Why I Dislike Purging

Other military families are so much better at the pre-move purge than I.  I have friends who excel at preparing their homes to be packed up – several of them make multiple runs to donation centers, or set up and run yard sales. Even online yard sales get a lot of military-affiliated traffic near PCS season.

This year, I decided I would take a cue and jump aboard the purge train.  I have accumulated a lot of crap stuff throughout our marriage, so I spent several hours working on sorting what to keep, what to give away, and what to throw away.  It was a nice stroll through memory lane, and the initial day ended with me going through my photo album and taking pictures and texting them to various friends and family members.

I realized, toward the end of Day 1 of purging why I don’t purge.  I don’t purge because it takes me a lot of time to go through the memories I have packed away.  I have to get to a point where I have removed all emotional attachment to the stuff, and look pragmatically at the realistic expectations I have for the things I have accumulated.

For example, in clothing since I have been married, I have ranged in single digit sizes to double digit sizes.  I have clothes I haven’t worn since the workplace, which usually required court attendance one week a month.  I have clothes I haven’t worn before children, that quite frankly would not be the wisest clothing to chase after, or bend over to scoop up small children while wearing.  As I went through the clothes, a part of me wanted to save the various sizes for the, “what if I get this size again” possibility.  It’s not outside the realm of reality that I could wear them again, but I had to take a look at my current size, and assess whether or not I could honestly fit back into some of those clothes before our next move.  And, as I realized that would most likely not happen, I had to admit it’s time to give those clothes away.

I didn’t purge everything that I could have purged.  Those shoes in the feature image?  They contain a fabulous memory, and after speaking with my husband, I am confident I will get to wear them for a couple hours one more night sometime in his career.  If not, they will look stunning with a pair of jeans, or make a fantastic set of dress-up shoes for E when she gets older.  I’m not getting rid of those sparkly, completely impractical, awesome shoes.  Those shoes are staying… for now!

It feels good to purge.  Yet, it can also be emotionally draining.  I woke up the day after beginning the purge with some major muscular fatigue in my upper body.  That’s pretty standard when I have worked out physically, or had some major emotional workout.  For more information about that, you can read this archived article.

My new rule of thumb may just be to take an eagle-eye look at the reasoning behind every purchase I make – instead of automatically saying yes; perhaps I should include self-restraint as a goal to work on this next duty location…

2 thoughts on “Why I Dislike Purging

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  1. I never did figure out how to purge….and I could never “get real” when it came to parting with clothes. And I thought Dad was the packrat! It IS emotionally exhausting.

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