Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Purging Schedule

A topic that seems to be hot lately is minimalism. Living with less. Tiny houses. KonMari or whatever the hell that is.

I.Love.Purging. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE. But I married a saver who comes from a long line of savers. So I've had to develop a schedule and a few rules in order to keep our house from turning into a dumping ground of hand-me-down furniture, old school papers, baby toys, etc.

There are two rules. That's it. Easy, right?

  1. Set your limit on what can be kept. Be it a set number of items or number of containers, setg the limit and STICK TO IT. In our house, everyone gets 2 of those big Tupperware storage bins. That's it. If you start to accumulate MORE than what fits in there, you have to go thru it. This is actually a good thing, as physical items tend to lose that emotional pull over time, making it easier to discard them.
  2. Keep to a schedule. It's almost impossible to really maintain a clutter-free house if you let it build and build and build to the point where you can't take it anymore. So define a schedule that works for you and STICK TO IT.

To help, here's my schedule. The house is broken into sections and then generally one section is tackled per month.

End of December: Go thru kid toys. I do kid toys here because it's post-Christmas and post-Birthday. I ALSO do this when they're out of the house. I get the week between Christmas & New Year's off, so they go to daycare and I go thru their things. I'm not mean about it though - generally it's toys they've outgrown.

January: Filing - go thru annual filing, shred, shred, shred. File anything you need to keep into deep storage. Purge any older deep storage (like tax returns, investment statements, etc.).

February: Basement - this is the storage area & workbench for us. Go thru all storage boxes, purge as needed. Re-organize workbench, put things away. Go thru paint and other similar items, purge as necessary.

March: Kitchen - Pull everything out of the cupboards & drawers (you can work one section at a time if you don't have the counter space). Wipe things down inside and out. Purge as you put away. This is also a nice time to run a cleaning cycle on your dishwasher and stove. I also use this time to review my freezer/canning stock to prep for upcoming gardening.

April: Garage - empty COMPLETELY. Sweep out. Purge as you put things away. Set aside any HHW for proper disposal. "Summer-ize" snowblower, prep lawnmower and other garden equipment.

Closets & dressers - If you didn't wear it in the last 6 months, it's gone. Same with the obvious choices (doesn't fit, stained, ripped, etc.). Winter coats rotated to basement cedar closet, spring coats brought up. Linens aired out and reorganized, swap winter bedding for spring/summer.

May: Good time to take anything to donation or have a garage sale.

June - September: I'm generally too focused on outdoor crap to do much indoor stuff here. I may do some spot purging of places that tend to accumulate things faster, like our kitchen "junk drawer", bathroom cabinets and drawers, etc..

October: Closets & dressers - Same as in April but bringing out the heavier coats/bedding and putting spring away.

November: Garage - Same as April but winterize lawnmower, prep snowblower, properly store garden equipment and lawn furniture.

December: Book purge. We have to move our bookshelf to make room for our tree, so I go thru my books at this time and donate any old ones to the library or take them to Half Priced Books.

Note: Kid clothes are done on a rotating basis as they grow out of things, so it's hard to quantify when that happens. But now that G's in school, I expect to start buying his clothes/shoes in early Fall.

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