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getting rid of unwanted things day

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So, today is American Independence day. Funnily enough, it’s not much celebrated in the UK but I thought in the erm spirit of cross-Atlantic friendship (?) I thought I’d reclaim it as ‘getting rid of unwanted things’ day ( :| ).

When you think about it, summer is a great time to get rid of clutter. If you’re lucky and it’s sunny, you can do a Life Laundry style thing where you take everything out of a room and put it in your garden, and then sort and get rid of as much as possible. In reality of course, here in the UK it’s not likely to be sunny.

But the strong chances of rain in the summer months mean that instead of moping round the house feeling sorry for yourself and counting down the days until your summer holiday you can get rid of all the junk that’s weighing you down.

Living a more simplified existence is quite a good money saving tactic. I mean, if you stop buying so much stuff that’ll save you money in the long run. De-cluttering can have more immediate benefits though. I tend to find:

  • stuff that I didn’t know that I had that is actually useful and so won’t need to repurchase
  • books that I haven’t read that will save me buying new ones
  • things that I could sell to make money or swap with friends

I also find that getting rid of junk is mentally freeing. I’m reasonably strongly affected by my surroundings, and am much happier when they are nice. And they aren’t nice if they’re full of things that I don’t need. I tend to think of de-cluttering as both free entertainment and an investment in my own happiness. It’s pretty much win-win for me, so next time the BBQ weather doesn’t quite happen on a summer’s afternoon, why not try chucking out some of your unwanted junk.

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12 comments for “getting rid of unwanted things day”

  1. I daydream of the day my family will actually release their iron grip on their “stuff”. My techie hubby is terrified that someday he might need that 5 1/4″ floppy drive and 3 boxes full of disks.

    I’ll be daydreaming of being junk free today, all because of you! :) Enjoy your day.

    Posted by Momma | July 4, 2008, 12:14 pm
  2. I did this the other day and couldn’t agree more - it felt fabulous, but be careful, it’s addictive. Best tip I ever read (can’t remember where) was to go through your house and fill a box with stuff you never use. Then put it in the closet, and after 6 weeks, if you’ve not opened it to get anything out in that time, throw the whole box away (but don’t open it again to look through beforehand, you’ll end up pulling stuff out and thinking ‘oh, I need that’.

    Posted by Claire | July 4, 2008, 1:15 pm
  3. I do what Claire says, I currently have 2 bin bags of clothes, books etc in my hallway. I’ll probably take them to a charity shop next weekend as I’ve not wanted anything from them in the couple of weeks they’ve been there.
    I love getting rid of stuff from my apartment but I’ve witnessed purging regret before so I give myself a chance to change my mind.

    Posted by Looby | July 4, 2008, 2:58 pm
  4. Great post, so true! I’ll be linking to this one!
    Thanks for spurring me on!

    Posted by Frugal Trenches | July 4, 2008, 6:38 pm
  5. You weren’t the only one in the mood to purge stuff! I eliminated some junk from our garage this morning and felt better just being able to see more of the floor!

    Posted by Frugal Dad | July 4, 2008, 9:28 pm
  6. Micah sends props from this side of the Atlantic. You made him completely crack up. :D

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | July 6, 2008, 8:56 pm
  7. great idea BUT what to do with all that stuff?
    I need to toss but don’t know where to toss to?
    Should it all go to one place?
    Is it a hassle to get rid of old furniture?

    Posted by joan | July 7, 2008, 6:58 pm
  8. plonkee, when I was a boy, I spent three years in England. Two of those years, we spent the fourth of July at a Wild West theme park. We even got a discount on Independence day!

    As far of getting rid of unwanted things. I’ve always been a bit of a collector; my wife is a bit of a pack rat. So we struggled with this until we came across the perfect solution—we moved into a travel trailer (caravan to you).

    The trailer was our temporary living space for a couple of years while we built our house, so anything we didn’t need in the trailer ended up in long-term storage. Obviously, it didn’t make sense to pay to store crap, so we had an incentive to part with a lot of our accumulated junk.

    Posted by Aaron Stroud | July 7, 2008, 8:30 pm
  9. @Aaron:
    You’d be surprised at the number of people who do pay to store crap. But I think that’s a great solution. And I’m not surprised about the discount, we like Americans - and Independence Day is the only American holiday we’re really familiar with.

    Posted by plonkee | July 7, 2008, 10:04 pm
  10. LOL at your new name for the Fourth of July! I love it.

    Posted by Chief Family Officer | July 8, 2008, 3:26 am

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