On Spring Purging

It all started innocently enough, with hand-me-downs to help start out married life in a one-bedroom apartment: a green comfy chair, a gray bookcase, a dorm room lamp with adjustable "arms".

And then we had our first baby, and the stuff started coming in waves. When our baby turned into a toddler, the clothes, toys, books, and papers already threatened to overwhelm. Now that we have two little boys, I feel like I'm drowning in all of the stuff! I'm constantly stepping on or around toys, picking up, organizing. It's just too much.

It's kind of a strange problem to have, really, this need to deal with all of the stuff. In many parts of the world, an entire village could live off of the contents of our home. I thank God for the abundance we have been given, and I also recognize the need to be a better steward of it.

My favorite organizer (who is like a second mom to me!) says that disorganization is a result of delayed decisions. So I'm starting to make small decisions each day, to bring more order and peace to our home, to take control of our posessions so we can focus on more important things.

We're still in the early stages of de-cluttering and purging, but I'm already feeling like it's easier to breathe, like there is more freedom and peace in my heart.

Toy/book purging!

Here are a few tips I've learned so far:

1. Think in terms of numbers, and "need" vs. "want". We have four chairs in my office. I only need one or two, and I only want two, so two of them need to go. Our kids had about eighty little cars in a bin. They really don't need 80, especially since S loves dumping all. the. things. So now the cars have been pared down to about 30 of their favorites. Thinking through this logically helps me to separate my emotional attachment to things.

2. Think in terms of usefulness and happiness. Does that shirt get a lot of use? Has it been worn in the last year? Does it make you feel happy? If not, get rid of it!

3. Think in terms of beauty. Do your knick-knacks bring beauty to your home? Or are they just gathering dust and adding to clutter? Do your decorations contribute to the mood you want your home to have? Or would something else bring more joy?

4. Think about prevention. How can you keep extra "stuff" from coming in to your house? Can you say no while shopping? Keep a wish list to prevent spontaneous purchases? Ask for specific types of gifts for kids' birthdays or Christmas?

5. Think about whether someone else would enjoy the items more. Do you have friends who are just starting out in a new place? Is there a homeless shelter that could use your extra jackets, hats, boots, or mittens?

Have you gone through a season of "purging" your things? How did it impact your heart?


  1. Great post Amanda. Thanks for sharing. We just moved into a new home, so this post is coming at just the right time for us!

    1. Ah, yes! I think part of our problem is we haven't moved for 4 years. :) That definitely forces you to re-evaluate all of the things. :)

  2. I came across your blog through Anna's post at (in)courage this week, and this post totally struck a chord. I had an accidental purge in 2009 when I lost almost everything I owned through a crazy incident in the apartment building I was living in. It was sooo hard, but then afterward it felt so good to have less things. I felt like God was giving me a blank slate to start over with less materialism and emotional attachment. My sister's really good at walking through the five tips you shared, and I've found them really helpful for my husband and I to apply them to our place and keep clutter down. We're definitely due for another purge session! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks for reading! :) I can't imagine going through such a loss, but how awesome that God used it for good. Also -- it's always great to have a sister/friend who can help you walk through those steps from a detached perspective. :) It helped so much when a friend helped me purge and reorganize my kitchen! Blessings, friend.


I love to hear from you!