Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Simplify and Purge: Day 3

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
-Henry David Thoreau

This whole experiment has gone above and beyond my expectations.It is so much easier than I could have imagined... and I have received so much unsolicited support and positive reinforcement along the way. It makes my accomplishments more fulfilling when I know it is encouraging others as well.

Not only is it astounding to me the amount of useless 'stuff' I am able to whisk away so easily, but also, in my small group of friends, how much they can do away with so quickly. If we can eliminate hundreds of items in between just a few people in a day or two... exactly how much unnecessary, useless... crap are we purchasing, wasting resources, and then holding on to for no apparent reason???

I mean Kelly got rid of 63 things, Kameron- 73 from her bathroom alone, Liz- 29 things from her bathroom, C. got rid of countless clothes, shoes, toys, etc... And then discussions began... on Twitter, on Facebook, through texts, in REAL life *gasp*! I saw phrases like "liberating", "great feeling", "It feels great to get rid of things I never use and are mucking up the functionality of the stuff I do." (Sorry, Kam, it was too perfect not to use!)" It feels so much better!"

Anyhow... back to ME:

81 books, 56 random things from playroom, 31 pieces of linens! 168 items today!!! (and a huge trip ready for Goodwill!)

My friend Carolyn was the catalyst for the books. Its one of those areas of the house I never touch. It seems somehow sacrilegious to get rid of books. I feel guilty even thinking of it... but why? I have no idea. And then Carolyn mentioned in passing that she needed to go through books to purge since she had no idea why she kept them... some to make her look smarter, some for some sort of obligation. As we discussed, I couldn't help but think I had no real reason for holding onto a majority of books outside of some unknown romantic ideal. We do have some books that we will read again, some books we use a reference, some with personal inscriptions that have special meaning... and of course, the kids books all get passed down and reread many times. But the majority... useless dust collectors.

The catalyst for my linen purge was Lora. I completely forgot to open my linen closet when I did the bathroom... and then she made comment of her penchant for hoarding top sheets. That's right! Every time I am digging through 56 different sheets to find one simple set after someone has peed the bed at 1 in the morning, I am cursing, "I can literally only have one set of sheets on each bed at a time. Why do I have 4 sets per bed???"

And now? I do not. I have one on each bed, one backup for washing and, ok, it's New England, so one flannel set for the icy months. But, I did away with about 20 pillowcases! Why???

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
-Henry David Thoreau

Purged today:168 items
Total purge: 270

See Day 1
See Day 2


  1. More to come from our house over the weekend.

  2. I had the same problem with books. I signed up for It was great. i listed the books and then I get a point for each one that someone requests. I order books and then repost them. It costs only the $ of media mail ~$2.28 to send a book. I got rid of a bunch and then keep the ones I have posted in a drawer at work for when people want them. I have paired down to less than 20 books and just keep rotating them out. It is a cheap way to read and not have to keep them when you're done!

    I am going to tackle the dining room credenza tonight. It is packed full of things I haven't seen in ages! Thanks for the inspiration and I definitely don't mind the use of my quote!! Ha!

  3. I tried last night, but failed. I think I need a re-do.

    I have the first sheet that I bought when we got married (11 years ago) and another that was my mother's when I was little (30 some years ago). They are old and gross, and they need to go.