We decided to go on an international assignment many, many months ago and having done this once before we took the opportunity to really look at our house and our “stuff”. The first time around, it happened very fast and we had young boys which meant we had lots of toys and in the end, put lots of “stuff” into storage.

This time is different. We went on the grand purge as the boys are older and we want to simplify. A simple rule was put in place, if you have not used it in a couple years it is gone. The result:

  • Hundreds and hundreds of books sent to the school to be sent to a charity to create a library for a reserve.
  • Roughly 7 truck loads of “stuff” sent to my father-in-laws for a garage sale (The mother of all garage sales). An example of the staging area below (All sold a few weeks ago).

Enforcing the 2 year rule was not easy. But Narda and I were both strong for the other. When that common “Wow, I forgot I had that and am glad that I found it” instinct kicked in, the other would ask “Really? You have not used it for 5 years, will you really use it?” with 9 times out of 10 resulting in the item going to the staging area.

It is very refreshing. The Globe has a great article on why people cannot get rid of stuff and of course, there are reality shows on the topic. But I would council that it is a very, very rewarding process. Now, we only have what we need and after digitize a bunch of school memorabilia, we will be 2 additional boxes lighter .. but that is for a rainy day.

We will go through one final purge as they pack, and then our household will be the lightest it has been in years.

2012 Purge

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