That’s One Way to Clear Out the Clutter


If you are looking for a good way to purge all of your possessions might I suggest a large remodeling job? In order for contractors to dig up our floor, build new walls and reconstruct a bathroom we had to remove each and every item we own from our basement.

I began purging the stuff that was located down there many months ago, as part of my crazy nesting process, but when the contractors arrived a few weeks ago they began moving everything else out too.

Thankfully the pile was much smaller than when I started back in November, but surprisingly there is still quite a bit to process.

I’ll need to perform another round of should this stay or should this go and then figure out where on earth to store the remaining items we wish to retain. While everything is tucked away nicely in plastic storage bins I really don’t want to stare at those bins while enjoying the new open spaces of our basement.

I feel the urge to purge, which means at least a few more bags will be headed out to the donation center this weekend. Taking a second glance at the same pile of stuff is helping me reevaluate my desire to store stuff. It seems I’m more willing to part with items I wanted to keep just one month ago.

All of my nesting and purging has driven my husband to want to donate everything we own to charity. All of the sudden the guy who wanted fine china wants to get rid of the entire china cabinet. “Why keep things around we aren’t using when we can make room for the things we do use?,” he asked.

It’s a good question and one I can’t argue with too much. If we removed the china cabinet we could make room for my son’s art supplies and bounty of play dough. Perhaps it’s time to officially give up on the notion of entertaining. We’ve owned that china for 10 years now and taken it out of the cabinet a mere two times!

It feels weird to consider removing it though. Can I really get rid of it all together? We don’t use our china and fine glassware but I do use a number of bowls and serving platters located within it. Where would I store those? Ugh, I’m completely on the fence about this one.

On the plus side remodeling forced us to clean out our spare refrigerator and freezer. In order to install flooring everything had to be moved to the upstairs fridge. It was a great time to throw out old condiments and half opened jars of sauce that would never have been eaten.

Prior to this point I donated and recycled just about everything I didn’t want in our basement, but during this last pass through I decided to eBay a few items. I’m honestly not sure that it will be worth my trouble to do so, but I couldn’t resist the desire to see how much I could earn. I have a feeling I will be terribly disappointed by the results. That’s usually what happens when I list items on eBay.

I also bundled and sold a small pile of books to the highest bidder. I used bookscouter to select the highest paying companies and will ship off the books after the snow melts this week. I know I could sell these for more on eBay or but I really don’t want to go through the hassle of individually mailing books. I’m much happier sending a big pile out the door all at once.

I whittled my book pile down to ten books, five of which have never been read! I also pruned my son’s library, but I kept the majority of his books (all five boxes worth). He is a voracious reader who began spelling words long before he turned three. I don’t want to curb his enthusiasm for the written word though I really need to make better use of our library. It’s right around the corner from our house so distance is not an excuse to ignore it. I took my son last week and he loved picking out books and bringing them home. I also realized the baby board books take up a ton of space. I won’t mind getting rid of those after baby #2 outgrows them.

I am growing tired of sorting and reorganizing this stuff and the longer I do it the more I want to part with the majority of our possessions. My philosophy for things is definitely changing each time I open another box or take another trip to the donation center.

Where I once thought let’s keep this in case we need it I now think let’s get rid of it and buy it again if we really need to. This is certainly not the frugal approach, but it does free up a lot of space in our lives. On the flip side of this coin I now think very carefully about all new purchases. If I never bring it into the house I don’t have to wrestle with storing it and eventually struggling with the decision to part with it.

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2 thoughts on “That’s One Way to Clear Out the Clutter”

  1. I needed to get to the filing cabinet in the back of the storage room and we had to pull everything out to get at it (then move it to the front of the room). Seeing all the junk spread out was a pretty good motivator to get rid of it!

    We have a family China set that we don’t use. I think it was supposed to go to my husband’s cousin, so I think I’m going to offer it to her and free up some space in our kitchen (we use our china cabinet for art supplies, photo albums, board games, etc).

    It’s awesome that your basement reno is underway. Should all be done for baby #2!

    • I’ve been thinking about converting our china cabinet into a storage solution for art supplies, board games, etc. Ours is two parts a glass shelving unit above and cabinet space underneath. I think the cabinet space could definitely be used for kid’s stuff, but it seems strange to put that stuff in the glass portion too. How is your divided up?


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