Fall Super Fling

Well, if you know me you know that I am always happy for an excuse to tackle the clutter.  So, back to school time is a great time.  The kids need organization to get their work done and the holidays will be here before we know it.  It will be so much easier to plan and host Thanksgiving with less clutter, and to make room for any new Christmas toys.  The change of season here in the northeast is also a good time to be ruthless about wardrobe clutter before buying anything new.

I am fairly streamlined here, but I still acknowledge that I own way too much, and most of all I dislike the time spent managing my stuff — purses falling down from the closet shelf, scratchy socks that I never wear but never bothered to toss, etc.

My husband wanted to set aside a fall weekend to really work on this, and we may spend that time at some point, but weekends are so precious, that I am going to try a different plan –

15 Items a day for 30 days.

Everyday, my husband and I will each rid the house of 15 clutter items — either into a goodwill bag, throw away or find a permanent proper home for something that has been laying under foot.

If we do this, 30×30 will get us 900 fewer things to deal with by October!

In a family, I firmly believe that simple living sets you up for success.

Anyone care to join us?  I am also going to go to PickUpPlease.com and schedule an appointment, so that the bags accumulating in my closet will have a good final destination.

  • Jess

    Mary Alice, that’s a great way to do it. I tend to overpack our freezer with food on sale or in season, so this past May, every day for 30 days, we had to eat one thing out of the freezer EVERY day. It made for creative meals and we got to where we knew everything in BOTH freezers. Good luck, I hope it’s easier than you think.

  • Sarah

    What a great idea! Also, thanks for the link to Pick up Please. Sometimes it seems so hard to get to Goodwill.

  • Kate

    Alice, I’m in…we cleared out a lot when we packed up but I am going to consider unpacking and putting away 15 things legit too…that will help with those straggling boxed. I’ll try to get B to sign on as well so we can maximize our potential :)

  • Anonymous

    MaryAlice, what a great way to purge without having to go on a one or two day rampage! I like how regular purging cultivates an attitude of stewardship and of detachment from things–if we’re not using it regularly, someone else should, so move it out. Good luck! 900 things is AMAZING! (Save a few cute hand-me-downs for your poor student-family friends : ))

  • HeatherDoodleAcres

    Sounds super!!!!!! Great idea and perfect timing…

  • Texas Mommy

    Great idea to purge before the fall/winter! I am totally on board (my husband is the picture of detachment save his iPhone and will happily let me toss/buy his stuff). My biggest challenge is all the homeschooling stuff we are given. People hear that we are educating (mostly) at home and feel an obligation to give us anything tenuously related to education. I feel bad getting rid of some of it, but don’t want to see it anymore. Will you keep us accountable at the end of the 30 days??

  • Anonymous

    I’m inspired. We did something similar to this for Lent, but we did bags instead of individual items, and about 1/2 way through we ran out of time to keep looking for stuff and filling bags. Your idea seems more reasonable!

  • Erin

    I am a keeper– purging does not come naturally to me, to my husband’s annoyance. Getting rid of 15 items per day sounds crazy and impossible to me! Mary Alice- can you give us some examples of the fifteen items you’re getting rid of? I really want to simplify our “stuff,” but I just feel bad or “maybe we’ll use that some day…” every time I think about it. What does a daily 15-item purge look like at your house?

    • Mary Alice

      Here are some examples of items that we have purged so far — as you’ll see, we are not really digging deep here, but it will get harder as we go, I’m sure:nnseveral single kids flip flops (mate lost)nn3rd tier running shoes (kept new pair for running and old pair for lawn mowing)nnrusty play teapot left out all summer in sandboxnnfour tubes of toothpaste bought on sale for food pantry donation, stashed in closet and forgotten (ditto hotel toiletries, saved for months in my bathroom cabinet)nnold magazines stashed in bedside table drawernnstained beat up summer pursenntoo small little girls shorts nnexpired coupons posted on fridgennschool supplies — this was a hard one! Remember that I told you about those 25 cent crayon packs at Wal Mart? I bought four, then got home and realized that we always have way too many crayons anyway, and my kids don’t need “new” crayons just for the sake of a new school semester. So, I put them in the bag with the toothpaste and they will go in the food pantry bin at church. It was really purifying to decide to keep the “old” and give away the “new” item, to bless some other child.nnI have a “goodwill” shopping bag going right next to my laundry room trash, so that is where the items are being stored for now, I started another bag for food pantry items and I will start a third bag for clothes for JM’s daughter, who is one size down from my girl — cute shorts coming your way Bella! I thought about looking in to recycling the sneakers but I can’t be that much of a perfectionist right now.

      • Anonymous

        Bless you, woman, thanks to you my little 5 year old dreamer looks and feels like a princess instead of a pauper.

        • Erin

          MA, thanks for the list, it seems more do-able for me now. I thought this idea was so neat, but I was a little hesitant to tell my hubby about it because I knew he would LOVE it. Before I even had the words out of my mouth this morning he said “I love it. we’re doing it. I want to do 30 things a day forever.” But, we agreed that it would actually be a really good Advent activity, to prepare our hearts (letting go of material things) and our home (less junk = more space!) for the arival of baby Jesus. Plus, I think I need a few months to get used to the idea– i’m going to practice in the meantime!

  • Kat

    Mary Alice, what a great initiative to start off the Fall – I love how you tackle problems head-on, my hubby would love it if I did this more! I tend to over-think solutions rather than just getting started with project like this – must be part of my personality profile or something :)


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