throw out 100 things (part one)

Over the holiday break I took a day to compile a collection of 100 items in my apartment that I don’t need, use, or love. I have done the Throw Out 50 Things challenge many times (again, and again) over the past three years. It is inspired by Gail Blanke’s book, Throw Out Fifty Things. Though I never read the book, I knew the practice was a great one for making under.

But this time I felt like stepping it up a notch and going for a full 100.

And though not super easy, it felt good to purge some items that weren’t getting used.

For those who might be too intimated by 100 items, I recommend trying the habit I created in 2009 of exfoliating one item per week. I called it my End of the Week Exfoliation. This practice is easy, and pretty much pain free for even the most clutter prone of people.

And of course, it goes without saying that the items don’t all end up in the landfill, I first make sure to donate, pass on, or recycle every item that I can. But at the same time, I don’t keep something around my home just because I feel guilty about throwing it away. At some point it will end up in the trash if it’s not usable any longer in any other way. So the cautionary tale here is to be very intentional about the purchases we make in the first place.

When I first compiled the items to exfoliate, my Christmas tree was still up from the holidays. I think the time between Christmas and New Years Eve is going to be my new time to do a thorough exfoliation each year. It feels great to lighten up my space after receiving a few new items from the holidays.

Here’s what I don’t want for Christmas really looks like:

Not pretty, huh?

Here’s the break down of the first fifty items that weren’t being properly used, needed, or loved in my home:

1. Holiday gift bags
2. Used notebooks
3. Business cards
4. Pant hanger
5. Magazines
6. Outdated address labels
7. Interview portfolio
8. Stickers
9. Cordless phone
10. 2011 calender

11. Running shorts
12. Bra
13. Panty hose
14. Sports bras
15. Tank top
16. Tank top
17. Tank top
18. T-shirt
19. Race tank
20. Running pants

21. Trash can
22. Business card book
23. Stuffed animal
24. Outdated glasses
25. Camera box
26. Point and shoot camera
27. Cork squares
28. Old receipts
29. Folder
30. Jewelry organizer portfolio

31. Extra Tupperware
32. Old cutting board
33. Old cocoa mix
34. Plastic boxes
35. Glass plate
36. Glass jars
37. Coaster
38. Vintage tray
39. Hershey’s Kisses
40. Glass tray

41. Printed shell
42. Printed top
43. Button down
44. Printed top
45. Vintage silk top
46. T-shirt
47. T-shirt
48. Tank top
49. Tank top
50. Cardigan

I’ll be back later with the other half of my 100 things!


This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Helena

    Haha – I love that you had a SkyMall magazine laying around your house!

    I’m constantly exfoliating. It helps that my sister is nearby so I can see if she wants any of my cast offs (generally gently-used business casual clothing I’m tired of). I feel so good seeing her wear them (she looks great and the item gets a new life!

  2. carolyn

    love this idea, not only starting with a fresh new year, but consistently trying to exfoliate–it’s addicting once you get going! i totally agree with your point about feeling guilty for throwing things out, and found this especially challenging around the holidays when it comes to gifts. i appreciate the thought behind gifts from over the years, but after a while, just keeping stuff in drawers for the sake of keeping it doesn’t do anyone any good. it feels much better to donate and know someone else will get good use out of these things!

  3. KathrynwithaY

    I’ve been contemplating doing something similar. It feels like once the tree and decorations get put away, I have to refresh and organize my stuff! Like a winter “spring” cleaning! Plus, I found an ages old extra-small sports bra amongst the stuff I was organizing (from high school, probably). What little elf left this teeny sports bra here? Definitely in the Goodwill pile! ūüôā

  4. I totally did this exact same thing last week! It feels so good to go home and not feel like I have to sift through boxes and piles of clothes to find what I need. My closet has tons more space, my house looks cleaner and more put together, and I feel much happier. Not to mention, so do the people that will receive my donated clothes!

  5. Lisa

    I did the end of the week exfoliation for a while, and I need to get back on that. Wouldn’t hurt for me to throw out 100 things too!

  6. This is so weird, I literally came to your site just now to look in the archives for your old “throw out 50 things” post I remembered, to inspire me for my upcoming de-cluttering. And I arrive at the site to find this post right on the first screen! Fate, I tell ya! I want to get rid of stuff I’m not using, so these posts are going to be my guideline/inspiration. I’m going to try for 50 things!

  7. Jess

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, ladies! It sounds like there are a lot of great exfoliaters doing similar projects right now. : )

    Jackie, too funny!

  8. Alison

    I love your list! I did want to warn you about the camera box… if you still have the DSLR and you ever want to sell it down the road, you will get more for it if you have the original box. The same goes for lenses. I learned this the hard way when I recently sold my Xsi to upgrade. It’s not a huge difference, but was still a bummer.

  9. Bri

    I think if the item is broken, ruined, or no longer usable it should be THROWN like you said, but not if it can still be used. I get absolutely nauseous thinking about all of the perfectly good items that can be reused– please please PLEASE donate! The over-production and consumption is disgusting and needs to be stopped. I hope you all donate the items you are exfoliating from your home!

  10. Jess

    Hi Bri, Thanks so much for your comment! I definitely think that myself and the commenters on this post are right there with you – the goal is always to donate before tossing anything that can still be used. : ) And of course, being intentional about what bring into our lives.

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