“does this spark joy in you?”

Hi friends! Hope you’ve been having an awesome day. Sorry about the blog downtime this morning! Apparently the blog couldn’t handle the excitement of banana flour, and she fainted. (<— the server crashed.) Thankfully all has been resolved (WP Site Care maintains my blog and always helps when things like this happen) and we’re back in action over here.


Hello from Purgeland… where unnecessary mementos, stacks of random paper, and unworn clothes go to die.

The Pilot and I went into a major nesting/cleaning mode this weekend, getting everything ready, and finally sorting through the unintended items that made the trip to San Diego with us. Right before we moved, things were so crazy and we were scrambling to find a place to live. We didn’t have the opportunity to really sort through everything that was being packed. Since movers packed us -which was awesome, but a few major items were broken- they packed everything in the house, and we had boxes upon boxes with random contents. Finally, this past weekend, we sorted through everything in storage and also went through everything in the house. You know, after we’ve lived here for over a year. <—logical haha

During our sorting and cleaning, we came across some awesome finds:

our wedding photos (!)

Wedding pics 1 of 1

an entire box of Christmas ornaments we thought were lost, 

random books/albums, tons of baby gear, clothes,

a scrapbook I made for the Pilot before one of his first long trips,

and lots of decor stuff.

Fall decor 1 of 1

(Guilty of burning pumpkin candles already and THEY SMELL AMAZING.)

I got the idea for this epic clean-out after talking to my friends about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

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I have not read the book -just got the Cliff’s note version from friends, which was good enough for me- but basically the premise is to eliminate clutter by getting rid of the items that no longer serve you. You’re supposed to go through each item in your house, by sections, and empty everything onto the floor. When you pick each item up to put away, you’re supposed to ask yourself if it “sparks joy in you.” If it doesn’t, it’s gone. I think that many of us have habits of holding onto things that once brought us joy for the sake of memories, or keeping items that were gifts. According to the author, keeping a gift forever isn’t part of receiving the gift. You can be thankful for the joy it brought you in that moment, and then let it bring joy to someone else.

We did this with a lot of items in the house, particularly in our closet

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Closet 1 of 1


cabinets, pantry, and nightstands/books. One of the things that was interesting to me was that I’ve held on to a LOT of my undergrad textbooks. Why?! Am I going to read them again and decide I suddenly want to be good at financial derivatives and statistics again? Uhhh, probably not. So, I donated them. (I think there are resources to sell them online, but these are very old editions. Also, aren’t kids fancypants and have electronic versions of textbooks now? #old)

As far as clothes go, it’s a two-step process:

1) I separate them into two piles: donate and sell. The donation pile goes straight to Goodwill while the sell pile (higher quality, condition, and better brands) goes to Buffalo Exchange.

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2) Whatever Buffalo Exchange doesn’t keep, I send to Thred Up. (<— referral link.) I really like the convenience of Thred Up: they send you a free clean-out bag, you fill it with your stuff and pop it in the mail, they sort through it, and credit your account for the items they can sell. Whatever they don’t sell, you can pay $12.95 to have sent back to you, or you can let them donate the goods. While it’s very easy to use, I find that the payout is pretty low. Buffalo Exchange pays much better for the items, and I figure it’s always better to make $5-10 off something that was far more expensive, but already loved and worn quite a few times. Sometimes with the clothes I sell, I’ll put the funds towards my capsule-ish wardrobe, but since I haven’t been able to do that much this year (things seem to fit differently each week!). I’m definitely hoping to get one set up for the late fall/winter season.  

Anyone else doing a fall cleaning blitz? Where are your favorite places to upcycle or resell clothes?

Hope you have a wonderful morning!!



Today’s #SQUATEMBER challenge: this barre booty burner! Let me know how it goes. 🙂 

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  1. Ashley on September 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I love taking the time to go through things in the change of seasons, and I’m still working on getting the capsule wardrobe thing down. It feels so good to get rid of unnecessary things and just have more space in my room/house! The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been on my radar for a while, I’ll definitely have to give it a read 🙂

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    I can’t say I’m cleaning house to the extent you are, but I have been making a pile of clothes that I no longer want or wonder why I bought in the first place. I use Thred Up & always surprised by the amount of $$$ I get.

  3. Jessie R on September 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Loved Tidying Up, so great! Yay for fall decorating 🙂

  4. Megan on September 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Haha I have never looked at your whole blog before, I pinned your baby food posts from 2013 awhile back and now that my little one is 6 months old I was ready to make my grocery list…and I kept trying to go to the page and it kept giving me the error. I was so distraught that this must be an old blog not maintained anymore! So glad to try again this evening and find you back up. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      haha we’re still here, despite some techie issues this week!let me know how the baby food turns out 🙂

  5. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on September 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    This post was so weird…..I JUST was added that book on to my Goodreads list like 5 seconds ago…..the tab is still open on my browser 😛 Hahahaha! It’s a sign!!! Need it!

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      i’m in your braaaaiiiiiin

  6. mary on September 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I’ll look for that book. I read this one below maybe 12 years ago and still the lessons stick with me (though I’m sure the little end chapter about colonics is baloney, now).


    I’m reading the Primates of Park Avenue book now and am really enjoying it, despite not liking the author for being a Wendy who changed her name to Wednesday and then ratted out her neighbors for being rich and superficial, while buying a $10k handbag herself. lol

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      hahah! valid point. i’m still reading it but taking my time since some commenters said to wait to finish it because of the ending

  7. Jess on September 9, 2015 at 1:52 am

    I love getting rid of things but also feel like I could easily be a hoarder sometimes it surprises me how attached I become to stuff. I am in the process of doing a huge spring clear out. Getting rid of tons of baby stuff which is a little sad since my baby is now 16 months!

  8. Julia@yogawinehappiness.com on September 9, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I hate sorting out clothes but have been doing it big time lately. I have also been burning pumpkin candles for the past week already 🙂

  9. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on September 9, 2015 at 5:06 am

    Oh what a good reminder that I really need to do some purging of things in our house too!

  10. Britt@MyOwnBalance on September 9, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I ended up throwing out a ton of stuff when we moved but now I wish I had some of it! Then of course there are clothes that I have kept that I really don’t need.

  11. RachelG on September 9, 2015 at 5:23 am

    It’s funny that when we were visiting cousins in July one of them mentioned this book and the idea of items bringing joy into your life. Although admittedly we’ve had a little fun with it (taking out utensils for dinner and asking each other “does this bed bath and beyond fork bring you joy?”), the idea is a logical one. For my Fall/Winter closet transition I’ll be asking myself that question in relation to the ever expanding belly. Joy=being able to breath and not look like a beached whale. 😉

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      hahah! seriously. i cut the waistband on a pair of shorts a couple of weeks ago 😉 now, they no longer bring me joy

      • RachelG on September 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm

        LOL. Jokerz brand vegan candy bars bring me joy. Buttons and zippers can go byebye until January. 😉

        • Fitnessista on September 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm

          embrace that belly panel, friend! it’s the comfiest thing ever haha

  12. Carrie on September 9, 2015 at 6:59 am

    My co-worker told me about this book a couple months ago. After testing it out on my clothes, which included folding my clothes the way the author recommends so you can see everything (amazing!), I was sold. And my husband was, too! I ordered the book (you can get it for less than $10) and plan to implement her plan for everything in the house one of these September weekends.

    It just feels so good to purge and organize, especially in the spring and fall!

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      totally agree! it’s nice to start the season off fresh 🙂

  13. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on September 9, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I need to do this! I am feeling overwhelmed by the clutter around me lately. It’s not a good look.

  14. Tracy on September 9, 2015 at 10:08 am

    No shame in lighting those pumpkin candles!! Mmmmm

    I haven’t started my closet but I SHOULD be doing a fall declutter! We worked on our boys’ rooms and then I lost steam. I have to be in the right state of mind or too many things will end up in the “keep” pile!

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      i’m the sameway! luckily this weekend i wasn’t feeling super attached to everything. i was like “no joy! ditch it!” hah

  15. Jenny @ apples &kale on September 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I definitely need to get that book from the library. My house is in serious need of some “tidying up”! It looks clean, but we have at least three closets full of crap in rubbermaid bins. Needless to say none of that stuff is sparking joy in anyone. 😉

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      it feels so nice to get rid of it all!

  16. Erin @ Erin's Inside Job on September 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Where did you donate your textbooks? I have been trying to get rid of so many of my books but I can’t even find places to donate them around here! I don’t want t have to throw them away 🙁

    • Juliana on September 13, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      Did you try your local library? A lot of them have a volunteer group that will take whatever books you are getting rid of for book sales.

  17. Kari F on September 10, 2015 at 11:38 am

    This is a great reminder to do “Spring cleaning”. I prefer to start my cleaning process in the Fall/Winter instead of Spring since the weather here in Seattle turns to a lot of rain… if I am stuck in doors anyway may as well be productive.

    I agree that ThredUp is very convenient, but they do pay very low! I have had better luck with local consignment stores.

  18. Juliana on September 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Yes!! I read the book and it’s fantastic. Unfortunately I found it after I moved across two states it’s very cathartic! Plus my place looks better than ever

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