Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Challenge Begins

Like many middle class Americans, I have too much "stuff"!  I am not bragging, I am sheepishly admitting to my crimes and weaknesses.  I'm not ready for an episode of Hoarders yet, but I have recently found myself to be drowning in a sea of underused, dusty household items that were purchased over the course of my lifetime as part of my pursuit of the American Dream.  Stuff, stuff and more stuff.  For some crazy reason, my family and I have too much.  De-clutter needs to be my motto!

In an effort to simplify my life and reduce the amount of dusting required in my home, I have decided to challenge myself to throw away or give away at least 3 items a day.  With a number as small as 3, I should be able to do this, each and every day.  It won't take much time or lots of thought and at the end of a year - I will have gotten rid of over 900 items!

I have been unofficially doing the challenge for a week now and it's been so cathartic that I don't want it to end, so here I am blogging about it as a way to keep myself accountable and enthusiastic about my progress.

Yesterday I sent old phonebooks and magazines to the recycling bin.  The day before I collected some fabric scraps and fat quarters for my quilt guild.  I cleaned out my pantry and threw out all the "out-of-date" items.  I cleaned out my laundry room cabinet and within the last few days have thrown out or gotten rid of way more than just 3 items.  This is very happy!

Now if you happen to follow along or take the challenge too, I am only asking that you not criticize me for the embarrassing amount of stuff I have accumulated.  Some of the items will go to charities, but some things will be headed to the trash.  I will make every effort to repurpose items that are useable to others.

Today's Items

Barbra Streisand VHS Tape - Unopened
Empty Box
Dry Inkpads
Free Lens Cleaner Fluid

Of course there is a story behind these items, but I honestly believe that only some of the items are worth talking about!  

That VHS tape was given to me by Mom, who is now deceased.  While I enjoy Barbra as much as the next person who can recognize a great set of singing pipes, I am not likely to ever watch this tape, and have never watched it yet!  It's still unopened.  I no longer own a working VHS viewer (the broken one will hopefully make it's way to this blog soon!), so it's time for Barb to move on!  I've been hanging on to the tape, well because my Mom gave it to me.  I had to give myself permission to get rid of it.  I had to remind myself that it's NOT my Mom - it's just something she gave me.  She would actually laugh if she knew I had hung on to it all this time, unopened, unused and that I have actually moved it to three different homes!  Enough is enough - isn't that one of Barbra's songs?

The Lens Cleaner Fluid will be donated to the Lions Club, and when I pick up my new glasses today, I will pass on the free sample fluid they hand out with every pair my family has ever purchased.  We clearly or unclearly for that matter, never clean our glasses using the stuff!

As you can see, Only 3 Things A Day is often more!  Hooray!

I would love to hear from you if you decide to join the challenge!  Remember, I will never judge you or the stuff you have accumulated!  We need to stick together and lighten our loads!


  1. I'm in and had already started this task this morning without even knowing it was on like Donkey Kong!

  2. Suggestion for your electronics: call your local Best Buy - the one close to us takes up to 3 electronic items per house per day - for free!! I took a DVD player, TV, and some lights..the lens cleaner is great for mixing in with your spray bottle of window cleaner.
    Clothing items - I have a teenager - we go to Plato's Closet, let them buy what they will. When they give us the clothes back that they won't buy, we drop them off at a local charity shop.
    Deluttering is an amazing feeling!!!
    Decluttering is an amazing feeling!

    1. Thanks for sharing about the Best Buy! I never knew! Will definitely hit them up.