Saturday, January 5, 2013

Get Rid of 100 Things

The woven reed basket under our desks was overflowing with..... What? I didn't know but 3 months ago I had pledged, in a burst of exercise-induced enthusiasm, that I would "Get Rid of 100 Things."

This is an idea I thought up all on my own.  There's no Oprah show, reality tv or Martha Stewart article urging us to do this.  It just came out of the blue.  I wanted the clarity that comes from fewer piles promised by Gretchin Rubin in The Happiness Project.

Well, in December, 2.75 months into this pledge, I had only managed to get rid of 4 things. I sold one bottle of perfume on e-bay but made a mistake about the number of ounces in the bottle so I refunded the buyer and asked her to keep the bottle for her trouble.  At least it was one thing gone. My mother like 3 of the perfumes from my overflowing collection and took those home with her.  Hence, my grand total of 4.

With the year ending soon I wanted to make some progress on the remaining 96 items. This is what brought me to stare deeply into the overflowing woven reed basket of cast offs.  Several hours of later, after untangling cords, matching cords to devices, researching possible termination points, I had a plan. By New Year's, with my husband's help, I had moved:

  • Three antiquarian cell phones dating back to 2003 through 2005 with associated chargers and car adapters to the 911 Cell Phone Bank. (9 items)
  • Assorted orphan land line cables and power cords, a shaver with cradle, a non-functioning Garmin with charger, chest strap, cables and cradle went to Green Citizen. (13 items)
  • One bag of 12 clothing items and 1 box of 23 books went to Goodwill. (35)
  • One bag of books sold back to Powell's (14)

For a grand total of 78 things! I still have 22 to go but that's not bad progress for a week.  The woven reed basket looks much tidier inside and I'm more confident about what's left in there.

Take the "Get Rid of 100 Things" pledge.  I would love to know how it goes for you and what types of things you decide to get rid of.  I'm looking for ideas myself!


Kathryn Welds said...

"Getting Rid of 100 Things" is a valuable practice and metaphor for starting a new calendar year.
Bindu Wiles offered a related ambitious goal of "letting go" in 2010 with her Shed Project:

"I will be letting go of all but 100 of my possessions, and 10 lbs off my body."

Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson said...

Hi Kathryn! Thanks for the link to Bindu Wiles website. She's got a whole very organized program going there. It would be interesting to know how many people participated, their experiences along the way and the end result both in terms of numbers and in terms of inner emotions. Thanks for letting me know about this! Jennifer