Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Great Purge of 2014!

It's been several months since I have last blogged.  It is now the second week in January and it's officially 2014!  As I am looking at the upcoming year, I know deep down that this is going to be an over-haul year.  I am sure all of you have experienced what I call the filler years, where not a whole lot of change happens, things seem to stay in the status-quo and then you have some years that are filled with change...that's an OVER HAUL YEAR!  2013 was a filler year for myself and my family.  The kids moved up in school, no major change in our home life and work primarily stayed the same for my husband and myself.  I think I purposefully kept 2013 as a low-key as possible because I have known, for 17 years, that 2014 was going to be a big year of change for me as a Mom and the dynamics of our family.  You see, 2014 is the year that my oldest daughter graduates from high school and starts the next phase of her life into college.  It's been a long standing dread that I have felt coming and growing stronger and stronger as the days have gotten closer and closer to 2014.  Her countdown is totally different than mine too...a parents countdown is that of immense change of the energy of the house.  The dinner table will feel different, the distance, the security of knowing where she is and what she's doing at all times...all of that changes.  She on the other hand is counting down the moment of becoming an adult, saying goodbye to us and moving into her first apartment, and having days that are ruled and managed by her and not her parents.  She is a wonderful kid.  She's level-headed, smart, talented and makes really good decisions with what she does with her time, who she hangs out with and what direction she is taking with her future.  I couldn't be more proud of her if I tried.  So knowing that she is moving out, my husband and I decided that we would be making a major life-simplification process in 2014.

Early last year, I wrote a post about my vision board.  In this post, I talked about how much we love being at the lake, and I talked about and loving what I have...and enjoying what I have.  Well this year, we have decided to take this one step further.  We have decided as a family when our daughter graduates and moves out, we will be moving as well.  We are simplifying our world and moving to the lake!  We have a ridiculously large home right is filled with wonderful and beautiful things that for the most part we just walk by every day.  2014 is going to be a year of purging these things and simplifying our world.  We will be down-sizing to a house that will be perfect for myself, my husband and our son.  We will have a room for our daughter, but our prayer for her is that she enjoys this next phase and really steps into her own "self" and uses this as her first step into adulthood. 

I have decided, in an effort to NOT be overwhelmed by a move after living in this house for almost 8 years, and selling almost everything we own to break this change and over-haul down into 8 easy steps.  Here is how I am going to be getting ready to our move in June from an almost 6,000 square foot home to a 1,500 square foot home:

1.  Start the purge early!  I started first by taking down the Christmas decorations and actually boxing them up and taping them for the move in six months.  Every bit of decoration for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas is boxed up and ready for the movers to put them in their truck and move to the lake.

2.  Closets will be next.  It is amazing...embarrasing...unbelievable and embarrasing (again) by how much stuff has accumlated in our closets.  I mean really??  I am not sure which is worse...the over accumulation jackets that don't get worn or the stuff that I don't even know what it is that has grown roots on the floors.  How did this happen??  I mean seriously...HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??  We will be moving into a much smaller home, so all of this nonsense has got to go!!  I am really opening myself up here, so please don't judge me!!  I am not a hoarder, and my main living area does not look like this...just behind closed doors!!  HA!

3.  After our closets will come our clothes and shoes.  Don't even get me started on this one, as every single person in my house has a clothes and shoe problem.  And the ironic thing is, when I really start to notice, we all only wear maybe 5 or 6 pairs of shoes each.  And we have a pretty regular round-robin of outfits that we wear.  If a garment hasn't been worn in the last 9 months (to cover both winter and summer) it will be purged.  If a purse hasn't been carried in the last 6 months, it will be purged.  I will be ridding our house of all of the prom dresses from days gone by (and will gladly post them for sale in a future blog post) along with all of the shoes and accessories that were only worn ONCE! 

4.  Next we will tackle the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.  If it is not a necesity, it will need to go...I have more kitchen utensils than one person without a restaurant would ever need.  I mean why does anyone need four crockpots??  I will be paring down the kitchen to only what we need.  I will post on that as well...I would love some feedback on what that perfect balance of a kitchen will need to be!!

5.  I am a craft-a-holic!!  I live for pinterest projects, sewing, painting, modge-podge, etc!!  I have way too much stuff to carry with us to a 1,500 square foot home.  In the new house, I will get a closet to keep my craft supplies.  Therefore, I will need to clean out what I currently have and create the perfect balance of crafting items that will allow me the outlet of creating without taking over an entire house.  I will be blogging about this as well.  I am looking to create the perfect collection of necesity crafting items.  The good news is, I do see a large donation of crafting stuff to our local elementary schools.  I know it will go to folks who will truly enjoy it!

6.  Next will come the decluttering and simplification of my decor.  My decoration style has always been to decorate in a merchandising format.  I have groupings that are all staged on the shelves, and walls.  it's beautiful, and I have always enjoyed decorating this way.  But I have too much stuff.  At the delight of my realtor, I will be paring down my decorations as well.  I will removing all of the non-essential items and creating a much cleaner and sleeker look.  I will post pictures of each room as I make my way through.  It's going to be a big change for me...but one that will be so cleansing to my soul!!

7.  I have accumulated artwork and drawings from my children over the last 10+ years.  I have always felt guilt over throwing their beautiful little drawings away.  I will be doing something special with each one.  I learned this from Pinterest.  I will be taking these pictures and photographing them and creating photobooks as a memory book for each of my kids years in school.  I can then keep them neatly stored on a shelf and NOT feel guilty for throwing away their perfect little works of art!  I will blog about this process as well and gladly share the end result of their special books.

8.  Office overhaul.  I am sure I am like the rest of you, where I have managed to save every tax return from the 90's  through today for what ever reason.  I have files of old bank statements, closing documents on homes that we have bought and sold, cars that we bought and sold, insurance documents, check registers, property tax info...oh my goodness I could go on and on.  Well this will all be cleaned out too.  I will be blogging about what you need to keep on file and for how long.  When to purge, shred and what to be okay just throwing away.  I see me making a purchase of either a burn barrel (which our HOA would LOVE) or a good sturdy shredder in my future!!

This is going to be the start of something good!  Life is interesting in that we work so hard to get so much stuff, then somewhere along the way there is a realization that the stuff isn't what makes you happy.  What makes you happy is the time spent together as a family, memories that are made along the way and the love that is shared in-between.  The "stuff" is a lie.  It doesn't do a darn thing to make you a better person.  I am excited about moving into this next chapter in our story as a family.  It's going to be interesting as I know there will be an internal battle on what should stay and what should go.  But I also know that this is going to be a process that will be so awesome to go through.  Living simply is the theme for 2014.  Living honestly and loving deeply is the goal!!  I look forward to sharing this journey with you as we move into the direction of change this year!  Happy New Year to you and your family and as always...thank you for reading!!

Until next time...


1 comment:

Stacey said...

Amanda, came across your post today through lifeingrace. Thought what the heck and followed the link you placed in your comment to Edie. Such a relatable post. I too have a son graduating from highschool this year and then on to UT in the fall. Though not making a move i too will use this year to purge and realign . I am not a blogger. But enjoy reading my favs. Will follow you, as it seems that many bloggers have younger families and you seem to be right where I am in life. May God bless you as you forge ahead in 2014. - Stacey Hickman
PS. Jealous. Would love to live on a lake. I live in east TN and we enjoy the local lakes.