Five A Day - Reducing the Clutter in My Home and Life

Penelope Samuel in Longview, Washington is doing a yearlong project she calls Five A Day – Reducing the Clutter in My Home and Life. She explains, "Every day for 365 days, I will find 5 items in my house and/or garage that I no longer need or want. I will either donate the item to my local thrift store or some I know can use it, or I will throw it away. At the end of the year I will have purged 1,825 items from my home."

Why did you decide to do this project? I have a lot of stuff, too much stuff, stuff I don’t use, stuff that is collecting dust. Recently, I joined a group on Facebook, The Non-Consumer Advocate, that encourages and supports consuming less material goods. I felt that if I made a commitment to downsizing my material possessions, two positive outcomes would occur: 1) I would be forced to deal with how much stuff I already have which would most likely make me want to buy less, and 2) by donating my stuff to the local thrift shop or someone who needs it, I am helping the local economy, the non-profit organization the thrift store helps support, and people in need.

How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I’ve only been doing Five A Day since January 1st, but already my awareness of just how much stuff I own had increased dramatically. An example of this is that I have been, for the most part, focused on purging items from my bedroom. In 14 days, I have purged 70 items, most of which have come from my bedroom, and I am not finished in my room! I feel liberated, grateful, astonished, and determined! I also shared my blog on The Non-Consumer Advocate page, and have gained a tremendous group of followers, some of who have been inspired to do some purging themselves. I was asked by a reader if I would be willing to send her some of the crochet hooks I was purging. She wanted them as a gift for her granddaughter and she offered to pay shipping. I told her I would ship them for free, and then decided I would make that offer for everything I purge. I’ve had several ladies take me up on the offer, and it is a good feeling to share my bounty! I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

Follow Penelope's progress HERE

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