7 Stupid Mistakes People Make When Purging Their Stuff

Are you jumping on the #konmari train? Given my profession, that is one of the most common questions I'm asked. "Do you watch the Marie Kondo show?" I've seen an episode or two and read her books years ago. My organizing process and Assistant Pro's 3 Step Method are definitely a hybrid of my 'studies' as a homemaker. But sometimes it's not the things we've learned to do, but the things we've learned not to do that makes for a successful purge session. I do have to give kudos to Kondo, however, because it's not just spring cleaning that's upon us, but a purge season that is upon us and that is a direct result of Kondo's success in bring awareness to excatly how much stuff we have and how little we actually need. Having gone through the purge process frequently for my own home AND with #konmari and #AssistantPro loving clients, we’ve identified 7 common mistakes that we actively try to AVOID while working through stuff.

1. Working on someone else’s stuff. Your two year old and your spouse {and everyone in between} MUST decide for themselves what makes them happy - even if it doesn't make you happy. By letting them do it themselves with your trust and support, you are showing them that you respect their thoughts, ideas, and individualism. Not only will they be grateful for it, they might also make a better habit of keeping their stuff in order because now, it is truly their stuff….maybe.

2. Making Keep/Toss Piles. Take the stress out of committing to one pile or the other. The objective here is to make decisions based on emotion, not logic- and to start, it can be intimidating to see how much stuff does not bring you happiness. You WILL have clothes left at the end of this process. You WILL NOT be throwing everything away that does not “spark joy.” There will be items you keep because they are basic staple items, like undershirts/plain tank tops. This step is meant to separate 2 categories. 1) Your happy pile and 2) Your I could care less pile but I still feel guilty because I use it sometimes. After all of your happy items are put away, quickly go back through the 2nd pile to determine your keepers. Avoiding commitment in round one will take the stress off and keep the truth in your decisiveness.

3. Keep, Keep, Keep If you have three shirts in a row that go into your happy pile, put all three back in the original pile, hold your *happy shirt (the one top that sparks the most "joy" of all the tops you own) again for three full seconds, and then re-evaluate those tops a second time. By doing this you're reminding your brain and your body what the objective is: find only the happiest of your stuff.

4. Hmm. Maybe it sparks joy.... Decisions should take less than 4 seconds, and that's being generous. Don't make the mistake of getting caught up in memorabilia or logical decisions. It's either a happy shirt or it’s not. Make the distinction quickly and base it purely on your emotions.

5. I have to keep this because... If you haven't worn that sweater in a while but your mother-in-law gave it to you and you can't throw it away, that would be memorabilia. Same goes for items collected on your honeymoon, items that were worn by someone you love, or items that you collected on your kids field trip. Memorabilia is memorabilia, confront it at the right time.

6. Schedule Your Weekend Around This Momentous Event. Work in no more than 3 hour increments when purging. This process can be exhausting because it is marathon decision making. Acknowledge the difficulty of the journey that your are about to embark on and do not stress yourself out. Let's be realistic you wouldn't lift weights for any more than 3 hours at a time, so let's not do the same thing to our brains. Just like lifting weights, if you do this in short, frequent sessions it will become easier and more enjoyable. Which will, in turn, make for a more consistent habit rather than a task that were avoiding in the same way we avoid the gym.

7. Throw it in the garage! Just because your Purge session lasted only 3 hours, it doesn't mean the work is over. Get your donations and trash out of the house IMMEDIATELY! If you're not sure where to donate, call a local church, a local nonprofit, or call your Assistant Pro and we'll be happy to research a donations location in your area.

Happy Purging!


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