If you’re a subscriber to Real Simple magazine, then you may have already seen my article, "10 ways to let go of your stuff," on pages 119 and 120 in the March issue. Writing for the magazine was a great opportunity, and I hope that you enjoy reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Since the magazine hit newsstands, I have received a gaggle of e-mails asking about specific details from the article. Instead of responding to every request, I thought that I would turn those responses into a post so that everyone can share in on the fun. If you still have questions after reading this post, feel welcome to post them in the comment section.
Your baby teeth?! Who keeps their baby teeth?! You must explain!!
I have no idea why I kept my baby teeth. They were wrapped in gauze and I screamed when I found them. I should also note that there is a fierce nagging in the back of my mind that they’re my brother’s and not mine. Ew, ew, ew.
Was Matt your boyfriend and why did you keep his hair?
Matt was not a boyfriend, nor a crush, he was simply a boy in college who had beautiful, shoulder-length hair. I remember that he cut his hair for a fraternity charity event, but I have no idea why he gave me his hair. Worse yet, I have no recollection as to why I kept it. This was by far the creepiest thing I found in my clutter.
What is the fallacy of sunk costs?
Wikipedia does a nice job explaining the basics of sunk costs. I’ll add that the Stephen mentioned in the article is Stephen Slivinski, who works for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In addition to sage economic advice, he also is responsible for introducing me to my husband.
On twitter you mentioned that you are a runner, but in the article you said that you’re not a runner. Which is it?
When I wrote the article back in August, I wasn’t a runner. Now, I am. I used to be a walker, but lately I’ve been running instead. I don’t know what changed. Life is quirky.
Please tell me you really didn’t have a rhinestone-studded clown painting and that you changed the description of the gift to protect the feelings of the gift-giver!
The gift described was an actual gift. I’ll have to ask the gift-giver if he even remembers giving it to me. My guess is that I bet he doesn’t.
Were you talking about debate files on #8?
More than 70 percent of the paper files I purged were high school and college policy debate files. Years worth of research and hundreds of pounds of paper filled our apartment. (This question came from someone I debated against in high school. It’s amazing how wonderful this article has been about re-establishing long-lost friendships!)
Your cousin didn’t really make you wear a fuchsia dress with taffeta bows in her wedding, did she?
She did. The bows were a purple accent color. There are pictures. Those pictures are mortifying. No, you cannot see them.
I read in your biography that you’re writing a book! Do you have more details?
You can learn all about my book project in the Unclutterer post, "Coming in 2009: An Unclutterer book."