The Power of Suggestion

After the holidays, I caught up with my cousin Angie. Across the state line, she was on my mind, and I texted her out of the blue. Come to find out, I was on her mind, too, so I dialed her number.

“I don’t know where to start,” she said. “Guess what I’m doing?”

I asked what.

“The purge,” she said with a laugh that sounded like Grandma and warmed my heart.

The last time I talked to Angie, sometime last February, I was on a decluttering challenge—donating, recycling, throwing things away—and I told her about it. On February 1st, I got rid of one thing. On the 2nd, two things. On the 3rd, three, and so on for thirty days. I stuck the donations in bags in the closet and dropped them off on weekends. If my math was right, week one’s purge added up to 28 items, and the grand total was 465 fewer things at my house. Angie joined me.

There’s something about the power of suggestion. After our recent conversation, I texted her: “I think I’ll start the decluttering Feb. 1.” I needed time to wrap my brain around the task, and February worked for me last year.

This past week was the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and I was home from school. A text from my best friend Denise popped up. “I’m going to go all Marie Kondo around my house,” she said. I noted the suggestion and sat on my couch feeling like I should be doing something. I flipped to Netflix and watched Gilmore Girls instead.

The next day, I found myself with an extra day off, something about COVID spiking. I started on my closet and my unworn clothes, counting the things and dragging the bags to the entryway. Kody was working from home and watched me. The next thing I knew, he joined me. I didn’t even ask. He purged his closet and drawers. It was January 18, a fourteen-day head start.

It felt good to silently count those numbers: “101, 102, 103.” Then, I loaded the bags into my car and drove down the street to Goodwill.

Photo by Max Rottersman on

And last night’s message from Angie said, “I just found $300 decluttering.”


66 thoughts on “The Power of Suggestion

  1. Wow, 300 is pretty good! I got 100 last week, which was GREAT because we don’t have a trailer or a pickup truck to deliver unused furniture anywhere, so it was 100 dollars plus whatever we would have had to pay someone to haul it away. We are between homes, so it’s Marie Kondo like crazy here! We are setting up home in . . . TEXAS! We’ll be closer to family out there.:-)


  2. I love this idea! I might have to join you. I do remember once when my sister was preparing to move and packing up her purses. For some reason I told her to check inside the purse to make sure there was nothing in it, and she found $20. Every little find is a bonus!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing!!… every time I contemplate de-cluttering, the words of Rose Milligan come to mind… 🙂

    Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
    to paint a picture, or write a letter,
    bake a cake, or plant a seed.
    Ponder the difference between want and need.

    Dust if you must, but there is not much time,
    with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
    Music to hear, and books to read,
    friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
    with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
    a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
    this day will not come round again.

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
    old age will come and it’s not kind.
    And when you go, and go you must,
    you, yourself, will make more dust!
    (Rose Milligan)

    Until we meet again….
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had zero motivation for 2022 and had proclaimed it the year of no goals. Then on January 18, seemingly out of the blue but after conversations with two people more motivated than l, inspiration struck. 👋🏻


      1. Every Tuesday is decluttering day at my house unless outside medical appointments get in the way. Little by little, I’ve been converting Hubby to the joys of decluttering, if only to sort out stuff and rearrange. Last week, it was the kitchen pantry and — yes — we did toss out several items. Bonus: he wiped down all the shelves! (No money found. Did find hidden a long Hershey’s chocolate bar.)


  4. Your cousin found $300 decluttering?! I may need to go through some stuff myself. If I find $30 it would be worth it. Seriously, we try to give away stuff we don’t use as well. 30 day purge? Not sure about that, but the power of suggestion is indeed strong.


    1. I’m not so literal about the numbers each day as I am the overall. If I can dedicate myself to 3 or 4 big sessions in February, then 👍🏻. And if I have to re-adjust my timeline, that’s okay. Word of the Year—GRACE.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think is was more like she saved it and forgot to take it on her last vacation and then forgot about it. I also tend to save large bills in good hiding spots that I’ve found years later. Maybe it’s a family thing.


  5. When I used to love finding money in long-forgotten places… so when I was a teen and had a couple bucks to my name I used to put a $5 bill in my jeans pocket or a bag I didn’t often use just so I could feel that surprise again someday! lol…

    I remember your posts from last year about your purge… not going to lie- it’s inspiring me now to take the same look at my close too….. now only to begin…. 🤞


    1. Especially in the days before debit cards were a thing—to find $5 in a coat pocket from the winter before meant a lot!!

      Last year was harder because I didn’t need too many clothes as a stay-at-home student. I didn’t want to get rid of things I might wear. But this year, if it was too small or I hadn’t worn it in a year or it didn’t make me feel good about myself, then it was gone.

      Good luck, BB!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In 2017, my house flooded (hurricane). I lost a lot of things and learned those things weren’t that important. I lived in a hotel for ten months. Since then, it’s been much easier to let go of the things I don’t need, use, or love. It’s also been easier not to buy as much. Good luck with your process!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that your cousin found $$$ in the process of her decluttering purge. Isn’t that like the cherry on the top of the hot fudge sundae of becoming less cluttered? 😊


  7. That initial step, disposing of the first item, usually is the most difficult. So much inertia to overcome, as well as the fear we’re being too hasty. We tell ourselves we “just might” need that….whatever it is…sometime in the future.

    Shameful to admit, though I’m among friends – I ended up finding things which were mysteries. As in, I had no idea what they were. Not then ,not now. Still, my inner pack rat urged me to keep it, because, hey, you never know.

    Ultimately, though, I asked myself if I had used it in the last five years. When the answer was “No,” out it went. Three years later, not one regret.

    Now, finding $300 would be the ultimate bonus, of course. However, the clutter-free reality I enjoy now is worth $300 many times over.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Or, like me, you do, only to begin accumulating more clutter almost immediately.

        Why try, then? For one thing each “Purge” is a step forward. Plus, it has the added benefit of keeping alive our determination, somehow, never to allow things to get as bad as they once were. Such resolve inspires us to pass on something which, in the old days, would’ve been thrown on the teetering pile with nary a thought.


  8. Crystal, I completely understand! I didn’t find $300.00 when I purged a few times. But in my 3 moves to go to my RV full time for 4 years I think I struck gold! I’m now back in a small house and feel there’s too much “clutter”. My family laughs. 🤷🏼‍♀️☺️


  9. I’ve been doing a good deal of purging myself, I actually feel lighter! It’s not easy for me, I’m a clinger, and I form unnatural attachments to things! It’s my cross to bear! Here’s to austerity! 💕C


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s