Do you have a junk drawer?
I do. And it's a hot mess.
Clarification: was a hot mess. As of this afternoon, it is the epitome of organization. Pencils and pens are in their rightful bags, and crayons aren't mingling with erasers. And get this, I even checked the ink status of each pen and marker and kept those that are, truly, useful.
It was a small victory in this thing called purging, now an every two-to-three year process that is equally tedious as it is therapeutic. I'm pretty good at it now, my heart calloused from being physically separated from my things, trusting others to pack and store them for weeks at a time, for my goods to travel across the states and oceans in their care. I've unwillingly said goodbye to many pieces of furniture and beloved breakable items. I'm so efficient after fifteen years of military moves that my mother, who once enlisted my help when it was time for her to purge, even called me "heartless."
*bows a second time*
But I've got to tell you, it feels good. I love knowing what I have, and I cherish those things I choose to keep.
There's a difference there: choosing to keep vs. passive affection.
We are not minimalists, I assure you. I am a crafter and have had every piece of craft material or tool under the sun, but I don't keep them all forever. (Including fabric and yarn, which I share or donate - for real!) But I have learned to keep what I love, what I adore. I have realized that quality over quantity will rule anytime, anyday.
I'm always asked what my purging process is like, so I've decided to share it with you. There are a few fundamental questions I ask myself as I go through a drawer, a closet, a bookshelf.
1. Does it work/fit? Is it usable?
2. When was the last time I used it?
3. Can I use it for reference? Is it a tool? Does it serve a purpose?
4. Was it given to me by someone I cherish dearly? If so, does it jive with my things?
5. Does it hold a specific significant memory?
6. Do I love it to the depths of my soul?
7. Do I have room?
It's not a perfect system, but it's kept our clutter at bay, and it has actually molded my spending habits to reflect a simpler lifestyle. I can walk into our storage room and not feel like I'm being swallowed up by Mount Clutter and Doom, which is a big win, in my book.
Do you have any general purging tips?