5 Things I Can Live Without…

In last week’s post about the impetus National Get Organized Month gives us to start getting rid of things, I challenged myself to a decluttering purge. The challenge was to declutter fast – not my usual style – and get rid of 5 things quickly.

Did I meet the challenge? Well, let’s see what I managed to get rid of.

Old towels

No matter how many new towels I buy, I can’t seem to get rid of the old, frayed ones. Sometimes when I pull the old ones out of the linen closet, my husband insists on taking them to use when he’s washing the car. To me, that’s not really getting rid of them. Fortunately, we have a textile recycling booth at our local farmers’ market where we can bring old towels, stained t-shirts, and stretched out underwear to be recycled so they will not end up in a landfill.


I have stopped most of my magazine subscriptions, trying to read the ones that interest me online. However, we still get The New Yorker and have piles of old issues. I used to read each copy thoroughly and then give the issues to my mother who enjoyed them as well. Now with a life that’s a little more complicated, I no longer read The New Yorker regularly, if at all. My husband is kind enough to point out articles that will interest me and I try to read those. Will I eventually read more of them? I’m not so sure. We got rid of a pile of magazines – unread! That was tough for me.

Old textbooks

Several college textbooks that my kids had not resold were lying around and I contacted Better World Books. They emailed me a label – they pay for postage – and I mailed the books to them. How easy was that!

 Old eyeglasses

With sensitive eyes I can seldom wear a previous pair of glasses even if the prescription has not changed. So why did I have at least 15 pairs of glasses in a drawer in my dresser? Did I really think I would recycle an old frame? Unlikely. I had fun trying on old styles. Remember the huge frames that took up half your face? I still had a couple of those. The old eyeglasses and glass cases went off to an organization that gives them to those in need.

Rusted can opener

Okay, I didn’t clean out an entire kitchen drawer but I did manage to get rid of at least one old can opener.

Did I meet the challenge? To be honest, I did not get rid of all the items in this list in one day, but I did get rid of them. For my husband and me, who deliberate about everything, about every item that passes through our hands, this certainly was a challenge.

And now am I ready to get rid of 10 things, 15, even 20? I’ll see what I can do…

How about you? What 10 things can you get rid of? Share the items you got rid of and your strategy in a comment to this post. We would love to learn new ways to deal with clutter.

≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home designcrafts, and food, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.


6 Responses

  1. I’m gonna try! I am!

  2. Thanks Carole. It does help to work fast and to work on just a few things. That way we don’t get bogged down in all the stuff we have.

  3. I love this post! Great practical information. (And inspiration too, in your example.)

    Who took the eyeglasses? I have a bunch of them too, and I really don’t want them but I don’t know who will take them.

  4. Check out http://neweyesfortheneedy.org/ for places near you that collect old eyeglasses. Also many eyeglass store chains have donation boxes for old glasses.

  5. If you have any clean old sweaters, sheets, towels, blankets, bedding etc please be sure to contact a local animal shelter. Our local shelter uses clean discards as bedding for animals.

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