throw out fifty things: 2011 edition

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve recently done a Throw Out Fifty Things Challenge. Though my living room and bedroom were recently featured in Rue Mag, and everything looked orderly and “made under,” there were still 50 superfluous items floating around my home at the time of the shoot. It bears repeating that just because a space looks orderly and clean doesn’t always mean that everything in that space is needed, used, or loved. By exfoliating a stash of unnecessary stuff I earned money, returned items, and gifted away many of my things. Not to mention I feel much more peaceful in my home now that the unnecessary items are gone.

The idea for the challenge was straight from a Today Show segment with Gail Blanke who wrote the book Throw Out 50 Things. Though I’ve never read the actual book, the challenge itself is pretty self-explanatory. I did my first 50 Things Challenge in April of 2009, and it was quite enlightening. Even though 50 things sounded like a lot, it wasn’t that hard to reach. I simply looked at my space (closets are always treasure troves for this kind of challenge) and pulled out all the unneeded, unused, or unloved items.

Later today I’ll be back to share my 50 Things!

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. S.E.Minegar

    I really like this challenge. I completed it a couple years back too. In the book, Blanke’s technique involves like items counting as “one,” so it was quite a productive overhaul for me. So when I recycled twelve magazines, they only counted for one of the fifty items, six pairs of shoes-one item, four sweaters-one item, and so on. At the time I was in bad need of a purge, and in the end I got rid of several hundred things! When I do it now, I generally count each individual item as one.

    The result is amazing either way.


  2. Alejandra Ramos

    I absolutely love this! I recently got married and lately have felt like my previously lovely home is just drowning in stuff (wedding gifts, both wanted and unwanted, clothes, books, things I wasn’t able to deal with during the craziness of wedding planning). I’ve been dying to throw (or really give away) stuff to clear the space and my mind. I will definitely be doing this too! Love it.

  3. Theresa

    You really should read the book. It’s good and a quick read. I just read it a week or two ago. That Today Show clip doesn’t do it justice.

    My apartment caught fire at the beginning of January and I’ve been in a “stuff” limbo. While very little got destroyed, EVERYTHING has been taken to be cleaned because it smells smoky. The book put my anger about being in a temporary apartment, sitting at a card table on folding chairs and using dishes bought at a thrift store in perspective. And, it has inspired me to purge a TON of stuff once I get it all back.

    Good luck!

  4. I love that you are posting about this again! I planned to do it last time I read it, but I haven’t… For some reason it really is tough for me, even though I know it shouldn’t be. Looking forward to seeing what you get rid of!

  5. Sarah


    I’m about to move, so it’s a perfect time to only pack the stuff I really love! Can’t wait to see what you threw out!

  6. megan v

    Inspired by you, I did this challenge back in April/May but I upped the challenge and decided to do 100 things in 10 days. Guess what? I topped that, too!! I had even more motivation because I was moving and probably got rid of close to 200 things. Did I still fill a uhaul full of things…well…yes. But I felt sooo good to know that I didn’t have to lug those 200 extra things all the way to another state!!! 😀

  7. Kelley

    This sounds like a great idea. And Alejandra, I totally hear you about the unwanted wedding gifts. After our wedding, my parents cleaned out my old bedroom and unloaded everything into our new apartment. So not only were we unpacking all our possessions, but we had a pile of wedding gifts to decide what to do with, and I had boxes of children’s books, stuffed animals, and paper dolls to go through! It was a massive undertaking. I threw away hundreds of items, donated plenty, and sold things on Craigslist and Amazon. Although it was stressful and overwhelming at first, I’m really glad that I got through it. Our apartment is happier for it!

  8. My boyfriend just saw this post over my shoulder and said, “oo, I like that.” I then proceeded to tell him about your blog and making under and he was all about it. He compared it to George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air with fitting everything you need in life in one backpack. I think you might have a new follower 🙂

Leave a Reply