How to Be a Ruthless Stuff Evictor

I’ve been getting rid of crap lately. Partly, this is inspired by Project 333. If you’re only wearing 33 things, it makes the rest of your life seem pretty junked up. So I’ve been on a mission to decrap.

The victim of my wild hair this week was my book collection. I have 3 bookshelves upstairs and I cleaned one of them completely off.

Say goodbye to my little friends.

If you know me, you know I’m a reader first and always. I love to read. So how could I give away my beloved books? How could I part with them? I’ll tell you, and this applies to all your stuff.

1. Think about if you’re actually going to use the stuff. I had stacks of too-small clothes in the closet. I had stacks of books I was honestly never going to read upstairs. My next project, the kitchen, is full of gadgets that I will never use again and probably only used once at all.

2. Don’t get attached. Stuff has sentimental value, I know. I didn’t get rid of my yearbooks or the dress my mom brought me from Tahiti, even though I don’t read my yearbooks and the dress is too small. But those were the rare exceptions. I didn’t keep things like the book that was autographed but I still wasn’t going to read ever again. It’s just stuff. Your sanity is way more important than stuff.

3. Do it quick. I admit to getting a little sidetracked when I was cleaning out my bookshelves because I found a binder full of my college papers that I’d written. Bad! No! It was a distraction that could have cost me the project if I’d let it go on too long. You can spend hours getting lost in things you never even meant to touch. Don’t do that. If you need to, set a timer and work with focus for 10 minute spurts, but in those 10 minute spurts, stay on task!

4. Tap into your altruism. It’s hard to get rid of stuff. It’s yours, you probably bought it yourself, and you worked hard to make the money to buy it. So, I know. You want it to all make sense. But when I get stuck in a rut like this, I try to think about the good it will do someone else. The Vietnam Veterans of America might be able to make some money off of this. My sister or my mom would love this sweater. I bet there’s a local library that needs books for their fundraising book sale.

5. Think of the future. All that empty space you’re creating is going to be so divine when you’re done with this project. You just have to get through the project first. And you will, if you keep your eye on the prize! 😉

So, byebye books. (And, by the way, if you want any of them, let me know before Tuesday, because they’re getting gone as fast as I can get them out of the house.)

What’s your next clean-out, stuff-evicting project?

  • I went through my books last time we moved. Tired of lugging around so many when I moved place to place. Still have a few too many,but now I’ve got my nook so if I clutter that up it’s a lot easier to pack.

    • Yep, my Nook definitely makes book-buying less of a guilty pleasure and more of a non-guilty pleasure. 😉

      • Lately I’ve been hitting up Project Gutenberg. Free books is even better!

  • This was a great post. I would love to do this, starting first and foremost with my closet.

    I keep a lot of old clothes and stuff for two reason: (1) One box is actually pre-sorted for Goodwill. I just have been too lazy to take it out. (2) I see a bunch of my old clothes as opportunities for future sewing escapades. This opens up a new can of worms — the fact that I only really do a handful of sewing projects a year. I probably should step up on THAT aspect, and my excess of things (at least, things I don’t want) will be greatly lessened.

    • Thanks Kristen! I understand about the closet. I’m too lazy to take stuff to Goodwill, so I actually donate it to the Vietnam Veterans of America because they will come pick it up off my porch. Boom. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saving crafty stuff, as long as you’re ok with it taking up the space. Speaking as a not-crafty-at-all person, I don’t really even know how to address that aspect of “stuff.”

  • Pingback: The Great Kitchen Reorg | Sonja Foust()