For me, one of the surest signs that spring is on its way is that I get the "urge to purge". At the beginning of the new year, my hubby and I committed to holding a yard sale this year. We haven't had one for a few years, so I figured we'd have enough stuff that we were ready to part with to hold a worthwhile sale. I don't have pack rat tendencies and I give no-longer-needed items away several times per year through freecycle and charitable donations. I have to admit, though, that it's been a few years since I systematically went through every room in the house and gave it an intense sorting and decluttering.
I started this week with the boys' bedroom, plus the main bookcases in our living room. So far the boys and I have spent two afternoons going through their toys and books. I was shocked by how many items were either ready to be passed on, or just plain old garbage. It also began to sink in for me at a deep level that there are certain stages of childhood that are clearly behind us now, as I tossed all the Franklin and Robert Munsch books into the yard sale pile. My boys are entering tween/teendom and most things that have any hint of "little kidishness" they are ready to part with!
I filled another box with adult books that I'm ready to part with - books are one of the few things that I have a *really* hard time letting go of, but I know the time has come to cull the collection and make way for some new treasures.
The photo above shows our rapidly growing pile of yard sale items - and I still have several rooms to go, plus the second floor linen closet, the storage closet in our attic bedroom, and the (dreaded) basement.
Although decluttering can get pretty intense, the end result - a neat, well organized home filled with only the items you truly need and want - makes it so worthwhile. I am always amazed at the little treasures I find that I totally forgot I had; they are often the perfect finishing touches to embellish a craft project or add that special something to the corner of a room.