Throw Out Fifty Things

Ok, so I have two major sources of overkill in my life: clutter and food. I'm overweight and overstuffed into a tiny little house a wonderful husband (who came into our marriage with, like, 2 bags), 2 awesome kids (who are my current inspiration for de-cluttering...since their baby gear needs a home!) and 3 dogs (who spend a lot of time outside while I think about cleaning).

My successful weight loss journey started in September with www.sparkpeople.com and now I'm ready to carry that ongoing success (I'm about a 1/4 of the way to my goal weight) to my other "biggest" problem...my stuff.

I have not read the book yet, but was inspired enough by the interviews, reviews and website to start yesterday anyway. I purged items in my kitchen cupboards that have been weighing me down for years. A few jars (I am NEVER going to can anything - and that's ok!), a bunch of pitchers (when you can replace them for $2 in an emergency...do you really need 7?), mugs that traced my personal history of jobs, hobbies and bands that I liked over the last 30 years (did I think I'd forget where I worked, and did I really want to hold onto a place that laid me off???) and a menagerie of not-quite-Tupperware-inspired plastic dishes and lids. So day 1 produced 1 bag and three boxes which were going not to the trash, but to our local thrift store...when my mother called and said the dreaded "we're going to have a garage sale". So - because I haven't read the book yet and because we are nearly broke (in the sense of $, but not spirit or joy or love!...see previous reference to mugs-from-business-that-laid-me-off) those boxes (and bag!) sit by my doorway...the harbinger of indecision...to donate, to sell, to throw away - that is the question.

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Comment by Denise on April 9, 2009 at 12:06pm
Thanks Tracy...I bought the book the next day and was so pleased that there were lots of alternatives to the garbage can! Since then I have more than surpassed the 50 things...and am working on reading the book for the 2nd time (thought if I keep reading it throughout the process I'm be more motivated and also think of new things to get rid of)!!!

Liz - I was just talking to my husband about those 2 things...losing weight and clutter! I saw a commercial about alcohol abuse help and I said I wished I could attend a meeting to see if it would have an impact on my stuffing myself and my house! Then it occurred to me that with alcohol or smoking or drugs - you can try to quit cold turkey and give it completely up. But with eating and "stuff" - you can't stop eating cold turkey and you can't live completely without stuff (well you could, but...) so maybe that's why it's so much harder to conquer these things. Or at least that's why people are less successful then these 20+ years sober people and former smokers, etc!

Hi, my name is Denise, and I eat junk and keep junk I don't need in my house. :)
Comment by Liz Cooke on April 8, 2009 at 11:45am
Do the garage sale, but then- load up your car and take what you don't sell directly to the goodwill. You know the drill. On another note clearing out clutter is like losing weight. Make a plan, and know that it takes time. If you make little changes each day (go for a walk, clear out a drawer) and log what you clean out and what you eat - in three months you will be in a good place. In September two of my friends went on a diet. I didn't really commit to it, time passed and by Thanksgiving they had lost about 20 lbs each on Weight Watchers. In January I decided that the next three months was going to pass regardless, and at the end of that time I wanted to be 15 lbs lighter. It's april and I'm down 12 lbs. It was slow, but I logged and worked out, and I'm glad that I did it. The whole getting rid of clutter, getting rid of excess weight goes together really well.
Comment by Tracy on March 26, 2009 at 3:46pm
Have the garage sell with your mom, it will make her happy. You'll get a little cash..... then you can buy the book with some of your profits, if you don't already have it. Then donate the rest so that your not contributing to the landfills. I just bought the book yesterday and I am excited to read it this weekend! Good luck with your journey!

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