Tupperware and Rubbermaid bins are on sale at your local hardware store right now. How do I know that?  How do I know these things are for sale around you no matter where you live?  The same way I know exercise equipment, diet books and smoking cessation devices are on sale near you too.

It’s the rule of the resolution.

Take one resolution, add one retailer, mix it all together and you have a frenzy of New Years Resolution items on sale. They’re all on sale for the one month that we think we can accomplish anything like quitting smoking or eating better just because we scream-slurred it out-loud in a drunken stupor at midnight while simultaneously smoking a cigarette and eating a bale of cheese covered something.

Even if you didn’t make a resolution to get more organized, people just naturally want to clean things up in January.  Clean up, clear out, dejunk. Getting rid of all the Christmas decorations gives your house a renewed sense of “Hey, this place isn’t so bad”, and you want to keep it up.

That’s why every year at the beginning of January I host a Throw Away 50 Things adventure of a lifetime!  It’s a well known fact that adding “adventure of a lifetime” at the end of anything will make you more willing to see it as a fun filled activity.  Next week it might be  the Removing Gum From Your Cat’s Fur adventure of a lifetime, or the Washing the Vomit Covered Sheets at Midnight Because it’s Stomach Bug Season, adventure of a lifetime!  All very fun filled as you can tell from the “adventure of a lifetime” tacked on at the end.

Since 2012 I’ve been chucking, heaving and throwing out 50 random things every January.  The Throw Away 50 Things idea was inspired by a book by Gail Blanke, Throw Out Fifty Things.  And every January I’ve tackled something different.  My junk drawer, my stack of warranties and instruction manuals, even my fridge and freezer have been subject to the humiliation of being stripped.

THIS year I had a lot of options.  The Ikea cupboards in my office are filled what I don’t even know what. Random bits of weird stuff that have no business being in the office of a busy, working blogger. Things like staplers and calculators and business cards. What the hell do I need those things for?  I’m a blogger, all I need is a pot of coffee, an Instagram account and a cutely posed cat. That’s it.

The other place of distress in my house is under my bed.  In a small house with almost no storage any available spot to put things is fair game.  My sister, Pink Tool Belt, found out how true that statement is when she helped me move my living room around at Christmastime.  Under the couch we found several iPad skins, a pillow, a birdbath, a laptop table and one prune.

I wasn’t even really sure what was under my bed anymore. For years I just shoved things under there until nothing else would fit, then I walked away never to retrieve a single thing from under there again.  I can’t really see anything under my bed but just knowing it’s there makes me insanely agitated. I hate it.  It bugs me.  I don’t sleep well just knowing a few inches beneath me lays a bunch of useless stuff covered in cat hair.  Also that under the bed spot could be a really cool fort for me. At the very least it could be a moderately comfortable hiding spot.

So under the bed it was.  I was fairly certain there wouldn’t be 50 things I could throw out from under there but clearing out the clutter under it would definitely be in the spirit of “Throw Away 50 Things”.




What is it with me and pillows? Why did I have 6 pillows under my bed??!  I knew there were a couple, but SIX??  The reason they aren’t on the bed is because they’re cheap, fibre filled, uncomfortable, lumpy pillows.  The only thing that’s changed since stuffing them under the bed is now they’re cheap, fibre filled, uncomfortable, lumpy pillows covered in cat hair.


No idea why I thought I needed to keep the bag my Prada purse came in but maybe I thought if I saved up enough of them I could act out the Pretty Woman scene one day when someone at the feed store was rude to me.

Ditto for the Apple product boxes.

The down duvet is going to my mother, the super-fun plastic surgery magnets to a friend, and I ate the Gaviscon after realizing that Pretty Woman was released over a quarter of a century ago.  And then I decided maybe I should keep the Face Lift magnets for reference.

By the end of it all I dusted and washed the floor under the bed then slid the dining room table leaves back under the bed.  They just don’t fit anywhere else.

I will sleep well tonight knowing the cleanliness and tidiness that is beneath me.  This Princess has removed the pea.


Now it’s your turn.  I would like you to pledge to Throw Away 50 Things (or clean out from under your bed) so you too can sleep well.

Let everyone know what you’re going to do in the comment section in case it’s some terrifically good idea that no one else has thought of so we can all do it.

Since the bed project went so well I might tackle my office tomorrow night after work.

And by after work I mean after Instagramming photos of my cat and coffee cup.



  1. Ev Wilcox says:

    I think I will start with the dining room closet. Need to make room for two folding chairs that are always stored upstairs (so dumb-have to carry them down when needed and then carry them back up)! I have so many areas that need to be gone through. I have been thinking about it all week-you have jump-started me! Thanks! My back, however, is really worried….

  2. Patty says:

    I have a new mattress being delivered tomorrow. I should probably clean out under the bed. Now that I think about it, I should really clean the whole bedroom. It may be long night.

  3. Ella says:

    Very sorry about Cuddles!

  4. SusanR says:

    I already had plans to clean out the downstairs hall closet, and the pantry. That should cover 50 things for me. My husband and I have been cleaning things out over the past couple of years, but I’ve avoided those two places like the plague. The closet is Fibber McGee’s, and the pantry is just a complete mess. I doubt very much from it can be saved. We don’t use much canned food, anyway, so I’ve no idea where it all came from. Spiders took it over at some point, and I refused to put my hands in there any longer. I bought some long rubber gloves to be able to deal with it, and will have the vacuum at the ready!

  5. We started in December (does that count?) by cleaning out two small closets, that I believe were attached to Narnia given the amount of crap we had stored in there in proportion to their size, and gave away 6 contractor bags filled with clothing, shoes, assorted stuff. We also gave the grown kids their board games from childhood. It truly delighted them.

    Two more large closets to go, and then…the dreaded attic. Sigh….how do humans gather so. much. crap.

  6. Emma says:

    I highly recommend the book Throw out Fifty Things.
    It is really useful to get you on the track of thinking about what you really need in your life and what you can let go of. I am a shopper so I have way too much stuff. I am a reader, crafter, magazine-aholic and baker/foodie. Oh and wine girl. And I love home decor.
    This is a recipe for a house full of lovely things but I rotate them out season by season to keep things in check but my closets are very very full.
    One great tip I could offer is that every January I go through our file drawers and throw out all the bills paid from the previous years (paper copies), save for tax and home & car insurance receipts. This also goes for any appliance manuals or cars we no longer own. And old cell phone manuals, other tech boxes… Why do we keep these boxes?!? I shredded papers the other day for THREE HOURS.
    It was highly therapeutic and inspired me to look around the room where the shredder is in (our downstairs office) which is my guy’s territory/changing room, dresser area for his clothing as well as his book storage room as he is a teacher.
    A noble occupation, but holy sh*t was there a LOT OF STUFF to be shredded/sorted/reorganized/tossed. With his permission (and this is VERY IMPORTANT…don’t reorganize another person’s space without their okay!.. After an added thorough dusting & vacum, this entire job took me one whole weekend day.
    The planned Xmas decorations to be packed away got moved to the next day’s to do list.
    Every Xmas I also sort through all the stuff as I re-pack it and send some to donation or toss if it is broken or no longer suits my tastes. In the past 5 years this has enabled me to pare down my Xmas décor by at least 50%. There is proof of this in the tangible evidence of the empty gazillion Rubbermaid tote boxes I now have a surplus of. I use them all season long for hauling stuff and for rejigging my other garden supplies and outdoor décor, so they are always useful.
    Karen, hope you are feeling a bit better. Thanks for all your great posts. Happy 2016!
    Right now, David Bowie is singing a tune to Cuddles.

    • Cynthia Jones says:

      “David Bowie is singing a tune to Cuddles”……..that has made me cry. Cry hard while lying in bed this morning here is Aus.

      So sad. Life can be so sad and so beautiful. Poor David, poor Cuddles. Though I know they loved their lives. So, I guess it’s OK.

      I cant say RIP. But I will say, “Thank you both, David and Cuddles for reminding us that life must be appreciated and not wasted on the bullshit that is out there”. xxx

    • janpartist says:

      Ah, what a sweet thought.

      • janpartist says:

        I guess Cynthia and I posted a reply to Emma at the same time. The sweet thought was for Emma thinking of David Bowie singing to Cuddles.

  7. Monique says:

    Same here with pillows! Not under the bed..but closets..etc..why can’t I find the perfect fun post..I would have kept the Prada bag too!

    • Emma says:

      Ikea has great pillows and a decent price. Time for me to toss the 6 we have that are just so so and way too old for some new ones!

      • Karen says:

        Those are the only pillows I’ve kept Emma! (they’re on the bed so they don’t really count) Ikea’s duck feather and down pillows. Don’t mash away to nothing even after years, have good support for your neck but are still soft and fluffy. ~ karen!

      • Gretchen Sexton says:

        I have never shopped IKEA for pillows…but will be doing that hereafter!

  8. Jack Ledger says:

    Books, books, books. I have a myriad of books in drawers, on shelves, in bookcases………..and I don’t read. Not that I can’t read but reading has never grabbed hold of me. I attribute it all back to high school, university and college. They made you read crap! Paradise Lost, the Great Gadsby, Walden’s Pond, and the complete collection of Shakespeare. Now a little of this was okay, just to hone my interpretive skills, but nary a page of any author currently living and dabbling in the adventures of the high seas or a high drama courtroom was allowed to cross our paths. I hope they are not making the same mistakes in our high schools and colleges across the land.

  9. Nancy says:

    I am starting with our two upstairs bedrooms. We moved two years ago and placed both our college aged daughters boxes of stuff in closets and all over those rooms. It is time to go through it and determine garbage, sale and keep items. Our town has garage sale days in June and I hope to have ours loaded with items to earn some extra cash.

    I will also be selling the crafts I made to sell at craft shows. It was fun to make things and I tried selling at several shows but just did not sell as much as I thought would. It all must go! There is 200 items in there for sure.

  10. Kitty says:

    Boy do I need to give serious thought to your suggestion(s)! I have taken the first step by informing all friends & relatives to please not give me any gift that cannot be consumed or self-destructs within 3 weeks…because I am the most sentimental pack-rat ever. My husband always told people I was the only person he knew who saved mail addressed to “Resident”.

  11. Robin Fishback says:

    gah! My girlfriend and her new boyfriend spent the New Years Weekend with me and she is a bit OCD. She went in my pantry and asked if she could help arrange things. My pantry is not that large but we ended up throwing 2 full bags of expired items! eek! It inspired me, though, and I began organizing our basement. We’ve lived in this house for 20 years and have raised two daughters. The basement is the product of out-of-sight/out-of-mind so there is an accumulation of 30 years worth of our family stuff. I wish I had taken a before and after because I think you will call me a liar when I tell you that my husband has donated 10 full bags already. That’s from just one third of the basement. I am definitely on a roll. And it all began with my girlfriend in my pantry!

  12. Ruth says:

    “Tupperware and Rubbermaid bins are on sale at your local hardware store right now.”

    Nope. They don’t exist in this neck of the woods, and if they did, I can guarantee that they would not be on sale. When you live out here on the sunny isle, everything from ‘farin’ (foreign; anywhere overseas) has to be sold for top $$$$. If store owners got the idea we’d be desperate for plastic bins, the prices would be even higher.

    On another (more interesting) note… how are face lift magnets used? (I didn’t even know such a thing existed)

  13. Danni says:

    so weird! that’s what I did this weekend, cleaned two drawers, one medicine cabinet, under the sink, and one closet in my bathroom… my tiny 6 x 5 bathroom… 3 bags of garbage and a massive bundle of old unusable sheets/towels/curtains later I found a hairdryer, (which I hadn’t found a few months ago and bought another!!) and TWO bathroom scales, (which I thought I owned zero of and was planning on purchasing!)
    I suppose I need to appreciate winter more, because if it’s NICE out I’m outside in garden/shed/garage doing FUN stuff. I hate cleaning. Although throwing things away and breaking their hold on me is a great feeling, have to admit!

  14. Thera says:

    I am still working at becoming a Minimalist (hubby and kids really dont help, maybe I will ditch the hubby) and I am doing the January Cure and following Project 333 (33 items of clothing per season, I just went through my closet for winter and I am down to 26 items!
    But I am sure I can find another 50!

  15. whitequeen96 says:

    I always had a rich fantasy of what my life should be someday – lots of elegant entertaining, with me in an evening gown, and with beautiful tablecloths, stemware, crystal, etc. I’ve finally realized that I HATE formal entertaining and much prefer to have one or two friends over for a casual evening. Therefore, I’m finally getting rid of the stuff that’s been cluttering up my house; I don’t NEED a huge silver-plated tray or 12 water goblets and matching wine glasses. I probably used these things 2 or 3 times in the 30 years or so that I’ve had them. Goodbye to all the stuff I thought I wanted back when I was young. And a joyful Hello and renewed appreciation for my cozy, comfortable, ACTUAL life-style!

    No more aspirational buying for the mansion I don’t even want anymore. I’m very contented in my “rose-covered cottage.” Thanks for the inspiration, Karen!

    • NinaMargoJune says:

      This hits close to home! Don’t entertain the way I do in my fantasy life either. Already found 50 things that have found a happy temporary home at Goodwill, and am now about to banish a couple dozen wine glasses, lusterware tea set collections – will keep one or two favorites – and vases that haven’t seen flowers for 10 years! Feeling better just thinking about getting this stuff out of my life and into someone else’s! Am at the point that I don’t even remember where or which husband I got this stuff from.

  16. Joslynne says:

    Got my first big laugh of the year ( your photo!)…and I even laughed after hearing about David Bowie’s death – I wasn’t sure I would be able to laugh today.

    Thank you very much!!!

  17. Rose says:

    Nice bed. You can even hide under there. I gave so much stuff to Value Village that I got a 30 % off coupon, which I immediately used and bought $150. worth of more stuff and got $50. off. I made a new custom fitted kitchen table with a bench seat nook, so now I’m selling my old table on kijiji. Also bought some new undies from Marks’ on sale, so threw out about 6 pairs of baggy granny pants.

  18. Rebecca says:

    I think I’m going to take on our built in in the dining room. We’ve lived in this house for nearly 6 years and the drawers in the built in haven’t been looked at since.

  19. TucsonPatty says:

    I never do the resolutions, as I know I never keep them, but I am working on getting my cluttered, pack rat but not quite hoarder house upended and straightened.
    It went through a huge life changing upheaval about 4 years ago, when the house got a new furnace and duct work and a new floor, all in the wrong order. Everything was moved out of the house into rented storage containers in the front yard while the work was being done. I think every tiny scrap of crap was gotten rid of, but now the paper has once again overwhelmed me. It will get done. I don’t know how soon. You all give me inspiration. I now need energy.

  20. Shawna says:

    Hi Karen,
    Love the idea of throwing out fifty things. I had read somewhere that once a month you picked a different room in your house and tried to get rid of twenty seven things but fifty is even better! However, my throw away pile never looks as good as yours:)
    If it’s you in the picture, you should get that magazine mock up framed! It’s so cool.
    Which Prada purse did you buy? Wow, lucky you…
    The chenille blanket looks too pretty to be junk.

    • Karen says:

      Yep that’s me in the mock up from when I hosted HGTVs “Designer Superstar Challenge”. The purse was a gift and it’s the classic, large leather, over the shoulder Prada purse. Chenille blanket is useless. It’s just sort of small, and all the fringe is tangled and … I’m pretty sure it’s actually half made of cat hair now. ~ karen!

    • Sue says:

      On the 27th day of each month, if you are on the FlyLady plan, you are tasked with finding 27 things to throw out or give away. I have been amazed by how easy it actually is to do this.
      My husband and I challenge each other to complete the task – and, Goodwill comes out the winner!

  21. Marna says:

    Love the photo of you under the bed! I am ready to get rid of more stuff. I took boxes and bags of stuff to donate just before both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have to go slow, health issues, blah. I already started another bag full of stuff to go. I have to be slow, but I am going to stick with it the whole year.

  22. Cathy says:

    Too cold to work in the basement after work, so I too, shall tackle my den. I use the sleigh bed as a catch all for ironing that piles up, my desk is small and over run with all sorts of I-don’t-know-what. Then onto the Elfa drawers that have tons more junk etc. and the closet with coats and clothes I’ve been meaning to donate…
    thanks for the kick in the butt, Karen!

  23. Jac says:

    Thanks, Karen, for the article and all the Commenters for ideas. I’m going to check out the KonMari and the January Purge sites for ideas. Then if only I can work up the determination to make the ideas into reality…I think my picture probably appears near the dictionary definition of pack-rat but I’ve been too scared to look! I do find purposes all the time for my saved things but as someone else said, it’s now gotten to the point where I can’t find the things I’ve saved so that doesn’t make much sense.

  24. Robert says:

    I’m really sorry Karen but there’s no way you are making me throw away my paper bag from Hermès or Vuitton since they where my first 2 and incidentally can be used for grocery shopping as I’v done in the past 2 years and still are in good condition, or the receipt for that mater.

  25. Kim says:

    Firstly I wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss of Cuddles. I just read Friday’s post now. It is so hard to lose a pet. ❤️❤️❤️

    As for throwing away 50 things, I think I will start with my cutlery drawer. We just moved in November. But darnit if it isn’t already full of stuff that isn’t cutlery. Also I will do one other random drawer. And that Pyrex dish in my closet full of stuff that isn’t a casserole. Jewelry and my daughters baby hair. It should be better organized. ;-)

    And this is a great adventure. I am supposedly doing Apartment Therapy’s January Cure, but I basically just did the first project (buy yourself some flowers) and ignored the rest. (I got an orchid). But darned if I can’t clean a junk drawer!

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, the junk drawer is always a pretty easy and satisfying clean up. They recommend buying flowers first? I’d recommend it as a thing to do once things are cleaned up. :) ~ karen!

  26. Danni says:

    I LOVE doing 50 things! My friends all do it too now and we brag about all the crap we got rid of. (No one brags about fact that we must be secretly replacing the crap bc we all seem to keep finding 50 more!) I am getting ready to do new floor in almost all of the 3200 sq ft we have here, so ready or not, I will be looking under ALL the beds, dressers, couches, chairs, dressers etc. God help me, it’s the only reason we don’t already have this little project done. I don’t want to KNOW what’s under there. PS I very much like that you ate the gas pill. It made my night.

  27. Dale says:

    My wife and I with over 35 years of pack-rat-itis have fallen into a pattern of 10 items come into the house, yet maybe only 2 items are taken out. Our house is basically a black hole. There are items in our house, I know, but finding any specific item takes more energy than that item is worth. Or there may be a project to accomplish, but it takes longer to find the tool to do the project than it takes to do the project. Maybe I need another Expresso to give me my Ninja powers to get stuff done.

    Does taking stuff to Goodwill before Christmas count in the 50 things to throw away? I thought I was giving Goodwill some designer jeans (the ones with holes in the knees) but my daughter said if they ain’t Levis they ain’t designer jeans. Boo Hoo!

  28. Bridgett Junkin says:

    No problem. I have 20 things right now ready to go to thrift store. Working on office some more tomorrow. By weeks end I should have (including books) about 100. If we count paper I’ll have over 500. But I’m cleaning out my parents house this year so I keep bringing stuff in. ?

  29. Pam says:

    I succumbed to the lure of the on-sale bins last weekend, but haven’t yet put them to use. My plan is to organize and cull the office closet, which is storage for almost everything I don’t need on a daily basis. (Or even on a yearly basis. I haven’t put up Christimas decorations in two years so why do I keep them?) I’ve been pretty good about pulling and donating items every few months, but it just never seems to end. I’ll set my sights on a minimum of 50 things this week. Woohoo…I feel lighter already!

  30. Cynthia Jones says:

    I do this between Christmas and New Year. Knickers. Start with Knickers. Throw out ones with the poop pouch in the back and the ones with bad elastic.

    Then dingy white socks. Then go through your wardrobe and get rid of everything you did not wear last year because it was too tight or you needed a strapless bra with it.

    Then shoes that are beautiful but a bit too firm. Snip off any fancy bling or decorations and superglue them onto Target ballet flats.

    Then your hangers. I like plain timber ones. I cut up dishwashing sponges and put them over the end with elastic bands to stop leaving grooves in tops and cardigans. Throw away any hangers with signs of mould or soak in bleach and water.

    Throw out daggy nighties and jamies. Go get some fun ones from Woolworths or Kmart or Walmart.

    Wipe over your makeup thingies and wash any brushes or sponges. Wipe out the bottom of the drawers.

    Throw away any single costume jewellery and earrings. You have waited long enough for the other one to re-emerge.

    Take a long slow look at your husband while he is not aware of it. Wait a week, do it again. Then take action.

    Get up on a stool and check the top of the fridge.

    Throw some copper sulphate crystals (from the feed store) down your drains and toilet. It kills tree roots inside the pipes. You really should do it once a month with one tablespoon, but I barely clip my toenails, show has time for this shit.

    Vow to pack your Christmas decorations safely and fabulously with individiual padding. But give up every year cos you couldnt be bothered finding the right sized boxes.

    Throw out that shitty relative or girlfriend who makes you feel niggly irritated after seeing her. Trust me they’ll find someone else to annoy. 2016. No narcissists, Borderines, liars or manipulators.
    Crazy=yes, Unidiagosed=HELLO NO.

    • Robert says:

      I can’t imagine having ALL the stuff you just describe, why would anyone keep all that in the first place?

    • Gillian says:

      Thanks for the tips! I didn’t know about the tree roots.

      Some of that madee chuckle because I can see me doing it. LoL

    • Elizabeth Kays says:

      Karen, you have met your match, though apparently from another continent. Recurringly, I realize that “my” tribe has been found.
      Sometimes my hoard tells me just to look for what I MUST HAVE and sweep all that is left into the trash.
      Living in a hurricane prone zone makes me live like that from time to time: Rescue and Save all things I cannot live without, and damn the rest. My imagination savors the loss, though reality has saved it all.

    • jainegayer says:

      I didn’t know about the husband. Took a long look this morning. So far, so good. But I’ll do it again next week. Promise!

    • Mom of Chirp says:

      I particularly loved ‘the take a long look at your husband’ suggestion. I did that and it was the greatest clutter remover I’ve ever had, physically and emotionally!

  31. Cred says:

    I have too many nooks to go through to purge 50 items. I did recently do my project closet but my work table needs love, my closet, guest room closet, under the bed- geez! I’m in the midst of rearranging the kitchen so I will commit to start in the cupboards.
    Thanks for the motivation- I’m not sure there’s 50 things in each of those places but I will focus on a different space each week. I will give myself to permission to stop at 50 but I can see how cleaning up one space will keep up the momentum.

  32. MissChris SA says:

    Mmmmmm, the other half and I decided to do room by room in December.
    I did managed to tidy linen cupboards and some of my wardrobe and all the excess blankets, pillows, towels and duvets as well as clothes went to a charity drive we did at our club for the really needy people.
    We also managed to get rid of the old lounge furniture and purchase new, smaller, more modern one (it looks a lot better).
    I cleaned out the garage (my half) and chucked out about 60 empty food cans that I was keeping for some or the other project – after a year I had done nothing with them. I hate throwing things away that could be turned into something useful, but I did it.
    We also cleaned up old garden furniture and a lot of it is ready to be dumped (we don’t have the luxury of leaving things on the verge here and other people picking it up).
    In all, now that I look at it, not bad – but there is still a hell of a lot to do!!

    • Irene says:

      I don’t know which part of SA you live in, MissChris, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same all over; if I don’t want something I put it outside and it’s gone in minutes! In fact, I was once putting the shell of a washing machine outside one day and a bakkie stopped before I even put it down and the dude asked me if he could have it. It’s VERY rare to put something out and still find it there the next day. :-)

  33. Wendi Miller says:

    I LOVE a good fort ;o)

  34. Mark says:

    You write about cats and cat hair under the bed, but the photo is of you under there! Very funny!

    • Karen says:

      Yes, … well … that’s the after shot where I’ve made enough room for my “fort”, :) ~ karen!

      • RachelSD says:

        I actually snorted out loud at that photo, Karen! How did I know there was going to be a photo of you under the bed at some point in the post!? Cozy fort. :) Off to throw out 50 things…

  35. NinaMargoJune says:

    Perfect timing! (Except that I made a road trip to Goodwill just last week with about 20 items…), but will round up 50 to donate tomorrow. Gotta sit myself down for a serious talk along the lines of “what the hell have I been saving this for?!” Will ask myself the KonMari question also… Does this item bring me joy? …Maybe 75 items tomorrow!

    • Sue says:

      I bought “The Life-Changing Magic . . .” for my iPad several months ago while on a road trip with my husband. After reading several sections to him which he punctuated with exaggerated eye-rolls, I quit, and forgot about the book – until (!) I received in my stocking this Christmas the hard cover edition!
      OK! I get it – so, now I will be concentrating on and owning my contribution to the clutter if for no other reason than to shame him into doing the same!
      Guess I’ll show him . . .

  36. OK. I’m throwing out 50 things from my office tomorrow. Or rather, later today since it’s well after midnight. (One New Year’s resolution was to go to bed before midnight at some point). This sounds like fun. Does each book of English grammar count?

  37. Bev says:

    Love this idea! I need to declutter for sure – still have lots of teaching things and have been retired over 2 years now! I’ll be aiming for more – but 50 is a good target for this month.

  38. Sally says:

    I recognize those Apple boxes! I HAVE those boxes! That’s it, I’m doing it. I’m throwing out 50 things.

  39. Kip says:

    We de cluttered the kitchen this weekend, there are at least 30 things ready to take to Goodwill and one bag of stuff went in the garbage, another into the food/yard waste bin. What a great feeling! We were inspired by the Apartment Therapy January Purge advice-though I wish they’d use a different word for decluttering.

    • Shannon says:

      I hadn’t seen this title for their annual clean up. In years past they called it “the cure”. As in the cure for your miserable little space I suppose. But they certainly have some good tips. I like the outbox. Anything you aren’t sure your ready to part with goes in a box near the front door. Revisit the box after 30 days and most of the time you’re like, “get it outta here!” Happy purging.

      • Shannon says:

        Oops, I see a you’re that’s needed instead of a your. Consider it edited.

      • Mia says:

        Yes, I call mine the “maybe” box. I know the handle-only-once rule, but this works for me really well. Especially for sentimental items; it gives me that transition period I need to decide. After tossing other stuff, I get on a roll and then keep only one or two items from the maybe box and the rest goes.

        • Catherine says:

          We use it to house toys that my son can’t quite bear to give up, even though he outgrew them 5 years ago and they aren’t quality, sentimental, save for the grandkids toys.

          They move into the maybe box and then, usually by the next year he’s forgotten all about them and they can go to a new home.

          Except for the Legos. The Lego’s never go away, despite all the pieces that I vacuum up. They currently live in a contractor size tool box. Anyone have genius storage ideas for them?

  40. Jane S says:

    As I undecorate from Christmas I realize that I no longer want an entire bookcase full of knickknacks. Because it came from a great-aunt, I can’t quite get rid of it. An attic is a blessing and a curse. I did however throw out a large bag of pillows.

  41. Suzanne says:

    Snort. The junk drawer, the lotions and potions cupboard (no storage in bath room) in the hall, that damned blind cupboard in the corner of the kitchen, and the closet by the front door that holds NOTHING of importance but the vacumn and the man’s coats (and 10 sq ft of superfluous shit).

    So why am I on the iPad? Lazy ass, that’s why!

  42. Brin says:

    Karen, your epic cleaning has come to the surface just in time! Oddly enough we seem to be getting rid of some of the same things. lol Only I had two table leaves (no table), one loan sock, cat hair, and a 50 ft. extension cord I had used on an electric clock that lacked 2″ in length to reach the wall socket.

    My whole house is due for a cleaning from top to bottom. I bought and moved in 3 yrs. ago, it’s small and perfect but I had to leave behind 26 yrs. of my ‘stuff’ when I sold my farm. I still have 3 rooms packed in boxes to the ceiling of stuff I can’t live without only now don’t remember what any of it is. So, I will be sorting everything to donate, give away and then pitch and burn.

    Thank you so much for your article as it has boosted my enthusiasm to do this when I would most likely prefer to be doing something else. lol But somebody has to do it, right? :)

    I will be ‘getting rid of’ 50 Things every day until this next May and then I will take a break start decorating again. Whatever needs doing….it never ends. ha

    Hugs, and thanks for everything you do and share, xox

  43. Lynn Johannson says:

    The height under my bed is perfect for my many standard size cans of paint. Why so many? Projects, many projects. Why, you say, under my bed? Can’t keep them in the garage, too cold, enclosed back porch, ditto. Used to keep them behind the couch but it made it harder to get to the curtains. Guess they’ll stay under the bed and I’ll clean out my closet instead. With all the old clothes that have outgrown me (I lost 50lbs) I have lots to get rid of ’cause I’m never getting that big again!!! Maybe more than 50. That will make lots of room for new stuff? Ah, the anticipation!

    • Jac says:

      Huge congrats on the weight loss, Lynn – I too have several different sizes of clothing from years of my weight variation. I admire your confidence in getting rid of your “fat clothes” !! Happy New Year :)

    • Lauren says:

      Oh man, genius idea about keeping the paint cans under the bed! Paint deteriorates if it freezes, and I live at the coast so the cans rust (everything rusts)(even things you didn’t think could rust rust).

    • Nancy C says:

      I have a suggestion about the paint cans. It is worth it to go buy a box of large mouth quart sized mason jars and a short plastic bin that slides under the bed. Even if you can’t get the lid on the container, you can place the lid under the container. Pour all of that paint into separate jars even if it takes more than one to hold each color. Promise, your paint will last. You can write what brand, specific color, room, and date with a Sharpie on the side of the jar. Time well spent. I describe myself as an organized craft hoarder. But I will admit I struggle getting rid of things. You should read the book “Stuff ..very enlightening. Or better yet, listen to the audible version while you are purging. Apparently hoarders have a more than normal attachment to their things.. I laughed because it is so true. I told my husband I treat my stuff like puppies. If I knew they were all going to good homes, I could easily give them away. Cheers on the weight loss.

  44. JM says:

    I’ve already set a few priorities: I have 30 books already picked to donate, and next up is he guest room closet. There are all kinds of things in there that I haven’t looked st since I moved in 2 years ago, and it’s time to clean it out. I need to make more room for my yarn stash, naturally!

  45. Flash says:

    When we moved. Wife said it wasn’t fen shu to have things under bed. So I build a pedestal frame. I do believe I sleep better . Except when I think of that beautiful empty space going to waste

  46. Lesley says:

    This’ll be hard. I’m the person whose home people come to and go, “Wow, you’re so TIDY!” There’s nothing at all under my bed. Last year I decided that my CDs took up too much space so I took all 80ish plastic cases to the recycler and replaced them with neatly labeled CD envelopes. My 80ish CDs now fit in one 12″ box. Can the 17 books I donated to the used book store yesterday count? Of course I volunteer at the used book store so it’s only a matter of time, days really, before I bring more books home. Maybe I should give this some more thought.

    • Kim says:

      Your house sounds AMAZING. This is what I am working towards. I don’t have anything under my bed either. But I have kids. So what you describe is still pure fantasy. But I love it!!!

  47. Sandy says: many things does 40 pounds of cat hair under the bed equal? And how does it get there? My cat still has hair (on her). Lots of it. Ok, so now inspired, my under the bed collection of Gracie hair goes away…at least until next Tuesday…

  48. Auntiepatch says:

    Our Annual Neighborhood 4th of July Yard Sale is coming up and I plan to have 500 items in it. That is from my craft room, the garage, the storage shed, and the kitchen. Should be fun!

  49. CINDY FESSLER says:

    6 months ago I sold my 3000 sq ft house and moved in to a 450 sq ft RV… and I went from 3 – 10×30 storage units to 1 – 10 x 10. I have sold, given away and donated… a lot and it feels great! I am left with is quality, pretty, and … what matters. Just do it! Thanks for the inspiration and affirmation. I think I can tackle what is left in that storage unit now.

    • Jhody says:

      We did the same thing about a year and a half ago, from 1150 sq ft to 350 and we love it! It was incredibly freeing. You’re left with what you love. Congrats

      • Gillian says:

        I want to do this! I really only live in one room right now so aside from cutting out all the stuff (pronounced CRAP) it won’t feel like smaller space at all. …and to have one to call my own will be Divine!!

        Real success stories like you both inspire me!

  50. Pat says:

    You are soooo right about the January resolutions. I have already gotten rid of three large bags of clothing, a box of books and another box of miscellany….over 50 items! A friend has me now addicted to the KonMari method of tidying so look out the rest of the house. You start with clothing, then books, papers, miscellany. Hey, I own that green chenille blanket. It decorates my bed!

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