I enjoy reading a blog written by Kathi Lipp, check it out at Kathilipp.com. She has issued an interesting challenge for the new year. In an effort to find order in her home, create peace in her life, and share over-abundance with people who could use items, she has pledged to get rid of 2,014 things from her house this year. I think I’m going to try it too. It sounds like a lot, but it works out to be between 5-6 items every day. It would be easy to cheat and count all the junk mail, stray puzzle pieces, and broken toys that go into the trash or recycling, but to make it meaningful I plan to only count things that I can donate or give away, or at least things I have held onto for many years and finally decide to give them up – like college text books and old photographs.
Today I went through 2 books of old pictures and scanned the ones I cared about, then threw out the rest.
Ah yes, here is one from our rehearsal dinner, the night before our wedding in 1972! I have an unhealthy fear of my wedding photos ending up in a random antique shop someday, where people will laugh and point and remark on my outdated dress and hairstyle. I’d rather scan them and not hold onto the originals. My kids aren’t going to want to inherit all my old pictures anyway! I think I will count each book of old photos, or each box as one item.
I am purging books, weeding out craft materials and unpacking closets! Kathi pledged that her house will have 2,014 fewer items by the end of next December. Every time she buys something new, or brings something home (other than consumable items) she plans to get rid of something additional, on top of the 2,014 items. I’m still thinking about whether I can commit to that part – but it makes a lot of sense.
I know I could have applied this challenge to my classroom too. I had boxes upon boxes of STUFF. When one of my sons was young he told his own teacher that he had a solution to the world’s garbage problems. He said we should build more schools, because then we would hire more teachers, and everyone knows that teachers don’t throw anything away! Well, I’m sorting, sharing and tossing now! Anyone care to join me?
The most convenient way for me to donate items is Purple Heart. You can schedule a pick up online and they come to your house and cart away clothes, household items and small pieces of furniture. I also drop stuff off at our local Salvation Army. I have a tendency to get attached to things, and feel sentimental about them. But I also love the idea of someone using and appreciating things that I have been storing in closets or boxes.
So I am hoping for a happy, healthy and less cluttered 2014.