I’ve been a pack rat for years, decades, in fact, and my friend came up with the idea of joining together with twenty people such that each person had the same goal of getting rid of ten pounds each day for ten days. At the end of 10 days, we, as a group would have lost a ton!
My friend offered great ideas and suggestions. She suggested that we save a location to work on that would be easy to get rid of ten pounds in a day, for a day when we might not be feeling well or were too busy. She encouraged us to wait until we could find ten consecutive days before we started. She shared a list of sites that would take clothing, electronics, food, baby clothes, household furniture, household items, and other things. She also included some encouraging articles about simplifying, streamlining, and getting rid of items we no longer needed or wanted.
I started this in January and got rid of or set aside over 124 pounds of clothes, household items, items I would “look at someday,” old food, food I purchased but no longer planned to use, Christmas tree lights that no longer worked, old telephone books, an unopened box with hanging files for a file drawer, a small lamp, a stash of plastic containers that I had saved for years, etc. It was wonderful to finally get rid of things I no longer needed or used and finding places to give the new or gently-used items to people who would enjoy or appreciate them.
I especially liked the daily focus – 10 pounds. That was it. The goal of ten pounds allowed me to have a limit so I could stop and leave something for the following day, without spending the whole day on this project. I also liked the encouragement and camaraderie and helpful tips shared by other group members on the private fb group of “Lose a Ton!” I didn’t feel like I was doing this alone. Some people posted, before and after pictures that were encouraging. Others shared an area they were working on – the refrigerator or freezer, under their bed, their VHS, DVD, or book collection, sheet music, their kitchen cupboards, under the sink - that spurred some of us on to do the same.
Interestingly, after my ten days were over, I was enjoying this so much that I chose to continue, for another fourteen days. My friend said, “As long as you’re on a roll, keep going!” After that, I took off some Sundays. I even lowered the number of pounds per day, knowing I could always get rid of more.
Another group member wrote and said, “It’s kind of addicting.” She’s right… I am actually looking forward to cleaning up areas in my home which have been packed tightly to accommodate more and more. No more!
And, what do you know? I may even lose a ton on my own!
Precious Linda, c. 2014
Precious Linda, c. 2014
I completed my ten days in January. Since I began, I’ve gotten rid of or set aside over 478 pounds!! The “set-aside” items will go towards a couple’s upcoming rummage sale to raise funds for the adoption of their first baby. This has been a great start for me.
I’ve slowed down a bit. I think I especially liked the group idea, effort, and encouragement. I also noticed that working on this project for ten, consecutive days, helped keep me focused on “looking” for items around the house for what I could get rid of, rather than my normal way of overlooking something, even as I walked right past it.
As the rummage sale gets closer, I will probably start up again so I can end with a “grand finish!” (Or, is that two grand?) Maybe, I actually WILL lose a ton, on my own!!