Throw Away 50 Things!Again.

You may remember last year around this time I presented you with a challenge. Throw away 50 things.

Any 50 things. Get rid of them. Chuck em. Throw them in the garbage, give them to a friend, feed them to your children. But get RID of 50 things.

Last year my 50 things came out of one drawer alone. My junk drawer. The drawer that has no real purpose other than getting smashed full of things I have nowhere else to put. You have that drawer. We all have that drawer. I can probably list 10 things that are in that drawer right now.

  1. Paper clips of some sort.
  2. Keys you’re saving even though you no longer have any idea what they’re for.
  3. Take out menus for restaurants you never use.
  4. Phone numbers written on scraps of paper.
  5. Cigarette lighters even though you quit smoking 15 years ago.
  6. Extra pens and pencils.
  7. Nail clippers.
  8. Old glasses.
  9. A calculator.
  10. Suppositories.

See?  Pretty bang on I imagine.

Since I felt like I *just* cleaned out my junk drawer there was no  need to reattack that thing.  ‘Cause I just cleaned it out.  A year ago.  Which in junk drawer years is like … yesterday.  NO one cleans out their junk drawer more than once every 5 years or so.  Only weirdos and freak shows do it more.

I just did it.  It couldn’t possibly need doing again.

Just look at it!

 

drawer

 

 

It’s a thing of beauty.  Granted … that’s how it looked last year just moments after cleaning it out.

Here’s how it looked today.  And if we’re being perfectly honestly, it’s been this way since … probably about 10 minutes after its initial cleaning.

 

Drawer Before

 

It’s like a little junk drawer tornado lives in there, picking up junk from God knows where and dropping it into my drawer.  I blame junk drawer tornados on the ozone layer.

So clearly even though there were a million other things I could throw away for “Throw Away 50 Things Day”, I decided to organize the junk drawer again.

The original contents …

 

Drawer Contents

 

The pared down contents after removing FAR more than 50 things.  Some went straight in the garbage, some were dealt with (like the Starbucks iTunes cards), and some were pushed behind the cats’ dish so I could more easily ignore them.

 

Drawer Contents 2

 

What remained was put back in the drawer, plus a few extra things that didn’t fit because of my drawer’s expanding waistline.  Like that black memo book.  That’s my little black book, where I write down my post schedules.  Things like what posts going up on what day for the next week, what posts I have in mind for the future and little reminders about things I have to do.

Funny.  I know.  I use a notebook, not a computer.  I find it easier.

 

Final Drawer

 

January is the time to do this sort of thing.  Clean up. Throw out. Organize.  That’s why storage and organizing stuff is always on sale in January.  Need big Tupperware bins?  Now’s the time to buy them … they’ll be on sale just about everywhere.  That’s why I’m dedicating a few posts this month to cleaning up and getting organized.

Because once you do it you feel great.  Lighter.  Freer.  Fantasticer.   Plus it makes you feel smugly superior to everyone you run into for at least a week, so there’s that.

Now that I have you motivated I’d like you to do it too.  Throw away 50 things.  Do your junk drawer or old make up or your closet … or your whole house!  Just find any 50 things that need to be thrown away and chuck em!

If you send me pictures I’ll post the best ones next week.  I just need a before and after shot and I’ll do the rest. Last year I got quite an assortment and if I remember correctly we all found looking at other people’s junk FASCINATING.

Good luck and happy chucking.  If I’d changed the letters to “f” in two of the words in that sentence it would be a completely different sentiment.

Send your pictures to karen@theartofdoingstuff.com


69 Comments

  1. Cathy says:

    Remember when January was for “white sales”? Ok– here goes…. My junk drawer looks like the bomb squad was 10 min too late…. Hope nothing bites me….

  2. Linda J Howes says:

    Which junk drawer??? I have about 3 of them never mind any flat surface in my home! All week I have been working on my “junk table” and am almost complete. Wish I had taken a before pic of that.

  3. Leslie says:

    Couple more comments –

    Am I REALLY not the only person who saves bits of paper with phone numbers on them? Wow! Amazing. . .I feel less weird now.

    Also the above-mentioned close purge was two paper grocery bags full. . .since there are people who count these things.

  4. Leslie says:

    Haven’t read your blog in months. Have it bookmarked, though, and popped in for another look this morning. What a surprise to read this post now, when I just did another closet purge last night!

    I didn’t count anything, of course. . .does each hanger count as a separate thing? If so I am willing to bet it was at least 50 things!

    They went to a friend who (don’t panic) who will pass them on to people in her church who can really use them.

    And – bonus – I found an item I bought a couple of months ago that I can return because the price tag is still on it! Store credit to buy my son a christmas gift – woohoo!

    I actually read a whole bunch of your posts. Love them all but my favorite category is ‘everything else.’

    The funniest part of the post about the kid with the snow shovel was when you posted your intention to unsubscribe for that sad, pathetic lady with absolutely no sense of humor – what was her name? . . .Doris? As in, go ahead – but don’t bother because I will do it for you. . . Oh, I laughed.

    And the lady who said she coudn’t post because she was snorting coffee through her nose. . .and the ‘excuse me I have to stop now and roll around on the floor and laugh.’

    Not sure if they were the same person. . .

    I am depressed a lot of the time (lost my husband a while ago) and I thank you and your fans for the gift of laughter.

  5. Janelle says:

    I need to do this, like, right now.

  6. kelliblue says:

    Please. My entire apartment is one big junk drawer. :-P My neat and tidy dining table from last year lasted about a week into 2012 (or whenever it was that I last cleared it off).

    However, I just pulled a bunch of stuff from my closet for charity/goodwill/whatever, cleared about 25% off my dining table, and broke down about 10 boxes for recycling, so…it’s a start. :)

  7. ulli says:

    djeeee…. you have the same car keys as me… jeeeej!
    ;o)
    strange woman all over the world are cleaning drawers… have been doing the same yesterday…and the day before and…oh well ;)

  8. Anemone says:

    Some how it seem like the junk doubled the next year for me after I tossed it.

  9. Jeanne says:

    Thanks for the kick in the pants. I am embarrased to say that I did not know that January is ‘organization month’ or that any month ws considered so, but it makes perfect sense. New Year, start clean and fresh. But I do now. My major problem is mail and how long to keep documents. I just googled it (took a few tries to get what I really needed) and found some good quick articles on About.com regarding Organizing Mail, How long to keep Documents, What to Shred, etc. And the links all branch off from here: http://personalorganizing.about.com/od/PaperManagement/tp/How-To-Manage-Mail.htm.
    Happy organizing, everyone. :)

  10. Cat says:

    I toss out 3 bags full of trash every other day…. does that count? We just moved from a pair of bedrooms in a 4 bdrm house with hubby’s parents, and our storage unit that was PACKED from floor to ceiling, so we’re throwing out old junk every day.
    Also I’ve taken to recycling some of my old junk into new junk. (Got myself on a sewing binge, & have 2 new house dresses from old sheets & scrap fabric in 2 days to show for it.)
    The organizing thing doesn’t work for me. If I see something I no longer need, & fail to throw it out RIGHT THEN, it’ll gather dust for the next 18 months, because I forget I wanted to get rid of it, then I forget where it is because I put it up so I won’t forget to toss it out with the rest of the junk that’s going to Goodwill.
    This is my organizing history: “Oh, I need to get rid of that. Here, let me set it inside this bin so I’ll remember to drop it and other stuff that goes in here @ Goodwill next week.” 1 year later: “Oh! Hey! What’s that? When did I lose that? WHY did I lose that? Why is it in here with all this old junk?” 6 months later: “I was supposed to go to Goodwill for something……..”

  11. kate-v says:

    Thanks for the inspiration – today I got rid of 3 grocery bags full of paper of all kinds – old envelopes, advertizements, miscelaneous stuff from the mail. There, I feel much better!

  12. James @ Primary Designs Studio says:

    what a great proposition ! I can’t wait to get home and follow up on this. We have 3 kids and we live in a 3 bedroom Cape – and not one of the BIG Capes, but a smallish Cape. We don’t have the room for half of the “stuff” that we have…so time to throw it out ! Looking forward to the weekend. Thanks !

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