Sunday, 5 December 2010

My 100 Things Challenge


In October I mentioned that I'd set myself a festive challenge to give away 100 things in the run up to Christmas.... and I've almost finished! Hurrah!

I didn't keep strictly to the "one thing a day" process, but I did set myself the rule that I had to genuinely give away 100 things, not just get rid of them - things had to be given to friends or neighbours or one of our local charity shops, not just thrown away, as the main point of the exercise was giving not decluttering.


I'm up to #96 now - a set of number cookie cutters which I've never used in the 6 or 7 years I've owned them (I don't have photos of the other 95 items I've got rid of, so snaps of the cookie cutters will have to do!)

I have been keeping a list though...

So far I've given away: 15 books I don't want to reread (or never read in the first place), 4 CDs by bands I no longer like, and one tape of an album I liked so much I seem to have bought it twice, 3 films I don't want to watch again, 10 audiobooks I've since bought on CD or didn't enjoy enough to keep them, 4 blouses, 2 cardigans, 6 jumpers, 2 t-shirts, a dress, a pair of trousers and 5 skirts (all of which I've not worn for years), 2 dresses that shrank in the wash and no longer fit, a dress, a jacket and a cardigan that all never really suited me, some vintage kids books I bought to cut up for a craft project and never had the heart to, some lovely old maps (ditto), 4 plant pots in strange sizes, an ugly ornament someone bought us as a gift, a random fridge magnet, 8 spare mugs, a coffee set we never use, a decorative dish and plate I don't like that much any more, a santa hat I bought to use as a photo prop, 2 notebooks I've got no use for, a decorative hook I don't want to hang anywhere, 3 sets of writing paper I'll never use, a colouring book leftover from colouring in parties at University (what wild times!), some brooches I've never worn, a silk scarf in a very unflattering colour, a spare sewing kit, an unused sewing box, an old film camera, 2 bags I don't use, an assortment of bedlinen for a spare bed we no longer own, a big pile of fabric which a neighbour gave me when they moved and which a friend is now putting to good use making curtains for her new house... and those cookie cutters.

Phew!

I know I said the point of this wasn't specifically to declutter but gosh it's made a difference getting rid of all those things, especially as the boyfriend was inspired by my clearout to have one of his own so even more stuff has left our house over the past few weeks.


I'm really glad I set myself the bigger challenge of 100 things this year instead of my usual 30 or so in the run up to Christmas. The first few dozen things were dead easy to clear out (even though I do this every year and we frequently donate things to our local charity shop) but it's got increasingly difficult to find "obvious" things I can easily do without. The process of finding things I don't need any more has really made me think about why I keep the things I keep, and about my shopping habits.

I will never ever ever be a minimalist. I like having a house full of colour and pattern and vintage treasures and sentimental trinkets and family heirlooms and things which just make me happy because they're beautiful. But I do want my posessions to earn their place in my home, and to have a house filled with wonderful things rather than clutter. I'm also definitely going to be thinking twice before buying anything new - will I be clearing it out again next Christmas thinking "what did I buy this for??"

Now, time to find those last four things...

11 comments:

annie said...

What a great idea!

Cate said...

Wow that's quite a list!! Congratulations on reaching #96...do you even have 4 more things to give away??
It's a great feeling to set yourself a challenge and then see it through - especially one as worthwhile as this one :-)
xxxCate

And PS: thanks so much for inspiring my give-away challenge too - it was good fun :-)

MitziMakes said...

This is such an inspiring thing to do! I love how you have taken the time to consider your belongings as gifts to others rather than just chucking them out.

Jane said...

Good for you! I am such a hoarder. I am from the school of "I am sure that will come in useful one day..." and it's a hard habit to break. Thank you for the inspiration.

Jo said...

Well done! I am rubbish at decluttering, but your method sounds like a good way of doing it. Now if only I can find someone who wants two old coffee sets and half a dozen ratty wool blankets...

Kate said...

ACK! How on Earth did I miss your October post??? You've got a great idea, there. I especially admire your delineation between donating and decluttering - it's easy to confuse the two. I'm practicing something I'm calling Hello,Goodbye on my blog; whenever I buy something new, something of similar size and function must go. I've got a bit of a backlog (visited my Granny who gave me a lot of vintage family treasures!$, and you've reminded me to post that! Thank you!

P.S. As much as I admire minimalists, I'm totally with you. I must've been a magpie in a previous life - shiny, colorful, vintage items make my heart sing!!!

Jenna said...

that's impressive! with our teensy apartment, we're definitely at the point where if something comes in, something else has to go. it's hard sometimes, but a good policy. i do long for the coming days of storage, though...

monkeemoomoo said...

What a good idea. I am always randomly giving things away, to anyone who walks through the door. "Do you want this?" But having said that, I am ready for a big declutter again. High on the list my husbands side of the wardrobe. I swear he only wear 10 percent of what is in there. But getting men to declutter is a whole other story!

Ellouise88 said...

Wow, aren't you good! About time I did something like that I think!

Rebekah said...

I've spent a lot of time this year giving away things that we no longer use or want. It feels good to make that space in in the house. I love that you've kept track of all the things you've let go. Isn't it a joy to see friends using and loving things that just sat in a drawer at your house?

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! It feels a bit weird posting about personal projects like this on my crafty blog, so I'm really grateful for the feedback :)

Cate - glad you've enjoyed your challenge!

Jane - I'm a real hoarder too, I'm really sentimental and I keep stuff for future crafting / random "emergencies" that will never actually happen... I'm trying hard to break those habits, and to keep my "random stuff" more contained :D

Kate - yes, I often drool over people's shiny white houses on design blogs but I'd never trade my lovely stuff for that sort of life! Hello/Goodbye sounds like a great system, but I'm not sure I could manage to trade like for like!

Jenna - we're really lucky to have a largish flat, which has meant we've developed bad hoarding habits just cos we've got the space for things, we definitely need to clear things out before we can ever move again...

monkeemoomoo - I'm gradually converting my boyfriend to the joys of a good clear out - the book departments in our local charity shops have done very well out of him recently :)

Rebekah - it is *so* great knowing things are being used. In the past we've also held "free stuff" swap parties with friends and neighbours and it's awesome seeing someone wearing and loving that old necklace / dress / scarf / etc that had been sitting sad and neglected at the back of a cupboard

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