View Full Version : how do you go about a massive purge?

01-02-2011, 01:28 AM
We need to clear out the upstairs to make it into a 3rd bedroom and bath. While DS is not interested in sleeping upstairs by himself (heck I don't want him by himself either yet!) we are over run by toys and I think he would benifit from a quiet place to play during the day. Plus all of my family is out of town and I just finished hosting for 10 days an alternating group of my parents/BIL/SIL so during the day we were 8 people in 1200 SF 1.5 bathroom house. And the upstairs room where they slept is half guest room and 1/2 dumping ground. It was embarassing!

DH is a collector: coins, train magazines, old computers, computer parts (lots and lots and lots of computer parts), christmas stuff, N scale train stuff, old cameras plus a lot of his childhood stuff. He basically is always collecting something. It was N scale trains when we were first married. Then the train magazines. Now it's mainly coins (which at least are more compact!) But of course we still have the previous collections. And the computers. He does not want me to go through it. He does not have the motivation to do it on his own either, so I'm trying to break it down into steps. In the mean time I am going to be going through my stuff again and paring down what I can and getting it nicely organized. I was big into scrapbooking but I think if I get back into it I'll go digital so I'm planning on paring down my stash to the stuff I use/could use to make cards. I do enjoy that.

So how do I seperate it out so it doesn't overwhelm him/us? So far I have:
1. go ahead and move Christmas decorations to the attic to get them out of the way
2. figure out where to put storage shed (we've decided on a 12x20 shed that we'll have custom built and have decided on the person to do the pad just need to figure out where)
3. call Jim (person to do the pad)
4. order shed
5. make a list of what is upstairs and designate where each thing should go
6. Set up a work area and start going through the computers to determine what stays/goes
7. once shed is installed move what is designated to it there, sorting as you go.
8. move stuff from existing sheds as needed based on #5.
9. move remaining items to finished side, call person to finish the other part.

so this is basically the computer part. How do you go through boxes and boxes of stuff that is labeled (from when he moved out of his parent's house almost 10 years ago or moved here 5+ years ago) "misc assorted stuff"

01-02-2011, 02:56 AM
My DH is a bit like this, but it was electronic gadgets and entertainment equipment. I still find a box of cables here and there.

I give DH stuff to sort in front of the TV. I hand him things and ask what is it? do we still need it?. Then it goes in a keep or a dump pile. Just do one box at a time - too much will be overwhelming.

My DH won't let things go, I'm the one that needs clear space so we can put things away. He says I'm OCD, but he does appreciate that he can easily find the extra speaker cables when he wants it. So, he goes along with me and we pare down where we can. There are still a couple of his boxes in the rafters in the garage - I'll get to them eventually, but they're out of the way for the moment.

Also, there might be some sentiment attached. When I was pregnant with DS, I got into major nesting and was clearing out every drawer and DH got upset that things that were important to him, I considered junk. So, we still have 2 pairs of roller blades and a bowling ball. In the 8 years I've known DH, they've never been used. They're kept out of the way, so I leave them.

Oh, you might also stress how great it will be to have that room be useable space - it's valuable space that is used by boxes. Another tactic I've tried is "if this is important to you, why is getting dusty in a box"? I used this when I went through personal papers of DH's eg. his baby book and christening gown was just shoved in a box with other things, mostly trash. - I now have that and a few other things in a nice storage box on the shelf. It's DH's memory box. I have one as does DS.

Good luck.

01-02-2011, 10:11 AM
I give DH a timeline we need x done in time for visitors or whatever -- if he doesn't get it done by that time I do it. I will pull items for his consideration. I get a filing system in place and just got a labeler. I have a bag for give away, a bag for garbage and whatever items I need to put keep items into (for paperwork it is a filing system), if it is photos, a photo box etc.

Good luck! I am mid purge :)

01-02-2011, 03:10 PM
I think if you think about the big job ahead, you will get overwhelmed and never start. You are good for trying to break it into smaller, manageable chunks.

Sounds like a lot of your "stuff" is your DH's. That will be a challenge. Maybe you can buy some bins you can stack so at least his stuff is a bit more contained than just random boxes.

Do what you can on your own, even if it's just 15 mins at a time, and maybe he'll see the results and start his own purging.