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My purging suggestions to you, by type, are as follows:

Done and Done! Make the time and line up the resources. Full steam ahead – just stick to donating your own stuff and don’t get carried away with others belongings because you’re on a “purge high”. Trust me, it’s a thing. :)

Go! Right? Find a partner who can be with you and give you honest assessments. They need to be able to ask you good questions and have no “skin in the game”. It’s best not to ask a “Love Me” personality to help with this.

Love Me! Be gentle with yourself. You’re going to need a little longer to purge, but you can do it. Find creative ways to a reasonable amount of items that matter. This takes time. There are many donation places with worthy causes that would value your items.

YOU can do it!!!!

What's YOUR Purging Type?

In my household you may have guessed I am generally the ‘Done and Done’ type. However this is often the type we grow into and not start out as. My daughter has not exactly followed suit. She acquired many, many stuffed animals over the years. They were all special and important to her. (in all honesty, I had about 100 myself as a kid.) She has held on to them WAY past the time when she enjoyed them. Because they were so emotionally charged for her we had to take this in 3 phases. Phase 1: Be able to see her sheets. Stuff 99% of animals in garbage bags in her spare closet. She still had them but she could get in her bed and I could change her sheets. Win-win. Phase 2: Periodically bring up the items she could put in her 2nd closet if she freed up the space. (clothes for one). Phase 3: Connect her heart with hurting people. Bingo!

I didn’t know when phase 3 would happen – and of course I wasn’t losing sleep over this – I just wanted to be ready. I was able to donate stuffed animals to first responders to give to scared children to comfort them during hard events like an accident or fire. This was just what my sensitive-hearted girl needed to unlock compassion that brings about charity. So off go the animals to new homes to be loved and played with by children who need a cuddle and a listening ear.

I love it when my professional and personal life collide in such a positive way. All thanks to my local chapter of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) who plans amazing, relevant events. 

I have noticed people approach purging from different perspectives. Folks process it differently and feel it differently. I would say that most people fall into one of these categories predominately and then they occasionally dabble in the other types. There are no strict rules to this purging thing. I’ve identified the 3 ways I most commonly see.

Type 1: Done and Done!

Many times by the time someone has called me they are ready to get rid of all clutter. They’ve been emotionally weighed down by their stuff and are looking forward to relief and someone to guide them through the process. They have very little (if any) emotional attachment to the lingering clutter any longer. The thrill of the acquisition is long gone and the heaviness of managing it all is too much. They see freedom is at hand and they want it.

Type 2: GO! right?

Some people are ready to purge, but get stuck by voices in their heart that tell them they need to hold on to items. It could be their mother’s voice, Martha Stewart, their spouse, children, Aunt Ruth, whoever! But it’s some “truth” they were taught unconsciously but they want to be free of it. So they’ll run things by me and ask if it’s OK to get rid of Aunt Betsy’s clock radio. I get it. Of course I’m not literally giving them permission. I don’t control others. But it helps to run it by someone else to tell them it’s ok. They’re not wrong or bad. Sometimes I ask some questions and it helps clarify how they feel about getting rid of it. Some good ol’ verbal processing. There are lots of decisions in life where having someone else back you up can be so helpful. I need that too!

Type 3: Love Me!

Other times folks have more of an emotional attachment to their belongings and it becomes trickier. The emotions may not be positive – in fact it might be fear. “What if I get rid of it and I end up needing it?” they worry. They may have acquired the item during an important time for them so they associate the object with the experience and can’t separate the two. Sometimes the emotions for a person get transferred to a thing and items from someone who has passed on takes on greater importance than when they were alive. For these folks, it helps to know it will be loved, used and cared for. They like to know it’s going to a good organization. (You may not know this, but part of my services is to take  donations FOR FREE. Sometimes electronics for recycling too).