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Discardia For the Heart of Ya

November 21, 2009

I started practicing Discardia in mid 2007. At the time my home looked like the Slauson Swapmeet and I was starting to get overwhelmed by my clutter.

In the beginning, I told myself I was “creative” and had a very interesting design aesthetic. Though one has to question a commitment one’s aesthetic when one says things like, “The bedroom is very season three Sanford and Son.”

Don’t get me started on the living and dining room:

There was crap on every badly painted wall, behind every door and arranged on every shakytown shelving unit. It was a hot mess.

I remember the exact day I started – July 9, 2007. I remember waking up and feeling it was enough. I was tired of all that crap. Tired of the stacks of CD/DVDs I’d never opened and probably NEVER WOULD. I had justified my crapateria by my pitch perfect ability to bargain shop.

But really how many pairs of $2.97 Gap jeans do you need if you only have one ass and one pair of legs?

Turns out seven pairs. I went and counted my jeans and I have seven pairs.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person who had a house that looked like this:

or this:

or this:

In the span of nine months I sold off my entire CD and about 90% of DVD collection. I gave away, sold or discarded about seven closets worth of clothes and about two house fires worth of furniture and other clutterific items.

I was always one for cleaning, but what used to take me an afternoon and an entire season of Sex and the City now takes me twenty minutes or one cycle of BBC World News updates. Each morning I do daily cleaning tasks, which means I don’t need two years notice for guests. People can *gasp* call ten minutes before they wish to come over and generally speaking I don’t freak out about all the crap in my house.

I don’t have any “uh, that’s more of an idea of a chair, rather than an actual seating apparatus” items. I don’t buy for buying sake. I very much practice the idea of that for every one item that comes in ten need to leave. I have an “outbox” in my NOW empty guest room, a concept I adopted after reading Apartment Therapy. I quickly discarded the book (as instructed) once I incorporated the useful (because there’s lots of classist stuff that makes me gag) information into my life.

That said, I still have a weakness for office supplies, blowout bargain bonanza clothing and bath products, but where there was once anxiety there is now, “I can pass up eh and wait on OMG.”

A few links you might find useful:

1.Second Spin. Good place to get an approximate value for all those games, DVDs and CDs collecting dust. When I got rid of my 2000+ CD collection I made a donation to my favorite library and purchased an iPod, both of which were more valuable than any of the CDs. With the notable exception of The Legendary Pink Dot’s Crushed Velvet Apocalypse.

2. Eleven Myths of Decluttering from The Happiness Project. A good round up of basic decluttering information.

3. The Unclutterer is one of my favorite decluttering sites.

4. Zen Habits

I can’t tell you how nice it is not to hear the Sanford and Sontheme playing in my  head every time I walk into one of my rooms.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. redlami permalink*
    November 21, 2009 10:56 am

    I find this post extremely inspirational, love the before and after shots.

    I think the juxtaposition of this with your previous post (No Rainchecks) is significant. That is, the pressure to buy stuff this time of year, for me at least, has tended to result in lots more stuff around. Stuff I have no idea where to… well, stuff.

    I’ve made a few baby steps starting in my wardrobe, and have ripped lots of CDs so I can get rid of the stacks of metallized plastic. I know I have a long way to go before I reach your state of discardia, but knowing that you’ve been working on it for a few years gives me hope.

  2. November 21, 2009 11:39 pm

    Please tell me you didn’t get rid of those shoes.

  3. November 22, 2009 12:00 pm

    @minervakoenig – I kept both the red and black pairs! I love these shoes. I’m like 5’7.50 when I wear them.

  4. November 23, 2009 1:12 am

    Oh, lord. I am so impressed!

  5. Charlie permalink
    November 26, 2009 6:23 pm

    I love this post. I am so impressed with what you have managed to do here! I too hang around Apartment Therapy.

    My apartment is ‘not right’ at the moment and am unhappy with the amount of stuff I have. I have been clearing out as much as I can. I have found I get quite attached to some of my stuff and get a little stuck throwing and getting rid of it all.

    But thank you for sharing, especially those links!

  6. January 5, 2010 8:14 pm

    Wow, those shoes are Fierce!

    *steps off train carriage”

  7. December 2, 2011 10:17 pm

    Thanks again for being an old skool Discardia supporter! Just wanted to stop by and let you know there’s now a book–Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff–in case you hadn’t already heard. All the details are at http://www.discardia.com/MoreLifeLessStuff.html

    I really appreciate you cheering Discardia on and encouraging me to take on such a big project as a book. Slow and steady does win the race, it turns out, and I finished it. Yay! Have a great day!

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