I really do try to "purge" on a regular basis and stay organized. I do it more out of necessity than anything...the more "stuff" I have the more unorganized I seem to be. So I make it my mission to get rid of stuff I don't use and keep storage areas clean.
I'm not real big on the pretty "basket and bins" storage system. They look awesome but I like to be able to see what I have so I just make sure I stay organized.
Even if a space doesn't necessarily need to be "purged" I try to clean and organize spaces from time to time. This weekend I pulled everything out of my little storage building, sprayed the ant invasion and scrubbed up all the oil and gunk of the floors.
People assume this is a cute little play house or something...I dolled it up a bit (here) so it doesn't look like a boring old storage shed. But inside...that's exactly what it is...a "yard" shed!
I managed to toss a few things but a good scrubbing and organizing all the "stuff" made a huge difference! I try to do this every couple of years because it can get pretty dirty and cluttered! When buckets of ants start falling on my head when I pull something down and spiders skitter across the floor when I get the mower, it is time! Past time!
My general rule is if I haven't seen it or used it in over a year, it is out of here. But occasionally something hangs around a few decades too long.
This stuff is a prime example. Probably 10+ years ago I went through a scrapbooking phase. Then I archived all our old family photos.
I had carefully organized and stored the mountains of leftover paper and scrapbook tools in plastic containers...and there it has sat for Lord knows how many years.
As you can see, the floor had also become a magnet for some pretty nasty stuff!
On very rare occasions I might need ONE piece of colored paper. Guess what....I have TONS of it. Which I think is why I tend to occasionally hoard "stuff." God forbid I need ONE piece of paper and don't have it...so let's keep 5 reams of colored paper...just in case. Or what if I decide to start scrapbooking again...certainly I will need all those scraps of paper with Easter bunnies on it!
So here is the deal...I honestly haven't needed it for TEN years. And the chances of me scrapbooking again are pretty slim...that phase is over...kind of like my size 6 jeans phase.
So why keep it and take up valuable real estate that could be better utilized for something else!
I kept a few things I thought I might need eventually...heavy stock paper and some archive slips and of course the paper cutter that I do use...but the rest will better be served elsewhere. Fortunately I know a few teachers and this is "stuff" I know they can use in their classroom!
Old blankets, sheets and towels.....donate to your local animal shelter. Clothes and toys...women and children shelters. Canned and boxed food items...church pantries. Athletic gear...your local youth center! Paper and craft stuff...drop it off at your local elementary school!
All that "stuff" you have crammed in closets is needed by someone NOW! Why store it "just in case" when it can be put to use now?
Purge and clean one closet, cabinet or drawer a month and within a year you will be surprised at what you don't miss AND you will find your closets and drawers manageable...and will have plenty of room to bring in more "stuff." LOL!