22 July 2011

The ART of purging

So maybe it isn't really an art.. its just getting rid of stuff but I understand for many of us (myself included, it is difficult) I am getting better at it though and so I thought I'd just pop in here to lend a word of encouragement to those of you who may need help in this area.

We REALLY started to think seriously about purging last summer when faced with moving our friends who have SO MUCH STUFF. Some of my Facebook pals may remember that last summer was also when we decided to turn a bay of our garage into my studio, so that required not only purging the studio but also the space where it would end up. There was stuff in there that was there when we moved in here.. it came with the house. Yeah, pretty bad.

Anyway, fast forward to this past January and the "saga." Once Greg's Dad passed away the family was faced with disposing of 40+ years worth of stuff from his house and cabin! Wow! Of course there were bits and pieces that people wanted but for the most part a lot of the stuff was just junk that we had to get rid of. I guess what I am trying to get to is that we and Greg's sister were really faced with 2 things...
1. we do not spend enough time together and that is more valuable than STUFF
 and 2. we have TOO MUCH STUFF!

So, we struck a deal where we'd take turns visiting each other's homes each month and helping each other purge. Its been going great. July was our turn and we tackled this covered area off the garage that had accumulated a bunch of things that could mostly be gotten rid of (yah). It REALLY helps to have the moral support of other people with you when you try to get rid of things.

Today I tackled the residual bits that were waiting from when we purged the living room for our redecorate and the extra room where my studio WAS. There were some bins waiting and one of them was full of odd things, like artwork and knick knacks and candles and just stuff.. I know I hadn't really dealt with that stuff because I didn't want to deal with the GUILT of getting rid of art.

I guess this is the whole point of this post and the motivation behind writing it. I have outgrown some of this art. There, I said it. Some of it was mine, some was gifts and some was received in swaps. The thing is, I have changed and so have my tastes. I feel the need for calm and quiet and less being the more I want in my life right now. So I had to make the decision to just be ok with letting it go. It will go to one of the two independent thrift stores here in town in hopes of someone else becoming enchanted with it.

As for me, I saved a few things that I don't know if I can ever part with.. like the special crown my friend Holly made for me, or the photographs from Joleen or my handmade angels but mostly I saved myself.. by just letting go and that is an art in itself.


  1. Yay for purging!
    I think that getting rid of art is one of the hardest things to do as an artist. I have a really hard time with it myself. I love your idea of team purging.

  2. I totally "get" this. And I do it to. Heck I have done it with things listed in my shop, that I no longer wanted there. The really funny thing is walking the isles of the thrift store and seeing it...lol. I do have a pretty decorated box that I keep some swap stuff, smaller pieces, ect. in, and I do look in it from time to time. But sometimes we just have to let go of things...we have too. I am proud of you. And the part about the family getting together to purge, outstanding! This could be a good realty tv show in the making....*wink* xo

  3. I am SO proud of you Heather. I know exactly how this feels. Thanks for writing such an encouraging post. *biggest hugs*

  4. So smart! My hubby and I faced getting rid of nearly 60 years of accumulation from my folks place a couple years ago now. It was so overwhelming. We got rid of so much stuff. Stuff won't make you happy...time with family and friends can.
    One of my best friends and I used to have a challenge...get rid of one plastic grocery bag full stuff a week. It was awesome! I think we need to do what you and your SIL are doing...go and help at each others houses.
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  5. Thanks for your words of wisdom! I need to start getting rid of STUFF.......i want to live more simply and enjoy the things I love. I can't even get to them right now.