Hello my dears! I am back with a progress update on my Throw Out Fifty Things project. Over the past week, I dove into my bedroom closets, bathroom, and kitchen and oh my, it’s feeling great to see some things go! Are you in the mood to get rid of clutter too? I hope you will join me in whatever way you feel inspired to, and I would love to hear about your progress.
I discovered something interesting as I was knee-deep in Goodwill bags, namely that choosing to be intentional about what I am keeping vs. throwing out is a total game changer. I’ve decluttered plenty of times before, but usually it’s more about making a closet/cupboard/room look better. This time, I am really considering each and every item in my home. Why is it there? How did it get there? Do I love it/use it/need it? And if not, why on earth am I holding onto it so tightly? It’s easy enough to get rid of the obvious junk, I’ve found, but the “nice” stuff tends to stick around, even when you have no use for it – do you find this to be true? I don’t know if it’s guilt, or obligation, or what, but I’m ready to let it go. I want my home to be a reflection of my life now, not how I think it should be and certainly not how someone else thinks it should be!
In the photo above you can see some of my “nice” stuff that I am finally getting rid of. There is a pair of brand-new, never worn knee high Hunter boots. I love the color. I love the whole idea of them. But guess what? I feel weird wearing knee high rubber boots, which means they are never going on my feet. If I don’t get rid of them, they will be sitting in the back of my closet taunting me for the rest of my life. They have to go. What else do we have there? Crystal candlesticks that were a gift from my husband’s work last Christmas. They are perfectly nice candlesticks. But they are really heavy and sharp and they remind me of something Colonel Mustard would use to conk someone on the head with in the library, so they’re out. Then there is the set of towels whose particular shade of pink makes me a little nauseous, a few design books I felt I “should” like but don’t, and a handmade glass dish that is just not me. There was also a bag – a really nice one, quite expensive – that I got during a time of great stress and upset in my life. I realized that just looking at it made me feel a little uptight, so out it’s going – on to another home, where someone else will love and use it.
But guess what? There were some buried treasures in there, too! See that tray in the photo above? I remember the day I found it so clearly. Ben and I were living in Santa Cruz at the time, just driving back from a gorgeous summer camping trip in Big Basin, and we stopped at a little antique shop in the mountains. This little tray immediately caught my eye, and I scooped it up for about ten bucks. It looks handmade, don’t you think? I imagine it graced a family table in a little mountain home for many years before finding its way to me. I think I’ll clean it up a bit and find a better spot to keep it – now that it’s unburied from the back of my pantry!
Speaking of the pantry, it saddened me to have to actually throw out so much food. I guess we just don’t bake very often, because all of our flours and things were expired! Gah. The kitchen took me the longest by far, and to be honest I still have to work at it a bit more. Yeah, I haven’t even touched under the sink. But all of the other cupboards and drawers are cleared, and I can honestly say everything that’s left has a real purpose in our kitchen and sees regular use. The pantry is looking pretty good now, but I need to pick up another flat of canning jars to store staples, and I realized I would love to be able to listen to my favorite podcasts while I’m cooking, so some sort of ipod dock is on my wish list, too.
I promised I would share my “scorecard” of items I am getting rid of, so here it is for Week 1:
- In the bedroom, I am letting go of 3 pink towels, 4 pairs of shoes, 3 bags, 1 set of pajamas, 1 old blanket, 2 old calendars, and 1 bathing suit. Total: 6 items (remember, each “type” of thing only counts as 1!)
- In the bathroom, I chucked 8 old travel size toiletries, 3 bottles of expired medication, 4 bottles of separated nail polish, and 4 crumbly eye shadows, and 2 unflattering lipsticks. Total: 4 items.
- In the kitchen, I am getting rid of 4 unopened (expired) marinades, 3 bags of expired flour, assorted takeout chopsticks and paper plates, 2 sets of coasters we never use, 4 cooking tools we never use, 1 flimsy baking sheet, 2 chipped plates, 1 chipped glass. Total: 6 items, bringing my grand total to 16 items…only 34 to go! :)
This week was exhilarating at the start, and a bit of a mess by the end. I am accepting the fact that a) things will get worse before they get better (as evidenced by the boxes and bags strewn about the house) and b) it’s okay to be imperfect. I’ll be tacking on the fridge and under the sink cupboard onto next week’s list – stay tuned to see how I do with my living room, dining room, and basement!
Doing your own Throw Out 50 Things project? Read more about the project here and share your progress in the comments section (feel free to link to your own post, too!). xoxo Laura
(all images: Laura Gaskill)