"Do You Still Purge Your Own Stuff?"

I've been helping a neighbor clean and declutter, and she asked me the above question, about if I still purged and decluttered my own things or if I was "done." She knows I'm the reformed hoarder who spent years getting to where I am now. The answer: yes, I still declutter from my own stuff. I think it's probably a lifelong habit now.

Yesterday I purged this paper out of a drawer in the filling cabinet, because I didn't have room to add the new stuff that needed to be filed. The filling cabinet was bursting at the seams!

I mean, when (because I am really close, and remember I moved into a smaller apartment about a year and a half ago) I get to the point where everything is neatly put away to my satisfaction (there are still a few things right now that are kind of out, like that filing that needs put away for example, and the balcony isn't organized at all), and the space isn't super crowded with stuff, I will say I'm "done" in the sense that my Great Purging Project has gotten me all organized and my space feeling good and neat. But I think I will still be working on it, pulling things out of a closet or a cabinet and making a purging pass. They may be "put away," but my closets and cabinets are still quite full! :) And as demonstrated with the filing cabinet, you need to weed it out to fit new stuff.

I finally took the bag of clothes that I packed up in a previous video, to the neighbor who collects them for clothing distribution and clothing banks. I packed them up weeks ago but then I got the 'rona and was too sick to do anything for a long time

A lot of people think that decluttering is only those massive Mari Kondo interventions for overwhelmed homes, but I've learned that you can do a little at a time and still get there at your own pace. Like that bag of clothes is only five items, but it fills the bag because they're mostly bulky items (3 sweaters, 1 sweatshirt, and 1 t-shirt). You don't have to have purged a whole car trunk load at once that you then take to a problematic thrift store that probably throws most things out anyway; doing a little at a time also allows you to take the time to find a better home for still-useful items, like the neighbor wants comfortable and warm clothes for outside for people who are homeless, but Dress For Success wants office wear, and every spring there are collections of formal wear for kids going to prom. I also list items on Buy Nothing (the app, it if no takers there, fb groups or Nextdoor) for any neighbors who may want them. Some interesting matchups happen in free groups; I had a huge stash of plastic litter buckets I was loathe to throw away* because of all that plastic (*recycle, but we all know it's a toss up if plastic actually gets recycled), and a neighbor wanted plastic storage bins so she could pack things away in storage while she was temporarily moving far away. The bins worked for her purpose, and they were saved from questionable waste streams; but also she didn't have to go buy more plastic, and my balcony where I had been stashing them was cleared!

We've been getting a lot of rain by Denver standards and the balcony was quite wet. I enjoyed that Yuan and I had wet footprints together

So, all this to say that keeping your stuff from accumulating, imo, is a lifelong practice. You can get "done" with the initial work of getting things under control that had gotten out of control, but to keep it in a manageable state, I think you'll still be cleaning things out, sorting through clothes you haven't worn in a long time, etc., for your whole life. It becomes maintenance, like doing the dishes or sweeping the floor.

Thanks for reading and have a great week, everyone!

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