to live beautifully

The Great Purge: Getting Through it All

So if you missed the first two instalments in the Great Purge series, you can find them here and here.

Today, I want to focus on how on earth we managed to get through so much junk and have a tidy room at the end of it all!

So, you already saw Rule #1, Share the Work With a Friend. Here are a few more.

RULE #2: THE BIN SYSTEM
BINS BINS AND MORE BINS!
I knew that the stuff we would keep was going to get stored in the bedroom closet in labelled bins. I had some in there already, so I dropped by Canadian Tire for some extras. They tend to have bins on sale often throughout the year, and have every size your storage space requires. Keep in mind for cupboard organization, the Dollar Store is always the way to go, but that is another story for another day!
As Des and I worked through the mess, we put things into “like piles.” Camping stuff, hunting stuff, office supplies…you get the idea. Most of this room is full of Colin’s hobbies, so it was a lot of “hunting, fishing, sports” piles!
Other important bins:

Garbage: SERIOUSLY! Throw it away! Obvi, throw out actual garbage. But, as much as I believe in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; there are times when you need to chuck it! Is it broken, is it missing the piece it needs to function, is there no way anyone else would want it? (no, the Salvation Army doesn’t want your underwear with the shot elastic)
Also, get rid of expired stuff – you shouldn’t be keeping sunscreen for 10 years. And that old lip balm smells off…
Recycle what can be recycled (the pile of cardboard I have for recycle pick up is unreal). But when in doubt – throw it out!!!

Sell: Some of you may ignore this bin, for the simple fact that you hate selling stuff online, in garage sales, etc.
For me, all this work was going to pay off in more than just a clean room! I mean, do you know how many gifts I have from my mother-in-law still in their original package? Kiddingnotkidding.
I do, however, hate garage sales. All that sitting in an old lawn chair all day, bartering with some sweaty dude on the sale price of your old patio set, and then he wants change for a $50. I. HATE. IT.
So I do online sales. The best ones, to me, are kijiji, Varage Sale, and Facebook community “swap ‘n buy” groups. People are fair and barter just a little, if at all. There are lowballers everywhere, but online you don’t have to smell them, or touch their sweaty $5 bill.
When sorting, my general rule is if I can easily make $5 or more, I sell it. If it is worth less, I donate it. I want my room clean, and I want it clean yesterday.
Again, if it is not in working condition, has holes and rips, or is missing pieces, no one wants to buy it. We already established that this is called GARBAGE.

Donate: Pretty self-explanatory. This stuff is in good condition, but you don’t need it, or want it, or want to sell it. We filled an entire donation bin at my local 2nd hand store. Filled it to brimming!

So use those bins! Get it out of your house!

RULE #3: DON’T GET IN TROUBLE
You know your spouse/roommate/whoever best. Don’t arbitrarily donate their things. My husband is used to getting photo texts that say “Can I sell this? How much?” He may say that he never sees the money…but at least he isn’t searching for something 3 months later, and I have the same look on my face as my dog after she ate my Christmas chocolate.

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All that being said, some stuff I knew I was okay to donate. Like the discman pouch with the 3 Doors Down CD. Or his high school pencil case #thisiswhathappenswhenyougetmarriedyoung

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RULE #4: DON’T PUT IT AWAY “TO DEAL WITH LATER”
This just extends the process. That bag of stuff you cleaned out of the truck, with one thing worth keeping and the rest is just old receipts and Canadian Tire money? Go through it now. Because it will be just as annoying to go through later. Pick something up, make decisions where it will go, move on. NEXT!
(PS – to all non-Canadian readers…Canadian Tire money is a fake currency from a local hardware store that they give as “bonus cash.” You can only use it there. It lives in the back of kitchen drawers and amongst the receipts of your wallet. It magically procreates. Even if you pay for something using ONLY Canadian Tire money, they give you some more back. It is not as cool as it sounds. To its credit, it never expires.)

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That is all, friends. More tips and rules and fabulous pics of the least fabulous room in my home later this week!

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