Saturday, 17 October 2009

The 50 Things Project

by Kate
Living The Frugal Life

I don't know where I first heard about the 50 Things project. But I liked the sound of it immediately. The idea is to get rid of stuff, not just your everyday recycling, but things that either have some value to someone else, or are simply taking up space because you haven't found the motivation to get rid of them up till now. It doesn't matter whether you donate it, sell it, give it to a friend, freecycle or craigslist it, repurpose it, or recycle it. Just get rid of fifty things that are serving no purpose in your life. The hardest things (for us anyway) to address are the things we've held onto for sentimental reasons, but which we have, in fact, very few sentiments about.

This seems like a good project to me for several reasons. We have a "junk room" which could really be a useful spare room or guest room if we could only get the stuff in there sorted. That irks me enough that I usually try to pretend that room simply doesn't exist. I'd like it to be otherwise. And I know we have things lying around that we'll probably never use that other people could find value in. If we have less clutter and others have things they can use, it sure seems win-win to me.

I've been mulling this project for a while now, and since the gardening season is just about winding down, the time seems ripe to begin. I thought I'd post here as a jump start for myself and perhaps to motivate some of you to begin 50 Things projects of your own. Some groups of items, such as books, or a group of things I donate to one place, I'm only going to count as one item on the list. See, I really am ambitious!

Here's my first list of just ten things, as a start:

  1. Spare dish drying rack, coffee maker, kitchen items - donated to a battered women's shelter
  2. Old iMac desktop, still functional - looking to donate to a school or charity
  3. Leftover toxic lawn care stuff from our home's previous owner - disposed of via the city's semi-annual hazardous waste collection day
  4. Ceramic butter dish we just don't particularly like or use (but pretty nonetheless) - given to friends
  5. Books - a batch donated to our local library
  6. Books - a collection of old travel guidebooks, recycled
  7. CDs - sold to a used music store
  8. DVDs - sold in a batch (less work that way) on eBay
  9. My childhood stamp collection (not very impressive) - looking for a dealer to evaluate/buy
  10. Miscellaneous junk cleared out of two drawers in my old desk - thrown away
Well, there's the first of what I hope will become five such lists for me. All but two of these have actually left our house already. And it feels good! I sense that it will be more and more difficult to find things to get rid of as this project continues. But I'm up for the challenge, even if it takes me a while.

How about you?