Review and Purge

Review and Purge

It’s important to understand that organizing is a process. Once you do it, it’s not done forever. You still have to revisit/review organized items and see if there’s anything left to purge. I do this seasonally for my wardrobe, and yearly for other items (like kitchen gadgets; books; childhood memorabilia).

Most of my childhood memorabilia is stored at my father’s house in South Carolina. It was easier to do this because most of it transitioned from our house when I was in high school/college and I never moved it up to my tiny apartments in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. But like clockwork, each time I was at my family home, I’d review those items and see if there were items I could let go of that I hadn’t been able to in years past. And to my surprise, I always found things to donate.

Sometimes these revisits can be quick, but this year I did an in depth review and major purge of more than half of my items. I went from 12 boxes (including several large boxes) down to 6 small boxes. I donated five boxes full of items and recycled one large shopping bag full of papers. I purged stuffed animals, drawings, school papers and report cards, as well as cards and letters I had been saving. I touched every item, every piece of paper, and read everything. I spent a few hours each day doing this, but the time spent away from my family was worth it when I’d unearth plenty of treasures.

Think about the childhood memorabilia you are saving. What are you holding onto and why? Do the items spark memories? Could you live with a photo of the item? Would the item be loved and used by someone else, rather than sitting in a box in storage? These are questions to think about. With each year, I’m surprised at how much I’m willing to let go of, without regret. And I free the items to live new lives by donating them.

Here are examples of what I was able to let go of and why. See if you can related.

Are you inspired to review and purge your items? Share your story!

Lauren Mang
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