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Spring Cleaning Up

April 23, 2013

ImageLast night I went for a walk in my neighborhood and passed a young woman standing on the corner of West End Avenue and 71st Street. She was standing behind a card table covered with personal belongings. Was she moving and waiting for a ride? As I got closer I saw a piece of paper with the words “Yard Sale” taped to the front of the table, flapping in the wind. I got about a half a block past when I turned around and went back.

“Have you been selling stuff?” I asked her.

“Yes. I’ve been here every night after work for the last three nights from six to seven. It’s stuff I don’t need anymore.”

And have people been buying stuff?

“Oh, yes. Every night. Most of it.”

I looked over her wares. A few pairs of shoes, a foam roller for exercising, and some stationary. While the New Yorker in me knew it was only a matter of time until someone approached her asking for a permit, I had to give her credit. She was not only spring cleaning, she was cleaning up.

ImageEven after my huge spring cleaning a month ago, I’ve been slowly and continuously saying “Buh Bye” to more. Some when my mom visited a few weeks ago, and then when my sister came. Just when I thought I got rid of everything, a fresh pair of eyes asking, “Do you really need this?” was all the push I needed to get rid of more. As a professional organizer, I’m the one usually doing the pushing, but being on the other end of the push was great.

While many of you have (hopefully) by this time done a bit of spring cleaning, do you think it’s possible to get rid of more? In my quest to try another 30-day challenge, I propose this one: Get rid of one thing every day for 30 days. Okay, I can hear you moaning. Just hear me out. The items can be clothes (a sock with a hole or missing a partner), a blouse that hasn’t been in fashion since 1984, a Tupperware without a top, a worn out spatula, your “I Love Lucy” video collection, a paperclip, anything. One thing for 30 days. Think you can do it?

The stuff you get rid of you can donate, re-gift, sell, recycle, whatever you want, but it must leave your home. Keep a list, track your progress. At the end of the thirty days, let me know how you’ve done.


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  1. I’m in! I’m going to do this.

  2. Mary Ellen permalink

    There is no way in Hell I am getting rid of LUCY!!!
    You got me to get rid of the shot glass collection but
    it will come to blows over Lucy! 🙂

  3. Jim Kirstein permalink

    I agree with the getting rid of but there are limits. Mary has it right about Lucy. No way will Lucy ever leave my clutches. Funny in 1950 and funny now!

  4. I am also in. I need the challenge. Will declutter at least one thing every day for the next 30 days! 🙂

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