Clearing Up Clutter- Mentally and Physically

Current reading for the weekend includes a great book on cleaning up the clutter in your life. The title is Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke. I’ve only been able to read through the introduction and first two chapters so far, but the ideas contained within are quite intriguing.

Gail wants the readers to find 50 physical things within their home and throw them out. You have a two week deadline. However, the challenge lies in the fact that you may throw out 10 pairs of socks in one instance, and this only counts as one item in your fifty. She believes that as you begin clearing out the clutter, you’ll also be able to let go of mental energy that has been sapping your mind for weeks or months or even years.

She suggests you can place this clutter into three different categories- some of it to trash, some of it earmarked for donations and the third items that you can sell. While I believe we as humans tend to go through one room every three to six months for a deep cleaning, this would be advantageous to just purge ourselves of all the little and big items that we just have hanging around but never really decide to take care of.

I’ll be participating in this challenge on my own. Giving myself a 14 day deadline will mean that I can work on 3-4 items a day and not feel overwhelmed. Where should I start? Probably where the first chapter begins- the bedroom. I think clothing can be the easiest items to think of, and also the longest to go through. I know for a fact I have a number of shirts and pants that I no longer wear, either due to sentimental value or simply because I no longer fit in those sizes anymore.

I have a feeling my cats may go crazy as they see me purging so much within my wares, but I do feel like I have gathered too much “stuff” and need to free up space not only physically, but also within my mind. I’ll admit that I am a pack rat of sorts. It’s hard to believe that I may need some particular quote from a magazine that I have that’s 15 years old, but I have to realize that in the age of the internet, most information can be found within my keyboard and search engine abilities.

So I highly suggest seeking out this book Throw Out Fifty Things. One of the suggestions I remember seeing that I thought was quite humorous was a woman who finally dissolved an unhealthy relationship with her ex-boyfriend- to which the author praised her while informing her she could have some time off before she pushed forward on the other 49 things to throw out. Do you really need that Christmas sweater or the appliance you haven’t bothered to use in the past five years? If there’s something that you’ve had in a box from moving from one place to another- and you haven’t hauled it out to date- was it really that important? Clean up the paper trail, the magazine trail, the catalog trail, the cook book trail- and whatever other trails you’ve piled up.

If you take the challenge, please feel free to let me know about your progress as I let you know about mine. So far, some old pajama bottoms and socks have hit the trash bin, with more to follow. Ah… I feel better already, have a great day everyone!


One Response to Clearing Up Clutter- Mentally and Physically

  1. Rich says:

    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I too have many things that need to go. This might just be the motivation to do it.

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