getting rid of 112 things

I always thought de-cluttering would be easy to do before a big move. When faced with lugging things across the country — or even across the city! — it’s easy to decide what matters and what doesn’t.

Oops. Oops times two.

When I graduated and took my first job after college, I did some de-cluttering of the biggest things. (My dear friend Erin will remember the Great Desk Discard of 2009. There was no way it would fit into her SUV, so it was a necessary goodbye.) But the little things, like paperwork and mementos and books and random barrettes and headbands . . . they all, for better or for worse, came with me. Between the end of one lease and the start of another, I simply did not make the time to sort through it.

I faced a similar obstacle when I moved about a year ago. I was planning a wedding, so I just threw everything into a cube and sent it to its destination. Some boxes I just never unpacked. Regrets, regrets. I still have things that should never have come with me.

So when I saw Jenna’s decluttering experiment, as well as Jess’s, I was inspired. Jess got rid of 100 things, and Jenna is getting rid of 112 (for 01/2012, love that). I saw their posts last week, but thought I should save the stuff-purging for the weekend. I thought I’d need plenty of time, because 100 things seemed like a lot of things.

How wrong I was. The whole process, including photographing, only took one hour. That’s how easy it was to find things I no longer need!

What did I do with all of it? Some things went to Goodwill. Some went to the recycling center. Much of it went straight to the trash. All told, I was able to unpack several boxes I didn’t even remember packing. One box I’d packed before college graduation and had not touched since.

Greater still, I could have continued far past 112. I plan to do this again, once each month. Stuff adds up, friends. Stuff just adds up. And I crave a life focused on people, not things. 

(from left)

1. Tree topper

2. Sweatpants that no longer fit

3. Re-usable grocery bag with a broken handle

4 & 5. Bent-out-of-shape dry cleaner hangers

6 & 7. Empty oatmeal canisters . . . thought I would use them for a craft?

8. Cracked plastic storage bin

9. Mirror

10, 11, 12 & 13. Stretched hair ties

14. Suction cup hook

15. 2011 calendar

16. Gift card holder (kept the gift card, obviously)

17. Letter opener

18. Falling apart shoes

19, 20 & 21. Old prescription medicines for illnesses I don’t remember having

22, 23, 24 & 25. Belts and scarves I no longer wear

26. Presentation folder

27. Gift wrapping ribbon

28 – 49. Old cards, notecards, mementos (ones without a message inside . . . I keep the ones with messages)

50 – 108. Folders, papers, notebooks from school classes, old mail, rent receipts from three apartments ago, copies of client paperwork, etc. etc. etc.

109, 110, 111 & 112. Magazines from 2010

Jenna and Jess, thanks for the motivation!


9 thoughts on “getting rid of 112 things

  1. Woohoo! I’m glad you found the exercise so productive and satisfying! It’s unbelievable how easy it is to let that little junk accumulate, but I think that taking the time to do it and sort through things is vital to keeping a well-organized house/apartment. I don’t do it often enough, so it’s also been incredibly productive for us this year too! =)

    • Jenna, thank you for the inspiration! It really does make the apartment feel less like a place full of stuff and more like a home. We’re having friends over for dinner tonight and I’m not panicking about the last-minute throw-stuff-in-closets mischief I always get into! 🙂

    • Jess, thank YOU for visiting! Love checking out how others exfoliated the things they didn’t need. I’m excited to make it a monthly thing.

  2. I just did the “throw the magazines out” thing. You know, the ones I thought I MIGHT need one day for some VERY IMPORTANT reason? Haha, yeah, those.

    Decluttering is freeing. Excellent job!

    • Yes, Katie! What is it that makes getting rid of old magazines so tough? Even after I’ve read it cover to cover, twice! Haha! I’m making a resolution to not let magazines and catalogs pile up this year.

  3. Pingback: Purging Petronilla Part 1: 212 things in 01/2012 | Jenna's Everything Blog

  4. If I eat my way through the 8 different cheeses in my fridge does that count as 8 items I got rid of?! Thanks for stopping past my blog. Will let you know when the purge/exfoliation has occured!

  5. Pingback: on spring cleaning | inspiration-driven life

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