Forget Dry January and stopping the carbs. (Oh how I wish I could forget) I’m here to promote a different type of January diet. It needn’t involve food or drink and will help clear your mind as well as your handbag, make-up bag and home. Make way for the ‘Thirty day throw out diet.’
Every day starting on the 1st of January you throw out one item.Day two? Two items. Day three? Yep, you’ve got it. Until by the end of the month you’ve thrown out… well, a hell of a lot. (Last year I got rid of my calculator on day one, years after the buttons got accidently super glued, which meant doing inverse operations as one of the keys was jammed.) So I just know it’s a lot of ‘stuff’– for want of a better word.)
— Kim (@silentlyfree) January 5, 2016
I first heard about it last January on a Woman’s Hour podcast if I remember rightly. It was already a few days in so I had to back date my ‘decluttering’, but I applied the rules and felt immediately cleansed. If you are thinking this sounds easy – be warned, it does get quite challenging mid-month. However here are three tips that can help you get through Day 15 say, when you suddenly realise that’s ANOTHER 14 things plus one you have to find to dispose of. And when I say dispose, remember to have a charity bag to hand. One person’s rubbish is another person’s ‘just what I needed.’
Take a look at your notice board. How many of those receipts, business cards, scraps of paper with un-recognisable numbers on are still relevant? Not many I guess. It’s already day 5 as I type and I have cleared some that have been sitting there for years. Wow, there’s actually a corkboard under there, I’d forgotten.
Having been shamed into storing my old make-up away in three old make-up bags (and this is way before Renate O’Connor, our Beauty editor had even dreamt up her ‘What’s in my make-up bag ?’ article idea) because (a) it was never a daily priority so I never got through that much – and (b) I’m such a hoarder and do I really need to change my mascara every 3 months even though it isn’t finished? Yes?
Well I’ll just put the old one in here along with my favourite lip stick from 1980, which is such a gorgeous colour and smells delicious even though it is now a stub that can’t really be used – AAGH! (You can begin to see my problem.) I dug them out during last year’s throw-away and wow – I reckon that was day 14, 15 and 16 sorted. And yes, you can count the lid from the electric blue eye shadow pencil (well it was the 80s remember) that had lost its pencil years before.) That is half the fun and a point I’d like to pick up on in Tip 3.(On a personal note to Renate – I couldn’t take part in your column because basically there is nothing in my bag worth writing about now!).
Are you one of these people that keeps things ‘just in case’? Me too. Renowned for it. Hence the pencil lid. Surely the pencil liner would turn up one day…okay, not maybe in 2015, but a girl could live in hope? I forget about the ‘just in case’ and then when I come across them I think ‘What’s this? I’d better keep it in case fill in the blank turns up’. It never does turn up – well rarely – and only after you’ve thrown away the bit you need for it. Win win I say. You’ve found the missing part and now you can’t use it – so put in day 24s throw out pile and that’s one less to think about.
It was just the kick start I needed. I’d never have botherd to sort things if I hadn’t set myself the challenge.
There are plenty of other places you can find items that don’t need to be hanging around your home. Check your food cupboards at the back – there will be an item there more than two years out of date, I bet. Or maybe if this healthy eating has grabbed you, a box of chocolates that you can give to your really skinny friend next door who doesn’t need to understand the word diet. Go through your apps and digital photos and delete the ones you no longer need…or your emails – I currently have 1,198 sitting in my inbox and I think today will be the day I dispose of at least 5 of them!
My wardrobe will be raided – although that will come later in the month as nothing fits at the moment what with Dry Jan and the anti-carbs only just having started. And my take away flyers pile…although that ought to have been binned on day one of the healthy eating plan. Check your car for rubbish, your handbags, sports bags and man bags…And don’t forget your paperwork. Last year I finally got rid of so many old car insurance certificates, bank statements – yes they were older than six years. My filing cabinet was very appreciative.
— KhamaAnku.com (@KhamaAnku) December 26, 2015
So let’s have no excuses. Back date the thirty day throw out, start today and see how good it feels once February comes along. Or, if you are feeling nervous, you could always start in February. Bring on the ‘29-day throw away diet’ and ease yourself in gently.