2014 throw out 100 things challenge



To see my most recent Throw Out 100 Things Challenge, click here!

(Hint: I’ve got 7 tips at the end of the post to help you tackle your own home!)

Over the weekend I took a few hours to do another Throw Out 100 Things Challenge.

And man, does it feel good!

Going through our stuff and identifying what we don’t need, use, or love feels like I’m giving our home a facial.

Plus, these regular exfoliations control clutter and highlight what we don’t want to acquire in the future.

Though the term “throw out” is in the challenge title, I trash as little as possible. Most items are donated, recycled, and passed on to someone new.

I believe that each item as has its own “life cycle” independent of our lives. We are simply the stewards for our items as long as we need, use, or love them. After that time has passed, it is our responsibility to take the items someplace where they can be used and appreciated again.

That said, I’m also a big proponent of the ventilator test: If you suddenly died, and your loved ones had to deal with your stuff, would they toss it out?

If so, don’t keep clutter because you are sad to see it go in the trash. It will go there eventually. Don’t let it stress you out in the meantime. Simply bring more awareness to future purchases.

Another reason I love big exfoliations like this is because it makes me so happy to pass on stuff to new owners! Back in the days of Jess LC I felt giddy giving my team nice exfoliation items.

Since I don’t have a local team anymore, I stashed several new or “good-as-new” items I thought my friend might like into a little bag with a bow and a note on her doorstep.

She loved her surprise gift bag so much that I’ve now made her a second little bag of items that I was previously going to donate.

Which goes to show you never know how much joy your unwanted stuff might bring to those who could need, use, or love it.

Now, without further ado, here’s this year’s first 100 Things Challenge!



7 Throw Out 100 Things Tips

If you are thinking about doing your own 100 Things Challenge, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Set an intention. No surprise here, right? One great place to start is to create an intention for your wardrobe and home that can help guide your exfoliation choices and shape your environment according to your vision.

2. Try to “batch” items as much as possible. For example, I batched six nail polishes (#67) and seven tumblers (#12) as single items. Batching really helps you make significant progress.

3. Take photos of emotionally important items. Sometimes we keep items we don’t need, use, or love because they are tied to a memory we are afraid we might forget. Rather than save the item itself, take a photo (or make a video!) and create a memory book so the memory stays and the clutter goes.

4. Box it. If you are unsure about some items, put them in a box and mark it with a date 1-3 months out. If you haven’t thought about or needed the items in the box by the marked date, donate the unopened box.

5. Test travel size products first. When trying new products use samples or purchase mini-sizes first. I did this with some hair products (#86-88) which I ended up hating. Because I bought the little sizes first, I saved a bunch of money, product, and packaging.

6. Check your condiments. A great place to look for exfoliations is to go through your condiments and find expired items.

7. Observe trends. Once you have done one or two 100 Things Challenges, you’ll start to notice trends in the exfoliations. What brands are you consistently throwing away? Why? Let these observations educate your future purchases.


Exfoliations, whether they are challenges like this or smaller routines like The End of the Week Exfoliation, are a great way to control clutter, bring joy to others, and optimize the use and lifespan of the items in our lives.

If you do this challenge and blog about it, please send me a link so I can check it out!




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  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    I love this! It feels so good to go through your belongings every so often. Our community has a huge annual yard sale, this year it’s in May, and I’ve already got piles of items ready to sell! What doesn’t sell will be donated.

    1. Jess Lively

      Awesome! It’s great to hear that you’ve already pulled aside the things you want to sell ahead of time so you don’t have to look at/deal with the clutter in the meantime.

  2. Chicspace/Marguerite

    I took the week off (would have been only 3 days at work anyway) and tomorrow I’m planning on tackling several closets. Really frustrated with how much I have.

    1. Jess Lively

      Very nice! I am excited for you. Having less physical clutter can really affect how you feel mentally. Not having the friction of walking into a cluttered closet can really go a long way! Have fun and if you have trouble letting go of things, try to set an intention that is really meaningful to you to help you gauge what should stay and what should go.

  3. I’ve been pretty good at tossing things lately…but mine is more of a rampage vs an organized effort to exfoliate my life. lol 🙂 I’m also working on using up some things (like lotions, perfumes, hair stuff) before I allow myself to purchase anything new too. It’s hard when I want new things, but I feel so much better making use of previous purchases too.

    1. Jess Lively

      Hey, rampage works, too. ; )

      And I totally second the makeup/lotions thing, too! (Though it might look like the makeup I exfoliated is new, it was all used up except the crappy hair products that made my hair look flaky). It’s a great rule to live by as much as possible. : )

  4. Stacey Beth

    Brilliant!! What a great way to clean up and organize.

    1. Jess Lively

      Thanks, Stacey Beth! It really comes in handy when you are feeling like your home is bloated.

  5. Jessica

    I totally have that random bag of pinecones too (from Target a year or two ago). I think this is a sign that I need to get rid of them too (considering I haven’t used them yet)!

  6. This is totally up my alley (I may or may not be an over-exfoliator:) I’m moving this week, so this post has me pumped. Thanks, Jess!

  7. kelsey williams

    Do you tend to toss the same types of things every year, or do you learn over time to not keep those items in the first place?

    1. Jess Lively

      Honestly, a lot of what I exfoliated was given to me in the form of gifts or freebies that companies sent over the holidays. So I am pretty good not keeping/buying things that I won’t use… but things others give me are always a hit or miss and can’t really be ‘stopped’ (however, I do encourage family to get me gift certificates).

    1. Jess Lively

      The Gucci was my mother’s purse from the 80’s (so about 30 years old). It was worn into the ground and the white plastic cording inside the leather lining was popping out on the cornters and the top was disintegrating (the photo just doesn’t show it well from that distance/with that filter). So it has lived it’s full life and is now gone. But I’m glad that I got to use it for so many years before it died!

  8. Brittanny

    I should show this to my mother. She is a hoarder and can not get rid of anything.

    1. Jess Lively

      Real hoarding can be a difficult thing. But if she doesn’t need professional help, the tips at the bottom of the post might help her think about exfoliating in a new way.

  9. Johanna

    Well, this popped up in my Pinterest feed at exactly the right time.. I’ve been feeling so aimless and stressed about the future, and was really looking for something to snap me out of it. Excited to dive into your blog, and excited to do my own 100 Things challenge – I firmly believe that a decluttered apartment contributes to a decluttered mind, and this is just the push I needed.. thank you!

    1. Jess Lively

      That is so great to hear, Johanna! I can totally relate to what you’re saying about aimless and stressed out about the future. I hope your exfoliation helps you get that peace and clarity you need. Our physical environment really does impact our mental environment.

  10. Veronica Marcial

    I’m doing my 100 things challenge starting today. I can see already how challenging this will be for me since I’ve already minimized my things multiple times in the past two years. I moved cross country in 4 suitcases, and I’m about to journey again, this time in 2. This is just the jump start I needed.

    1. Jess Lively

      Wow, it sounds like you are pro when it comes to exfoliating the unnecessary based on your moves. Good luck with today’s challenge!

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you so much for sharing, Hun! I love your photo on your side bar, too! So pretty. : )

  11. Jane Lennon

    this is gonna be sooo hard. i’m an emotional hoarder, i’ve tried to “exfoliate” my house so many times, and there are things that i don’t wanna keep, but can’t seem to get rid of (an example? my grade school folders. i know, ridiculous.)

    1. Jess Lively

      Hi Jane,

      Did you see the tip #3? Perhaps it might be useful for the emotionally important items:

      3. Take photos of emotionally important items. Sometimes we keep items we don’t need, use, or love because they are tied to a memory we are afraid we might forget. Rather than save the item itself, take a photo (or make a video!) and create a memory book so the memory stays and the clutter goes.

      Best wishes with your exfoliation!

  12. I’ve missed a couple of posts about how you and your husband decided to move to Austin. I’m trying to find a search box so I can read up on the posts I missed, but I’m having difficulty finding one. Is there an option for me to read your archives about moving to Austin? 😉

  13. Sara

    I snickered hard when I saw the lonely unmatched socks. I have a bag full that I’ve toted through 2 moves! I also snagged some of my sweethearts holey (clean socks). However, his have found a use 🙂 I used them to hold my Christmas lights in bundles. Best repurpose I’ve had yet!

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