Throw Out Fifty Things Weekend…Continued

Perhaps I was a little optimistic to think that I could accomplish all of my throwing out of fifty things in a single weekend.  Since I simply do NOT have the energy to tackle the kitchen tonight, that will have to be continued tomorrow, possibly along with my bookshelves and some other areas of the house.  So far I’m very happy with the results, even if it is hard and not always fun work.

Throw Out Fifty Things Weekend – The Bathroom

I can never seem to keep my bathroom organized.  The guest bathroom, that’s fine, but mine?  Yikes.  It gets messy really quickly and then proceeds to drive me absolutely insane until I finally get around to cleaning it up again.  

Now, partially this is because our bathroom is small and I am sort of lazy.  However, I have no doubt that this is all compounded by the fact that I have extra junk in there that we will never use.  Things that should be thrown away.  

Gail has a couple of hints that I’m going to keep in mind as I attack this room:

  1. Go for the old and expired stuff first (who wants clumpy nail polish after all?)
  2. With what is left, think about whether it is appropriate to how you feel or want to feel now (perhaps that eyeshadow is new, but if it looks terrible on you, get rid of it for crying out loud).

This might be a place to mention something I’ve really appreciated about this book: the tips Gail has given on how to get rid of stuff without a negative impact on the environment.  A major focus in this chapter is old medication.  Now, we don’t really have any old medication around here, but if we did, it would be really helpful to know that flushing it down the toilet can be dangerous to the water supply and that pharmacies will often collect your old medication for proper disposal.



  • Old makeup bag – 1
  • Travel toiletries bag – 1
  • Half used/travel lotions I don’t like – 1
  • Samples – 1
  • Old, sticky sunscreens – 1
  • Colognes my husband doesn’t wear – 1



  • An unopened lavendar bath set I’ll never use – 1

Total Gone:

That makes 7 things in the bathroom.

So far I’m up at 21 things.  We’ll have to see how much the kitchen yields, since we don’t have a garage or an attic.


  • The stuff we use

Need to Buy:

  • Nada


Here’s what went:


Throw Out Fifty Things Weekend – Counterpoint

If the idea of trying to “Throw Out Fifty Things” is just not for you and you want validation in your messiness, check out Jena’s review of “A Perfect Mess” over at Muse Book Reviews.  I’m actually not convinced that these books are totally contradictory.  It seems that you could throw out the stuff you don’t need/that holds you back, then glory in your messiness with what is left.

Read Jena’s review and then you can decide for yourself.

Throw Out Fifty Things Weekend – The Bedroom

There is one thing in our bedroom that frustrates me to no end, and that is my husband’s side of the closet.  He has a ridiculous number of shirts.  Actually, in addition to his ridiculous number of shirts in the closet, he also has a ridiculous number of t-shirts in drawers.  

Now, if he actually wore all of these shirts, this wouldn’t bother me so much (although there are some ugly shirts that I’d still want to ditch); however, he has so many shirts in his closet that one cannot find ANYTHING, so he wears the same 10-15 shirts that cycle through the front of his closet as they get washed.  Of course, this means that he often NEVER wears nice, new shirts that I buy him, because they aren’t in his mental rotation and it is impossible to see anything else.  

See? You can’t MOVE anything in there!


Gail had a rule about throwing things out, namely that you don’t throw out things that belong to other people.  This is a good rule in general, but I got special permission in this instance to throw out some of his clothes,  as long as I am responsible for adding more wherever necessary.

At this point, I’m really only focusing on his clothes, because I’m pretty good at periodically purging my own clothes and other things in the bedroom.

I started by taking everything out and organizing it on the bed: short v. long sleeves, polo vs. button up vs. casual, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc.



I then went through each and every pile and threw out what deserved to be thrown out (yes, most of it is being donated).  I ended up taking 28 shirts/sweaters/sweatshirts out of the closet and another 25 t-shirts out of his drawers.  



Two kitchen garbage bags full to the brim of clothes that need to be donated.  There was also a mostly full bag of clothes that are actually trash (like yellowed, falling apart white t-shirts).  


The scorecard:


  • T-shirts that nobody would want to buy, not even for $0.50.


  • 6 short-sleeved polos
  • 2 long-sleeved polos
  • 4 long-sleeved casual shirts
  • 5 long-sleeved button-up shirts
  • 2 sweatshirts/fleeces
  • 5 short-sleeved casual shirts
  • 1 short-sleeved button-up shirt
  • 3 sweaters
  • About 15 t-shirts

Total Gone:

Nearly 50 items of his clothing – JUST ONE THING!  This is the point where I wish that I could count multiples as more than one.  No, I don’t think I should be done just because I went through my husband’s closet, but I wish I could at least count this as one thing for every 10 items of clothing or so that I’m dumping.

With the living room, this now comes to 14 things.  I think in our small place and being so newly married, we might be lucky to get to 40 things, let alone 50, but I’ll keep trying.


  • Let’s be honest, I kept the vast majority of his clothes, just got rid of the really bad ones.

Need to Buy:

  • A couple nice, new short-sleeved polos
  • Some nice long-sleeved polos
  • Possibly some white undershirts

The Result: MUCH better!


Look!  There is room for the clothes to MOVE!  And to hang nicely, not all shoved in!  I’ve even got them organized for now with short-sleeved shirts on the top and long-sleeved on the bottom, with similar kinds of shirts (polos, button-up, casual, etc.) together.  

As an added bonus, I had thought we needed some more hangers, but now I’ve got lots of extras.

Throw Out Fifty Things Weekend – Living Room/Dining Room

Now, Gail recommends that you start with your bedroom, but my husband’s sick and still in bed, so I’m going to let him stay there a little longer.  She also considers the living room and dining room two separate rooms, but ours clearly are not.  In fact, as you can see they are my library as well.  Here are some ‘before’ pictures.  Of the living/dining room as they are on this Saturday morning after a busy week (man, I hate sharing my messes with the world!):






As you can see, the living room/dining room is currently ruled by paper: books and mail everywhere.  There’s also a bunch of baby stuff that we didn’t have a place for when my sister was still living with us in the baby’s room, I guess it is time to put that in its place.

Gail reminds us that these areas are where you entertain and you want to think about how you want people to feel when they walk in.  In our case, it is also the front entrance of our house, so this becomes even more important.

Everything in my ‘keep’ box needs to be put in storage, put in the right place, or have a storage solution purchased/created.

The scorecard:


  •  Huge pile of junk mail – 1
  • Magazines more than 1 month old – 1
  • Nasty old tote bag – 1
  • Nasty old cat toy- 1
  • 3 old pairs of shoes from our shoe area – 1
  • Gloves without partners – 1




  • Boyfriend chair – 1
  • Two old throw blankets – 1
  • Pitcher we didn’t ask for, won’t use, and don’t have room for – 1
  • Old vacuum we’ve replaced – 1
  • Two jackets I’ve never worn and probably never will – 1
  • A useless little knickknack – 1 
  • A candle whose scent I’m not fond of – 1 

Total Gone:

13 things – MUCH better than I thought I would get, actually.


  • Mail that is actually important
  • Shoes to keep that don’t need to be out with the most-used shoes
  • Saw horses
  • Bike car rack
  • Lap blanket
  • Inflatable bed 

Need to Buy:

  • Nice, new catnip toy
  • Mail sorter

The Result: MUCH better!



Yes, we still need to do things like put our pictures back on the wall (they’ve been down since my husband painted), but at least it looks livable in here.  I think, though, that I’ll save the bookcases for later, either another time or later this weekend, since they probably deserve a post for themselves.  Besides, Zach doesn’t want me to do anything with them yet:

img_7891He’s very protective, evidently.