The 1,000 Pound Challenge


I’ve heard it said that a good move every now and then forces you to take stock in your belongings, encouraging you to reduce, reuse, recycle.  This March marks the 15th year in our home.  No move.

The footprint of the house feels heav-y.   I can almost feel the house sinking a little further into the dirt.  Our large, unfinished basement has served us well as a storage room for us and for others.    As we consider finishing this prime area to gain some needed living space for our growing kids, it’s evident that there is some work to do first!

Some tough decisions to be made.  Boxes of things from my husbands parents home-that-is-no-more; a pink rotary telephone, some old games and trucks, a wooden valet.    Trophies reminding me of oldest sons youth and time gone by.  He doesn’t want the trophies – I don’t either, but it’s hardly seemed right to throw them away.  These things are amongst all of the other usual suspects that you would find down in a basement used for the convenient storage of both useful items and ones not quite ready to parted with.

Kevin coined it best when we were talking about how difficult it would be to get rid of some of these memories saying, “Well, if we don’t do it, someday, it will become the difficult work of our children.”  We’ll do it.

Hence, the 1,000 pound challenge was born!   Simple rules: lose 1,000 pounds from now until Easter.    Weigh it as it goes out the door.  Keep a running list.  Doesn’t need to just be the basement.  We’ll recycle where we can, donating much of it to the Salvation Army, maybe a few items will go on Craigslist.  Someone else will get some good use of it.

I started last weekend by cleaning out the closet in one of the bathrooms.  40 pounds of ancient smelly lotion, a liter of hairspray so old there is danger it would change the color of my hair if I used it, pepto-bismo two years past its prime- all out the door!  The light-house themed stuff from a dozen years ago (what was I thinking?), stashed on the bottom shelf behind the hand towels, all gone!  What a great feeling!   I found an unopened bottle of expired rubbing alcohol, and asked my husband to put a new bottle on the grocery list.  He asked exactly what we do with rubbing alcohol, I don’t really know.  Off the list.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  I’m sure we are all carrying baggage we don’t need anymore.   My challenge, if you choose to accept it:  Lighten up!  Take stock and lose 1,000 pounds with me!   Or you can always just move.


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