I love a good purge. And I really look forward to spring cleaning. Clearing out, cleaning up, creating space to live in! Feeling like you live in a brand-new home where everything in it has a place and a purpose. Is it too much to ask to live in a professionally staged home with zero evidence that actual people perform the daily functions of their life inside? It does get a little tricky when you start talking about things like toilet paper, toothbrushes and garbage cans. And it becomes downright unrealistic when I remember I have a husband, a dog, and 4 children, none of whom care in the slightest about the trace evidence of themselves they leave everywhere they go.
As a family, we have moved more than 15 times and each time brings a new round of 'how did we accumulate so.much.crap?!' talk. Every damn time. You think we would learn!? Because of this vicious cycle, it's become about so much more than just the purge for me. It starts way before I'm sifting through a pile of 389476 phone chargers deciding which ones I can live without.
I could go through a list of purge tactics like thanking your things, throwing things away after a year of nonuse, the 20/20 rule of throwing it out if you can find it in under 20 minutes for under $20, tossing those super effective 'goal pants', etc. There are as many ways to purge your closet as there are to make ramen noodles.
Learning to be a better consumer is the real key behind good spring cleaning. Some of our new and improved consumerism practices have included:
Purchasing new-to-us items. Used clothing, Re-furbished electronics, etc. You can buy almost everything second-hand! Except I just can't with mattresses. I draw the line at a used mattress. Just, no. This usually saves us money in the long run too, which I never complain about. More money means more taco Tuesdays.
Making more informed purchases. Shopping small, staying local, knowing the source of the items I am buying helps bolster community and support local economics. The thrill of a sale at a big box store is real! But knowing who and what kinds of labor practices I am supporting is important to me. Paying a little more for a more transparent, honest production is always worth it.
Donate! It is so easy and tempting to just toss everything in the garbage and start all over, but donating and repurposing items saves landfills, oceans, and sweatshop fingers the world over.
Consuming less with more intention and awareness has been a game changer for me. Even though I still maintain my love of the purge.
Narrator: This blog was thoughtfully written by Brooke Ewing. You can find her on Instagram @brookenorma.