The Closet Challenge : Embarking on a Challenge to Use My Stuff

When I bought my first house in 2011 I had already been working to pare down the amount of stuff I had accumulated. In fact, I had been doing this steadily for years; being the youngest member of the family means receiving unsolicited things that no one else wants, whether or not you want or need it. The hardest thing is parting with something “nice” – those items that are of quality, name brands, or your aspirational-but-not-real-life style. Of course there have been total gems in the mix, but the majority of items are repeats of things I’ve already got, are outdated, ill-fitting, or just not to my taste. In anticipation of moving I had been steadily purging the unnecessary and setting aside those things I thought might come in handy once moved into the new house. The trouble is there’s always more coming in than going out, and five years later I’m still struggling to get to the life I’ve been working toward.


All of that is about to change. Starting today I’m going to be embarking on a challenge to use what I have, take a real inventory of things, face the facts, and purge the rest. This is going to be difficult, and I’ll probably fall off the wagon in a weak moment here and there, but I’m committing this upcoming full year to cleaning out my life. This is not about simply getting rid of quantities of things, but rather is about reaching a better overall quality – to be mindful and purposeful about the things I own.

Above all else this is not about having to break a shopping addiction. I live on a strict budget with the hopes of reaching a big, hairy goal of putting twenty percent of my income toward retirement. Thanks to this ridiculously high contribution amount I don’t have a ton of cash to throw around willy nilly, and therefore don’t have a terrible spending habit in need of reform. My plan here is to sell what I can, donate the rest, and put the earnings toward my existing saving goals. My only thought is wondering how bad that could really be. After all, is there even such a thing as saver’s remorse?

First up is something I should have been able to wrangle long ago : the closet. I’ll be back next week with a full tally of items and a plan for how to tackle things, once and for all. This is going to be my journey to 30.


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