Living With Less – Get Rid of Your Excess

living with less - get rid of the excess

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry quote. Living with less isn’t about forcing yourself to get rid of stuff you need. It’s about being content without the stuff you don’t need.

This was originally titled “Things to get rid of.” My mother is rolling in her grave because of that sentence-ending preposition. But hey, maybe we can get rid of words too ;) 

Living with less isn’t about forcing yourself to get rid of stuff you need (like words, don’t pull out the grammar pitchforks just yet please). It’s about being content without the stuff you don’t need. That drawer full of notecards that you never seem to mail? You don’t need them. That basket of nail polish that you never use? You don’t need that either. On the flip side, maybe you are a letter writer and a nail polisher, but you don’t need the eighty-five coffee cups or twenty-seven eye shadows you seem to have aggregated over the years.


This list is personal to me. I’ve seen similar lists online and I always think to myself “but I use bobby pins” or “I totally wear my unmatched socks, all my socks are unmatched!”. So your mileage may vary, and my list may have nothing to do with your list. But if you’re looking for a good place to start, you can take a peek at my list. 

Living with less – Ideas of things you can get rid of 

Things like sentence-ending prepositions, but not quite as intangible.

  1. Empty product boxes when the product is out of warranty. I am so guilty of this. I can justify keeping them through the warranty, but once that’s over, ditch it. I can keep track of boxes. I cannot keep track of ripped off UPC codes and what product they match.
  2. Empty boxes you bring your food home from BJs/Costco/Sams Club/Wherever in because you forgot to take bags. Again.
  3. Half of the hangers in your closet. And possibly the clothes on them. 
  4. Old/unused make-up. If you haven’t used it in the last 45 days, you probably aren’t going to use it in the next 45. My exception? I love Glossy Box and Ipsy. I stock pile those samples because a) I do get around to using some of them and b) I dole the rest out to my daughter who uses all makeup as special effects makeup. 
  5. Magazines. Tear out the recipes. Better yet, use a program like Paprika and digitize them!
  6. Paperwork you don’t need. I have no concrete examples, but you probably know what paperwork you don’t need vs. paperwork you do need looks like. 
  7. Books you haven’t read, or will never read again. Digitize these too – eBooks have come way down in price, are easier to hold, and you can carry your entire library around with you if you are like me and tend to be in the middle of six or eight books at a time.
  8. DVDs. Digitize those too. One (or two, or even three) hard drive takes up so much less room than a thousand movies. Not exaggerating (did you see the DVD post?)
  9. Old vitamins. Guilty. I try, but I often don’t finish a bottle of vitamins, and then they languish in a box somewhere in my bedroom. 
  10. Unused shoes. Also guilty. I have barely worn shoes, in their boxes, in my closet. I need to sell them. 
  11. Old nail polish. Old, goopy, thick, nasty, already pinned it with remover once, can’t even use it for art nail polish. 
  12. Video game (systems and games) you don’t use. Someone, somewhere, wants your PS1 and 5,000 games. We sold my childhood Atari & games, and Nintendo & games, for a pretty penny a few years ago. The newer systems won’t go for nearly as much, but trust me, somewhere there is a 20-something with a hard-on for *their* childhood gaming system. 
  13. Your children’s old items. Yes, I have a box of baby clothes that were mine, or that were especially sentimental of my kids, but most of it has been long donated. 
  14. Extra bed linens – you don’t need five sets per bed. I promise. Two is probably fine, and if you have multiple beds in the same size, say, two or three twins beds, one extra set for all of them is probably fine. So sayeth the lady with a million sets of sheets, some vintage in the bag from the 40s. I’m working on it. 
  15. Extra tupperware. I’m guilty of this. I rarely use it and probably wouldn’t miss it if i got rid of all of it. (Update: I did get rid of most of it! I got rid of everything in the cabinet we never opened, and put away the stuff that wound up living on the counter, and got rid of some other stuff and now it’s all put away!)
  16. Clothes that are too small or too big.
  17. Extra clothes – the ones you use when you haven’t bothered to do laundry in *mumble* and you’re down to “this fits and it’s clean” items.
  18. Dog toys your dog doesn’t use
  19. Old pens/markers
  20. New pens/markers you just don’t like – we all have this pile
  21. Reusable water bottles – I have (on average) eight people living in my home, and about 25 reusable water bottles. This is ridiculous. I probably need four at most. This goes for Starbucks Cold Cups too, although I can’t seem to stop buying those.
  22. Furniture you don’t use. My house is stuffed with furniture we don’t use. I need to get rid of it.
  23. The bag of bags. Whether it’s fabric or plastic, or both. I have a million fabric bags, which means I have no excuse to even have the plastic ones anymore.
  24. Your extra wooden spoons. You don’t need twelve.
  25. Your extra kitchen everything. I am a kitchen gadget collector, but yah, don’t need twelve silicon spatulas or more than one vegetable peeler. 
  26. Empty liquor bottles. Just own it, you aren’t going to reuse them. I reused them when I was juicing, because duh, glass bottles, but I can’t remember the last time I juiced.
  27. Which brings up kitchen gadgets again. I have a *hard* time with this one. I refuse to resell my juicer. Or my dehydrator. Or my Kitchenaid mixer. But maybe you can.

This could go on forever, but maybe I’ve given you a good jumping off point. These lists cannot be universal. My trash may be your treasure and your trash may be my treasure. Please don’t show me your trash, I don’t need more treasures. 

living with less

Source: Things to Get Rid Of – Modified Motherhood

About Jennifer 36 Articles
Jenn has been described as “the archetype of the next generation matriarch” – whatever that means. She resides in not-so-sunny south Florida. With her children working on being nearly grown, she dreams about living in a tiny house almost anywhere else. Jenn runs the technical aspect of Punky Moms. Whenever there is a tech problem, she fixes it. She is the great and powerful Oz.

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