Not too long ago we had a power outage due to storms in our area. We were without power for about four hours. Just long enough to usurp my dinner plans and cause a tizzy in my home (where ARE all the flashlights?!). The girls, of course, thought it was great.... Until they realized it was gonna be PB&J for dinner and they couldn't turn their lights on to get pj's and such for the slumber party we decided to have in the playroom (a covered porch that we turned into our playroom/schoolroom. It has a lot of windows, and therefore lets in all the outside light making it the most lit room in the house.). As I was walking through my house with the lone flashlight I could find, *scowl* I realized how much stuff was not necessary in the dark without power. Really, I saw our excess clearly right there in the dark. I wanted to start dragging things to the garage for an immediate trip to Goodwill's donation station. I. Wanted. It. All. Gone.
OK, I didn't start dragging stuff to the garage, but it sparked a new found urge to purge (the latest one prior to that day was just before my 4th daughter was born in February, which was quickly forgotten as soon as she was born!). Not just a purging of unloved things, but a purging of not needed- I mean really needed things. Now, as a full disclosure, if you were to come over for coffee (or a glass of Pepsi- no judging here please! *wink*) my house would not strike you as though a minimalist leaves here. I have tried to make it homey but minimal. I like things on the wall, but I don't like things strewn all over just to decorate, for the sake of decorating. I like things that have purpose or memory- preferably both simultaneously. It is a work in progress. I am constantly debating whether to keep something because I may use it again (in the immediate future) or purge it because I have not used it recently. It is as though I have two sides: the minimalist who wants to purge everything not used today vs. the hoarder who doesn't want to purge anything because I may use it soon (and to keep from buying it again!). I know. It's crazy here.
But, on the good end of things I am really seeing things for what they are: things. Things that I can do without. Things that are not eternal. I've read lots of posts lately about minimizing your wardrobe to a few favorite pieces (thanks to a dear friend I have purged a lot and am better organized- more on this later). I guess I'm still seeking those "few favorite pieces." And, of course moving between four different sizes doesn't help either (thin, early pregnant, big pregnant, just-had-a-baby size). Again, a work in progress. I still struggle with seeing and remembering all the memories attached to that thing (we have several things from my grandmother's that have passed).Or, seeing the possibilities in our homeschool or my craftiness and those said things. It's hard. I guess I'm just trying to find the balance between owning things and them not owning me, and being OK living my space with those things that made the cut.
So, what are purging these days? How do you decide what to keep and what to donate?