Getting Rid of 100 Things of Clutter

As a New Year’s resolution, I pledged to get rid of 100 things of clutter in my life. I figured there must be 100 useless things tucked away in drawers or closets, although I also worried that getting to 100 would be difficult.

Surprisingly, around March, I breezed past the 100 point mark! Some of the numbers were easy to come by: a big purge of cassettes, CDs and VHS tapes added up pretty quickly. As of today, I’ve gotten rid of 195 things and I have another 38 that I may donate to ReSOURCE in Barre.

Here are some examples of things I got rid of:

  • Clothes I haven’t worn in the last year and clothes that no longer fit
  • Food storage containers, especially the ones without matching lids
  • Bowls and dishes
  • A set of old pillows
  • An old pair of sneakers that were just stinking up the closet
  • Two of my three ice cream scoopers (when would I ever need three?)
  • Dead pens (yes, even little things count)
  • Lots of those cassettes, CDs and VHS tapes I mentioned

Interestingly, this challenge improved the quality of things in my life. I got rid of worn out socks and lightly stained clothes and I really feel more confident in the clothes that are left.

Getting rid of plastic containers and replacing those with glass containers makes me feel better about my food and health. I also really wanted to replace my old coffeemaker. It still worked, so I donated it, but the new one is sleek and black, instead of smudgy white, and actually has a lid on the carafe, unlike the old one that lost its lid in one of my moves!

Keeping tally on a small notepad, I can report that I brought 49 things into my life this year, while purging 244 (for a net of 195).

It’s interesting to feel the contagion of simplifying. For example, I have 38 cassettes (Bette Midler’s Beaches!), CDs (Johnny Cash’s 16 Greatest Hits!) and VHS tapes (Castaway!) that I’m still on the fence about donating. But when I think about having a whole empty shelf, I’m ready to toss them into the donation box and queue them up in iTunes!

I’ll keep my “100 Things” tally going until the end of 2012 and it will be interesting to see what else I can declutter. Can I get to 250? 350? More? We’ll see!


Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand

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