Purge Along With Me

If you get sick, do not come to my house.  We have no medicine.  And I know this because I spent an entire afternoon scouring through our medicine closet, tossing away the expired bottles (which was basically all of them).  I was ashamed to learn that over half the contents of the little pharmacy in my bathroom expired in 2003 or earlier. 

I even found some Vick’s Vapor Rub that expired in 2000.  But really, can Vick’s expire?  I mean, it’s not like you ingest it; it’s just supposed to sit there and smell like death.  The older the better, wouldn’t you think?  It would be kicking off chemicals so putrid that your sinuses would be open enough to hold a party inside.

In the interest of totally showing off transparency, I’m showing you a picture of the finished product.  Note the medicines sorted by ailment.  BY AILMENT, people–that is some fine work, if I do say so myself:

Closet

That basket at the top labeled ortho?  That’s not ortho- as in –dontia, but ortho– as in –pedic.  I thought that was a much more sophisticated label than WE ARE GETTING OLD AND THINGS ARE STARTING TO CREAK AND HURT.    

The bathroom closet project took on such a life of its own; before I knew it I was digging under cabinets and in drawers and mercilessly throwing away anything that stood still.  Hubs even asked me if I was pregnant and nesting.

(Evidently the poor man skipped Chapter 47, Section 18C of The Husband’s Instruction Manual:  When your wife has eaten so much sugar that she has had to wear elastic-waist yoga pants for two weeks straight, that would not be the best time to jokingly ask if she’s pregnant.) 

I am not a packrat; I actually take great pleasure in throwing things away.  But I always feel the need to be very careful that anything that is salvageable should go to a friend or a charity.  It’s kind of an obsession, actually.  What if I gave this sweater to Goodwill and they sold it for $1.25 and were able to buy some sweet little child a school lunch?  The PRESSURE!

But that kind of sorting takes time, something I simply didn’t have.  For the one and only time, I gave myself permission to just chuck it all in the trash.  And you should’ve seen the trash bags marching their way down to my curb.  I was a woman possessed.  I was afraid I’d get carried away and throw one of the kids away.

I have been ruthless this year.  Old board games that nobody plays?  Toss ’em.  Old board games that kids like but the parts are missing?  Toss ’em.  7,237 Happy Meal toys?  Toss ’em.  Kids’ art projects that aren’t significant enough to save?  They’re gone, never to clutter my home again.

And it felt so good, so freeing–symbolic even, of starting the new year out with a clean slate and less cluttered mind.  I’m dubbing 2008 The Year of Less Stuff.  I want to be purposeful about what I bring into my home, and what I allow to stay here.  I want to teach my children to do the same.  In the short term, it keeps thing neater; in the long term, it emphasizes to my kids one of the biggest lessons we hope they learn from us:  STUFF DOESN’T MATTER.  PEOPLE DO.

Join me, if you’d like.  Start slowly, if you need to–you can earmark a special box in your garage for charity, and make it your goal to toss just one thing in it per day.  Or pick one closet or drawer per week (or month) and purge your heart away. 

You can do it!  I’ll be standing here, cheering you on.  With very clear sinuses.  And bad knees.

108 thoughts on “Purge Along With Me

  1. the mother of this lot says:

    You can count me in! “The Year of Less Stuff” – I like it. I really, really like it! Happy New Year!

  2. Yew Nork Babe says:

    I would love to throw things away, but I just moved into my new house and did all that before I moved.
    The organized linen closet is right up my alley though! I’m gonna go get some of those little bins and get organized. Thanks

  3. Beth_C says:

    I love to throw stuff away! I’ve never been one to hold on to a lot of stuff but it always creeps in.
    Just yesterday I cleaned out a bathroom cabinet and was amazed at all the potions and elixirs that had managed to accumulate after only one year!

  4. Beth/Mom2TwoVIkings says:

    Amen, amen, amen – “A Year of Less Stuff” sounds “button-able” and a challenge in the making! LOL
    And, the closet looks AWESOME! I have my Palm remind me every 6 months to purge for expired stuff since I would NEVER remember to do it on my own and have learned thru WAY too many middle-of-the-night med searches to do otherwise! LOL
    I unloaded a large, unused piece of furniture outta the basement last night that I sold on Ebay before Cmas. Pick up is scheduled for today.
    That basement is the bane of my existence. Cleaned it last year but FOUR separate floodings in less than two weeks destroyed all my hard work. With that drafting table gone, a goal for 2008 is to do it all again.
    As for the giving away responsibly, I would highly recommend Freecycle.org! *wink*

  5. karen says:

    There’s just something about the new year that makes me want to purge. (no, it’s not the flu talking.) I started on The Boy’s room yesterday. Cleaned out from under his desk and got an entire bag of trash from that little bitty space. I can’t imagine how much there will be if we make it through his entire room!

  6. TaderDoodles says:

    I have been doing this since last Fall and it feels GREAT! The medicine thing… I’m feeling you on that! We had mini tubs of stuff all over this house… I had drawers with medicine, baskets with medicine and organizers full of medicine… right after I finished we all got sick and I had to go replenish because almost EVERYTHING was expired… it was sad…
    **who knew Vicks would expire… oh my!**

  7. CP says:

    We have some Icy Hot from well before 2000 and it still works great! It does glow in the dark, but doesn’t all Icy Hot? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Llama Momma says:

    I’m right there with you this year. Oh, does it ever feel good!! And it simultaneously cures me of overspending. After throwing all of this stuff away, I really think about what I bring into our house. Not a bad thing!

  9. Melissa Markham says:

    I purge my medicine cabinets once every year or so, but sometimes I miss things. I have a bottle of eye drops for when my eyes are dry or burning. I needed them the other day and thought…hey this bottle is almost empty…whose been using my eye drops. Then I looked at the bottom and there was an expiration (on water no less) of 2003! I guess, I am the one who has been using my eye drops;)
    I am the thrower awayer in this family too. I live with three packrats…it makes life difficult!

  10. Jacki says:

    You read my mind! I am in the process of this now…going room by room asking myself: Do we really need this? It’s hard work, but makes you feel so good in the end.

  11. Lysa TerKeurst says:

    Oh, my, my, my. Organizing by ailment is pure and absolute brilliance!
    Seriously, why don’t we moms have Fortune 500’s knocking down our doors to come and do a little consulting! Or even the government for heaven’s sake.
    First I learned yesterday from 2nd Cup of Coffee how to split up my m&m’s for different holidays and now organizing by ailment. Moms are the smartest people in the world!

  12. Queen B says:

    I love The Year of Less Stuff. Count me in!! By the way, the expiration date on Vick’s is for weirdos like my husband…he eats Vick’s when he’s sick. I know. He’s ingesting poison. We’ve had the discussion many times. I don’t really figure an expired batch could be any worse than a fresh batch…

  13. maria says:

    I have been doing the same thing for a couple years now, and it is SOOOOO freeing. I started with the playroom and just kept going. Last Spring I even tackled the 23456 boxes of seasonal decorations in the garage, go me!

  14. Andi says:

    i love to purge. we always have too much STUFF lying around. i always have a box in the basement just for garage sale/goodwill stuff. i just throw something in whenever i see it.
    your ortho box looks a little fishy to me. in the photo it looks as if it’s filled with bras, which i think is pretty funny for an ortho box when you think about it!

  15. susan says:

    i’ve been reading your blog for a while and have really enjoyed it. but this post, well…i have just deemed you my new internet bff. have you ever been to a container store? that is my most romantical place ever. your medicine cabinet is much coveted and soon to be duplicated! enjoy!!

  16. The Autumn Dahlia says:

    I did this to an extent just before Christmas, and I think I was MANIC! I decided that I was going to give everything that didn’t fit my right at this second to charity. Cause I figure, if I lose enough weight to fit into that size, I deserve some new stuff ๐Ÿ™‚ Being able to just put the stuff out on to the porch for someone to pick up makes it sooooo much easier!

  17. Nicole says:

    My poor husband leaves for work in the morning and comes home to find the trash in the bins have doubled, the back of my car is loaded down with items for charity, and he can’t find any of his ‘stuff’ (which have been picked-up and organized – novel idea!) I am constantly on a quest to have less stuff and am with you on commiting to it for the year. I agree with the previous poster on The Container Store . . . my own little piece of heaven!
    Enjoy your blog and will definitely be back for more!

  18. Ericka says:

    I’m doing the same thing!!! I’ve made it a priority to be purposeful in bringing what stuff comes *in” and more importantly, getting stuff OUT!!!! How fun that you are too!!!!

  19. Kim says:

    LESS STUFF, LESS STUFF, LESS STUFF. I literally dream about purging my basement. Maybe because that’s been one of my primary ‘assignments’ for the past six months. Married for 28 years, living in the parsonage for the past 10, means we have some serious accumulation issues. The dumpster we share with neighbors has had a real workout as we filled it to capacity on numerous occasions, trying to time it just before pick-up ๐Ÿ™‚
    But THE END IS IN SIGHT. I calculate another two to three weeks will have us in the end zone. Yippee!
    Then we get to start sorting and packing for the move overseas. Each box has to be labeled and every item listed for the shipping manifest.
    But it will be SO MUCH EASIER without all the excess stuff to deal with.
    This process has made us think seriously about our consumeristic tendencies and has created a desire to be less tied down by the things we own (or own us, as tends to be the case).

  20. Judi says:

    It’s that time of year, isn’t it? I cleaned out my medicine bins on New Years Day. Then I started on my closet. That kind of thing makes me happy.

  21. Jeni says:

    Yay for getting rid of clutter! Yesterday I sorted through my dresser and closet. I can now see the top of my dresser for the first time since last spring. (I’m embarrased to say that, but it’s true.)

  22. Randall says:

    I am a bit of pack rat too… but really for good reasons like yours. I just cannot justify throwing something perfectly good out. Can I consign it? Sell it on half.com? Give it to a friend? I am okay with giving things to Goodwill at this point but oh goodness, I wish I had the power to just throw stuff out!

  23. Wifey says:

    Year of less stuff…something I really need to work on. We just moved into a new place (5 months ago) and I know there are things in those still-packed boxes that we neither want nor need. I think I’ll go purge my medicine cabinet today. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Sincerely Anna says:

    Count me in! I want to save less STUFF this year too. The preschool artwork thing is the hardest for me. The construction paper and foam are taking over my house. I did get a scrapbook paper (12×12) drawer organizer for my 5 yr old son’s room. And this is where we take art projects once they’ve adorned the refrigerator for a week or so. Then I secretly throw what’s on the bottom of the drawers away and save only the projects that I could tell he really loved. So far it’s working.

  25. Lisa P in California says:

    I think it has something to do with the new year because I’ve been in closet cleaning mode too.
    Part of it was because of the fires that happened here this fall. So many people lost everything that it made me want to get organized. I labeled boxes of pictures and put all my negatives in one place. Hopefully, if we ever have to evacuate, I’ll be able to quickly find and locate the important items (pictures/negatives, valuables, documents etc.). Getting rid of the unnecesssary stuff has also made me feel “lighter”.

  26. faithful chick says:

    Oh, I am SOOOOOO on board. I have a hankering for throwing away some stuff. My mission for next week was to take one room at a time and BREAK. IT. DOWN. I love the feeling of lugging those 35 pound trash bags out of the house. LIBERATION!

  27. Melanie says:

    I am doing the same. It helps me with the Jan. blahs that I have every year.
    You could just put the old Vicks rub out, open the lid and let it clean out the closet. ;>)

  28. Katie says:

    count me in! my poor toddler can’t play in his room because there are boxes of STUFF in there… on the floor. maybe it’s a good thing that we moved to a smaller apartment. if it were bigger, we’d just collect more stuff that we don’t need.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I am the exact same way about purging! I am NOT a packrat, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at my garage. I’ve been purging for two years, but it only gets as far as my garage, because I never take the time to give it away to charity. I do throw away things like Happy Meal toys quite often, but anything better than that and it’s just waiting for charity.
    Anyway, this is my year…actually, month. My goal is to have it all given away by the end of January.

  30. Jenni says:

    As William Morris said “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
    Or something like that. Anyway, it’s swell advice.

  31. Nicole @ Life In Progress says:

    Truer words were never spoken. Getting rid of “stuff” is truly one of my favorite things in life. It’s cathartic.
    By the way, I’m pretty certain I’ve used Vicks that was more than a little outdated. I think they only put that date on so you’ll have to buy more. Otherwise a single jar could last most people the entire length of their natural life.

  32. Liz says:

    I do my purging on Jan 1st – we had over 3 garbage bags of J.U.N.K. and boxes to throw out. When I go through stuff, I just ask myself if it is replaceable, then I toss it.

  33. Jen says:

    I am with you 100%! I love getting rid of things and simplifying our lives. I always do this after we take down our Christmas decorations. We have been reorganizing our garage, closets, drawers, etc. It feels great!

  34. Jessica says:

    Oh I love to purge. I too don’t like to be a pack rat and enjoy throwing things away…sometimes. McDonald’s toys are the death of me! I hate them all! I just tossed a couple last night.

  35. Laural says:

    I’m all about getting rid of STUFF. It’s really hard to do, though, when your husband LOVES stuff. And wants to keep everything he ever laid a hand on. My next task it to go through his shirts and get rid of everything with a flame on it. I’ll keep it in a bag in the garage for while to see if he notices. I know this is such a bad thing to do, but my house would be overflowing if I didn’t secretly get rid of it all!

  36. Jane says:

    Funny that you say Vicks isn’t for ingesting… My great grandpa was known to swallow a spoonful of it from time to time when he was congested. (Not that I would recommend that to ANYONE.)

  37. Stephanie says:

    I am right there with you. I’ve been dying to do a good purging for weeks now. It’s supposed to be warm this weekend (upper 60’s) I think, so that looks like a good time to me. I’m hoping we can move sometime this year and I’d rather have this done before it’s time to pack.

  38. Melissa says:

    The hubs calls me a serial thrower outer…(I know I need something that sounds better). I never thought of throwing out a kid, I’ll have to keep that in mind ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I can’t believe you actually seperated by illness, that is quite impressive. And Vicks expires? I’m headed upstairs to see how old mine is. How wrong is that?

  39. Veggiemomof2 says:

    I love this idea…matter of fact, I started the decluttering process when I joined flylady.net, and now I’m going to call January the month of decluttering…every January I’m going to declutter as I clean!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. Makeshift Mama says:

    You’re speaking my language! I run my house by this rule, and is so freeing to send things out the door because WE DON’T NEED THEM! I hope your post will spread the decluttering bug to more mamas!

  41. Joann says:

    I do the very same thing in our house, but
    the husband is even bigger on throwing things away. he throws everything I mean everything. It is a good way to keep house
    We have been doing it for that way for 28 years.

  42. Laura says:

    You are talking my language girlfriend, I can’t tell you much of a “fix” your post gave me, yeehaw!!
    Keep up the good work!
    Laura

  43. jenny says:

    Oh, I soooo need to do some ruthless decluttering!! My basement is in shambles, and I’m pretty sure most of the stuff in “storage” is junk that we don’t need. I’m gonna need that encouragement you speak of though, because that is one project that really overwhelms me for some reason. Good work!!

  44. Liz C. says:

    I call it “Reverse Nesting.”
    Sometimes, I jump the gun a little… such as this October, when I tossed my nasty old comforter, because I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. I still haven’t finished the quilt that’s to replace it.
    I have to sneak the expired medicines out. DH was a trauma medic for years and years, and tends to find expiration dates a bit flexible. I say, two antibiotic tablets from 1999 aren’t going to do ANYONE any good, and I’m chucking them.
    Shannon, you have me eyeballing my school supply cabinet and my hall closet very speculatively. I’m SURE I could toss a good 90% of everything right?
    On New Year’s Day, I am proud to report that I had ALL the laundry washed, tried, folded, and put away neatly in all the drawers.
    For about 15 minutes.
    Because my oldest daughter decided to help the toddler girl remake her bed, happened to look down behind it, and found a whole ‘nother laundry load of toddler-sized “I Can Sort Of Dress Myself So I Change Clothes 95 Times A Day” clothing. Joy.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Mary says:

    What a coincidence! I am in the process of cleaning out my shed with hubby’s help, while my Christmas stuff is still up because I am determined to find the lost piece to my Christmas Snow Village before I put everything in the attic. Meanwhile, I am packing stuff in boxes for Goodwill or someone and thinking I should offer this or that to my friend who probably doesn’t need to add anything to her pile either. I am inspired to just throw most of it away while hubby says I should have a yard sale. Only thing is, there is an inch of snow on the ground and it is probably 12 degrees outside! Thanks for the good laughs from you and all your fellow bloggers! I am convinced stuff has an expiration date to protect the seller, but Vicks? What a hoot!

  46. dana says:

    I’m so with you Shannon. In fact, you may already have this blog site, but go to
    http://inthetrenchesofmotherhood.com/?p=172
    (sorry I don’t know how to cut and paste the link itself ๐Ÿ™‚
    and read on! Very, very interesting and a worthy project.
    I am with you 100%. My medicine cabinet is the same way with expired meds, etc. I love that you labeled the stuff “ortho” – I’m right there with ya…once you hit 40, its downhill from there!!!

  47. Heather@mommymonk says:

    We had to empty the girls’ room of everything and their “stuff” sat in the garage while we exterminated their room. And afterwards, somehow several bags of things never made it back to the room. They were already in garbage bags, for goodness sake! So liberating to just throw it away!

  48. Melissa says:

    Been doing the same thing. Puzzles. They kill me. For sure we’ve lost at least one piece to all of them and rather than frustrate my children by doing them and getting to the end with ONE PIECE LEFT, I tossed them. Liberating! Whew!

  49. Beth says:

    I think the oldest medication I ever found was in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet just a few years ago. It was a bottle of Paregoric, and the phone number on the prescription had letters in it! Like BR-549. I don’t know how many years ago they stopped putting letters in phone numbers, but I convinced her it was probably out of date and we should throw it away….

  50. Amy says:

    I started in the playroom today – getting everything ready for my young nephew. It feels awesome to make room for all the new Christmas toys and not have it be a cluttered mess!! This feeds my mild OCD very well… ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. kimberly says:

    Amen, sistah. I avidly engage is such activities 3-4 times per year (each season, roughly). It’s cathartic and liberating, and a tidy house is a happy house. If only my mother and in-laws could catch on and stop sending me all of their castoffs and fancy yet useless baskets and knick-knacks!

  52. tonni says:

    That’s awesome! I just LOVE purging things!! But like you, I try to give away what I can…..and I have to do so much of it while the kiddos are at school…

  53. jen says:

    I am all about decluttering. Love.It. I went through this weekend and cleared out the front closet and the laundry room. I get a little thrill every time I walk into the laundry room and I see how lovely it looks now.
    I’m also going to make this the year of LESS. There are some things we absolutely need to get, but LESS is going to be the operative word. ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Melissa says:

    I did the very same thing yesterday. The rest of the house is a wreck, but our medicine closet and pantry are organized and labeled! Hubs came home and said, “Is it organizing time already?” Yep.

  55. Rain says:

    I am with you on this! I can’t stand clutter. If things get piled up on countertops or my desk I become a mad woman. If my kids see me beginning to declutter they scatter if fear, clutching their possessions and hiding in their rooms. : )
    Good for you!!

  56. kathryn says:

    Love it! I actually spent two days over the holidays shredding old paperwork, and sent DH with a truck bed full of stuff to Goodwill. There are plenty more closets to tackle though, so I’m all about a Year of Less Stuff!

  57. witchypoo says:

    Once al the deadwood is purged, you can control potential clutter things by asking a few questions before you buy:
    1. Do I need it?
    2. Do I love it?
    3. Am I willing to find a place to store and maintain it?

  58. Lucy says:

    Oh, you do make me laugh. I’m with you on throwing things away. I’m sure someone has mentioned flylady in the comments. I do love her! I continually purge. It’s amazing how things multiply!

  59. janet says:

    love the year of less stuff! I’m with you! But, instead of throwing stuff away, I put it on freecycle. I think you only have to do freecycle.com to find it in your area. I have gotten rid of so much JUNK that people were happy to come pick up. Old paint (and I mean old), carseats (I’d rather people use something even if it’s older than nothing), games with missing pieces (because it makes their games with missing pieces a full set) and the like. You’ll be impressed. I just put things outside so I don’t have to open the door to anyone. it “works for me”

  60. shel says:

    Good job w/your medicine organization! It always feels so good to get rid of the “stuff” and organize things. I am joining you in doing the Year of Less Stuff. Love that idea!

  61. ttlyeightmom says:

    Mr Eight and I are currently smack dab in the middle of adopting four wee spawnlings plus the two punks we already have makes 8 people. Take a three bedroom house and all the accumulated junk of said 8 people and let me tell you it doesn’t take long to jump on the toss it bandwagon. Doesn’t it feel awesome to see a clean shelf or cabinet that you haven’t cleaned off for so long you forgot how big it was?

  62. Sheila says:

    Is it our age, or our attitudes, I am going with age! I am so feeling the same way you do about stuff, and making life simple. I find it hard to complete these task while working full time…so I signed up for Flylady…it has been great…I am still working on babysteps…but getting there. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to let go, give up, give away, throw away…clear it out. I love your site wonderful…Have a blessed day!

  63. Michelle says:

    It is both cleansing for the soul and the closets. I always feel like a new person when I am done. If I could only stop buying stuff to fill in all the empty holes I have when I am done.

  64. Sally says:

    We still have boxes of stuff that have never been unpacked since we moved to this house 3 1/2 years ago. I guess we don’t need any of it, if we haven’t even used (or missed) any of it in that long, huh???
    I think my Mom needs to purge her medicine cabinet. When I got an itchy bug bite this past summer, she handed me a tube of Benadryl cream that expired in 1996!!

  65. Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More says:

    I did that too just last week. In a frenzy…bags and bags full. And, as God is my witness, I just happened to be watching as the garbage truck pulled up and the garbage collectors spent 20 MINUTES ripping those bags open and going through my crap. And taking a lot of it too, I might add. Oh mercy.

  66. Christy says:

    We are also trying to get rid of our stuff. We just spent 3 months in Norway in a small apartment with not much of our stuff and it was wonderful. Today we spend a few hours and cleaned out 1/3 of our garage. We have a large pile that went to trash and recycle and a large pile ready to donate. Don’t ask me why I still had so many teaching materials when i have not taught in 3 years and most of it I never used at all.

  67. Elaine says:

    Do you read all of these?? Just curious… Anyway, I put organization on my “resolution” list too. I have to start with my “craft” closet. Yep, it will hit me hard but where better to start than in your own mess of junk, right? Good Luck to us all in simplifying our lives.

  68. Gretchen says:

    Okay…I’m guiltily inspired to get started. Unlike all the other eager cleaning beavers, I’m a bit of a sloth. ๐Ÿ™‚ However, I do like the end result. Good for you in spurring us all into action. I’m trying to do the 15 minute a day thing to both give myself an end time and to cope with my distractibility. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  69. Gego says:

    Your medicine cabinet and my pantry have so much in common. I have just recently disposed of a can of diced tomatoes dated 1996. My greatest thanks to the manufacturer for being so innovative as to put ” throw away ” dates on an almost 12 year old can. How to avoid this problem for things in boxes? Put the contents in ziplocks and discard the boxes!

  70. Stacey says:

    Our family are pack-rats,
    but I am all for making changes in ’08 !
    Having a label maker seems to make it more fun, I’ll have to find one to keep me, encouraged!
    Great Post!

  71. Nic says:

    Wow, Shannon, hats off to you!
    We’ll be moving somewhere this year, so I think the decluttering will start when we start packing boxes..

  72. Mommy, the Human Napkin says:

    Count me in, too! I’m getting ready to unload an entire room full of junk onto a trailer and haul it all to the dump. I’d been accumulating things for Goodwill, but the mice got into it before I had a chance to haul it away, so it’s all getting trashed. And we’re also taking the two couches from our living room to the dump. It will be so nice to have a couch that actually has still-cushiony cushions and working springs and that doesn’t have to remain covered because of all the rips from jumping children and crayon marks all over it. I fully intend to Scotchguard the new one and maybe buy a new pretty cover and Scotchguard that, too. I might just Scotchguard the whole house while I’m at it!

  73. Stephanie says:

    I am right on board with you. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of all the things that even if I do lose weight I won’t wear again. It looks beautiful. Everything is even color coded. I scared myself a little. The kids rooms are next. Wish me luck!

  74. Redneck Diva says:

    About two years ago I went on a throwing-away rampage and yep, my kids were worried they were next! I threw away and subsequently outlawed ALL Happy Meal toys. They never ate the fries anyway, so I was paying for a burger/nuggets and a toy that was going to get buried in the bottom of the toybox only for me to toss a few months later anyway. I’ve gotten lax lately because of Strawberry Shortcake, but no matter how cute those little dolls are and no matter how much my daughter hollers for them, they still get buried in the toybox or left in the van. I do believe that in 2008 they will be outlawed once more.
    Congrats on the decluttering! It makes ya feel so good, doesn’t it??

  75. Mira says:

    I’ve been doing this but am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who HAS to do this. OMG how did we ever get ourselves into this mess? I’ve gotta tell you though, the feeling of relief that accompanies the 8th mini-van drop off at Goodwill is just as great as the first one was.

  76. Nicki says:

    I love the labeled bins in your closet. We have bins in our garage labeled the same way and everything is very easy to find. I went on this rampage about three or four months ago and got rid of a lot. You are right–it is a freeing feeling and one of a sense of accomplishment. Way to go!

  77. His Girl says:

    2007 was my year end blowout of less stuff. hopefully 2008 will be the year of keeping it that way.
    my heart skipped a beat for your labeled bins.
    what is it about labels that make me so happy?

  78. katy says:

    My aunt got me a pretty sign for my wall for Christmas that says ‘simplify’ I love it and I agree totally, but I am married to a modern day Fred Sanford. Throwing away anything but empty food containers (and not cheese whiz containers which are the right size for nails) is a sin worse than murder. I’ve tried for years and he always sniffs stuff out and finds it in the garbage.

  79. Kristin says:

    I just love this blog. I think I should start to purge things only I am such a packrat. How do you do it? It is hard to let go sometimes.

  80. Jamie says:

    I am proud to say that I have a 30 gallon trash bag in the back of my SUV as I type and it’s going to a co-worker with two little girls. I also took a bag of clothes to Goodwill last week.
    Our local library system is “forgiving” library fines with cans of food for the local food bank. A can of food wipes off a dollar from your tab, so to speak. I cleaned out my pantry because, ahem, we had $20 in fines and I found some canned goods that expired in 2006. Yikes!
    Purge away!

  81. Cindy says:

    I’m with you. I have been working for the last few weeks to get rid of as much stuff as humanly possible. I must say I have done a wonderful job. If you ask my hubby though he will say I have a ways to go.

  82. Teah says:

    Oh, I think I’m definitely there with you! (Just found your blog on BooMama’s blog roll…great stuff!)
    Our little family is making its first move, across the country!!, in less than 6 months. Have you any idea how much JUNK two young parents and a baby can accumulate in two years??

  83. denise says:

    Ok,,ok,,,, I can do this… a year of less stuff……. I can do this … I really can… Help me Father God to learn to throw stuff away……….. I do so need His help…….. hahahhaha
    blessings..

  84. Anonymous says:

    Haw Haw…..”go take a shower AND USE SHAMPOO.” I use that one on e my son all the time along with: Is that the shirt you were wearing yesterday…did you wear that to bed too? Are your underwear clean? If you just took a shower why does your hair feel dry?!!

  85. voni says:

    Haw Haw…..”go take a shower AND USE SHAMPOO.” I use that one on e my son all the time along with: Is that the shirt you were wearing yesterday…did you wear that to bed too? Are your underwear clean? If you just took a shower why does your hair feel dry?!!

  86. voni says:

    opps!!!! Having a hard morning!!! Posted the above comments in the wrong place twice. I’m not really as crazy and clueless as I sound!

  87. Cecily (Jane of Many Trades) says:

    I am with you on the Year of Less Stuff. I was challenged by someone who suggested (maybe they read it in a book?) that we declutter our house by 1/3. That is, get rid of 1/3 of our stuff because we probably aren’t using it / getting any joy out of it anymore, anyway.
    I’m starting with my closet. The stuff I don’t use/wear/fit/need that’s jammed in there would probably equal 1/3 of the house clutter, anyway!!

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