One Man's Trash

I am always trying to get rid of things. I probably go through my closets once every month or two months and throw things away. When I moved into the new home and moved my old stuff out of storage last May, I tried to ge through each box as I unpacked it and to get rid of what I could then. I probably gave away a half a dozen bags full of stuff then. I definitely tried on all my clothes and threw away anything with holes, that was too small/big or that was completely not even close to my style anymore (huge Rage Against the Machine t-shirt....okay, actually I kept that to sleep in but I did give away the Nirvana shirt).

However, I somehow still have a ton of stuff and much of it is things that I have not worn for months or years, is expired or that was given to me by someone and just isn't something I would use (or that I need). So I decided to join Lisa in the February Purge Project. Her goal was to get rid of as many things each day as the number of the day that it was. For example, on the 1st, you give away one thing. On the 19th, you give away 19 things. And so on. That ends up adding up to 425 items. While you may think that there is no possible way you could get rid of 425 items, it is surprisingly easier than you would think!

So many old t-shirts!

I did not get it all done in February. I also did not really finish my sorting and purging (I still have the garage to go through! Ack!) However, I did get about halfway through, and in total so far, I have given away or thrown away 333 items. The majority of the things, unfortunately, are smaller things. For example, my biggest category was office supplies. Next biggest category was accessories. Here's the breakdown.

125 Office
73 Accessories
52 Home
43 Clothing
22 Books
18 Toiletries

I have to admit, I still have a lot of boxes from my move that I have not thoroughly gone through. When I began this purge, I started with a couple of them and either threw things away or put them in the Goodwill pile anything if I had not used in years or in many cases, if they no longer worked. For instance, I had so many old pens!

I will not read these again.

Doing this kind of thing takes time, especially when you are talking about some of the things that carry memories, as they are hard to give away. However, over the years I have become better about throwing or giving away things that I am not using or looking at or enjoying and probably never will. As much as I cherish that tchotchke that my grandmother gave me, I really don't need it and it will either sit in a box in my garage or it will just be another thing to dust on the shelves in my house.

I try to think about three things: Does it work/fit? Have I used it in the last 6 months (or year for certain items)? Is it worth passing on to someone at some point? The first two are easy, as they are quantitative. The last is not as easy and is where I often run into snags. The tchotchke is worthless to everyone but me, who associates it with a memory or a person. However, it sitting in a box is worthless as well. So why not enjoy it or give it to someone who may, whether they are a faceless Goodwill customer or a friend. So that is what I am trying to do.

Next up: the garage. I will have an update on that later!

Do you do a yearly or monthly purge? What strategies do you employ? How many dried out or non-functioning pens do you have? 


  1. We are in the process of doing this now. I sometimes feel like the junk in our house is closing in on me. I'm ready to really tackle it and only have things we need/love.

  2. I actually just went through my pens last week when I was on vacation and ended up throwing away most of them! A lot of them were ones I'd had for years. I also went through the bins under my bed and got rid of more stuff. After the Feb purge i was at 550 items but if I kept counting I'd be well over 600! It feels good to get rid of stuff. I struggle w/ the sentimentality thing at times, too, but I've gotten a bit better about it. I also reminded myself that I have moved this crap so many times already - do I really want to move it again when I know I will keep it in storage? The answer is no. Plus this is really a morbid thought but I've had friends who have had lost a parent and had to go through there things and while I think/hope my death is far far away, I do think about the fact that if I accumulate less crap that I don't use, it will make it easier for the next generation... I know, so so so so morbid... but it's also reality!

  3. Ugh. I NEED to do this so bad. It's terrible!

  4. I find that I go through phases of getting rid of stuff. Usually because I get tired of one area (i.e.: a drawer or closet) being too full and will then go through stuff. Our storage room in our basement is crazy full, but there are lots of baby things (i.e.: swing, clothes) that we can't get rid of just yet

  5. I'm really impressed by your purge (as I was with Lisa's)! I need to be better about purging than I am as I have too much stuff. I'm not a hoarder, but I need to let go of some of my clothes, books I purchased for leisure reading, and old make up and office supplies.

  6. Good for you! I got rid of 3 trash bags of clothes for the new year and haven't missed a thing! I can't imagine the difficulty of a full house of boxes!


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!