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Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life Paperback – March 23, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Blanke (Between Trapezes), a motivational speaker and former columnist for Real Simple, shovels aside detritus to make space for cleaner rooms and clearer minds. She challenges readers to follow her example in discarding 50 things; tossed items range from old clothes to the need to be right. The authors suggestions range from the humble (Have a swap party for your outgrown clothes) to the ambitious (Clarify who you are), and her scope and environmentally conscious mind-set make the book a rousing call to total transformation—one mismatched sock at a time. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Gail Blanke's strength is her ability to illuminate simple acts that save time, money and many headaches, in a clear commonsense language. And that's exactly what this book does-in spades."―author of Passages and Sex and the Seasoned Woman, Gail Sheehy
"Whenever I de-clutter my house, it helps de-clutter my mind. Gail Blanke is a perfect guide to getting the non-essentials out of the way, so that simple joys can make their way into our lives."―Marianne Williamson, author of A RETURN TO LOVE
"Everybody needs to throw out at least fifty things. Just make sure this book isn't one of them!"―Journalist and Television Producer, Linda Ellerbee
"Gail Blanke's Throw Out Fifty Things is the perfect roadmap to help you lighten your load. Leave it to a friend like Gail- wise, funny, practical, and so very organized-to empty my closets and clean out my shelves, while soothing the spirit and soul, too. This book is a keeper."―Linda Fairstein, bestselling author of LETHAL LEGACY
"THROW OUT FIFTY THINGS is a refreshing book full of practical tips and helpful insights. The title is the simple principle. Applied at home, in your career, in your mind, or in your business, it helps you get rid of the clutter that blocks success. Perhaps most astounding is how relevant the insights are to leading a business today."―Peter Loescher, President & CEO or Siemens AG
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Top Customer Reviews
Those who know me know I have a reputation for being a de-clutterer but I've always focused upon my physical space. One of my big rules is if you haven't used it in two years throw it out. Another rule is "sell something, give something away or throw something away" each and every week. I've sold more than 70 items on ebay, held tag sales and stuffed Good Will and Salavation Army bins full of books and clothing. I also put usable items at the end my driveway with a big "free" sign and off they go within hours.
One of the places where I've broken that rule is clinging to family items handed down to me by my mother to "hold on to just in case someone might want it someday." Many of these items held no personal value or rememberance for me. For example my grandmother's scrap books from her many trips to Nova Scotia or table top scarves by the stacks. After reading Gail Blanke's book I inventoried all the items and have been asking my siblings, children and nieces if they want them. It's been 50/50. Items wanted have been delivered; items not are in a box to be donated. For fear my family reads this post, no I didn't throw away great, great grandfather's letters, family bibles or the clothing our grandmother saved from the 1800s. Those family heirlooms are stored away in the trunk that crossed the ocean more than a century ago.
Also, while I am a sort, straigten, shine advocate for physical things I had never thought about how the mental clutter has at times dragged me down. I'm a woman of a certain age and sometimes focus on regrets and mistakes of the past. I have a new found energy and attitude about all of that history and now it's just that .. history.
I did think I would end up keeping too many things but did not. Best of all, I got rid of both a substantial amount of clutter *and* things that made me feel bad that I kept because it seemed wasteful to discard them. I did not end up with the regrets I've had in the past when getting rid of things based on their size or perceived dollar value.
The simplicity of the outlined approach and chapter layout is helpful. For example, when completing the list of fifty, each category of item is one thing, so fifty magazines only count as one item. The back of the book offers resources for item disposal without adding to landfills, my favourite suggestion being recycling sneakers through Nike.
I have completed the process three times and looking at the lists of fifty is very satisfying. Because of the rule of item categories, fifty items can easily be a carload worth of clutter.
For those who want self-reflection and some closure, the part about which emotional or mental items you want to get rid of is a welcome end piece.
Highly recommended book for effective and emotionally satisfying clutter reduction.
The only problem I had was that certain sections didn't apply to me, making it twice as hard to do this the 'simple' way. Not having an attic, garage, kids rooms, or home office for examples.... I had to double up in other areas, which seemed harder to do.
Ended up doing sections per weekends, and revisting sections after a few weeks to try and 'make quota'.
The stories she includes about clients are helpful. It beings sections into perspective and adds to the 'I am not alone in this' feeling. My own triumph seemed weak in comparison, however.