A Kick in the Pants

The day was February 1st, and I needed a kick in the pants. I decided I was the one to do it. Inspired by my friend Dwight’s Less Is Now Challenge, I figured the first of the month was a good day to start. My own guidelines go like this: SELL, DONATE, RECYCLE, TRASH. I just don’t have the energy to sell. Two questions guide my decisions: Do I love it? Do I use it?

Day 1 — get rid of one thing

Day 2 — get rid of two things   

Day 3 — get rid of three things

And so on for thirty days. If my math is correct, week one’s removal adds up to 28, and the entire purge ends up eliminating 453 items.

In my entry way closet, I had a small box started with 8 items to donate. In January, I helped my daughter Lauren move and ended up with some of her laundry, which equaled 11 things. In my car, I still had 3 trash bags of her clothes to donate (I didn’t count what was inside, but I counted the bags) and 2 patio chairs that I didn’t care to keep. From my own closet, I pulled 3 dresses, 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 pair of jeans. In the pantry, I found 23 dog items I no longer needed. In the garage, I found a box of flooded books, numbering 13, and recycled. And on Monday, I made a trip to the Goodwill donation site closest to home and left everything except what will go back to Lauren. From there I drove to the post office and mailed four envelopes and counted that, too. I started my gathering last Sunday, and on Monday 70 items vacated my house. That felt awesome, and I’m ahead of schedule.

And on February 1st, I went for a walk, two miles or so. As I did on February 2nd and the 3rd and the 4th and today is young. Also I started February 1st with a devotional from a book I haven’t finished. This year I thought I would try. I’ve kept it going all week. How is that for a kick in the pants?

Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. Now I think I’ll go for that walk.

63 thoughts on “A Kick in the Pants

  1. I think the Minimalists came up with this challenge and it’s inspiring to see the bags of stuff that you’re going to donate! 🙂

    I recommend checking out the Minimalists on YouTube; I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They do podcasts too but most of their content is no longer “free” 😒

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They explain this challenge in great detail. By the end of the month, you will have gotten rid of so many items. I think they said 500+ items. Minimalism sounds appealing to me as well, but I’m not a minimalist either. It’s clutter that gives me anxiety which I recently discovered. That’s why I’m trying not to accumulate more stuff 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      1. You are a very kind and thoughtful person. 🙂 I think of my poor kids having to go through all my crap, they may want to keep some of it but I’d say 99% of it will go to good will, which is fine, but I will try to save them some of that work and take it there myself – eventually. LOL


  2. Way to go!! Good Job! I to started walkibg again after nearly dare I say it??😬😬 6 months or more? I am happy to say though. I am through the stiffness phase. Now to work on my pace! Got to be at least 3 mph or it doesn’t feel like a I achieve anyrhing! Congrats on your journey thus far! Keep it up😁


  3. Nice going! You’re doing amazing..decluttering does feel so good doesn’t it? I love feeling less encumbered… Now if only some of your motivation could rub off onto me….. Lol *can’t get up from couch*


  4. I started in January and I have gotten rid of so many things I wasn’t using. It feels wonderful and refreshing and calming. Clear the clutter and clear the mind. I truly believe this. Your devotional page totally hit on what I needed to hear. Thank you so much.


  5. Excellent job, Crystal! Seems like you’re not having any issues…it’s so freeing isn’t it? Hopefully tomorrow I can post week 4 and 5 combined. I made it 31 days and still have more I could clear out in the garage🤪


  6. It’s amazing how we collect so many things that we never use, or use only for a short time. Good for you, Crystal for eliminating many of these. I love that you found the devotional book, that was no accident. 🙂


  7. I just relate so much to this excellent post. Since I decided to reduce my wardrobe by one third every season, I found so much peace. I’m able to find and use things which I had forgotten I even had. Your challenge is so great. A brilliant thing to post.


    1. Thank you for reading and sharing, Parneet. To reduce by one third every season. That’s amazing.

      I can’t take credit for the challenge. Only for starting and hopefully finishing. I posted about it in part to hold myself accountable.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing!!.. I had contemplated doing something similar to what you have done but in the end I decided to follow Rose Milligan’s advice… 🙂

    Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
    to paint a picture, or write a letter,
    bake a cake, or plant a seed.
    Ponder the difference between want and need.

    Dust if you must, but there is not much time,
    with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
    Music to hear, and books to read,
    friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
    with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
    a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
    this day will not come round again.

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
    old age will come and it’s not kind.
    And when you go, and go you must,
    you, yourself, will make more dust!

    (Rose Milligan)

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)


  9. 453 items is a lot! I agree that having less feels freeing. I like how it adds space and tranquility. I appreciate you for sharing the devotional. I also needed to hear that message. Sending you the motivational penguin to help you stay motivated and finish strong 🐧 you can do it!


    1. When the dog food goes to my daughter, I’ll have a ton of pantry space. She’s four hours away now, so I just need to plan my trip. Thank you for the penguin. I know a little something about their determination.

      This devotional book (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) is really good. I highly recommend it. 🐧❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Crystal, I most certainly relate! Of course, your approach is much more organized than was mine and – at first, anyway – is more gradual. When I decluttered, it was a massive streamlining. Everything Must Go!

    Not quite, actually, but if I hadn’t used it in the last five years, it was gone. Good thing too, because there were some things which gave no clue as to what they were, let alone whether I had used them recently. Many others I could identify, but they left me baffled as to why I had devoted storage to them in the first place.

    As I downsized, many others, those who were interested at least, got a “windfall.” This included friends, family, Goodwill, Vietnam Vets (an organization similar to Goodwill) and, failing those, the garbagemen.

    Now that you too showed the courage to perform triage, feels good, doesn’t it?


  11. This past Christmas before I took my tree down i threw most of what was left in my boxes my christmas stuff go in, amazing how much room I had and was left with one whole box empty. I loved it. I like to purge but I tend to feel guilty but I realize I have bought clothes or stuff without much thought and not used it or wore it much . I need to work on that. Good post.


  12. Sounds like a good challenge, maybe a bit ambitious. But I’ve got a storage unit mostly parts and keepsakes and photos, so I could find some things there. Good for you for doing it and donating especially.

    I’m from Dallas myself but we lived in Houston when I was young too. Actually its where learned to bike. Anyway thanks for the like!


  13. You always manage to inspire me Crystal! You are simply an amazing presence in this old world! I’m going to try your give/throw-away plan, but starting next month, as I’m behind on my reading! I got tangled up in class projects this month, online teaching sucks, and it is hurting our young people! Anyway, I’m on to you and your simplifying ways, let’s do this! Thank you Crystal, I imagine your voice is as important to many others, as it is to me! Keep inspiring us, C


    1. ☺️ Weeks One and Two were no problem. Week Three included weather complications, but I did it. And Week Four, well, today I feel like I’ve hit a wall. Mainly because I need to tackle my garage, and quite honestly, that’s frightening. I might need to recruit help. Maybe a couple more days of gathering perseverance will serve me well. I need to come up with a good reward/inspiration for myself. 🤞🏻

      Liked by 1 person

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