I remember Nate Berkus talking to Oprah about creating a beautiful home. I am sure he said a lot great things, but what stuck with me was his nonchalant directive to get rid of 100 things today. It’s possible he said, “get rid of 200 things” or “500 things”.
As soon as the show was over, I went from room to room looking for things to get rid of. The photo of the make-up drawer above was taken that day.
This is how my make-up drawer looked when I got rid of old and unused make-up and put things where they belonged.
I gained extra time in the morning getting ready because I wasn’t having to dig around for things.
I remember going from my make-up drawer to my garage where I found an overflow of books that had already been read and would never be read again or would never be read period. I don’t remember everything I got rid of that day, but I counted 200 items.
Most of the magazines in the photo below have not been read. I have a stack of mail order catalogues, too. My goal is to read every one of these in the next few days and then get rid of them!
My friend Janea, from the blog theSTYLetti.com so sweetly gifted me with the subscription of Vogue. I’m two months behind right now, but I will get caught up!
This week I deleted several thousand photos from my computer and I deleted dozens of recorded tv shows.
I found airplane toiletry kits tucked away in my husband’s tiny closet. In the past, I have given them to homeless shelters, women’s shelters and a home for women with disabilities.
A friend I made on a recent flight told me that the pouches are the perfect size to use as a case for iPad minis. I don’t have an iPad mini.
I use a few tricks to help myself let go of things. I pay attention to how things make me feel.
If something triggers me in an unpleasant way then I give myself permission to let it go. Examples are books I will never read or didn’t like, clothing that isn’t comfortable, photos that are out of focus or unflattering (of anyone), a decorative accessory that doesn’t give me a good feeling, things I am hanging on to based on guilt (sometimes it’s as simple as a bottle of shampoo I don’t like), unhealthy plants, broken objects that will never be fixed, unused and never to be used items and the list goes on.
I will talk about this plant more next week, but this pot is a good example of something I am getting rid of today! It’s mauve and it’s plastic. It would be fine if it matched my decor and fit the plant, but it doesn’t!
If you don’t know where to get started with getting rid of 100 things, consider some of these:
Refrigerator anything that is old and possibly dangerous to eat, anything you know will not be eaten
TV Recordings, Emails, Voicemails, Text messages
Photos any photo that is out of focus or unflattering, any photo that brings negative emotions and monopolizes valuable space (whether it is in a frame, in a box or stored in a computer or phone)
Files anything that is no longer useful or needed, whether it is in hard copy form or hard drive form
Plants that are unhealthy or unattractive
Decorations if it’s not good looking, is damaged, is a dust collector, adds clutter, doesn’t match, is a gift you never cared for
Books, Magazines and Junk Mail that have already been read, will likely never be read again or will never be read period
Toiletries/ Beauty Products if it’s being saved for “just in case”, get rid of it!
Medicine and Vitamins if it’s unneeded, old or rancid
Costume Jewelry and Accessories that is/are broken, missing a piece, out of date, uncomfortable or unflattering
Handbags, Footwear, clothing anything outdated, unflattering, uncomfortable, damaged, that is being hung on to out of guilt, that doesn’t fit or has not been worn in over one year. *There are a few exceptions to this rule like a gorgeous wedding dress, a tuxedo (only if it is still in style), high quality heirloom or couture clothing.
Underwear anything that is uncomfortable or in bad shape
A few thoughts:
If an item causes you to feel guilt get rid of it.
The word “sentimental” is frequently abused. The excuse of sentiment can become a weapon formed against the person who claims it.
Sentiment often monopolizes, consider that in relation to possessions.
Just because an item is an antique, doesn’t mean it’s good looking or of good quality.
I love to give to Salvation Army because they put everything to good use. I never like to give worn out and beaten up things to someone else. But I was once told that Salvation Army will send items to places like Africa, where sweaters and socks will be unraveled so that the yarn can be reused for something else.
When I am debating on whether to let a piece of clothing go, I remind myself that it will not help anyone if it sits until it is no longer in style. It’s easy for me to let go when I imagine someone who is in need having something nice to wear.
GET RID OF 100 THINGS, NOW!