Sunday 28 September 2014

100 things in 30 days

Recently, I threw out 100 things in 30 days.

Photo by martin via Flickr.

The clear out wasn't prompted by anything in particular. I was pottering around, doing my weekly tidy-up, and found three things I didn't need and set aside for the charity bins. Then I found some more.

3. Skirt that I used to love, but is now too small and reminds me of bad times. 4. Ugly bag Ive never liked. 5. Two lipsticks and a mascara I havent worn in years. 6. Ugly blazer that never fit right. 

I looked at these things, and said, "I bet I could throw out a hundred things." Right, I thought. I will. 

8. Top with a fraying hem. 

I've always been a bit of a collector (I won't say "hoarder"). It's a habit that dates back to childhood (what doesn't, O Freud). We were what could be termed politely, "lower middle class," and while there wasn't any obvious deprivation, there was an expectation that if one needed an object, one would find or improvise it, rather than buy it. 

13. Decorative chopsticks
14. An awl

Therefore, it was more logical to keep things. If you threw something out, there was no way to replace it. Once gone, it was gone forever, and could never return. 

22. A cracked wine glass
24. An ugly notebook
25. Purple crochet cotton

I've tried to be aware of this habit, and channel it wisely - check out my pantry and my emergency supply kit sometime. And there are good parts to it too. Not "replacing things" means not shopping needlessly. Still, the clutter had spilled over into my room. So I cleared things out

28. Wedding favours from a wedding in January
29. A blue plastic ball. 
30. A broken crochet hook. 

I recycled everything I could, and donated the rest. I sold two items on TradeMe, and made $100. Not bad. 

38. A jumper I used to love, but haven’t worn in four years.

I found keeping a list very motivating. Every little clear-out session, I set a goal. "Just find three things today. Just get to number 45 and then take a break."

42. The box a necklace came in. 
Once I had started, continuing was easier. If I hadn't used an object in a year, it went. Even if I might need it some day. 

54. A broken belt
55. A pashmina
56 and 57. Two belts

It sounds like a lot of work, but I was mindful of taking breaks, and it only really took a few hours spread out over the month. 

67. A dress I’ve never worn

I only removed about three bags of "stuff" - lots of the list as things like "a dried up mascara" which don't take up much room. But I have really noticed the difference in my living space. 

74. A pair of sandals I’ve never liked

So many things were things I didn't love. It really surprised me to find I owned so many things I didn't love. 

Now I've completed the challenge, I keep looking around and seeing things which could go. I'm thinking of doing it again. Or even flipping it on its head: finding 100 things in 30 days which are worth keeping

Here are some cleaning resources:


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