The Constant Purge

Our one year old boy keeps my wife busy, engaged, and on-the-go all day, and I’m always inspired by how much she’s able to get done in addition to keeping him entertained and taken care of. Even so, people always compliment her on how the household always seems so organized. The other night, she was telling me about one of the techniques she uses to help keep it that way. I liked it so much I thought I’d share it here. She didn’t have a special name for the idea, but I thought it deserved one, so I’ve dubbed it “The Constant Purge.”

Every time my wife opens a drawer or closet to retrieve something, she’ll take an extra moment to see if there’s anything she can get rid of. The things she’ll find vary: a pen we haven’t used in months, an expired coupon, an old throw pillow, and she’ll either throw it out or toss it into the donation bin we keep in the garage. This kind of mindset, she explained, keeps things from piling up. And if you’re paranoid about throwing something out that you might need, you can create a “staging area” in an out of the way place. Let things live there for a few weeks before you officially toss them.

It might take you an extra moment or two throughout the day, but if you keep up with the practice, you can eliminate the need for bigger, more time consuming purges like Spring cleanings. The stuff you don’t use will already be gone.

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