Monthly Archives: July 2014

Letting Go of Things

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” ~ Exodus 20:3

In early January, author Kathi Lipp posted the 2014 Things Challenge (Kathi Lipp’s 2014 Things Challenge) where she inspired women to give away 2014 good, usable items throughout the year. That’s 5.5 things a day. 38 things a week. 168 things a month. Basically, she wanted 2014 fewer items (not counting consumables) by the end of calendar year 2014. (This employs my one in, one out rule from Live Simple: Limit What Enters Your Home in addition to purging 2,014 items.)

I loved that idea. Since both of my parents, all four of my grandparents, and Chris’s grandma have passed away in the past seven years, we have way too many things at our house. The things need cleaning and maintaining which costs us time, energy, and money. The things can easily become a priority over what really matters. The things tie me down and shift my focus from God.

Kathi gave readers the option of being all in, simply getting rid of 2014 (not doing one in, one out part) or partnering with a buddy to get rid of a total of 2014 items. So I talked about Kathi’s challenge to Chris. Chris agreed hands down we were going all in. Considering how much we have, Chris and I decided to go all in January through June and then all in July through December. This would mean purging 4,028 items in the year. That’s 11 things a day. 77 things a week. 336 things a month. Talk about MONUMENTAL!

ys1 Progress Report
We have religiously followed the one in, one out rule for the past six months. Every time we acquire something new, we purge something old. Friends and family members often tease us when they give us a gift about what we will be getting rid of to keep it. In most instances, we try to get rid of something in the same family. For example, if I get a shirt, I try to get rid of a shirt. If that isn’t possible, I try for some other clothing article. I try not to mix rooms.

On June 30, I sat down with my tally sheet to figure out where we stood on our 2,014 items. We had one day until the end of our first goal, and I knew we had a little ways to go. We were at 1613 items which was 80.08% of the way to our goal. Chris’s company is closed the week of July 4, and I had planned to take off and do something fun with him, but instead we opted to get busy planning a yard sale.   Anything we didn’t sell would be loaded directly into the back of the car to be taken to the county’s free store on Monday. That way, no matter if we sold everything or not, we would definitely hit our goal.

Before we could change our mind, I went down to the newspaper office and put in an advertisement. Then I hit the garage, basement, and two guest bedrooms (one of which is more like a storage room) to find the remaining 401 items.

ys8ys6 Finished Totals
At the end of the weekend, we were exhausted! We worked so hard all week finding items to sell in the yard sale and getting them cleaned up and priced. Then we fried in the sun all day on Saturday selling our stuff. We priced things affordably and watched as hundreds of items found new homes. It was a little sad at first, but at the end of the weekend, we completed our goal and then some!

For the first half of our personal challenge:

local free store: 188 items
sisters: 180 items
anyone else: 358 items
eBay: 364 items
yard sale: 463 items
trash: 461 items
Total: 2014 items

For the start of the second half of our personal challenge:
local free store: 13 items
sisters: 8 items
anyone else: 17 items
eBay: 4 items
yard sale: 399 items
trash: 52
Total: 493 items