Wednesday, January 14, 2009

56 Things You Can Toss Out Now

My name is Jackie and I am a junk-a-holic! I cannot throw stuff away! I am a clutterbug! I collect way too much stuff! And my habits got worse when I discovered the world of Altered Art! I subscribe to Christine Kane's newsletter and blog (see below and right side-bar) and today's article really hit home! There are a few items that I don't agree with (I could NEVER get rid of my grandmother's doilies!) but she has some very good advice and I'd like to share it:

56 Things You Can Toss Out Now
by Christine Kane
We hold onto our stuff for two reasons: Love or fear. We either love things. Or we fear letting them go. We cherish them and know they have value to us. OR... We fear that we'll need them someday. We fear that we wasted our money on them. We fear what others will think if we let them go. We even fear making the decision to release our mistakes, so we don't make any decision at all. Instead we passively hold onto stuff out of guilt. Well, guess what? When you begin to make choices from a place of LOVE and EXPANSION, then your world will change. Love is the clearest reason to do anything. If you don't love it, toss it. Give it away. Your abundance and energy will increase when you begin to live by love, and not by fear. Here are 56 things you can toss out (or give away) right now...
1. All the hotel key cards you forgot to turn it when you checked out.
2. The doilies your Aunt Missy crocheted 45 years ago that got handed down to you.
3. CD's you haven't listened to in three years or more.
4. The boxes of cassettes you've been meaning to transfer to CD's.
5. The bread maker you haven't used since 2003.
6. Your wedding dress
NOTE: You can say you've been saving it for your daughter, but here are three signs that your daughter doesn't want to wear it: a] she's already married and wore her own dress, b] she's been roommates with a woman named Pat for nine years, or c] you don't have a daughter.
7. Credit card bills from 1995.
8. The Allen wrenches from every piece of IKEA furniture you ever assembled.
9. The jacket you spent way too much money on and never wore. NOTE: Keeping it around just to punish yourself for your bad choices is like going to parochial school all over again.
10. Every scratching post or toy your cat doesn't like. NOTE: Your cat didn't go to parochial school so there's no sense punishing him.
11. House plants you no longer love.
12. The stacks of O Magazine you swear you'll re-read.
13. Every little zippy bag that came with a Clinique purchase.
14. Every unopened perfume that came with a Clinique purchase.
15. Leftover scrunchies in case you grow your hair long again.
16. The "Cherries Jubilee" flavored lip balm that makes you nauseous.
17. Every single regretful lipstick color you bought on a whim. ("Cherries Jubilee" is probably there, too.)
18. Your last four cell phones and all their chargers and blue teeth.
19. Single socks.
20. The Spode Christmas plates and mugs you don't like. (Along with the Christmas bath towels and welcome mat.)
21. The framed posters you had in your college dorm room.
22. Old stereo wires.
NOTE: If your husband refuses to let go of any of these mysterious wires, try this: Put them (not him!) in a bin and label it "Random Cables and Wires." After two years, bring it out of storage and kindly note that no one has thought about it in two years. Ask if it would be okay to let go of half of them. Repeat process until all mysterious cables and wires are gone.
23. The nails, screws, anchors, and cup hooks rusting in the bottom of your tool chest.
24. Remote controls that don't remotely control anything you own.
25. Lamps, toasters, blenders, coffeemakers that no longer work.
26. The notion that you will ever be one of those moms that makes beautiful scrapbooks.
NOTE: Put your photos in boxes. No one will judge you.
27. Old blankets and linens you keep in case you suddenly have 27 sleepover guests.
28. College text books
29. Any boring decorative item that does little more than fill space.
30. Vases you don't love or use.
31. Candle holders you don't love or use.
32. Picture frames you don't love or use.
33. Class notes from college.
34. The idea that you have to save every piece of your children's artwork and school work because it might mean you don't love them if you don't.
35. The "good silver" you don't use that was passed down to you.
36. Old VHS movies
37. Unlabeled VHS tapes. (And don't waste your time watching them just in case.)
38. The stationary bike that got even more stationary after you got it.
39. The fabric pieces you've been collecting in case you ever become a quilter.
40. Flashlights that dimly light up only after you bang them over and over on your thigh.
41. Old keys that open some door somewhere in the past.
42. Suitcases you don't use.
43. Old computers.
44. Old stereos.
45. Promotional duffel bags with ugly logos and bad acronyms stitched all over them.
46. Anything that makes you say, "But I got such a good price on it!"
47. Anything that makes you say, "But I paid so much for it!"
48. Half-full cans of paint.
49. Extra baby items/Old baby items.
50. Record albums. NOTE: Don't spend your extra hours in a day trying to figure out if someone will buy them. Really. They won't.
51. Gifts you never liked.
52. All the cross-stitch, knitting, or sewing projects you never finished.
53. Any glassware or dinnerware that is a "memorabilia" item from proms or sororities or sports events.
54. Old information packets you no longer need or that you can easily find on line.
55. All the hotel soaps that you took with you. (And stop taking them. You've got plenty of soap!)
56. The belief that you only have to go through the de-cluttering process once and won't ever have to do it again.

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at
WANT TO SEE HUNDREDS MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE?See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at


Joanne Huffman said...

How about throwing out all the lists of things people tell you to do to declutter your life?

Joanne, who is adapting to a lot of clutter very well

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Too funny, Jackie. I think the one thing I could live without is a bread maker, but I often find uses for old keys, old card key entries (make great gesso, paint, and glue spreaders), and of course my grandmother's doilies. However, it was insightful for those of us not in the altered art world.

Judy Streger said...

Oh, dear, I fear that someday I will have to combat this advice by writing an article entitled, "Never, Ever Through Anything Away." I love my junk, I cherish my junk, I hope my junk follows the Biblical advice of "Be fruitful and multiply." How gratifying it would be to wake up tomorrow and find that my old pieces of fabric scraps now fill entire closet, or maybe a whole room.

lawatha said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and entering the OWOH giveaway!

I love the 56 things you can toss out now. Enlightening. I never thought I could get rid of all of those things- and believe me, I have a lot of those 56 types of things laying around. I'm trying to get organized- I think if I print the list and post it, it might just help remind me what I can get rid of. And then I suppose I should throw the list away when I'm finished. Or maybe I'll save it. I might need it again someday...

Connie said...

um.....i have ALL of those things.
now that i do altered art, I NEED them.
...i wore my mamas wedding was vintage 1947 - gorgeous!

later i wore it for Halloween as Bride of Frankenstein.....

Karen Owen said...

This was funny! But I do agree with you about the doilies - I'd never throw them out. along with my wedding dress. My mother made it, and it's beautiful. How could I throw it away?