The goal: To purge 465 items from your house within one month.  We pushed it to the very end.  On May 30th Matt and I still had 98 items to purge.  I was worried we’d struggle at the end because each weekend, I’d go room-by-room clearing out everything I wanted to get rid of only to count the items and find I’d purged barely fifty.  So I’d hunt through the house to find another fifty.  On our last weekend of purging, I thought it would be even harder, but it wasn’t; it was the easiest.

I think purging becomes addictive.  It became easier to get rid of stuff I liked, but never used or am keeping for “just in case.”  I suddenly didn’t want it anymore.

I’d highly recommend doing a materials purge if it’s up your alley at all.  You start to notice just how much you accumulate over time.  Matt and I moved into this house six years ago and there were items I packed, made my friends help us move and I haven’t touched them since.  That’s crazy.  It actually felt good to get rid of them.  We had over twenty packs of playing cards.  I purged eight wooded spoons and kept five.  I’m still curious why I think I need five.  I should be able to easily purge another three.

In total we ended up trashing 475 items—give and take.  I wanted to get over 465 in case I counted wrong somewhere.  In the beginning I would count a bag of clothes as one item.  Later, each piece of clothing was an item.  So I’m fairly confident we hit our target goal.

While I’m not a big shopper, I also think it’s changed my perspective on the little shopping I do.  Now, I ask if I really want a particular item or if it’s something I’m just going to get rid or later.  The process of the purge has made me want to bring less into the house, excluding books.  I’m still addicted to buying books.  I have stacks of them everywhere.  But overall, being more mindful of what I purchase is a cost-saver, a space-saver, and the reduced clutter is good for my mind.

For the most part, I think you would come into my home and you would never notice that 475 have disappeared forever.  That bothers me a bit.  I wish the dent I made was more obvious.  But I notice.  And it does feel good.  I want to keep going.  It just takes time.