The time has come for the great “purge before you move” purge. We’re figuring out what things we plan to sell, donate, and keep. We sold our last home with nearly all the furnishings and I had some minor regrets about that. You can read more about here. Our furnishings weren’t going to transfer well into the new home or the modern cottage style, so we just figured we would sell it all (the buyer was on board) and start fresh. Nothing like a clean slate, right?
Not always. We had every intention to take our time curating and collecting pieces that complimented our home’s style and provided comfort and solace for our little family, but it was pretty jarring moving to a big echoey home with no place to sit and relax. We felt unsettled for quite a while, and we want to make this an easier transition for us and the girls. We’re already going to be adjusting to moving to a new state, in a new house, on the other side of the country, so selling everything is just not appealing this go around.
Plus, shipping lead times on furniture are SO far out right now, we could be living without furniture for several months. No thank you. I think a lot of our current furnishings will translate nicely into our North Carolina home as well, which I’m thrilled about. Even if it’s just for a little while while we get settled.
So then how do you decide what to keep, and what to sell and donate? It’s been on my mind a lot, and I don’t have all the answers, but I have some thoughts, starting with “what to keep.”
Keep what is beautiful to you
I think William Morris had it right when he said…
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
After all, who wouldn’t want to be surrounded only by the things they love the very most? Such a good thought, and I really try to keep this in mind when I’m making decisions. But in all honesty, I’ve been guilty of hanging onto things I don’t love. A lamp that’s not quite right for an end table. Curtains that are just meh. Even art that feels “just okay.” It’s time to be a bit ruthless though. If it doesn’t make me swoon, then it’s not coming across the country with us.
Say goodbye to the place holders
I used to hold onto things as place holders (okay, I still do this sometimes haha) — almost-there substitutions to hold me over while I hunt for the PERFECT frame/vase/plant/chair. Off the top of my head, are these golden cube vases sitting on the shelving in the office right now. They’re taking up space, collecting dust, and I feel like moving is giving me the permission to let them go since they don’t make my heart sing. Think of the space in your home as precious real estate. You’re going to be leasing out space in your home to rugs, furniture, lighting, art, not to mention all the non-decor items, and you should think of that space as precious. If I wouldn’t buy it again right now, then it’s not coming with us!
What to sell
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” or as I like to say, “one woman’s ‘trash’ is another woman’s Facebook Marketplace treasure hunt!”
Keeping things because you don’t want the money you spent to go to waste, shouldn’t be a reason to keep them around. Especially these days where selling things has never been easier, but for as long as we’ve been married, I’ve been selling things we no longer love, want or need to help fund our next purchase.
Did you know that on FB Marketplace you can of course shop for things locally, but you can also ship as well? This feature is so neat, and I actually found the vintage mirror in our water closet from Marketplace, paid a little extra for shipping, and I couldn’t be more pleased with that find. There’s so many other platforms and apps to sell your used, no-longer-treasured items, and I think this is such a great way reduce waste, free up that surface real estate in your home we talked about earlier, and of course, make money selling things that are ready for a new home. There’s of course eBay, but I’ve also heard good things about selling on Mercari, Letgo, and for clothes, check out Poshmark and Thredup.
You could always go the traditional route and have a yard sale. This is the route we plan to take for items that we don’t plan on bringing with us, are in good condition, and still have value. We’ll give our buyers first dibs on things. For example, we don’t plan on taking the dining room table and chairs with us since they’re so custom to this house and our new dining room is… much smaller in scale. (I’ll be sure to share when we’re doing a yard sale if any locals want to come!)
Donate the rest
Before you take off to your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army, be sure to check out this Business Insider piece on “Things You Should Never Donate.” But honestly, whatever is left after the yard sale, we’re just planning on loading into the truck and dropping off at our local Thrift store.
Even if you’re not approaching a big move, it could be helpful to adopt the mindset of “if I were to be moving tomorrow, what would I want to bring with me, and what would I leave behind?” Let go of the placeholders to make room for things that are serving you or bringing pleasure to your life. Do you have any good purging hacks to keep you on track?