Decluttering Mathematics. Do You Know How To Add It Up?

I’ve been reading a book called “Throw Out Fifty Things” by Gail Blanke.  I have to say it is a very motivating book except for one thing.  I don’t agree with her mathematics. 

You see, when she is decluttering physical items she counts groups of items as only one item. That means if she has 10 pairs of shoes she wants to get rid of she only counts it as 1 item towards her total of reaching 50 things.

For example: A few weeks ago (before I read this book) I decided to declutter some books from my over crowded bookshelves. This box had 18 books. If I had counted all 18 books (a group) as one item I would have found that discouraging. Some of those books were easy to let go but some were not. I found all kinds of excuses to keep a few but in the end I realized they were not good excuses.

books in box-2





You and I both know how hard it is to let go of certain items. For me it’s books. For you it may be shoes, clothes, jewelry, old school papers (yours or your children’s) or any other kind of item. If it was easy we wouldn’t have a clutter problem.

I think the items that are hard for you to let go should be counted separately.   I feel the more items we can let go of at a time the better we will feel. After all, the reward in letting go is to clear our homes and minds of the things that are suffocating us. The more items we let go the bigger the reward!

Now I know that you may not think that counting items in a certain way is a big deal but decluttering mathematics really is in the eye of the beholder.  Letting go of those 20 McDonald’s Happy Meal toys or Matchbox cars may not seem a big deal to you but think about how they may look from your child’s viewpoint. Of course, it depends on their age but you know what I mean.

The main thing is, you get to decide how you want to add it up. The only right way is the one that helps you let go of your clutter.

So tell me, what kind of decluttering mathematics do you use? Please let me know in the comment section. Thanks.

To a lighter load along the way.


P.S.  In spite of the mathematics I highly recommend this book. It’s very motivating if you use the kind of math that works best for you.