Getting Rid of Junk Using the Basement Technique
One of our goals with moving to our place is getting rid of our junk.
When we put the townhouse up for sale, we followed the advice our real estate agent to remove the junk. We did a huge round of purging stuff.
Throughout the showings we'd dump some boxes. With our tight schedule, it was a struggle to find some time to get rid of junk, but we did bit by bit.
Finally we had an offer and a date to move out. Excited we dumped or donated some more stuff.
With all of that effort, you'd think we'd got rid of all of our junk, right?
We were loading the truck that weekend with our buddies we discovered that we filled it up and still had more in the house.
I was disappointed for sure, but we decided to learn from our mistakes.
The ‘Basement Technique' to Simplifying
When we moved in we moved into our new place we unloaded all but the essentials (beds, minimal furniture, pantry, etc.) into…. the basement. (You expected that, right?)
I know that doesn't sound earth shattering, but that's not the secret weapon.
The technique, or method if your prefer, behind our madness is this:
Before we bring anything upstairs we have to be certain that we truly need it or would use it often.
That applies to everything.
So if it's out of season clothes, it stays downstairs (with exception of one outfit – in North Carolina, it can be hot in February).
The girls' toys? Most of the girls toys are tucked away in the basement, with no real complaining or notice from them!
Our home brew equipment is in the basement as well. It's easy to take it out when we need to make another batch of beer or mead, but otherwise it's not cluttering up our space.
Keeping Our Basement From Becoming a Storage Room
As awesome as it is to have less stuff in our living space, we also want to address the stuff in the basement.
To counteract the ‘oh we might need it later' excuse, we're doing monthly reviews.
As I mentioned before we open up the boxes, but we're not unpacking everything in the boxes. We take the remaining items and put it in a designated spot.
Once a month we'll take a portion of our stuff to donate. (If there are items we think we can make some cash off, we'll list it on Craigslist to go towards our debt snowball.)
I know this system isn't perfect, but it's made our lives a lot less stressful. We don't have to clean as often and we're realizing we don't really need that much stuff.
Thoughts on Simplifying Possessions
I'd love to hear from you. How many of you have simplified and downsized your possessions? What worked really well? What was some of your biggest challenges?
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