8 Things People Purged From Their Lives During the Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought life to a standstill for millions of Americans. But some folks used the extra time as a chance to wipe the slate clean.

With the entire nation forced to stay home, many of us apparently decided we were tired of looking at so much clutter. So, we went on a purge binge.

A 2021 survey from Wells Fargo found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of the bank’s credit card consumers went on “pandemic purges” to rid themselves of things they no longer needed. Following are the things they most often decluttered.

8. Friends

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It is rarely a good idea to purge friends from your life. But there are exceptions to the rule, especially if relationships become toxic.

Sadly, 21% of survey respondents admitted that they purged relationships with friends during the pandemic.

7. Playroom/child’s room

Mother cleaning a playroom
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Pandemic or not, parents know that cleaning out a child’s playroom is a perennial purge. So, it is no surprise to see that 23% of respondents purged the contents of this room in their home during the pandemic, the Wells Fargo survey found.

For more tips on taming that clutter, read “5 Ways to Declutter Your Kid’s Stuff.”

6. Social media friends

Unhappy man on laptop
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As we mentioned, in the real world, it generally is best to avoid “purging” actual friends if you can. But things are different online.

Social media can be a wonderful way to keep in touch. But it also can make you miserable. So, paring down the number of “friends” you have on Facebook and other sites can be wise. Apparently, 29% of people agreed with that sentiment during the pandemic.

5. Finances

woman with tax returns and supporting documents
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No, you don’t want to purge money. In fact, that is about the last thing you want to purge.

But you might want to streamline your finances or declutter your wallet. About one-third (33%) of people did just that amid the pandemic, the Wells Fargo survey found.

For pointers, check out “10 Ways to Simplify Your Finances and Enrich Your Life.”

4. Garage

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If you don’t have an attic or a basement, chances are good that the bulk of your clutter ends up in the garage. Millions of us apparently quickly tired of trying to squeeze our cars between all that junk, with 44% purging items from our garages during the pandemic.

If you plan to join the crowd, read “5 Steps to an Organized and Functional Garage.”

3. Home office/personal files

Woman working in a home office
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Americans exited corporate offices and entered home offices during the pandemic. The sudden need to work from home turned once-lean-and-clean rooms into chaotic messes.

Nearly half (47%) of us ended up purging things from our home offices and personal files during the pandemic, according to Wells Fargo’s survey. For more tips on streamlining your home office, check out “4 Home Office Tools That Seasoned Remote Workers Recommend.”

2. Pantry/kitchen

Woman in pantry
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It’s so tempting: You see a great gadget and dream of how it will make preparing meals a breeze. So, you buy it — only to find your dream machine collecting dust and taking up space before long.

At least you are not alone, with more than half (54%) of people having purged kitchen items during the pandemic.

1. Closets

Woman looking at clothes in her closet
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How many of us have clothes that haven’t made their way off a hanger in years? Nearly three-quarters (72%) of pandemic purgers tossed clothes from their closets during the pandemic.

Want to avoid another similar closet purge in a few years? Shop a little smarter for your garb. You can pick up pointers in “10 Clothes Shopping Mistakes That Are Costing You.”

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