Decluttering my closets (and my life)

piece of wood with nails in it

See this little piece of wood with nails pounded into it? I don’t know what it is or why I saved it, so as I worked through the last cluttered area of my house, it was safe to say it was time to toss it.

My closets and drawers were overstuffed with such items, and although I’ve been a pack rat for years, I’ve been learning to let go.

Several of the tasks on my list of 101 things in 1001 days were about getting rid of things:

  • 46: Declutter my house.
  • 55: Play, give away, or throw out each of the 32 board games in my basement.
  • 72: Go through the basement bins and donate, sell, or throw out what I can.
  • 88: Give away or throw out the collection of stained glass pieces in the basement.
  • 98: Sell some more Elks pins on eBay.

As I worked to declutter the drawer beside my bed, I was struck by how useless most of the things were: a direct deposit notice from a paycheck in 2005, a photocopied list of addresses and phone numbers on which the only name I could recognize was my own, little containers of buttons, and so forth.

I decluttered various closets and drawers over the last year or so. I gave away a lot of stuff through Freecycle and Goodwill. I also made about $1,000 selling some of my old stuff on eBay; aside from the money, I like the idea of people getting use out of the things rather than having them collecting dust and taking up space.

I’ve also been working to simplify my life. I am tempted along with everyone else to get the latest gadget, but by avoiding new purchases and streamlining my lifestyle, I’ve set aside most of my disposable income for travel. I would rather spend money on a new experience than a new thing, and my husband and I have eliminated gift-giving as much as possible in favor of doing things together.

And that mysterious wood and nail object pictured at the top of this post? Once I snapped a picture of it to be emblematic of the useless things I’ve saved, I found I had formed an attachment to it. I tucked it back into my now spacious bedside drawer.

Related posts:

101 things in 1001 days #46 (101 things in 1001 days): Declutter my house.

1 more task to go to complete 101 things in 1001 days!

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days, and writing my memoirs. I am a teacher and writer living in Connecticut.
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5 Responses to Decluttering my closets (and my life)

  1. Rahmath says:

    lol. But now you have this blog post to remind you why this particular bit was special the second time.

    I too have this habit of saving “precious” things. Last time I went home mom gave me a box in which I had some of them, a tissue paper, a bus ticket , shells , a broken earring and what not. She thought it was important for me. But I could not remember why I saved most of them in the first place. Tossed them out :)

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks for sharing your examples. I go through stuff rarely, but when I do I usually find that a lot of it doesn’t have an emotional attachment for me anymore, and then I can easily toss it. The things that still make my heart ache, like certain baby toys and whatnot, I save.

  2. Abby says:

    Ha! Love the “twist” at the end.
    I actually LOVE decluttering. My parents are packrats and I think it affected me to go the other extreme. And now, my kids are packrats *sigh*

    “I would rather spend money on a new experience than a new thing” – preachin’ to the choir!
    Abby recently posted..home for the holidaysMy Profile

  3. Pingback: COMPLETED: 101 Things in 1001 Days | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

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