99 Things I Don’t Miss Owning

99 Things I Don’t Miss Owning

You may have heard of the 100 thing challenge. It was started by David Bruno and picked up by Time magazine where it went viral and spawned a whole community of people aspiring to pare down to the essentials of 100 personal possessions. It’s an interesting concept and has brought minimalism to a lot of people’s attention. Bravo to Dave for that!

Personally I’m nowhere near being able to count my personal possessions on a list of 100. I’ve pared down what I own by around 90% and I’m very satisfied with the way it has changed my life.

So, instead of a list of what I own, I’ve decided to throw a nod towards David and create my list of 99 things I don’t miss owning. 

For me, this is some serious progress! Read on and enjoy. It might help you on your journey to a clutter free life.

These are some of the things I got rid of during my 3 year decluttering purge. They are also things I once thought were indispensable for my life and have found I don’t need at all. What I’ve found so interesting is the cascade effect.

Not needing one thing has often led to not needing another, such as without books I don’t need a bookcase. It’s been an amazing journey of self-discovery.

Multiple Purses: I’ve pared down to one that I adore. It has an exchangeable front flap. I have 3 flaps for different looks.

Crockpot: Haven’t missed it at all.

Framed Art: After so many years as a packrat I’m enjoying blank walls for a time. They’re soothing and serene.

Books: I didn’t think it was possible but the only book I own now is a phone book!

Bookcase for the Books: Ahhh. The freedom of life without a bookcase.

Large Multi-Level Jewelry Box: This was hard at the time. I downsized my jewelry to a few select pieces from close to a hundred. The pieces now live in a small makeup bag. The jewelry box was so big I could never find a good place for it. It hogged up my entire nightstand before and didn’t fit all of my pieces in it.

Area Rugs: My old house had hardwood floors but I still needed a vacuum for the area rugs.

Vacuum: My new house also has hardwood floors but without the area rugs there’s no need for a vacuum!

Cordless Drill: It used to be glued to my hip. I thought I might need to replace this but have found I live fine without it.

A Junk Drawer: Indispensible? Nope. I have a 1 gallon size ziplock bag that holds oddities like batteries for the mouse.

Serving Platters: I used to think a person couldn’t live without them. Now I know better.

A Filing Cabinet: Since I’ve pared down papers 2 small accordion files work perfectly.

A Bathrobe: I used to have 4 just to change out my “lounging style”. Now I have none.

A Veggie Chopper: Who knew a good knife works just as well?

A Garlic Press: Ditto for above.

A Circular Saw: Everyone needs to cut wood right? This was tough to give up. I recently knew someone who was selling a perfectly good one for $10 and I was surprised that I wasn’t tempted at all.

Christmas Ornaments: I used to have 4 tubs full. They lived in my bedroom. It has been so freeing to not have to store them anymore.

Holiday Decorations: Ditto for all holiday decorations. Gone are the light up pumpkin, the valentine’s hearts, the strands of lights, the artificial Christmas tree, the tree skirt, blah, blah, blah. I really don’t miss any of it!

My Retro Resin Sea Horse Plaque Collection: Yes, life has gone on just fine without them.

A Stereo: We play music on our computer now.

A Printer: With my trusty flash drive I can get copies made at Staples.

A Scanner: Uh. I never used it anyways.

Bizarre Extra Scanner Piece for Transparent Scanning: Huh? I never figured out what it was but it came with my scanner and lived in it’s own box in the closet for many years. It was big too.

Blue Stained Glass Floor Lamp: It was pretty but worthless for lighting a room.

Duct Tape: I had a preposterous 6 rolls before! Now I have none.

Folding Tables: The bane of my existence. I used them for jewelry shows and they hung around in the bedroom the rest of the time.

Extra Tablecloths: I had 10 even though I didn’t have room for a dining table. Now I have created room for a dining table and 1 tablecloth.

A Tea Box: Everyone needs a fancy box to store tea bags in right? Right?

Wrapping Paper: Now I purchase a gift bag only when I need it.

Giant Tub for Storing Wrapping Paper: Gone, baby, gone.

Plastic Storage Tubs: I had too many to count. Now I have none because I have nothing to store in them. Yay!

Halloween Costumes: It’s not like I attended costume parties every year. If I need one in the future I’ll get a simple mask and donate it afterwards. (They took up 1 tub of their own.)

Fairy Statue Collection: Numbered in the 30′s. They’ve all found good homes elsewhere.

Garden Statues: Goodbye garden gnomes. I really don’t miss you.

Sewing Box and Sewing Machine: My life was so stressful I didn’t have time to sew on a button.

Random Pieces of Cloth: For all those sewing projects I never did.

Artists Sketchbook: I’m no Picasso. It was time to give it up.

Bad Art Projects: All of the finished sketches I did found a new home in the trash. Why was I saving them?

Art Charcoals, Pens, Watercolors: Same as above. I’m no Picasso.

Stained Glass Equipment: An old hobby I didn’t have room for anymore. I kept the equipment for close to 10 years after dropping the hobby.

Construction Materials: Oh my. The construction material. This could be a list of 100 by itself. Note to packrats. Don’t build your own house.

Framing Gun and Air Compressor: Same as above.

Hammer: I’ve decided I’m so unhandy I don’t even need a hammer. I borrowed one when I needed to hang my mirror.

Event Marketing Materials and Display Stands: Huge! Huge! Huge! All of this stuff took up tons of space. We moved our business online and don’t need anything but 1 pack of business cards now.

Industry Literature: How many reams of useless paper are there in the world? We were stock-piling tons of it. Now we have none.

Recipe Books and Loose Recipes on Paper: Now when I want a new recipe I look online. I don’t print it out. I leave the page open as I cook and walk into the office to look at the recipe if I forget something it said. Previously I had a whole folder for loose recipes I never used. Now I try new recipes way more often! The latest was a quinoa asparagus wrap. Yum!

A Separate Answering Machine: We bought a phone that has one in it.

Baskets: I used to think baskets made the world go round. I really didn’t think it was possible to live without them. They’re so handy for putting things in… oops, I got rid of all the things to put in them!

Luggage: Now we each have a small cloth carry-on bag that folds down to nothing when it’s not being used.

Notes to Self: You have no idea how much space this took up. Brilliant thoughts scribbled on scraps of paper everywhere. My desk was covered in them. I had 4 thick binders full of them and a couple of random boxes with loose paper scraps as well. Now I have 1 handy slimline notebook. Anything big that I need to keep gets typed into a document on my computer instead.

Printouts: Fallout from getting rid of the printer is I can’t print things out anymore. What a blessing! I trashed all of the “gotta keep it” printouts I had made from pages on the internet. Now if I’ve “gotta keep it” I save it to the computer instead of printing it out.

Dog Clothes: Oooooh. Now you know too much about me. The dog hated them anyways. No more scarves, bandannas, sweaters, reindeer ears and jingle bell collars.

Extra Curtains: Silly me, I kept extras!

Duvet Covers: Impractical. They got wrinkly and the comforter slid around inside of them.

All the Tie-Dye Dresses: Yes. I am a closet hippie. No, none of the dresses from my early twenties fit anymore.

Paper Tray for Desk: When I simplified to a notebook, a dry erase board and computer notes I no longer needed a paper tray on my home desk.

Fridge Magnets: They held up all the coupons that had expired and to-do lists I wasn’t “to-doing”. Coupons went out and my to-do list is now on my handy-dandy indispensable dry erase board.

Candles and Candle Holders: Have you ever noticed that when you burn a candle it makes a mess of the candle holder? I used to spend hours scraping wax off a multitude of holders. How’s that for serenity? Then I simplified to tea lights and tea light holders. Much better! I didn’t take them with me on the move and haven’t purchased tea light holders yet. Maybe someday I will again.

My Replica Byzantine Ram’s Head Bust: Yes, it was strange but I loved it. When I gave it away I knew I was no longer identifying myself with the things I own. It was freeing to give away one of the possessions I loved the most.

Red Retro Glass Hanging Lamp: I paid way too much for it at an estate sale on a whim. It looked like a giant red pineapple. It was tacky and gaudy.

My Carved Wood and Marble Coffee Table: Gorgeous when it wasn’t covered with a mountain of junk. Note to packrats, eliminate horizontal surfaces and you won’t be able to clutter them. We now have two small ottomans instead of a giant oversized coffee table. I really only wanted the coffee table as a place to put my feet up on anyways. And the ottomans are small enough that they don’t attract piles of junk like the coffee table did.

Space Saving Vacuum Bags: An as-seen-on-tv fiasco. They didn’t work very well or save a tremendous amount of space. They did keep my extra clothes dust free and bug proof. When I got rid of the extra clothes there was enough room in my closet for both seasons. So I didn’t have to store seasonal clothes anymore. The end result? The space saving bags stopped taking up space in my life.

Gym Clothes: Henry David Thoreau said beware any enterprise that requires new clothes. How right he was. Why does a person need clothes for so many specific one use functions? Work clothes, home clothes, gardening clothes, hiking clothes, sleeping clothes, lounging clothes, dress up clothes, dress down clothes…

My fitness center “required” gym clothes. I discovered this when I started decluttering, tossed my exercise clothes and showed up at the gym in casual jeans. Can you believe the nerve of me? This was a two-fold toss. I dropped my gym membership and my gym clothes. Now I go on walks and do exercises at home and guess what, I wear whatever I have on when I do it!

The Treadmill: A.K.A. The Dust Gatherer. Why is it that the more out of shape a person is the more fitness equipment they gather? Yes. I had a treadmill and a gym membership. I sold the treadmill for a couple hundred bucks. Less than the $600 I paid for it but I was so happy to get it out of my living room.

Exercise Videos: I had a whole collection of them. Now I don’t.

DVD’s: Now we just rent.

Box Cutters: 3 of them. Everyone needs a box cutter, right?  Scissors do just as well.

Packing Tape Dispenser and Packing Tape: A leftover from my ebay business. I hadn’t done ebay in 3 years but I still had about a dozen rolls of packing tape, plus the handy dandy dispenser, oooh, and the bubble wrap. Unless you pack boxes at least once a week, this is a no-brainer.

Hand Truck: Also called a dolly.

When we moved (in the oversized moving truck) I decided to “buy” a hand truck instead of renting it from Uhaul. It was “only” $10 more and that way I had it forever. Except of course, the lack of space, and the lack of a garage or shed. The hand truck rusted outside the house leaned up under the house eaves for a few years.

It only came in handy for hand-trucking the treadmill up the incline driveway as it left our house forever. Note to packrats: If you have a hand truck, get busy using it. Haul out all your big, bulky junk you no longer need. Then toss the hand truck into the donation pile as well!

Belts: I owned half a dozen but only wore them with one pair of jeans. The jeans were too big because I’d lost some weight. I tossed them and the belts as well. Some people wear belts all the time. I find that I don’t.

A Yogurt Maker: Got it as a moving gift when we moved to Arkansas. It moved with us and lived in it’s box for several years, never opened, never used.

A Stapler and Staple Puller: Hardly ever used them even when I had papers everywhere.

A Garlic Baker: I cook with garlic all the time. I never did figure out how to use the garlic baker though. I tried it a few times and it didn’t seem any different than roasting it. All those little kitchen things add up.

A Kitchen Timer: I now use our slimline battery operated folding travel alarm clock. It sits in the bedroom (as our alarm clock). When I need to time something in the oven, I walk to the bedroom, pick up the alarm clock and carry it into the kitchen. Who knew it could be so easy?

The Toaster Oven: I love me a toaster oven. To be honest, if I had more space I’d probably get another one. But there isn’t enough counter room for me to be comfortable with the space one takes up. It’s all about decisions. For us the blender is used every day. The toaster oven is not.

My Photo Albums: I saved a handful of photos and ditched the albums. I want to live in the present not the past.

Storage Cupboards: In addition to all of the tubs, I had 9 storage cupboards.The Spice Rack: Have you ever noticed spice racks come with all kinds of spices you just don’t use? After I moved I just bought the individual bottles that I use on a regular basis rather than a whole spice rack.

Cloth Napkins: For all those dinner parties I never threw. They matched the tablecloths of course.

High Heel Shoes: I don’t do formal wear at this point in my life and I’m happier without heels.

A Digital Voice Recorder: I used it once. It was confusing with too many buttons and my voice sounded whiny when I replayed it. Good enough reasons to ditch it!

Air Purifier: It always needed a new filter and it hogged up space in the bedroom.

A Humidifier: It sat near the air purifier acting like a second cousin.

A Juicer: Oops, I run a juicer website but I no longer have a juicer! Funny, but hey, I’ve gotten into whole foods lately. Using only part of a food seems like a waste to me. I ditched the juicer but I’ll keep the juicer site because it’s profitable.

Sprouting Containers: My health food roots are showing here, aren’t they? I love sprouts, but sprouting them myself is a little too close to gardening. I’m not very good at it. My sprouts were always getting mushy. I ditched the multi-pack of sprouting containers and buy them now. It’s simplified my life even though it costs more.

Rollerblades: How much exercise equipment can a girl have? I kept the rollerblades even when I moved to the country in Arkansas. Rollerblades don’t work on dirt roads and the nearest pavement was a county away. I’m in the big city again but I don’t feel the need to strap wheels on my feet. Not when they hog up closet space.

A Kitchen Trash Can: I hang a plastic bag and take it out every night to the big outdoor trashcan. I didn’t like having a full size trash can in the kitchen anyways. It attracts bugs and gross smells.

Compost Container: Not one that was outside, this was a fancy ceramic compost container that you put food into before carrying it outside. Now I take food to the compost pile right away. One less thing to clean!

A Hot Glue Gun: Handy for lots of little craft projects I never got around to doing.

Old Letters and Postcards: Similar to the photo album, I found I didn’t want to trip over a box of these any longer.

Concert Tee Shirts: Why is it that going to a concert always makes a person want to drop $30 to $40 on a shirt they’ll never wear?

Hand-held Steam Cleaner: For bathrooms and kitchens. An as seen on tv purchase from a yard sale that didn’t work. I pitched it!

Extension Cords: I used to have many for plugging in construction equipment and for Christmas lights. I no longer have the construction equipment or the Christmas lights so there’s no more need to trip over the extension cords either!

Scrapbook Materials: I went through a scrapbook phase in 1999. I got out of the phase within 3 months but kept the supplies for 8 years.

Rubber Stamps: Ditto for the rubber stamps. Hobby anyone?

Two Unused Bathroom Sinks: I didn’t use them when we built our house but I stored them for eons. Bye, bye.

Multiple Large Serving Bowls: Similar to the baskets mentioned earlier. I had tons of large bowls that I would “put” things in; decorative items, cotton balls, whatever I could find. Now I just have one that I love, love, love and it serves the function of holding fruit. Very reasonable I believe.

Books on Decluttering: Yes, even books on decluttering can be clutter. A few of them served me well, providing inspiration as I purged but many of them appeared to be written by people who had never seen an unruly stack of paper on their desk. After I decluttered I no longer need the books in my life. I donated them to the library.

Chaos: Out of everything I gave up the one thing I’m happiest to say good-bye to is the chaos that having so much junk created. The chaos is gone. Yay!