Update 2018: I now have storage bins again. However, they are used for quarterly swaps that I hold in my garage for other people to come and take what they need, all for FREE! Donating most of my belongings created the space to be able to serve others in my community! The bins I have now were donated by members of the community that love “shopping the swaps” for items they need!
I was the queen of organization. At least I thought I was. I thought that organizing was simply a way of keeping all of your belongings tidy and in order, where everything had a home and a place where you could easily locate that item when needed. You see, organizing and decluttering are now two different things in my opinion. Organizing to me is moving around stuff in an orderly way so that when you need that particular item, you know exactly where to go to find it. Decluttering is actually getting rid of items so that they no longer exist in the home. While I was the “queen of organization,” what I needed to be was the “queen of decluttering.” Stuff needed to go.
Enough With Stuff!
At the beginning of 2015, I had enough with stuff. I was tired of stuff taking over our lives. There were times that we would devote an entire Saturday sorting through the contents of our garage and sorting things in multiple organizational storage bins. My kids would beg us to play, but my husband and I had work to do. I thought that keeping things organized in a ton of storage bins out in our garage was the way to go, until I realized I was just holding on to a bunch of stuff that didn’t serve a purpose in our lives. Not only did I have storage bins in our garage, we also had several in my home that consisted of toys, art supplies, sewing supplies, craft supplies, and more. You name it, I had a storage bin for it! If you’d like to know where most of the contents go that sit in the garage for a period of time, just watch this funny video by Jerry Seinfeld.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performs jokes about why people need to get rid of their useless garbage.
Forced to Move
My major purge process began and I started removing items from our home that no longer served a purpose. I took car loads of items to our local thrift stores for donation. Shortly after starting the process of getting rid of stuff, we found out that the owners of the home we were renting wanted to sell their home. Thankfully, we were able to find base housing quickly and we were able to schedule our move with no problems. The great part about this move was that we no longer had a ton of items to pack and carry with us. We are a military family, so we move often and the thought of having less during this move was a major perk.
Donating Our Storage Bins
When we arrived to our new house, we felt much lighter since we had purged quite a bit before the move. Unpacking was so easy, but we were still left with several storage bins and some other junk that needed to go. I set a goal that I would give away all of my storage bins after our move and never own storage bins again, with the exception of my two holiday storage bins. Soon after our move, I was able to donate almost all of my storage bins. I still have about 2-3 that are soon on their way out the door. And do you know what’s interesting about this? I don’t miss ONE THING that I gave away. That’s proof that these items were of no value to me and my life.
Say No to Stuff
I refuse to store and hold onto items in my life that serve no purpose. If I have to store it away in a box in the garage, chances are, I simply don’t need it and it’s not of value to me. 2015 was the year I woke up. It was the year I determined that my stuff would no longer own me. Since giving away the majority of my belongings that didn’t bring value to my life, just about every area of my life improved: personal life, spiritual life, health, finances, relationships, etc. I even have time to meal plan and spend way more time with my kids and husband. No more weekends of spending hours upon hours of devoting time to moving around junk. I’d much rather trade my junk for more time with those I love.
Related: Why I’m Giving Away Most of My Stuff (See what motivated me to start this process!)
Do you feel like you are holding on to too much stuff? How many storage bins do you currently own?