The Great Apartment Purge | 3 Problem Zones, 3 Ways to Live with Less

Behind the Blog Posts: It looks so organized... until you take a peek under the bed. :S
Over the past few years, I've accumulated too much stuff. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pack-rat. I tend to be a little overly sentimental about letting things go. But as I grow up, my desire to live with less also grows. I'll never be a minimalist when it comes to decorating, but it's my new Mid-Year Resolution to minimize what I own. Because I really don't need the amount of clothing, books, and random decor that I currently possess.

The source of my accumulation: college moves and my recent relocation to a new town. In April 2013, I got a job offer I couldn't refuse. I had two weeks to wrap up my then-job, find a sub-leaser, pack my things, and hang out with friends before kissing my college-town goodbye. Junk got packed away instead of getting thrown away. And now it's here cramping my lovely apartment's style – and cramming up all the storage space that my apartment has to offer.

It's time for a change.

The spacious walk-in closet with built-in shelving in my bathroom? 
It was supposed to be my storage space for cleaning supplies, tools, and diy/craft supplies. Instead, it's full of out-of-season and old clothing. Like, so full that I have to close the door real fast before anything falls out.

The nice closet with the antique built-in dresser in my hallway? 
It was supposed to be my main everyday clothing storage to rid me of needing multiple dressers. Instead, it's full of clothes AND random decor, old notebooks, and stuff I hardly use.

The short supply of kitchen cabinets in my combined kitchen/dining/living room? 
They're filled to burst with mismatched dinnerware and cooking wares that I rarely/never use.

And don't even get me started on my under-the-bed storage. 
(At least I don't have to worry about some psycho killer intruder hiding under there.)

It is time for an overhaul.

And I thought some of you might want to join me in my purge?

I'm not tackling my entire apartment at once. Because that would be a death-wish and you'd find me buried in off-season clothing and Christmas decorations.

The Problem Zones
I've divided my apartment problem areas into 3 zones.
Zone 1: Kitchen Cabinets & Hallway Closet
Zone 2: Bedroom Dresser & Under-the-Bed Storage
Zone 3: Bathroom & Bathroom's Walk-in Closet

The Solution Bins
And I'm setting up 3 special bins for my purge.
Bin 1: Eliminate - Stuff to throw away or recycle.
Bin 2: Donate - Stuff to send over to Goodwill.
Bin 3: Contemplate - Stuff I need to think about.

And over the course of the next 3 weeks, I'm going to hit those 3 zones with my 3 bins. No sweater, no candle holder, no old textbook is safe.

I'm not redecorating during this time. I'm not cleaning. I'm just clearing out the clutter that's blocking my way to a live-with-less kind of life – and hindering me from packing up and moving to a new place eventually.

My place will look worse before it looks better. But this is one battle that I've put off for far too long.

Who else is in?

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Shelby said...

Funny enough, I'm already a week ahead of you on this! I'm going through everything I've ever owned in my childhood bedroom and in the shed where my dad put everything from my old apartment while I was away and I'm tossing out the junk/storing the good stuff for the next apartment. :)

Nicole said...

I definitely feel your pain. I did a mini-purge of my clothes & shoes before I moved. I always kept old clothes because "what if I needed that exact thing later on?!". I went through it with the mindset of if I haven't worn it in at least 6 months then I was letting it go. Three garbage bags later (one for shoes & two for clothes), a trip to Goodwill was necessary. Good luck!

roni said...

I'm in! But I have a question though - I lost a lot of weight during the past 2 years but I kept some of my old clothes, only those I really like. Any advice on how to let go of things that no longer fit but have sentimental value?

Jessica • The Lovely Side said...

It's such a process, isn't it?! I keep telling myself it'll be so worth it when I'm finished. :) Good luck with your purge!

Jessica • The Lovely Side said...

Great mindset, Nicole! I totally have that "what if" problem. Sometimes I do go back and wear things... but very rarely! I think the space in my closet would be more worth it.

Thank you and good luck to you, too! :)

Jessica • The Lovely Side said...

Hi Roni!

I have a feeling I'm going to run into the opposite problem. I've gained some weight, but have held on to a lot of clothes because I 1) might be able to fit into it again once I start exercising again and 2) it's just a special piece of clothing.

I've heard of people turning old sentimental t-shirts into quilts/blankets or even framing them. If it's a special dress, I've seen those framed behind glass or even just hung in the bedroom as decor.

Feel free to email me specifics/pictures of some of the sentimental things and maybe I could provide better ideas. :)

Anonymous said...

I just had a purge a couple of weeks ago - felt amazing. Still holding onto a few clothes which I probably should get rid of and have a pile of books I'm hoping to sell but a huge improvement and a great way to clear my head.