December 15, 2008

Junk is something you throw away the day before you need it

If you do not get rid of things (whether by pitching, donating, or recycling them), you are missing out on one of the greatest joys in life, I think.

On Saturday, I spent the afternoon sorting through various bookcases, closets, and cupboards and throwing things away with reckless abandon. Hundreds of sheets of paper from the semester found their final resting place in the recycle bin. Books that needed to be returned to friends went home. Decorative shelves were cleared and rearranged.

I know some people are reluctant to throw things out, agonizing that someday, somehow they'll need the precise thing they've just tossed in the garbage, but I refuse to live my life in fear that someday I will desperately wish I'd kept the leaky jar of foul-smelling body lotion that someone bought me at the dollar store. I cannot live that way.

Yesterday, I spent an embarrassing amount of time sitting on my couch, gazing at my lovely and clean living room and kitchen. Several people stopped by unannounced and, ta-da, the house looked lovely (I was asleep on the couch with pillow marks on my face, but such things can be overlooked in the glow of a Christmas tree and a dusted and organized bookshelf).

So please, throw something away today - something you've been hanging on to simply because there was room for it, even though you will never ever ever ever ever use it. Do it for me.

22 comments:

  1. Never! Almost just kidding. I do have a difficult time throwing away things that are usable. And, always when I give something away, the next day is the day I'll need it. This reluctance to throw or give things away comes from living around grandparents and parents and so many others that lived during the Depression. "Waste not, want not" wasn't just a saying It was a rule.

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  2. I am the same way! We purge everytime we moved- which used to be every year. But now I find myself missing that really cute messenger bag that would have fit my new laptop perfectly. Dang!

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  3. Having moved five times in the past three years, we have done a lot of de-junking. I love organizing and getting rid of things, sometimes a little too much. :)

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  4. I absolutely agree with you. Nothing clears the head like a good purge.

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  5. Hey, have you seen my lotion?

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  6. My husband thanks you for this post.

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  7. I've moved a ridiculous number of times. The best part about it? Throwing out things. I love to throw stuff out.

    Except I should have hung on to that one receipt . . .

    Oh, and I took a huge box of old boys' bedroom stuff to the Goodwill as a big collection thinking, someone would LOVE to have this. Only, I think the cross-stitch sampler that my mom made for my oldest child (as she does for each grandchild) was in the box. I am so dead.

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  8. are you inside my head? seriously.
    i agree, best feeling in the world.

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  9. Blaine is the packrat in this family. Finally I made a rule that if he hasn't used it in one year I can get rid of it. . . the only thing that has escaped the rule is this box of little mini-discs which we have lugged around the country five times and fought over endlessly. Finally I put them in his sock drawer where they may stay as long as he likes, but just to spite me he pulled them out when Bart came over the other day. I guess it's a good thing we lugged them around the country five times so he could pull them out for Bart on Saturday....hey thanks for that lotion by the way ; )

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  10. ha ha! i love it! "chucking things" is one of my favorite past times. it's so cleansing to get rid of things that we don't use. :)

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  11. Matthew is the King of the Purge, and it's been rubbing off on me. It feels good.

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  12. I think I gave you that lotion. Or apparently gave it to Bart :)

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  13. and if you DO need that lotion, you'll just go buy more (and likely a non leaking, non stinky variety.) I am planning a major dejunking over the holidays and I'm actually excited about it!

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  14. Dave and I are pretty good at throwing things away...me better than dave. Maybe that is because we move about every year so we have to go through all our stuff and it is SO much easier to throw away then pack, move and unpack. It makes me feel all lovely to throw junk out that I know I will most likely never use. Dave and I always say "If we havent used it in the last year, we probably wont use it this year either."

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  15. I spent last weekend throwing away/donating broken and unwanted toys in preparation for the Christmas onslaught. It felt so good!!! (Even though my husband fought me more about it than my kids.)

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  16. I LOVE getting rid of stuff. Getting rid of most of our stuff and moving was actually kind of awesome.

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  17. I can't tell you why, but I get such ridiculous satisfaction from getting rid of stuff - be it from using the last drop of lotion or soap, or donating something to Goodwill. I just LOVE removing stuff from my home.

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  18. Oh, getting rid of stuff is my FAVORITE past time. No, really. It is so satisfying - so freeing!

    Now if I could get my partner on board... Hee!

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  19. I don't think I know how to de-junk without moving. Might be a skill I need to learn, doesn't appear we'll be moving as much as we used to!

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  20. This is definitely the mantra we live by at our house. I subscribe to the "if you haven't used it in the past year, you don't need it" idea.

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  21. I need to clean out my lotion shelf, now that you remind me. I used to work at Bath and Body Works and I still haven't made a dent in all those bottles that came home with me.

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