. Having someone around when you are cleaning can help you get rid of more than you ever would have on your own. Even if you have some second thoughts about that box that has been in the back of your closet for 5 years, you probably don't need it. You will never need it.

CONSIDER THE VALUE OF PURGING

READ: THE BENEFITS OF PURGING YOUR CLOSET

The most important thing to remember is that clutter can cause a lot of unnecessary stress in your life. Purging as much as possible will lift a weight off of youliterally and figuratively. I'm telling you, as you get rid of more things, you will find yourself feeling better. Every time a full box goes out of your house, you will give a huge sigh of relief.

Think about whenever you have to move to a new place. Purging is not only beneficial but actually necessary to reduce the cost of moving. You literally are forcing yourself to get rid of things that you haven't used in years. Have that mindset. Know that you are going to make your life much easier if you go ahead and take on the task of throwing many (many many many) things away.

WHY IT WILL SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE

The reason why I am passionately and emphatically imploring you to hop on the purge wagon is because I know that you will feel better.

You will be more efficient.

You will stress out less.

You will not regret it.

Simply put, having less things to worry about automatically makes things a little easier. You won't have to spend time searching for things you know is somewhere. There will be much more time for you to spend doing something productive like taking those five minutes you would normally spend frantically digging through your closet to write down a to-do list. Read a chapter in the Bible. Stretch. Eat a second bowl of cereal – whatever it is you need!

I encourage you today, get going, it can only benefit you.

I recommend starting with your closet!

tiffanyima