Recent Posts

Monday, April 21, 2014

How I Lost Several Hundred Pounds In 2 Weeks

How’s that for a title?

Wait until you see the great stuff I got rid of.

At the beginning of the new year I came across a blog that was having a challenge:

The premise was:

5.5 things a day.
38 things a week.
168 things a month.

This was something I could do and something I needed to do since I knew our family would have a big move sometime in 2014.

I started small and worked my way up.

Let me say

“My name is Laura and I am a magazine hoarder.” Big time.

I have three baskets throughout the house that are filled with nothing but magazines. I dumped just one basket out and started separating my paper hoard into a “keep” and “donate” pile.

You guys I had magazines that were over 4 years old in the second pile.

Then I went through the “keep” pile and tore out the articles that I liked and put them in a clear plastic cover tucked inside a binder. Which then meant my “donate” pile grew even taller.

1-New 2014 DTA projects 008

Just one basket of magazines weighed 27 pounds. I loaded up my car and drove over to the military hospital. They were thrilled to get some relatively new reading material for their waiting room.

1-New 2014 DTA projects 012

And that concluded my great purge…until March when I read about 40 bags in 40 day. There is even a Pinterest page.


The general idea is to "cleanse" your house of all the excess during the forty days of Lent. You fill one bag a day with things you no longer need or use.

I just started piling stuff up in the garage. It quickly became a huge mountain made of “stuff”. Then I learned our HOA would have a community wide garage sale. So I put our hoarding tendencies on display for all the world to see.


When the sale was over I immediately put the remaining things into bags and drove over to the thrift store to donate the good and clean items we were no longer using. I filled up the entire backseat and a good portion of the bed of our truck.


But I was not finished. Getting ready to put our condo back on the market I cleaned that out and put several large items on Craigslist.

They included a circa 1980’s fridge, dishwasher and stove. All still in working condition but “vintage”. As well as an older washer and dryer also in working order.


For two weeks I went back and forth from my home to the condo to meet potential buyers. It was a 50 mile round trip.

One item in particular just about did me in.

An Ikea dresser we no longer needed.

This is also an item that I can emphatically confirm the loss of at least 60 pounds.

Even though I stressed in the Craigslist ad that the dresser was “heavy and solid” and that “the condo was upstairs” the gal that ended up buying this piece showed up ALONE. (Still scratching my head over that.)

Thank goodness the Fashionista had also come along with me that day. So the three of us somehow managed to get this ginormous monster down the stairs and onto the bed of the lady’s truck.


That experience made me update another Craiglist ad I had up to now read “please bring a second very strong person with you to help move this item”.

It was very heavy Ikea sideboard that I still loved but had absolutely no room for. Yep, this loss stung a bit.


But the one item (or 5 if you count individually) that I am still smarting from 2 weeks later is the sale of my beloved kitchen table with 4 antique French bentwood chairs.

We hadn’t used this set in over two years. There was literally no room in our tiny house for this set. That coupled with that we have no idea where we will be moving (possibly cross country) and whether or not we would have room for it in our new home meant it needed to go. 

Yes, gulp, it was time for this beautiful band aid to be quickly torn off.


So yeah, I gave up several huge things for Lent as well as for the two challenges. Based on the last image alone I am declaring myself the winner of both challenges.

It’s good to be reminded that “It’s just stuff” no matter how painful the lesson is.


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home, Common Ground, The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors


Rita C. said...

You go, girl! How sad for the ones you still loved, but you're right - it's only stuff, and you're clearing the way for more good (not necessarily material) in your life - congratulations, Laura.
I have also continued my purging, and the magazine issue resonates with me. Among my purges, I had a very large recycle bin FULL of those past years' worth of magazines. They were so heavy, I opted just to recycle rather than take to Hospice or try to sell (yes, people do buy old magazines at the antique mall!).

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You're doing so great my friend. It's not easy. I like to go through stuff but then I start having trouble with decisions. Once I decide something is going, I put the bags in my car so I can't change my mind! I'm bad about getting stuff back out to keep...later! lol Hugs, Diane

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I know it feels good to be rid of some of the stuff but I know that some of it is very painful too. Please know that I am praying for your family this week. Remember, God knows the plans He has for your family, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. I can't wait to see His plans revealed!! In the meantime, I am praying that you have a peace that passes all understanding!

Vicki said...

It is hard to let stuff go, but doesn't the house feel lighter when it's gone?! That's the reward for making tough choices, I guess. Any possibilities on the job front?

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my goodness, you have done a fabulous job, you amaze me. Now I just need to do the same.

ellen b. said...

Oh and ouch and good job.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great job! I need to get motivated to finish the same chore around here.
Hope you had an enjoyable and Happy Easter weekend.

lynn cockrell said...

I can really identify with the magazine hoarding thing. It is a major "issue"(excuse the pun) with me though, unfortunately, not the only one!

It appears you have made a lot of progress. Good for you!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Your so much braver than I am to part with your furniture pieces. I know I need to do the same with just "stuff' and I am also a magazine hoarder! I think I have every copy of Victoria ever made..oh my.

Grammy Goodwill said...

I have to tell you that I have that very same green owl vase. I was a dorm counselor and the girls across the hall gave it to me in 1972. It has finally made it to my yard sale pile, too.

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

I hear you....done it, several times. Just took a huge box of Easter decor to the resale shop! But what amazes me, is that it all comes back. Oh, it looks different, but still stuff!! I don't think it truly ever ends!!

Carol said...

Congratulations, Laura! Sometimes we just need an excuse (a move, company coming, a remodel) to give us motivation.

Tammy's in Love said...

There is a community wide garage sale in two weeks; your post has me inspired. I filled two laundry baskets with donations out of the master bedroom and the toy closet in the guest room. On to the next room to thin the stuff! Thanks for the exhortation!

Louise said...

Your home seemed so clean, tidy and organized. I never would have thought you could find so much clutter!

Maureen Wyatt said...

Decluttering is a really tough job but it feels so much better when it's done! I found I quickly forget about the pieces that were hard to part with once they are gone. The prize for all the effort is it's so much easier to clean!

Debbie said...

I always get sort of a "high" from decluttering. I don't know what it is, but I get a sense of euphoria.
Getting rid of a beloved piece of furniture, however, is hard for me. In my head, I know that it needs to go, but I have a hard time.

And THAT would be the reason that we currently have FOUR extra tables here, with FOUR complete sets of chairs to go with them.

I am saving them for the daughters, neither of whom will have room for them for a while now. I'm saving them anyway.

I wish I had known about both of those challenges.

Linda said...

I need to do more of this!! Easter night, after a very long tiring day, there was a gigantic crash in our only walk-in closet (in our master bedroom where we keep our clothes among boxes of photos and some Christmas items that I can't keep out in the garage or the shed due to moisture levels there). The entire shelf collapsed, sending everything crashing down in one huge pile. A few broken items.... However, it was nothing like our dear friends experienced November 17th with the tornadoes that hit Illinois and completely destroyed their nearly-lifelong home. As I helped them sort through the piles of stuff that was thrown in one huge heap, I really saw stuff for what it is.... It's still impossible for me to part with mementos though and we have a garage and shed full of those.

Love, Linda

ImagiMeri said...

Good on you girlfriend! Although, you really need to check with your friends about these kind of goodies before you put them out to the world....hee hee. Congratulations again on the sale of the condo. Now, are you available for my daughter's baby shower on June 7th? I'm getting ready to send out invites.

Hugs N' love,

Auntie Em said...

I can beat you by a looonnnng shot with the magazine hoarding but we won't go there. Let's just say if you ever need to reference a back issue of Victoria or Romantic Homes, I am your go to gal! lol
But how exciting that once you move you can start out fresh looking in antique shops and flea markets for new exciting finds to fill and create your new home.
You have inspired me to keep up my purging. :)

Hollace said...

That took courage! I sadly need some of that in facing my basement accumulations. I feel encouraged and challenged by your post. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Kelley said...

You got it, girl: It IS only stuff. If it's not used in a year around, here, gone. But my magazines are kept for five years. The stash is growing smaller each year. I take out the keepers and pitch the rest.

We've moved 20 times. It's freeing to get rid of what we don't need. NEED is a powerful word.

Hugs and happy purging... The BEST is yet to come. :-)