Week 1 The 2014 Things Challenge What Counts as Things?

Yes – we’ve survived the first week of The 2014 Things Challenge. Some of you have practically completed the challenge in the first week (this usually involves a huge garage clean out,) while most of you have had a week like mine – back to work and all that end of the year enthusiasm has gone the way of the wrapping paper and the New Year’s ham no one finished.

So I’ve had some questions about what count as Things in the Challenge. My goal is for you to feel significantly lighter January 2015 than you do now, so while the challenge is hard, it really is to make your life significantly better and show you progress along the way.

Here are some ideas on how to count your Things:

From Carol: Help! Serious question proposed by a friend wanting to take the challenge: how many pieces of paper count as “one thing2014ThingsChallenge? Inquiring minds want to know!

Answer: I think that every “decision” is a THING. If it’s a magazine, it’s one. A folder? One. But ten pages with ten different decisions? Ten. Just don’t get into the trap of letting junk mail come into the house and then counting each of those as one. Have a way to stop junk mail from coming through the door.

Debbie: Is it just getting rid of stuff we don’t need, or is there more to it?

Answer: Yes – it’s getting rid of stuff you don’t need, but it’s also about getting rid of things that you are holding onto, “just in case” or “someday”. One of my big downfalls is book. I love ’em. And I love to reread certain books. But I have so many that may never be read for ten years, and in that time dozens of people could have read that one book. A lot of this challenge is being generous with what we have. Is it better for me to save $14.99 by keeping dozens of book, only one of which I eventually will reread, or by letting all those books go, and then having to buy that one book again. (Or borrow it from a friend or the library.) I’m allowing myself to keep a certain number of books that I love and have a history of diving into again, but will be giving away the rest on here so all of you can enjoy them.

Tammy: What about toiletries and cosmetics – do those count?

Answer: Yes – most of us have way too many shampoo bottles from hotels, lotions we don’t love, etc. Get rid of all of it and start fresh with those things you use and love. It will make getting ready in the morning a breeze.

So here is my list of what we donated, trashed and recycled this week. (If you need help keeping track, check out this post2014-01-01 12.49.44.)


2 Sweaters

5 Jackets

8 Shirts

2 Leather Jackets

4 Glasses

4 Hotpads

1 Cheese Board

17 Hangers


4 Plastic Bottles


11 Dead Pens

Total 57 items (we’re keeping the cat…)

And your chance to win…2014-01-07 10.24.57

In the comments below, tell me what item has been the hardest for you to trash, recycle or donate so far. One of you will win Holly Gerth’s book You Were Made for God-sized Dreams. You must enter by the 9th. (Again, cat not included…)