I know this isn’t a new concept. There have been numerous viral trends about living with less, so please understand I do not think I’m writing anything ground breaking here.
However, something about all those trends just never really interested me. I was never motivated to live with only 7 items. And throwing out 30 bags sounded like way too much and I just felt overwhelmed by the expectation of it. Then one night, my sweet husband said the sexiest words ever:
Um, yes please! We had just returned from a week long vacation where we easily and comfortably survived with just the items we could fit in a suitcase. While weather and social life were a factor, it was a bit eye-opening when he said “why would we need much else?”
So Brit suggested we aim to get rid of one item every day for 60 days. I wanted to say,”OR, let’s do a full blown purge of one space everyday for 60 days!” (I may at times get carried away, not think things through, and take on way more than I can handle). As a parent, and just a basic human trying to live life, it is completely unrealistic for me to expect that much of myself.
So we said one item. Each day. 60 days. We started at the end of October meaning we would finish our 60 days at the end of 2017. And you guys, can I just tell you, we got rid of over 200 items that were taking up precious space in our home! And these were just the things in good enough condition to sell or donate. We still had two large black trash bags full of things we didn’t even add into the total.
How it worked
Set up a dumping location
We had two large boxes and placed one upstairs and one downstairs. I kept them in visible locations (even though it drove me absolutely nuts to look at and walk around a huge donation box constantly) so they acted as a reminder each day.
Ugh that box! Oh yea, I need to toss something in there today.
Retrain your eye
I began to look at things in my daily life for their use rather than out of habit. I think we get so used to seeing the same things every day that they just become part of the scene in our home. The three spatulas, with the one that’s cracked. It’s just always there. Because it’s always been there. And I always pull it out then stuff it back in when I realize it’s the damaged one. But that’s just the way it’s always been.
How ridiculous is this?! But it’s so normal. It’s so common. We tend to hang on to items because we’re just used to seeing them. It took about one week to retrain my eye, to start opening a drawer and really looking at each item independently, rather than looking at the picture I’ve just grown used to seeing.
No, I don’t need this pair of boots that are super uncomfortable, I’ve only worn once, and make my feet look weird.
No, I don’t want to continue to store the His and Hers travel soup mugs that we clearly needed and used next to never.
No, I don’t want to look at the bright red lipstick I bought when I was obsessing over Taylor Swift (who am I kidding, I still obsess over her).
Even while getting dressed in the morning, I started to just assess my clothing even more. I own so many clothes that made me feel uncomfortable when I wore them. I would never choose to wear them but I held on to them “just in case”
…just in case I lose that extra 8 lbs so the shirt isn’t so snug
…just in case I go out to a fancy party around Christmas time and the weather is nice enough to wear this sleeveless sweater top
…just in case I go back to work in an office setting and need to wear the work pants that are most likely out of fashion now anyway
You get my drift. Don’t get me wrong, I purge my closet often, or so I thought. But I was still holding on to so many things unnecessarily. I think I had a fear that if I got rid of too many articles of clothing I’d end up with nothing to wear. You guys, I wear the same things every day anyway. It’s not like holding on to these things was making me wear them more often. If anything it was making me feel more stressed and depressed each time I saw them.
I look at my closet now and it’s spacious. I can see everything so easily. And what’s even better, I love everything in there. I wear everything I own. Nothing brings guilt, unhappiness, or stress. And I even have a completely empty drawer now!
At the end of each day, Brit and I would ask each other what we got rid of that day. If we hadn’t removed anything yet, we’d spend the 2 minutes it takes to brush our teeth finding our one item.
Toss the 6 floss containers we’ve been storing because our dentist sends them home with us. We both prefer the floss sticks anyway and will never use them.
Set a reminder on your phone, or put a trash bag or box in a high traffic area (if you can stand the sight of it). Eventually, you won’t need the reminder. You’ll get so excited to get rid of things, you’ll have dumped 10 things by noon.
Don’t look back
Once it’s in the box or bag, don’t take it back out. Don’t reminisce over it, don’t second guess. Just close it up and drop it off at the donation location (or have them come pick it up!)
I don’t want to end this post by challenging you to take on a 60 day challenge, because I know how annoyed I got when people told me to get rid of 30 bags of things. So instead, I guess my challenge would be to look at your spaces, look at your drawers, look at your every day life. Where can things be scaled down? Where are you holding on to things that serve no purpose or only bring negativity into your home? Don’t hang on to things waiting for “someday”, when that someday comes, you’re likely going to want something new, or not even remember the old item tucked away in a drawer anyway.
Thanks for visiting,
On completely unrelated matter, I just wanted to share this post with you all featuring my DIY Nursery Art. They served as such a great distraction during those early days when J was learning to roll over and diaper changing was impossible. Now they are a target in his kicking practice when I change his diaper. Not quite as cute, but he gets elated when he knocks one down. This is exactly what I envisioned when I made them. Exactly…