How I Got Rid of 465 Things In One Weekend

Just about everything in the world that I own is currently in use.

I keep just a few things in storage – one suitcase, a couple boxes to store my space heater and humidifier once spring comes, and a bunch of plastic bins and containers I use when I move. One bin holds the second half of my shoe shelf that I no longer need and my modem and router that I don’t need to use right now.

That’s it. Everything else is a functioning piece of my everyday life.


My fully-furnished apartment after the January purge. Very few items pictured here are actually mine. Can you guess which ones are mine, though?!

Let me tell you how this came to be.

I completely agree with the concept of minimalism. I see it as a way to only fill your space and life with things you need or things that bring you joy. Plus, a clean and organized space clears my head. But sometimes I struggle to do this because of my conflicting – but totally natural – nesting habits.

I wanted to start the year off fresh and clear of junk. So, I challenged myself to do the 30-Day Minimalism Game during the month of January.

While doing this challenge, I had to consider how every little thing I have – scattered throughout my apartment, tucked away in drawers, and hidden away on the highest shelves – is useful or makes me happy. My goal is to have only essential and functional items that will last a long time. Or things (not that many) that make me smile when I look at them because they remind me of a special person or moment. Ok yes, I tend to be a little sentimental sometimes.

But, I mercilessly rid my apartment of all the excess stuff.

I sorted through every drawer, cabinet, shelf, and bin until I had a pile taller and wider than my couch. I even cleared out my email inbox and unsubscribed from an embarrassing number of promotional newsletters that I never read.

Before finally getting rid of everything, I let some friends sift through the donations pile and take what they wanted. My Goddaughter (only about 2 ½ years old) took a purse and an old toiletries bag off my hands! She’s been really into packing for trips lately. Whether she’s going to the grocery store down the street or with her mom to visit family in Michigan, she always packs a bag with her essentials. How adorable is that?!

To do this challenge, I was supposed to remove the same number of things as what day it was. So, on January 1, remove one item, on January 2, remove two items, and so on. The Minimalists suggest doing the challenge with a friend to see how far each person can get – once you reach the end of the month, you have to get rid of 30 or 31 items!

I challenged just myself, though, and I completed it over just one weekend. From top to bottom, I sifted through my apartment one Friday night and all day Saturday in early January.  On Sunday that same weekend, I filled Beyonce up (my 1995 Subaru Legacy wagon) and dropped all the excess off at Goodwill and the recycling center, and called it a day.

I know what you’re thinking… This girl knows how to party. =)


This is not the actual pile of stuff I got rid of but close enough. Photo: Allen

Here are all the things I purged from my house in January:

I successfully purged 465 things (at the very least) from my apartment!

  1. backless kneeling chair
  2. bars of soap I no longer use
  3. stuffed animals
  4. expired medicine
  5. purses I haven’t used in over a year
  6. unused full-size toiletries bottles
  7. pairs of sunglasses – broken or give me headaches
  8. sweaters
  9. scarves I no longer wear
  10. pairs of shoes I haven’t worn in years
  11. old makeup brushes
  12. old pens/pencils
  13. takeout menus
  14. pairs of pants
  15. hair accessories that I don’t use anymore
  16. food about to expire, probably won’t ever use, or had been in the freezer for too long
  17. duplicate books and books I’ll never read
  18. old, tattered/stained shirts
  19. email newsletter subscriptions that I never read
  20. pairs of tights and socks
  21. old makeup I don’t use anymore
  22. various electronics/household items (old chargers, extension cords, lamps, etc.)
  23. samples of stuff I’ll never use from the medicine cabinet
  24. folders with old documents
  25. extra clothes hangers
  26. tourist maps and brochures from vacations
  27. old, unnecessary receipts and documents
  28. rusty, chipping bobby pins
  29. broken/unmatched/old pieces of jewelry
  30. junk drawer items: various small bits and pieces, old lip balms, dried up ink pads, etc. (way more than 30 actually)

Starting the new year off this way was refreshing. I find it easier now to part with non-essential things right away. I take immediate action so things don’t sit around for long. Plus, I have absolutely no desire to go into a store unless I NEED something. And I stick to buying only what I went to the store for in the first place – no more desire for impulse buys!

Are you up for a challenge like this? Do you think you could clear your house of this many things all at once? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

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  • Reply
    February 28, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    This is so great! I have been trying to simplify this year, but in a less formal way. I really need to go all the way and commit so that I see more results.

    • Reply
      Brittany Quaglieri
      February 28, 2016 at 10:58 PM

      Ya Megan! Taking the weekend to really go through my whole apartment to clear out such a huge amount of stuff all at once really set the stage for the rest of the year – and life!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2016 at 4:04 PM

    I love this post. Good for you BQ! I did the same thing at our house at the end of last year. Goodbye junk and clutter. Except it seems to creep back in, living with other people who aren’t so committed to purging and minimalism. Ah well.

    • Reply
      Brittany Quaglieri
      March 5, 2016 at 10:14 PM

      Thanks, Niki! You can only hope that you’ll rub off on them. Even a little bit!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    You did a great job in one weekend~ amazing! I did the Minimalist Game with a group of friends online last summer and kept it going for 5 months… and my house still has tons of stuff to be purged so I’m still working on it. I’ve lived in the same house for 32 years, and my 2 sons grew up here, so you can imagine how much stuff accumulates… and I don’t live alone, so everyone else is not totally on board with this.

    good for you figuring this out while you’re young enough to avoid that!

    • Reply
      Brittany Quaglieri
      April 30, 2016 at 9:41 AM

      Thanks, Diane! It’s definitely a lifestyle choice and not just something you do on a whim. Having support, especially from those you share living space with, is important! Right now I’m in the process of moving and I’ve realized that I still have way more stuff than I need – even after this big purge! I’ve been able to get rid of even more!! Keep it up!

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