Skip to main content

Decluttering - The Throw Out Fifty Things Challenge!

have been on a bit of a de-cluttering binge for about a year now. We have made umpteen donations to our local charity shops, had a garage sale with the neighbours, been to five local church car boot sales (as sellers not buyers!), sold stuff on e-bay and Gumtree and sold a lot of the heavier stuff (beds, BBQ's)  from the front of the house to passers by!

I reckon I have put an extra $600 on the mortgage selling all this junk!

I'm sure I still have a lot of junk and recently at my local library (I love my library!!! All those free books!!!) I found this book called "Throw out Fifty Things". (Link to book) I grabbed it and took it home to see what this authors angle was. Its pretty simple. And I'm thinking its working for me!!

Here's what I did...

First I read the whole book! I find it helps to see what the overall angle is. Gail Blanke turns out to be a motivator in the good ol' U.S. of A and even though the first forty or so items she wants you to throw out are physical items from around the house, what she is really helping you to throw out is bad feelings, inadequacies and insecurities. I was game. If getting rid of a pile of paper work relating to a job I left five years ago was going to free up some space AND make me feel better - I was in!

With Throw Out 50 Things - Gail asks you to WRITE down each item as you throw it out. For me, this became quite addictive. I loved watching that list grow and started eyeing up all sorts of things in the house with the view to growing my list!

It also created interest with other people who saw my list and asked about it - Having other people wanting updates was also motivating to help move towards that 50 item mark. My first fifty list was on a piece of paper on my desk. The second was on the notice board in the kitchen for all to see, admire and hopefully emulate!

There are a couple of "rules" with this technique. If you have ten magazines lying around in the lounge and you throw them out, donate them or even shred them - that only counts as one item. If you chuck out 23 plastic flowerpots, its just one item. All that old make up you gave to the neighbours ten year old - again, one item.
If the items are related and in the same place - its one item. Not that that made much difference in the end. It got quite easy to find things to get rid of!



Gail has a website that allows you to list the things you threw out and tell the stories around the items as well for those who like to share! throwoutfiftythings.com

My husband also got quite interested in this and started his own list... I'm hoping the kids will hook into this one as well... Ok I'm dreaming there, but you never know! I'm also hoping that all that cleared out space doesn't attract any new stuff!


Score card:
Green-ness:  5/5 Getting rid of unwanted item responsibly is a excellent green thing to do!
Frugal-ness:  5/5 Making money out of junk??? Excellently frugal!
Time cost: A minute an item - If you really get into it, you can throw out 50 things in an hour... Go on, I dare you!
Skill level: Anyone can can operate a rubbish bin!!
Fun -ness: More than you think!!

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Killing cockroaches with boric acid v borax!

We live in Queensland. We have cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches! Why the NSW rugby team is called the Cockroaches is a mystery to me - surely ours are not only bigger but more plentiful??? At any rate, I don't like living with them (and I'm quite sure they  are not so fond of me at the moment!!) and I have been going through the usual gauntlet of sprays, solutions and bombs to get rid of them...

But I'm not so keen on the chemical aspect of all this spraying and bombing. I hate the smell and can almost feel disease and cancer growing in me every time I spray. I'm OK with the resident cockies getting a lungful of chemicals and then keeling over but I feel its impolite (and probably illegal) if my guests and family members do the same thing!!!

We went through a faze of killing them by hand (and flyswatter and rolled up newspaper and underfoot) but its hard and frustrating work and it probably was only culling the dumb and slow ones - leaving the smart fast ones to breed!!!

What to do when your cat attacks a bird... and doesn't kill it.

We have an eight year old cat who we got as a stray about six years ago. The vet reckoned she was about two when we got her and we did all the right things and got her spayed and vaccinated and all that stuff. She loves people and no matter where you are in the house or garden, she will not be far away. She really good with kids and will put up with the squishiest cuddles and a far bit of toddler tail fascination before bolting out the door to escape. She is well fed (despite the look she is giving me and the empty bowl below...) but not fat - but still the  urge to hunt and subsequently kill still seems to be quite strong.


Last weekend, she pounced out of nowhere on a rainbow lorrikeet - thankfully my husband and a band of teenage boys were also there and managed to grab the bird before the cat had done more than pounce. Now we have a slightly mangled still alive but obviously unwell bird on our hands - what do you do?

Here's what we did...

We found a box - popped an old towel in t…

Making homemade soap from lamb fat!

At work recently, we cooked up 3,000 lamb shanks (yes that was three thousand- and it took us a week!) for a feast which gave a us a huge amount of unwanted fat.

Normally that would have been thrown into the skip but I had remembered reading somewhere that animal fat - or tallow - can be used for making soap. If you have a look on a commercial packet of soap you will see something called sodium tallowate - that's scientific speak for rendered beef fat.
I have been making my own olive oil soap for a few years now with reasonable success, so I collected up all the fat I could, rendered it and gave making soap from fat a go!

Here's what I did...

I rendered the fat, which basically involves heating it to melting point and then filtering it through sieves that get finer and finer and then adding water (don't boil the fat or adding water will make it explode) and leaving the fat to set - on top of the water. The impurities should fall to the bottom and be caught in the water -…