Tracey Jackson

Jun 19 2017 | Comments

BUT FIRST THE PURGE

 

Five weeks into my #TraceyStopsShopping and I have to say it’s getting easier.

Easier to say no to my impulses. Easier to choose not to look at things online and if I do, it’s easier to turn away from them. I tend not to go in stores for entertainment. I do go in with a mission. And I am able to come out with just one thing.  I am not feeling anxious. In fact, I am feeling more in control;  For the most part.

Now in the name of transparency, I really want a basket.   A simple, boxy Jane Birkin, je ne sais quoi summertime basket. I did not think of this when I did my prep. They were not all over the internet five weeks ago.
I just stumbled across the perfect one. And I stared at it a long time. And I put it in my Net a Porter basket. Then I took it out. Then I put it back. And I left it, just sitting and waiting for me.

The next day when I went back to look at it, they said they were all sold out.

Oh god.. nothing flexes my buy muscle like it’s sold out. So, of course I found it another one, In France! For 207 Euros – PayPal… Hey, what is 207 Euros?  I mean the poor Euro needs my help. Non? No. No. No.

I could have easily done it and I do want it, but I want to get through the summer without it. I don’t have one. I really don’t and it would look so cute. Little summer dress, flat shoes, roaming around the farmstand with my French basket..STOP!

White cropped pants, striped t-shirt, sneakers, little French basket…STOP!

I have other bags, but not a basket. And now that I have told you all about it, I can’t very well go buy it.  Can I?  Thanks a bunch. No, that is what you are all there for. My cyber conscious.

Now, for the purge. I have said this before, but it is extremely important for anyone who wants to do any version of this you must purge, purge, purge.

The only way you can know what you can live without is to know how much you are living with you don’t use, want or like.  Until you see the overabundance of waste in your closets and drawers you are not able to really correct yourself from buying more. It doesn’t mean buying nothing. It means buying a whole lot less most of the time.

I have said I think the Marie Kondo purge is too much for most people. Who am I to argue with two million books sold?  But I feel you can’t start by throwing all your things in the middle of the room. I understand the philosophy behind it, but it’s too much for the average person. And when people get overwhelmed they buckle and often don’t follow through.

She also thinks you should toss most of your books. Which is something I cannot get behind. If I walk into a house and don’t see any books I immediately think an idiot lives there. Sorry for that generalized judgment but it’s true.  You might not need every novel you have ever read and those I do believe in giving the away, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I purge in specific areas and then I go back to them and purge again.

The other day I put up a help sheet on just doing your vases.  The easiest place to start.

I think a great place to do big purge in a small area is with technology and all the cords and attachments that go with it.

Early on in my purging I took an entire Saturday morning and I attacked a giant basket full of cords and cables and old phones. The detritus of electronical gear a family of four has held onto for over a decade.  Cords and cables are the big ones.  They are like drawers full of Chopsticks from Chinese take-out you think you will one day need. Like 200 people will come over for mushu pork one night and all need chopsticks????

Take the cords and dump those in the middle of the floor. And once you untangle them start asking yourself what they go to. If you have to ask yourself what they go to, they automatically belong in the “toss” bin.

If you are presently not using it for something you use, lose it. These things are not coming back. They are old and you don’t need them.

The only reason to keep them is if you want to sell or donate an item, say an iPad you no longer use and it’s the charger cable to that.

We had four Kindles in our house nobody used. They went to a school in Africa.

So just attack that part of your life. Schools will take old iPads, you can donate old phones to a group called Cell Phones for Soldiers that gives phones to soldiers so they can talk to their families.   That is what I did. There are endless places to donate old tech items. Don’t randomly throw batteries or things with batteries away they can start fires.
Then get it down to just what you use and need.

Have you ever found yourself rummaging through endless cords and cables trying to find the right one only to find none of them work?

This is wasted time, energy and space.

I had a big box, I mean like a moving box full of that stuff. Then I got it down to a few plastic bags. I now have it down to one small mesh bag. I know where everything is and what everything belongs to.
Tonight, I am attacking my cameras.  I have 3 working cameras. I tend to only use my phone.

I am going to get down to one camera and my phone. I figure if I ever want another camera the technology advances so much every day that I will want something more up to date than what I have.  I do love the big Canon, but I had lugging it around. OK, I hate lugging it around. So, it’s going up on eBay tomorrow. If you attach a word like hate to something – you don’t really want it.  Why have something around that conjures up hate?

 

Random exercise.  Pick an item something unsexy and utilitarian.  Toothpaste, dental floss, Vitamin D, I don’t care but nothing fun like lipgloss or after shave.  And go into a sparkly, jam packed drug store with only that one thing on your list.  Walk right past all the shiny objects that would normally grab your attention. Do not pick up the things they line the checkout with to get you to “buy one more thing while you are at it.”  Chances are you have one or ten at home. Walk out with your one unsexy item.  See, it’s easy.

 

All my chargers. And there is one in there I know I do use.

Two of these will go. It’s the like the Bachelorette of cameras.  Actually one is already sold the other is heading out tomorrow.  The Leica stays in the picture.

 

 

  • Jennifer

    We moved to Maryland from California with 350+ boxes and it was a slow purge to get it down under 100 by the time we moved to Florida 11 years later. Now I am in a small house and still have too much stuff. My niece is a professional organizer and she gave me some really good advice for letting go of things: “Nothing you own is worth anything to anyone but you, so get rid of it.”
    Right now I have 3 functional vases and about 6 that are decorating the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Our books sit on one small bookcase – we’ve donated thousands to libraries, recycle bins and community swaps. I still read a lot, but I go to the library (just like my mother did.) Or if I’m traveling, I will download a book to the Kindle. My next purge is the dining room table and chairs, the professional elliptical machine (any ideas where to donate that???), and of course, more clothes.
    Thanks for the pep talks and sharing your struggles.
    BTW, my cats would use that Birkin basket as a scratching post.
    Love, Jennifer

  • It’s amazing how you whittle it down and whittle it down. The Kindle does make it easy to not have books pile up. I still love design books but have enough for now. The elliptical machine, you are in FL I would think try a senior citizen center that could use it. There must be a bunch and it would get use. Clothes they seem to grow, I did jeans again this am. xoxoxox