I continue to shed stuff in preparation for my move and I keep faltering and regressing and yes, progressing. Half of my garage contains my discarded items, the purgatory for my family's belongings. My own personal trick? Don't ask yourself if you like it, ask yourself if you wear/use it.
Letting go can be very easy and very hard. A little bit of help goes a long way. I see immense value in hiring professional organizers and asking friends and family for their assistance.
My sister, visiting from Guam, gave me that LOOK when I said I wanted to keep something. My mom reminded me to be "ruthless." A friend came and relieved me of a pretty pile of my clothing. My Facebook friends and blog readers imparted their wisdom which I've shared below.
Other tips and mind tricks for purging:
I ask myself What do I want to keep? instead of What do I want to get rid of?
Take a picture for memory.
As you go through you're closet, stick to your intentions to only keep what you absolutely love the most most most.
If I haven't worn it/used it in 1 calendar year, it's automatically gone.
Only keep something if (1) You LOVE it, (2) You NEED it, or (3) it makes you money. The "love" and "need" had some specific criteria I'm forgetting right now, but on an initial pass, it helps to start whittle down the unnecessary things. When we moved last year, it helped to think about whether I really wanted to bother packing and/or unpacking something. If I was on the fence, it usually went in the "donate" pile.
I hang all my hangers the wrong way, witg the hook facing me, if i wear it, i hang it up the correct way. At the end of one year, my roomate has to go in and get rid of the items not worn in one year. (If i see it, it is too hard to get rid of, hence the roommate doing the discarding/donating)
For beauty products and the like, I pretend I'm packing for a big trip. Anything that's not used gets tossed out ASAP. It's ruthless, but it works well. I also use the hangers-wrong-way trick for clothes and it works like a charm!
Where are you going? That dictates what you keep and throw away. Does it suit your new life?
Don't hold onto things somebody else could be getting use from.
Take a photo for posterity and ditch it.
As with everything, I always think it is great to break things up into smaller chunks. Start with one draw, one storage closet, or the kitchen pantry. When one area is done, take a break (whatever you decide). Then, go to the next small area.
Encouragement and testimonials for purging:
A dear friend, who is older and wiser, once told me that many will spend the first 1/2 of their lives acquiring things, and the 2nd half of their lives giving things away. So true. I LOOOVE purging. The past 4 years have been an extended journey of simplifying in all aspects of my life, and it has been so very freeing. Less IS more!
Relatives still buy the kids toys, so I purpose it to "purge" their closets and shelves when they are occupied almost monthly. Somehow they acquire all these teensy things and my daughter would hold onto it forever if I let her! I try to be sensitive about things that could be sentimental, but the rest goes!! My closet never looked so fresh and free, and even my email inbox...over a period of 4 weeks I unsubscribed to almost every newsletter or advertisement that wasn't immediately relevant to me...it feels so good!!!! Even in the kitchen, pantry purge, linen closet purge, under the bathroom sink purge....GO FOR IT!!!
All in one year I got divorced AND started another business (in addition to the busy law practice I already had). I became determined to simplify. I set an intention to not only get organized but to get rid of 90% off everything and to not buy something else unless I a) NEEDED it (as opposed to wanted it) or b) got rid of two items for the one I'd buy. I felt as though I had been unburied from a grave!
I can honestly tell you that esp with kids most of us have so much more than we need. I have found (having moved 9x in 10years) that each time it is sad at first to part with things, but once you realize its the people, experiences and memories that bring hapiness its liberating and freeing to declutter and downsize. I think you will feel less overwhelmed, have more time and be happier once you purge. Less to clean too which is always nice.
I'm a purger. Love to get rid of stuff, And even I could do more of it.
We just recently moved. It was an eye opener to how much STUFF we didn't use but yet had to have it.
I went from 4bedrooms to a subaru wagon full of stuff to move to the bay. I took photos and said goodbye.
I just keep purging. I almost NEVER ever regret.
Thank you everyone for your help and please keep the advice coming, readers and friends! The rest of us need it.