By: Peggy Willms

(4 min read)

I donate – and always have. As a minimalist, attaching myself to a vase or pair of shorts stamped with the University of Arkansas ain’t my thaaang. There are certain items, however, I have carried around for years such as my great-grandmother’s suitcase with the satin strings I am sure were used to hold her bloomers and aprons in place. Oh, it is cute. Some of my family heirlooms hide in that relic which, by the way, there are no keys; don’t lock it!

Inside, you will find my grandfather’s WWII flight manual, an 1813 New Hampshire Constitution, sheet music from the ’50s, a newspaper with J.F.K’s shooting on the front page, and so much more. I am also attached to the 45 years of journals tracking my life nearly daily. Tucked away are 16 years of journals my mother wrote nearly daily from my birth through 10th grade. Those journals are a gas! When your memory starts to slip later in life, I will pull those out and get quickly back on track, let me tell ya.

Shall I chat about the suitcase and the journals someday? Yes I shall. That will be fun. Not today.

Back to my lack of connection to material objects. Other than pictures of my family, my Keurig, and the family suitcase, material items serve a purpose for me until they don’t. If I have no use for it and no one wants it – off to Goodwill it goes.

Aunt Bessie’s ceramic whatever it is…candy dish maybe? Perhaps an ashtray. Donate.

A third electric blanket someone bought or regifted me. Donate.

Lava Lamp. Donate.

Curling iron. Bought for me because it was on sale. I have a Mohawk, people. Donate.

When I moved to Florida six years ago, I donated every pair of pants, sweaters, jackets, business attire, and the like. Shorts, sundresses, swimsuits, and sandals came along—smart move since I haven’t needed jeans since.

I have moved 25 times in my life which might explain why I don’t drag around this shit all over the world. Give me my coffee maker, appropriate clothes for the weather, and my antique suitcase, and I am off to the next destination.

In June, we bought a house, and I hopped on the purge train. We did a great job. About five or six bags went to charity in addition to chairs, lamps, dishes, and more. Awesomesauce.

As part of the deal, the couple we purchased the home from asked to rent it back from us for a few months until they found a home. We had no choice. It was part of the contract, and we wanted that house. Are you kidding me? Who does this? Back in my day, you sold a home because you were moving and had a home to move into. You didn’t sell a home and then try to find one to live in. Oh, the 2020’s are a different decade for sure. In a single decision, we went from renters to buyers to landlords.

This forced us out of our rental and in limbo because our annual rental contract was up on the closing day, and obviously we were not moving in with these new “renters.” Though in hindsight, that would have been a brilliant option.

We had to move our belongings into two storage units. TWO. For people who do not keep their crap how did we fill a 20×20 and a 20×15? We moved everything into the units a few weeks before closing, and I kid you not, the day we closed, they gave us their 30-day notice. So much for a few months. We could have arranged to stay a month longer at our current rental, but nope we gave our notice and moved out.


We headed one hour out of town to stay at our friend’s house – two suitcases each in tow. Our friends are snowbirds so they leave town every summer. What a blessing it was to live in their home. It was like staying at a 5-star.

And here we are, riding the purge train yet again.

After 30 days, the couple renting our home – their old home – finally moved into their new residence. Cool beans. It was time to move all the items stored into our new home. As we unpack what we JUST packed a month ago, we are already starting Goodwill piles. Why is it that just four weeks ago, these items were important enough to keep that we paid to store them, and now we feel they are entirely unnecessary.

Six baking sheets…really? SIX. Donate.

Three fruit bowls…come on, man. Even this plant-based eater cannot consume that much fruit and veggies. Donate.

Twenty pairs of sandals…fuggedaboutit. Donate.

Ten matching, large Tupperware bowls…dumb. Donate.

Three hand-held can openers. Who needs three fricking can openers? I don’t camp! And there are no Bush’s Baked Beans in this house. Donate.

Blankets, pillows, shirts, storage shelves, books, rug, two yoga mats. Donate. I have only taken a peek within a four-foot radius of the garage.

For me, a good ole purge symbolizes new growth. I am willing to move on. I am expanding my horizons. Enhancing organization allows for creativity and efficiency. I must be making room, but for what? Only time will tell. I can tell you what there won’t be room for, and that is another wicker basket.

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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