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Mid-life Purging

Posted by on Jul. 27, 2014 at 7:04 PM
  • 15 Replies

Hi all. I have started the mid-life purging process or so I guess you could call it that- I have been pushing myself to the limit going through every possible nook and cranny I can cleaning out and throwing out /giving away stuff we no longer need or have use for. I am pretty good about letting unimportant things go, but this has been one of the most exhausting processes ever. After going through so much recently, I realize  I have held onto too many things through the years in hopes that "one day" we will be able to use them again. Although I am one of the most organized people on the face of the planet, this has been SO HARD. Most guiltiest confession, of everything I held onto, I kept my sons clothes and shoes for the last 10 years in hopes we'd have another one by now and since we buy him the best of everything, I didn't want to go out and re-buy it all over again. Oh my, do I ever feel like that was a stupid decision and have now had to part with everything. I should have given them away years ago, but everything else I have been able to let go of almost like it's nothing. Amazing how we all have such emotional attachments to things that are hard to let go of. Anybody else out there gone through this recently? Were there just certain things you had to hold onto and then one day decided to part with all? The only other material  things I am just in love with are all my pictures for memories of course! Most everything else we use on a regular basis.......any thoughts or comments out there on how to deal with the mid-life purging process more easily without being so emotionally attached to so many things? Please share with me, I thought this would be an interesting conversation between us moms!

by on Jul. 27, 2014 at 7:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stargazerwolf
by Bronze Member on Jul. 27, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I'm bad about getting rid of anything that has any sentimental value. I had trouble throwing out a bunch of my 6 year olds kingergarten papers, they sent home tons and it was hard to sort through and throw some out, but if I kept them all I'd need a huge box and really I dont need them all...I have a memory box ( a big chest) full of some of my stuff from my childhood and have been adding the kids stuff.

I also tend to hang on to random pieces of things that I'm not sure what they go to, but just in case. I figure out what it goes to...I have been doing my best to get rid of things as I moved twice already this year (now no plans to move again til I buy a house) I feel like I have too much stuff though.

I try to think about in the future what my kids might actually be happy I saved. Of the stuff I saved of my own (well my mom saved and I sorted since) I've kept my best artwork, clay things I made, a few report cards from school and some stories I wrote. So I've tried to keep some of the same stuff for my daughters. My mom also saved things like a pair of baby socks and shoes and things like that which is kinda cool. I am saving a few items like that.

I currently am a single mom of 2, mine are 6 and 2 years old, I have my 2 year olds crib and though I definitely won't be having another any time soon, I can't sell her crib. (she's sharing twin bunk beds with her older sis). If one day I remarry I want one more baby, but with the way things are now I think that'll be at the very least a few years...but I can't get rid of the crib in hopes of that happening some day. It sits in closet.

Bmat
by Barb on Jul. 27, 2014 at 8:35 PM

I didn't realize there was something called mid-life purging. I started last summer and disposed of everything in the dining room that I haven't used.  I had watched a cleaning show on TV where the people stressed that it wasn't the item that was important but the memory. This is untrue. I felt pangs when I donated my grandma's various plates and dishes, but I thought I'd still have the memory to enjoy. I don't. I just have regrets that I gave the items away.

Right now I am clearing out my closet since we are going to redo it, there aren't the items from my family there, just stuff that I haven't used in a while, and I tossed or donated these items and still have a closet full. There is a gorgeous gown that I'll never get in again (ahem, it shrank in the closet)  but it has such sweet memories that I am not giving it away. So my recommendation is do not give away items that give you special memories.

Bmat
by Barb on Jul. 27, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Don't get rid of items that have special memories for you. The memories are not as good as the item. And your child's kindergarten papers- if you haven't already, you may want to save just a few that show progression over the year.

Quoting stargazerwolf:

I'm bad about getting rid of anything that has any sentimental value. I had trouble throwing out a bunch of my 6 year olds kingergarten papers, they sent home tons and it was hard to sort through and throw some out, but if I kept them all I'd need a huge box and really I dont need them all...I have a memory box ( a big chest) full of some of my stuff from my childhood and have been adding the kids stuff.

I also tend to hang on to random pieces of things that I'm not sure what they go to, but just in case. I figure out what it goes to...I have been doing my best to get rid of things as I moved twice already this year (now no plans to move again til I buy a house) I feel like I have too much stuff though.

I try to think about in the future what my kids might actually be happy I saved. Of the stuff I saved of my own (well my mom saved and I sorted since) I've kept my best artwork, clay things I made, a few report cards from school and some stories I wrote. So I've tried to keep some of the same stuff for my daughters. My mom also saved things like a pair of baby socks and shoes and things like that which is kinda cool. I am saving a few items like that.

I currently am a single mom of 2, mine are 6 and 2 years old, I have my 2 year olds crib and though I definitely won't be having another any time soon, I can't sell her crib. (she's sharing twin bunk beds with her older sis). If one day I remarry I want one more baby, but with the way things are now I think that'll be at the very least a few years...but I can't get rid of the crib in hopes of that happening some day. It sits in closet.


stargazerwolf
by Bronze Member on Jul. 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM
1 mom liked this

 I did keep some of her stuff, but there were literally hundreds of papers sent home and like I said I've moved twice this year already so i needed to get rid of stuff. At one point my whole dining room table was covered with her papers. Now i'm in a 2 bedroom apartment and still trying to get things arranged right. I keep things that mean a lot.

Quoting Bmat:

Don't get rid of items that have special memories for you. The memories are not as good as the item. And your child's kindergarten papers- if you haven't already, you may want to save just a few that show progression over the year.

Quoting stargazerwolf:

I'm bad about getting rid of anything that has any sentimental value. I had trouble throwing out a bunch of my 6 year olds kingergarten papers, they sent home tons and it was hard to sort through and throw some out, but if I kept them all I'd need a huge box and really I dont need them all...I have a memory box ( a big chest) full of some of my stuff from my childhood and have been adding the kids stuff.

I also tend to hang on to random pieces of things that I'm not sure what they go to, but just in case. I figure out what it goes to...I have been doing my best to get rid of things as I moved twice already this year (now no plans to move again til I buy a house) I feel like I have too much stuff though.

I try to think about in the future what my kids might actually be happy I saved. Of the stuff I saved of my own (well my mom saved and I sorted since) I've kept my best artwork, clay things I made, a few report cards from school and some stories I wrote. So I've tried to keep some of the same stuff for my daughters. My mom also saved things like a pair of baby socks and shoes and things like that which is kinda cool. I am saving a few items like that.

I currently am a single mom of 2, mine are 6 and 2 years old, I have my 2 year olds crib and though I definitely won't be having another any time soon, I can't sell her crib. (she's sharing twin bunk beds with her older sis). If one day I remarry I want one more baby, but with the way things are now I think that'll be at the very least a few years...but I can't get rid of the crib in hopes of that happening some day. It sits in closet.

 

MixedCooke
by Bronze Member on Jul. 28, 2014 at 2:17 AM

well my Mother wanted me to get rid of my wedding shoes and after my pregnancies, I cannot fit in them, but I still have hopes that my daughters would want to wear my dress and will also be able to wear my shoes.  I asked my hubby and since he moved around a lot, he doesnt have much left from his childhood, so he wanted me to keep them as well.

Bmat
by Barb on Jul. 28, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Yes, keep them. When I was clearing out my closet the other day I found my wedding bouquet. It was a simple orchid with some greens and fit on the Bible I carried, and I dried it. So now there is this dried up flat not very pretty object in a small box in the closet. I considered tossing it- what good is it after all, it just takes up space, but it has precious memories for me. So I'm keeping it.  Keep your shoes.

Quoting MixedCooke:

well my Mother wanted me to get rid of my wedding shoes and after my pregnancies, I cannot fit in them, but I still have hopes that my daughters would want to wear my dress and will also be able to wear my shoes.  I asked my hubby and since he moved around a lot, he doesnt have much left from his childhood, so he wanted me to keep them as well.


Bmat
by Barb on Jul. 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM

The only thing about shoes, now that I think of it, is that they do dry rot.  Maybe you shouldn't keep your shoes after all, they might fall apart when she puts them on.

Quoting MixedCooke:

well my Mother wanted me to get rid of my wedding shoes and after my pregnancies, I cannot fit in them, but I still have hopes that my daughters would want to wear my dress and will also be able to wear my shoes.  I asked my hubby and since he moved around a lot, he doesnt have much left from his childhood, so he wanted me to keep them as well.


AM-BRAT
by Amber on Jul. 28, 2014 at 12:14 PM
1 mom liked this

I, too, am organized- but do hold on a bit.

I also love to purge. It feels so nice, letting old energies go.

The way I look at it- if I haven't seen item "A" in 6 years, I never need to- it can go. 

Just keep going you're doing great. 

I will tell you a secret though, I had- HAD a candle in my hall closet. I only kept it, burned down long ago- because it reminded me of something. Somewhere, a place that has been since leveled and a time that is long gone. It captured everything there to me. But the tears and feelings it brought to surface were just not needed anymore. It was just clutter. Mind clutter closet clutter. Just lasst week I ditched it.

Someday, that scent will come by me again, somehow- and it will be a little soul gift in the moment. I await that patiently  :)   (the candle didn't say the scent and I can't identify it...)

Bmat
by Barb on Jul. 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM

I like your idea of 6 years. This sounds comfortable.

Another method for hanging clothes that I've heard is to hang all the hangers in one direction, then when the item is worn, put it back in the closet with the hanger in the other direction.  At the end of a year, get rid of things with the hanger in the first direction. I wouldn't be ready after a year, but maybe after a couple years I'd be willing to dispose of clothes with the hangers in the original direction (leaving the new direction hangers in the new direction.)

Quoting AM-BRAT:

I, too, am organized- but do hold on a bit.

I also love to purge. It feels so nice, letting old energies go.

The way I look at it- if I haven't seen item "A" in 6 years, I never need to- it can go. 

Just keep going you're doing great. 

I will tell you a secret though, I had- HAD a candle in my hall closet. I only kept it, burned down long ago- because it reminded me of something. Somewhere, a place that has been since leveled and a time that is long gone. It captured everything there to me. But the tears and feelings it brought to surface were just not needed anymore. It was just clutter. Mind clutter closet clutter. Just lasst week I ditched it.

Someday, that scent will come by me again, somehow- and it will be a little soul gift in the moment. I await that patiently  :)   (the candle didn't say the scent and I can't identify it...)


momtimesx4
by Member on Jul. 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

We're going through that as well.  Have several boxes that are sealed and dated from 2008.  What is in there?  Haven't a clue but anytime I do dig into a box I just can't part with it.   Slowly we're clearing out some old stuff.

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