Guest post from Deborah
My husband and I own a smaller home — around 1000 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We don’t have children or hobbies that contribute to owning a great amount of stuff, but somehow the stuff seems to accumulate on its own!
The stuff seems to come into the home from several places:
- I’m a librarian and my husband is a history professor — we receive many, many books that we won’t read.
- My family is wonderful at giving items to each other for no reason — because we don’t want to throw them away!
- As a professor, my husband often receives small gifts from students.
- Friends often give us things that they think we’ll enjoy… and then those items sit in a closet or a cabinet for months without being touched.
I know we are blessed to receive so many free items from different people — but quite often, these items just sit around the house, gathering dust. It never seems to be enough stuff to have a yard sale, and nothing is usually worth enough to sell through Craigslist.
So once a year, and sometimes twice if I feel the house is getting cluttered, I do a “100 Things” project on a weekend.
It’s quite simple: I must find 100 things to get rid of in some way.
It might be a book I know I’ll never read. It might be a pair of holey socks tucked deep in a drawer that simply needs to be re-purposed as a dust rag or thrown away. It might be a stack of papers waiting to be filed. It might be a bunch of clothes I box up and take to Goodwill, or a box of magazines that I give away on Freecycle.
The bottom line is that 100 things need to leave my home or be put to some other use.
The last time I did this was in December of 2011. I gave away a box of 30 magazines to someone on Freecycle. I boxed up 20 books and donated them to a local organization hosting a book sale in order to raise money. I bagged up some clothing that we hadn’t worn in ages and sent them to Goodwill. When I pulled out the Christmas decorations, I went through everything and found broken items to throw away and other items to be sent to the local Goodwill store. And I always have a box in the garage ready to fill with random items to donate.
We are not big stuff collectors — but I’m always amazed at the amount of stuff I can get rid of once a year when I really try. And I always feel that my home is a little less cluttered at the end of a “100 things” weekend!
Have you ever tried decluttering 100 things?