Sunday, May 3, 2009

Coundown to a Clutter-Free Life: 10 items of clothing, 9 books or magazines

As I blogged earlier today, I've embarked on organizational guru Julie Morgenstern's Spring Fling Countdown to reduce the clutter in my life.

For today's challenge, I started at the top of the list and rid myself of:

10 articles of clothing that don’t fit, don’t flatter and will never be worn.

9 books or magazines you’ve already read or know you aren’t going to get to.

I thought the closet clean out would be quite a challenge because in the last couple of weeks, I've been straightening and sorting in my closet to prepare for a garage sale. So, I'd gotten rid of most everything that's not a keeper.

Actually, that's not completely true. I still have trouble saying goodbye to my beloved designer shoes, many of which have gotten just a tad snug after motherhood. I just can't bear to get rid of my cute kicks, killer stilettos and comely kitten heels -- even if they make walking a pain.

I kind of think of my shoes (and my handbag collection) like jewelry. And while I can't wear them (for very long, at least) anymore, I want to pass them on to someone else who will love them, cherish and adore them as much as I do. Alas, my best girlfriends don't share my shoe size (then or now), so they can't raid my shoe closet. And I'm just not ready to let my ill-fitting shoes go to Goodwill or to eBay. Maybe I'm saving them for the daughter or the granddaughter that I don't yet have or a future daughter-in-law who shares my sense of style and my shoe size.

Despite that obstacle, I was able to cull 10 items from my wardrobe. Here's what I tossed and added to the yard sale pile:

  • - a pair of black dress pants that faded in the wash
  • - a lime green blouse that didn't flatter my complexion
  • - a pair of navy knit workout capris
  • - 4 tank tops (including 2 maternity tanks)
  • - a nursing bra that I haven't worn in over a year and wouldn't wear again if I had another baby
  • - a too-small jog bra
  • - a pair of pink pajama pants

I was really hoping to get rid of more than 10 items, but couldn't bring myself to say goodbye to more just yet. I'll blame that on the previous purge and my shoe sentimentality. However, I did much better with the 9 books or magazines.

I focused on magazines, which really tend to collect at our house, thanks to all the free magazine subscriptions I've scored lately. Also, we've recently gathered up our unwanted books and posted them on Paperback Swap and traded them for credit at our local used book shop. So, what's on the shelf is also on my reading list.

My magazine rack isn't quite so stacked any more, as I recycled:

  • 2 copies of Pink
  • 1 botched copy of the supposedly customized Mine
  • 2 copies of Redbook
  • 4 copies of New York
  • 1 copy of Family Circle
  • 3 copies of Country Living
  • 1 copy of Country Home (which folded in XXX)
  • 1 copy of Real Simple
  • 2 copies of More (I'm under 40, but really enjoy this mag)
  • 1 copy of Ladies' Home Journal
  • 1 copy of N.C. Signature (no articles by me in this issue)
  • 1 copy of Costco Connection
  • 1 copy of Harper's Bazaar
  • 1 copy of QVC Insider
  • 1 copy of ReadyMade
  • Catalogs from Uline, Private Quarters and Pottery Barn
  • 1 copy of Health
  • 2 copies of All You (coupons clipped, of course)

That's 29 magazines, and I really do feel a burden has been lifted. When I have magazines around, I feel obligated to read them but I find that I don't often have the time. Not to mention that the stacks of them drives me clutter crazy.

Since I get most of my magazines for free, I didn't feel that I was wasting money by getting rid of them. And in most instances, even if I hadn't read a magazine cover to cover, I had skimmed it when it arrived in my mailbox.

Going forward, I'm going to be more diligent about reading what I want to read, then tossing the magazines or passing them along to friends or family members who might enjoy them. I'm making a promise now that if I'll never have more magazines than will fit in my magazine basket. If the stack grows higher than that, it will be time to toss another 9 -- or 29.

Day 1, and I'm feeling pretty good about this clutter countdown. I've already gotten rid of 39 unwanted items.

Check back tomorrow to see what else I CAN live without. And let me know how your own Spring Fling Countdown to a clutter-free life is going.

1 comment:

  1. I managed to find a whopping 23 articles of clothing to discard! Mostly stuff that (ahem!) has gotten too small to wear or that is too worn out to wear in public. But my drawers are now clutter-free and organized, which is a good feeling.