Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Getting Ready for a Yard Sale: Purging and Emotional Detachment

I told my sister we needed to get together and have a big yard sale. Still have no idea WHEN or WHERE the sale will occur, but I'm getting ready anyway.

Gearing up for this yard sale event, I watched many episodes of Clean House.
It took some perspective shifting to begin to view what I wanted my house to look like without extra clutter. Niecy Nash spoke to me several times through the highly scripted adventures of the show!

For many people, purging your treasures is hard. Cleaning up, clearing out, and organizing a space that contains items full of memories often dredges up emotions. It is difficult to separate yourself from the emotional ties to people, events, and moments in your life that signify who you are or who you want to be, the best times or the times you want to have in your life, and the people you love.

I started this week in my youngest son's room. I knew he was outgrowing some books and toys. It is also easier to clean up someone else's space rather than your own. :)

The best thing to do is to have your children help you by telling you what they feel they are too big for. What is always amazing is that they can detach themselves from their items so easily. "I'm too big for Cars, now Mommy." It's the adult who sniffles and thinks, 'but you were a toddler when you played with this!' He started my piles of salable items off right. Two big containers of toys and books, plus his entire bedding set.

One thing I disliked as a child was my mother storming into my bedroom with a large trash bag and making things disappear. I wanted to have control! I will not take that control from my boys. Instead, I will teach them how to organize their spaces, display their prized possessions, and get rid of things that are not used and not respected. "Everything has a place and (most of the time) it gets put back in its place!" (Right?!?!)

Then I moved on to a space which has become a junk dumping ground. It was easy to work here because I had already decided on a few things in there that I knew could go. Detachment happened long before the work. I purged my collection of dolphin figurines and old CDs and cassettes. (Yeah, I still have some.)
I also began on my bookshelves and DVDs.

I found a lot of dust! In fact, if things were too dusty, I forced myself to really consider whether it was something worth hanging onto.

They say to ask these questions:

  • Do you love it?
  • Do you need it?
  • Have you used it and how recently?
  • Does it make your life better?
  • Can you borrow it, rent it, store it in a cloud, or burn it? Could you buy another one if you really needed it?
  • Is it out of date or style?
  • Am I keeping it for an emotional reason?
  • What's the worst that can happen if I don't have it?


I moved on to decorative knick-knacks, and the board game closet, but I still hadn't tackled the difficult areas: clothes, scrapbooking, and holiday items. Would my mother really be that upset if I got rid of the ornaments she pawned off on me?
Probably not.

A couple of good things: since we moved one son into a new room 6 months ago, he hasn't had time to accumulate a lot of things. He needed some organization and some trash thrown out. Secondly, I had already put clothes into a pile in the winter and delivered it to Goodwill when we thought we were so over having yard sales, so our closets were pretty picked over.

Cleaning out a house for a yard sale is not a one-person thing. I need my family to pitch in. They need to go through this process, too. It is healthy. Besides, the garage is not my domain! Hubby has yet to let me down. He usually finds SOMETHING that ends up being a 'big ticket' item and sells for a chunk of change. I have no idea what that would be this year, but he will inevitably find the THING.

Until the day arrives, there is a growing pile of things I am emotionally detached from in my living room. I will continue to purge more corners and drawers and nooks and crannies until I feel successful, clean, and proud of myself for getting out the gunk. Plus, I will love my clutter-free, beautiful, house and knowing my clutter demons are conquered.
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