Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life

Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life

by Gail Blanke

Paperback

$14.39 $15.99 Save 10% Current price is $14.39, Original price is $15.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 23

Overview

"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

"If you want to grow, you gotta let go," is the mantra that bestselling author, columnist, and life coach Gail Blanke lives by. That means eliminating all the clutter - physical and emotional - that holds you back, weighs you down, or just makes you feel bad about yourself.

In THROW OUT FIFTY THINGS she takes us through each room of the house - from the attic to the garage - and even to the far reaches of our minds. Through poignant and humorous stories, she inspires us to get rid of the "life plaque" we've allowed to build-up there.

  • That junk drawer (you know that drawer) in the kitchen? Empty it!
  • Those old regrets? Throw 'em out!
  • That make-up from your "old" look? Toss it!
  • That relationship that depresses you? Dump it!

Once you've hit fifty (you'll be surprised how easy it is to get there) and once you've thrown out that too-tight belt and too-small view of yourself, you'll be ready to step out into the clearing and into the next, and greatest, segment of your life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446505789
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 03/23/2010
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 601,869
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Gail Blanke is a world-class motivator and is president and chief executive of Lifedesigns, a company whose vision is to empower men and women to live truly exceptional lives. She has been "The Motivator" columnist in Real Simple magazine, is a contributor to Body+Soul, a Martha Stewart publication, and appears regularly on CBS 2 Sunday Morning. Gail has written three other books, including Between Trapezes and In My Wildest Dreams, a New York Times bestseller. Gail and her husband, Jim Cusick, have two daughters, Kate and Abigail, and live in New York City. You're invited to visit Gail on www.throwoutfiftythings.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction xv

Fueling the Urge to Purge xxii

Making It to Fifty xxiv

Getting Started xxvi

Part 1 Getting Rid of the Physical Stuff

Chapter 1 Your Bedroom 3

Chapter 2 Your Bathroom 7

Chapter 3 Your Kitchen 28

Chapter 4 Your Living Room 40

Chapter 5 Your Dining Room 50

Chapter 6 Your Attic 58

Chapter 7 Your Garage 69

Part 2 Your Office: Paring Down the Professional Clutter

Chapter 8 Clarifying Your Brand 85

Chapter 9 Keeping What Works, Eliminating What Doesn't 97

Chapter 10 The Phoenix Rises from the Ashes 107

Part 3 Attacking the Mental Mess

If You Think you Can Separate the Physical from the Mental Clutter, Forget About It! 112

Chapter 11 Letting Go of Feeling Inadequate, Irrelevant, and Just Plain Not Good Enough 119

Chapter 12 Letting Go of the Type of Person You Think You Are-or Aren't 127

Chapter 13 Letting Go of the Regrets and Mistakes of the Past 137

Chapter 14 Letting Go of Being Right About How Wrong Everybody and Everything Is 148

Chapter 15 Letting Go of the Need to Have Everyone Like You 159

Chapter 16 Letting Go of Thinking the Worst 169

Chapter 17 Letting Go of Waiting for the Right Moment 181

Chapter 18 Letting Go of Needing to Feel Secure 190

Chapter 19 Letting Go of Thinking That You Have to Do Everything Yourself 197

Chapter 20 Making It to Fifty: The Celebration 208

Part 4 Stepping into the Clearing

Chapter 21 Your Vision for the Future 213

Chapter 22 Taking Energy from Your Denning Moments 223

Chapter 23 Being Unforgettable 232

Chapter 24 Find Your Song-and Sing It! 241

Chapter 25 Your Declaration to the World 248

Appendix: Your Throw-Outs 249

Resource Guide 253

Index 261

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Throw Out Fifty Things 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
jjmachshev More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to read "Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life" by Gail Blanke. If you could see my house, and especially my 'reading room/office', you would understand immediately. I have such a hard time getting rid of 'stuff'. I have clothes in my closet that I bought three years ago that still have the tags because I haven't yet worn them...but can I throw them out? Uh, NO! Why? Well, duh...because I haven't worn them yet! If you don't understand that, then you are likely an organized kind of person that I love to envy.

I found this book very clear and the 'system' incredibly simple. Each chapter covers a different area/room in your house (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc) and the author provides advice and suggestions (if not outright orders) for what types of things you should consider in each of the rooms. There are even very informative 'box' suggestions in each chapter with data on recycling, donating, tag sales, swapping, hazardous waste removal, etc. And a handy resource section at the end provides websites and/or contact information by type of item. That's the good news about the book.

The only downside (for me) was that the constant 'cheering' and 'philosophizing' tended to wear on me. In that regard, I think I would have been more pleased with the audio book version...but then I wouldn't have gotten all the handy charts in the book! So, if soul-searching and imperatives don't drive you batty, then "Throw Out Fifty Things" may be just the ticket to help you clear out those things you really don't need. As for me? Well...let's just say I didn't quite make it to fifty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book through first and then went back and am attacking my clutter one item at a time. Read it in the a.m. and apply what you learn throughout the day. its a free feeling to clean up you life! This is an umcomplacated and easy read but carries a big message.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband asked me why I have changed my ways after 20 years, this book is it. I am going to have my kids read it next, never too early to learn the lessons this book teaches!
HeatherBKC More than 1 year ago
This is the greatest organizational book! I've recommended it to everyone I know. Gail puts her personal trials of holding onto things, the feelings and emotions involved, then tells you how to let go. She hits each room with practical advice. Super easy to read and the instructions are easy to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally a book that worked for me. Cutting clutter has always been a challenge. This book breaks it down room by room with a common sense approach to what to keep and what to toss (or donate). Worked for me. Day one I read 60 pages and got rid of 48 things that were just filling space unnecessarily. Great book!
Schmooby-Doo More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, not just for its going through room by room but especially for its approach to mental and emotional clutter!
IsabellaRose More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be motivating. I am organized as a person. However, I used the book as a tool to work on my deceased father's home where there were many memories attached to "things". The tips and exercises gave me the strength to throw out things as opposed to trying to sell them where their would be memories for some people. I was able to unload many thinggs and clothing to charity. Again I stress the book was upbeat and motivational for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A surprisingly good example of the genre. The author uses examples from her own life to introduce or illustrate her points. She urges us to unclutter our lives, not just eliminating the possessions that we don't need, but also the regrets, heartbreaks, etc. that we may hang onto that keep us mired in the past. The combination is very helpful, and this short book was a valuable tool.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have too much clutter and can't seem to part with any of it, this is the book for you. The author gives detailed advice on how to part with things and how to move on with your life. A great read.
MelindaLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a quick read and a helpful book. I have only two negative things to say about this book: one, there are numerous typographical and grammatical errors throughout, though this is an Advance Copy, so I am assuming those will be corrected before this book hits the shelves. And two, in the resource guide, the author states that a workbook will be available on her website and it is not. This, too, I expect will be different once the book is available.The book is divided into three sections: physical, professional, and mental clutter. The chapters are short, succinct, and inspiring. Good ideas for being green while getting rid of all the clutter. The author writes in a way that inspires you to not just read the book, but to actually get up and remove the clutter. I like her criteria for keeping or getting rid of something: do you love it? Do you need it? If not, it is gone.I enjoyed that the book focused not only on the physical aspects and ramifications of clutter, but on the mental ones as well. This would make a great book to give as a gift or to lend to others to inspire them as well.
Sorrel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Throw out Fifty Things hasn¿t made a lasting impression. Two months later, this is what I remember from it: 1.Throwing things away is liberating2.Getting rid of limiting ideas/attitudes is liberating (but it didn¿t go into how to throw off such ideas, so not much of a win there.)3.Get rid of at least 50 things; go on, you can do it!4.If you throw out more than one of the same sort of thing, that only counts as one thing.5.You¿re not allowed to throw out other people¿s stuff (but the author did it anyway.)Now, out of all of those items, the bits I didn¿t have a good grasp on already were: 2b: how, to clear up mentally, which wasn¿t addressed;4: which is somewhat arbitrary anyway; and5b: but it doesn¿t actually matter to me that the author¿s husband is going to miss his jam jars. So the verdict is- this book successfully passed the time, but imparted no new lasting knowledge.
leadmomma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific book that looks at clutter from a variety of perspectives -- physical and emotional -- that might be holding us back and slowing us down. Peppered with stories from her own life and her clients, Blanke offers helpful, at times humorous, practical suggestions to get all parts of your life cleaned up. If you ever had read the Artist's Way, you might see some parallels. If you are not interested in the emotional side of clutter - you might find an other book that could meet your organizing needs. But if you would like to look at clutter in your life in a more holistic manner -- this will be a terrific book for you.
maggie1944 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I genuinely loved this book. I do not recommend this book for people who have a problem with clutter. I do not recommend this book for people who just want to clean up their house. I recommend this book only for people who are feeling some amount of "stuck" - stuck in a messy environment, stuck with a messy office, or stuck in the wrong job, marriage, city...whatever. Gail Blanke will guide you in reasonable steps, and with profound respect for who you are, to a new definition for your life.It begins by discussing in a straight forward and helpful way the methods and motivations for clearing out "stuff" from a household. The author gives the reader brief motivational ideas and then continues with practical suggestions. She adds a little spice by telling stories from her life and her clients' lives which is not unusual, and in others' hands can be quite tedious.This lady knows how to write. She is succinct. She is funny. And most importantly she is helpful.The second half of the book is dedicated to throwing out "stuff" rattling around in our minds. Stuff that does not work for us needs to be seen, stuck in a garbage bag, and thrown out. An example of this kind of stuff is the idea that "I am not good enough". Since I spent large parts of my life believing this lie I found Gail Blanke's description of how to toss this idea out with the trash to be very affirming.She does not preach. She does not moralize. And in the end she makes it clear that throwing out fifty things is not about having a perfect house, or having a perfect life, it is about having your best life.If you are even only a little bit intrigued, I would suggest you get this book and give it a whirl.
re_re_98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I requested this book from the Early Reviewers group because I definitely need to de-clutter my life. There are a lot of good ideas and tips for clearing out the unused and unneeded items in your life. The author makes it sound simple, but lets face it, it is difficult to part with your "things". I have cleaned out several drawers and totes since beginning to read this book, and I plan to continue to "Throw Out Fifty Things". Fifty seems like an impossible number, but just take it one item at a time.
librarygrrrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Throw Out Fifty Things is one of those books that the chronically disorganized might pick up but discard as out of their league because they'll never have a house that looks like it's destined for a decorating magazine. To those people I would say: Stop. Pick up the book. Read it. And try to work it. You may not get all the way to fifty things (I suspect it'd be hard to work all of this on your own if you weren't very motivated or didn't have some sort of support) but I bet you could get partway there, particularly as you think about the mental and emotional crap and detritus that you carry around with you. For those of you (us) who aren't chronically disorganized, you too can get a lot from this book. Blanke not only helps you figure out how to tackle the physical stuff, but also helps you get rid of the crap you keep at your job that reminds you of your failures and helps you figure out how to get rid of negative self-thoughts. In short, this helpful book keeps the focus OFF of reaching perfection in terms of decorating and design, and keeps it on getting rid of some of the stuff in our lives that drags us down. Recommended.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to read "Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life" by Gail Blanke. If you could see my house, and especially my 'reading room/office', you would understand immediately. I have such a hard time getting rid of 'stuff'. I have clothes in my closet that I bought three years ago that still have the tags because I haven't yet worn them...but can I throw them out? Uh, NO! Why? Well, duh...because I haven't worn them yet! If you don't understand that, then you are likely an organized kind of person that I love to envy.I found this book very clear and the 'system' incredibly simple. Each chapter covers a different area/room in your house (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc) and the author provides advice and suggestions (if not outright orders) for what types of things you should consider in each of the rooms. There are even very informative 'box' suggestions in each chapter with data on recycling, donating, tag sales, swapping, hazardous waste removal, etc. And a handy resource section at the end provides websites and/or contact information by type of item. That's the good news about the book.The only downside (for me) was that the constant 'cheering' and 'philosophizing' tended to wear on me. In that regard, I think I would have been more pleased with the audio book version...but then I wouldn't have gotten all the handy charts in the book! So, if soul-searching and imperatives don't drive you batty, then "Throw Out Fifty Things" may be just the ticket to help you clear out those things you really don't need. As for me? Well...let's just say I didn't quite make it to fifty.
julyso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life gives you four basic rules for throwing things out and then goes into more detail about each room in your house. Gail Blanke begins with the physcial stuff in your home (bedroom to garage), then moves on to your office, and ends with the mental messes. As she goes through each room, she gives suggestions for what should be thrown out and each area to consider. She includes helpful little tips throughout the book and a quick review of the steps at the end of each chapter. I found this book easy to read, but I really did not get that much out of it. I have read organizing books by Julie Morgenstern and I found them to be much more comprehensive. Gail's big rule is to only count items once....for example, if you throw out ten shirts, they only count as one. I think that is just ridiculous; if I throw out ten shirts, I am counting it as ten! She repeats this rule over and over throughout the book-it gets old.
awriterspen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found Throw Out Fifty Things to be a very helpful step-by-step book to clear out the clutter from our lives. It was just what I needed since I felt like I was swimming in books, old hobby equipment, and useless, outdated electronics. Why I hold on to these things is because I loved each of them at one time but they were not contributing to my life or inner peace in any way once their purpose wore out. Not only that, the author only counts each category as one. So if I get rid of two older digital cameras, it only counts as one item. If I get rid of four pairs of worn out shoes, it only counts as one. I found the book was easily organized for people like me who like to count and be challenged. Quite honestly, once I knew I would get to fifty things I stopped counting but the suggestions were very useful to keep me on track and thinking of new things to declutter my home and life.
jjo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a big sea of clutter help books, this one struck home. While we don't follow the program to the letter, my family & I will still run around every few weeks and say - "OK, let's grab 50 things!" The concept is one that's real and you can live with it.
Bbexlibris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Throw out fifty things? That sounds easy until you understand that your whole magazine collection counts as one, your dried up nail polish bottles that clutter up a whole shelf also count as one, your sock drawer filled with miss matched socks and single gloves, yep you guessed it, one. However room through room the articles add up as you go from bedroom, to bathroom, living room, dining room and finally to the horrors of your attic and garage.This is a new approach in that it doesn't just stop there. Gail Blanke, a life coach and internationally known motivational speaker takes you through all four stages in which you release yourself from more and more stuff that really making you feel heavier. Her four parts are: Getting Rid of the Physical Stuff, Your office Pairing Down the Professional Clutter, Attacking Mental Mess, and Stepping into the Clearing. The first two are possessions, the second two stages are getting rid of unwanted mental mess or feelings, labels and poor self image.Her main slogan throughout Throw Out Fifty Things is: if it doesn't make you feel good, get rid of it. I was a little shocked the first time that she mentioned that you don't need to go on value, worth or purpose, that even if you use it-and yet it makes you cringe, get rid of it! That is different than where I was thinking this all would go. I am very practical, and I have never thought that things that have no purpose should remain to collect dust while things that you use (even if you hate them) should be gotten rid of, but I see the logic in it after reading this book. That you should surround yourself with pleasing environments, places and rooms that you enjoy, that you want to be in, and clothes that you feel good when you wear.After just looking at the title, I was nervous that she wanted people to actually 'throw out' all the stuff. But that is really not what Gail intends, she makes sure that you understand that you should only actually throw away things that are broken, useless, or something to which pieces or parts are missing. The rest of the stuff can go to someone else who will love it, to a secondhand store, or you could resell it to get some of your money back. I appreciated her practical take on that. And throughout the book Gail Blanke makes it a point to discuss green methods of discarding pait, batteries, an old AC, and other such toxic waste items.What did I get out of it? Well, I got the crazy urge to clean my house and get rid of things that I had been holding on to for no reason other than that I didn't know what to do with them (or felt guilted into holding on to!!!). Gail mentions that if it is a very hard decision, that means you just need to get rid of it, and that most of the time we don't get rid of stuff, but we just move it around our homes and garages. That rang a bell with me, we have been shuffling junk for SO LONG! I am in the 'get it out of here' mode and now I know how to attack the problem thanks to Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke. It sure does make me feel a lot better inside when I get my junk out the door. This was a very helpful, and practical guide to getting rid of things. If you want to throw out your junk but can't seem to figure out the practical aspects of the process, or just aren't motivated to do it, read this!
realbigcat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read many books on clutter and organization and I think this is one of the best. I first heard of this book on NPR and then see a newspaper article on it. Being a collector as many of us on Library Thing are I do have a problem with clutter. Blanke's book begins with tackling that clutter but with more of an emphasis on the mental aspect of why we hold on to things. This is an important point. The underlying theme of this book is to throw out 50 things. This sounds simple but if I throw out 50 old photos that only counts as one thing. You can see that to get to 50 takes some work. The best part of the book is the second half where Blanke gets into the mental clutter that we all carry with us. This section really hit home and she has amazing insight into those mental issues. Mixed in with this is real life scenerios that emphasis the point. The books was a quick read and very interesting. I would highly recommend it to anyone that has a cluttered life and I think that's most of us.
4193492 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
I had seen the buzz about this book on my blogs this summer, and I remembered adding it to my list on the library website. But I wasn't sure what I would think of the book. I have read so many clutter books, and I figured this one wouldn't be any different. Was I ever wrong! How refreshing it was to read about a lady who actually struggled and still struggles with the various things she writes in this book. She has organizational issues. It was amazing to have her "throw out" the things even as she wrote the book. I think the interesting sections of the book really dealt with mental clutter and making your life the kind of life you really want. She had some great things to say about those issues, and I would highly recommend that everyone checks out those sections specifically. I definitely give this book a five star rating. If you have have read those other organizational and housekeeping books, throw them out and get a copy of this book! And apply it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago