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Our Journey to Simplicity: Part 23 – Oh the piles!

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Let me be honest. I make piles.

Hi, my name is Cassi and I am a piler.

If we are having company, I shove everything from the table into a bag and set it aside. Do I go through the bag? Basically, no. It just sits. It’s a quick excuse for cleaning up a room without doing much of anything – only making the problem last longer. Anyway, I am working on that. But those are not the piles I am talking about 🙂

Do you have piles everywhere as you go through the process? Are your kids forever interrupting you and you have to stop? The piles are a natural part of decluttering. Totally normal. Sometimes, when you get going, you just GO and can’t stop cleaning out a certain area. That’s awesome! I have gone through stuff and just made little piles on my floor because I didn’t have my Garage Sale, Consignment, and Donate boxes nearby. You can move your piles to those boxes later. You’re making a big step by cleaning it out in the first place! The good news is that if you are able to get one whole drawer, shelf or closet all in piles, all you have to do later is take care of one pile at a time. In the meantime, you can be excited about your newfound free space!

However, as the Give It Away post stated, giving it away is where it’s at! I do currently have a consignment box, but I have a permanent box in the top of Adelynn’s closet for items that we are donating to the school I mentioned. Whenever the box gets full, I take it on my next trip to playgroup. I also have a permanent donation bag in the garage. I am to the point now where I am just SO DONE with stuff, that it goes straight into that bag. If it’s worth a few bucks, that’s great for them! For me, it’s not worth any more time with the item.

Will there always be piles? Nope. They are temporary. You only have them until you are done with your area or category. Or until you decide to pitch the pile! Even then, if you get to the same phase of life I am in, your piles will be EXTRA temporary! Once you make the journey of going through all of your stuff, you will learn to be more conscious about what comes in your home and when to get rid of things. Sometime you will just be looking at something and you’ll think “Why do I have this?” And you will put it in your designated Get Rid Of It area. You won’t even think twice.

I probably shouldn’t admit this if this is a blog that you go to for advice, but this is an honest place. And I am still learning as we go! If I could do this series and experience all over again, I would do things differently. Once I collect my thoughts on that, I will share them with you. However, Dave and I re-decluttered the kitchen. Here are some before and afters:

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Yes, the pink organizer was in there the whole time!
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I was AMAZED at things we missed the first time! I am also in a different place in life with the clutter. I am getting so much information fed to me that I am thinking about it constantly. I looked at a set of 2 month old blue mason jars and thought “I actually don’t even like those.” So I offered them to a friend! They were something I asked for and received as a gift. I thought they were great, but they were taking up too much space. She will have a different purpose for them, so they will be better with her.

I just want to encourage you that all of your piles are NORMAL and will not last forever! Stepping over them for a day or two is much better than maintaining and working around the items forever. Once the piles are done, and you have some things you choose to sell, save it up and spend it on experiences instead of stuff! It will be much better spent that way. Avoid the dollar spot at Target and instead, pocket that $24 $6 and work your way towards taking a vacation or spending the evening out with friends.

There is so much freedom now. Emotionally, financially and physically. I love knowing that I can just drop things in the trash and be guilt free about it. I love knowing that my items are being used by someone else. I love the new space I have in my house. I love that I can choose where to spend my money much easier than before. Each dollar is used intentionally.

I also love watching other people join us on this journey. People who are spending their days off and just committing.

I. Love. It.

We got to a point with our items that we had a garage sale, a big chunk of donated boxes, and then still had some really good stuff leftover. We decided to do an “Honor System Sale” in our front yard. We live on a street that gets a decent amount of traffic, so we didn’t really need to advertise. We were home and watching a movie with our girls. We would occasionally look out the window and see what was going on. We had a sign with a suggested price list and instructions on where to deposit payment. The first couple who came, hurried and shoved an end table in their car and sped away. My heart was a little broken because I didn’t hear them deposit any money. We knew this was a risk we would take in doing it this way, and we knew we had to be okay with that happening. I thought we were, and then it happened and I was disappointed. So finding their donation in the box was such a wonderful surprise! (Still not sure why they were in such a hurry!) Anyway, after very little effort, only 2 hours of items sitting out, our storage areas are emptier, we are $66 richer and all we did was watch a movie with our girls!

We could not have done this without being removed far enough emotionally from our items. We had to be perfectly fine with the fact that they might disappear. I can’t say I was 100%. But honestly, it wasn’t because of the end table. It was because of my high level of faith in humanity.

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Here is my pile with all of the girls’ clothes that I sorted through in the Fall. I am so happy to say that I narrowed it all down to one box per size. And that giant pile was also temporary 🙂

We have a few weeks left in this series. It’s hard to believe we are nearing the end. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

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