Getting rid of 1,000 things . . .

One of my general aims of living more consciously is to streamline the number of ‘things’ I have in my life. We had some work done on the house last year, which involved boxing up most of our possessions and moving them into the garage and loft.

Six months on, the house is finished but we still have boxes and boxes of stuff which now have no home for. Most of the time, they are a case of  “out of sight, out of mind” which compounds the feeling that we don’t really need most of it.

I have always admired those who are really ruthless about getting rid of stuff. I have a default setting that “it may come in handy one day” that means I hold onto things long after they have stopped being useful or serve a purpose.

I have read a number of interesting blogs and books about downsizing and streamlining your life. I have an aspiration to live more simply and to reduce the amount of stuff I buy and own, simply because I can. Too much time and disposable income can be consumed buying and looking after things that were ‘nice to haves’ . I vividly remember the things that I longed for and saved up for when I was a child and want to bring some of that anticipation back into my life.

All of these thoughts have been bubbling along for a while, but this weekend a couple of instances brought it  to the forefront of my mind. Two people on my Facebook feed sent out requests for things that I had lying around spare in the house. It seemed like a perfect solution, as I could clear things I no longer had a purpose for to good homes for little effort.

The ease of getting rid of these things that I no longer had a use or desire for, got me thinking about what else I could clear out if I put my mind to it.

So, I have set myself a challenge to get rid of a 1,000 things from my house. I have a notional timeframe of achieving this before Christmas, though in reality I hope to complete the bulk of this much sooner. The summer weather always gives me more energy to tackle projects and it is the time of year for Car Boot Sales and other things to help me on my way.

I have created a few guidelines for this project to help me on my way;

  • The main purpose of this exercise is to get rid of things, not to make money. If I can make some money, then great, but worrying about the value of something should not prevent me from getting rid of it
  • I am counting things as individual items or sets depending on how you use them. (e.g a pair of shoes is one item, but a necklace and earrings set would be two items, as you can wear/dispose of them independently)
  • Any containers/packaging/storage items I clear as part of the process are not counted as items
  • It’s ok for me to get rid of things that people have given me as gifts. Ultimately, if I don’t like it or haven’t used it, then it’s time for it to go

The places I am starting with are clothing, entertainment and household knick knacks and will keep you posted on my progress as I go along.

Please don’t be offended if you see something on my list that you gave me. I am sure you would rather I lived in a home I was happy with rather than hang onto stuff!

How many things do you think you could get rid of?


9 thoughts on “Getting rid of 1,000 things . . .

  1. I keep looking at my clothes and debating if I should clear them out yet. Some I probably won’t wear again but then I’m like “Will I wear them post baby?” Our Slimming World group is having a mass collection to take clothes to the Cancer Research shop as part of the support they give to Race For Life and CRUK – shall I adopt you a bag too?

  2. I’m doing this too! I haven’t counted how many items I’ve already got rid of but I think the three large strong bags of clothes probably amount to 500 items! It’s very therapeutic. Good luck.x

  3. I’ve been doing this gradually this year – purging my house one box at a time. I’ve been forcing myself to be ruthless, especially with books, which I hate getting rid of. But giving them away, either to someone I know will love them more than me, or to a charity shop, so that someone benefits, feels better than having them hanging around does. It’s a win-win 🙂

  4. It wasn’t a conscious decision but I’ve undertaken much the same process – leaving my house in Spain and not yet knowing where I’m going meant shipping boxes back to my Mum’s and financial constraints were at the forefront of my mind. Did I REALLY need it? Could I replace it in the future if I left it behind and then needed it again later? Gifts to friends, donations to charity shops… it took some running around but its amazing, when push comes to shove, just what you are willing to let go of (and I’ll probably not miss any of it!). That said, a thousand things… that’s a LOT. Good luck!

  5. I’m a terrible hoarder! I’ve started doing this periodically and my tip is once it’s bagged get rid of it asap as i kept going back into the bags and saying oh no i do need this/these/everything in the world! Good luck!

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