Over the weekend I dived into the book Throw Out Fifty Things – Clear the Clutter and Find Your Life by Gail Blanke. It is not so much about minimalism as it is about taking the beginning steps to decluttering. The idea is to have the concrete goal of getting rid of fifty things in all the main rooms of your house. Items of the same type count as one… so 5 pairs of shoes is only one item in your overall fifty.
I started reading it on Saturday morning and by noon I was knee deep in decluttering my bedroom , which is the first room mentioned in the book. Our closet was still full of boxes I never bothered to unpack, clothes I haven’t worn because I don’t like them, and full of kids clothing and possessions. Someone, who shall remain nameless, likes to make only one stop when putting away clean laundry and thus my walk-in closet is the catch all for everybody’s stuff. It took about 3-4 hours to completely clean that room. I ended up with 4 large boxes of giveaway stuff and all the dust bunnies were swept away, even the ones under my bed. And of course I had some serious “talks” with my kids about things like rotting banana peels thrown under there. No more eating in mom’s bed is a new rule.
I really thought we were very “decluttered” after two moves but I still had quite a bit of old clothing I no longer wear. My youngest son and my daughter had lots of clothes they have outgrown, and sorry but toys abandoned in the back of my closet weren’t being missed, so out they went. After the bedroom you follow the author threw other rooms until you have your fifty. I have held off on finishing because my trunk is full of stuff I have to donate and I want to get rid of that first. But afterwards I will tackle those rooms with gusto. The author also recommends the process be about two weeks in length.
The last chapters are all about clearing out the mental clutter and it has lots of good advice for that too. By far my favorite thing about this book though is the personal stories told about decluttering, they were quite funny. There are also green tips sprinkled throughout for how to recycle many of the items you may donate.
Anyone else feeling that itch to spring clean even though it is still winter?