I have so much stuff…and a lot of it, I’m not using.

I bet you’re in the same boat.

But there are plenty of people who WOULD use that stuff.

Maybe they need it, and can’t really afford it. Maybe they’ve been looking for just the thing you’re getting rid of. Maybe the item that’s gathering dust in your garage could enrich someone else’s life every single day.

Even if it’s just a book your kids never read. Or an outfit you haven’t chosen in months. Or your second-favorite spatula. It could be the shoes that you love but never reach for. Candles you like but haven’t reached for since you bought them. CDs of music that doesn’t appeal to you anymore, or DVDs of movies you’re a little tired of. A perfectly good table that doesn’t fit in your space, or lotion you got for free with coupons, but that you will never actually use.

I’m sure there are things in your house that could have much better “lives” in the care of other people. I know there are things like that in my home.

So I’m passing them on. 500 of them.

And I challenge you to do the same. 500 is a big number. 500 matters. 500 will touch a lot of people.


There are no rules in this challenge about how you give.

  • You can donate to your local charity shops.
  • You can seek out “perfect matches” on Freecycle or Craigslist.
  • You can have “everything free” garage sales on Saturday mornings.

But if it’s sitting in your garage, or in a closet, it doesn’t count as “given.” It has to be out of your possession.

How you count is up to you too. If I give away a bag of small accessories, that’s probably going to be one item. But I might count a box of books individually. A 10-piece toy set will be one item, but 10 separate toys would be 10. I would count a bag of baby socks as one item, but outfits would be counted separately.

500 is a big number, but you don’t want to feel like you reached it in a way that makes it “less.”

500 might change something for us too.

Maybe it’ll clear out a room in your house for a new baby on the way. Maybe it’ll let you finally spend less time organizing stuff you never use, and more time with your family. Maybe this is a good way to let go of some things you’ve been holding on to because of guilt. Maybe this will make you reevaluate new purchases before bringing more into your home.

Those “it was a gift” items you don’t use but feel like you have to keep? Pass them on. The “but I spent xx dollars on it” things you thought you would use, but don’t? Free them.

Maybe it’ll just make your heart feel a little fuller.

Join the #Give500 Challenge. Here’s How:

  1. Set a time frame for yourself. My goal is to Give 500 by Christmas. Yours doesn’t have to be the same.
  2. Make your commitment. Tell friends. Write a blog post about it. Comment here to say, “I’m in!” Make it real.
  3. Start sorting. Designate an area for your items to give away. When you come across something that belongs there, immediately move it. Or, if you want to be more methodical, scour each room (opening all cabinets, drawers, etc.) armed with a box for collecting those items.
  4. Start a list as you give things away. You don’t need to be too specific if you don’t want to be, but you’ll want to know when you reach your goal of 500.
  5. Encourage others to join the challenge. It’s more fun if we have each other for encouragement and cheerleading. And more participants mean more and more items that are being liberated from disuse, and appreciated by others.
  6. Post about your progress on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #Give500.

If you have a blog:

  1. Write your #Give500 commitment post (kind of like this one).
  2. Copy and paste the HTML in the box below in your blog post. This will add the #Give500 badge and link back to this post (so that your readers can learn about the challenge and join in too) automatically. Easy as pie.
  3. Note: This will be the ONLY “linky” for this challenge, which is why the badge should point to this specific post.
  4. You can link up for EACH update you write on your blog about #Give500, if you’d like! I hope you do because I’d love to keep up with how everyone is doing.

If you don’t have a blog:

Feel free to leave comments with your updates, lists of things you’ve given, et cetera. Or post on the Joyful Abode facebook page. I’d love to see!

What are you waiting for? Are you “in”? Get ready to #Give500!

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  10. Join in to the #Give500! - The Whole Adventure says:

    […] made a post (a while ago) about getting rid of 500 items in her home. With it being spring I think it’s […]

  11. […] donate, donate! #Give500 Things Challenge: In coordination with the above efforts, join Joyful Abode‘s challenge to give 500 items away […]

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    […] Go through toy closet for #Give500 […]

  13. […] morning, I held a “Yard give.” Not a yard sale. Everything was free. It's part of my plan to give away 500 things by Christmas. Things i'm not using, even if I like them. Things I have duplicates of. Things that are just […]

  14. […] am joining Joyful Abode in her challenge to #Give500. I’m in need of cleaning out my closets and cabinets and […]

  15. […] Join in the challenge to #Give500 things away! […]

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  17. 20 Chore Tuesday | Joyful Abode says:

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  18. Nicole says:

    I’m in!! Thanks so much for the great idea 🙂 I have so much to go through now haha

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  20. Caroline says:

    I’m in. This sounds like a good addition to my recent cleaning/organizing spree! 500… That is a nice sounding number!

  21. Ellen says:

    Great idea! And a huge goal like that is so inspiring 🙂 We did it, too! Last December before we moved we donated at least this much stuff and it felt amazing. Dozens of BIG stuff like washer/dryer, refrigerator, couches, bookshelves, tables, chairs, dressers, desks, treadmill, weight bench set, etc, and tons of small stuff like a dozen boxes of books, a dozen boxes of dishes, 8 bags of clothes and 4 of bedding, half a dozen small appliances, digital camera, etc. we filled our two car garage up to head height wall to wall with just one path through. It filled the entire Salvation Army truck and they had to come back after emptying it! It was so exciting to know that so many things would go to people who would value them and for very affordable prices 🙂 We estimated that we could have made ~$3,000 or $4,000 selling things individually via Craigslist and garage sales, but it felt good to just let it all go at once and for no compensation. Well, we did take a tax deduction!!

  22. Kate says:

    I’m so in. Thanks for the “push”.

  23. Tracy says:

    As the queen of purging clothes, toys and miscellaneous stuff, I think this is a GENIUS idea. Seriously, SERIOUSLY inspiring!

  24. Amy says:

    I’m in!!! We DO have a baby on the way (yay!!) and nowhere to put the wee one. It’s time to do some serious decluttering. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  25. Karen says:

    LOL, I’m actually writing a slightly ranty post on how much “stuff” we have. I’ve been de-cluttering and sorting stuff since July, and I reckon I’ve probably given away about 200+ things so far. Toys, books, kitchen stuff, clothes, shoes, cosmetic ets. I’ll have to try and link up!

    • That is so so awesome! If you had tried to link before it might not have worked… I just updated the directions and changed some stuff so it should work now. I can’t wait to see your updates!

  26. Linda Sand says:

    Good for you for issuing this challenge. We no longer own 500 extra things but I have some pans to donate (I had to buy a whole set to get what I needed from it) and one of my neighbors just signed on to haul stuff to people trying to set up households so that part is going to be easier than usual for me.

  27. mommy says:

    I’m going to count the 250 books (6 BIG BOXES) I gave to the library and a used book store last week. I told him I din’t want him to go thru them and see what he wanted to buy…take them all…pass on what he didn’t want. And the 30 pieces of clothes I gave. I have also been bit by this bug. I can’t STAND the stuff. There is a line that’s hard to draw…but I am ready to kick at it. Now, how do I post just this link on FB?

  28. I LOVE this idea!!! Count me in!

  29. Amy says:

    Almost none of the thrift shops in my area are currently accepting donations. Maybe everyone is giving away 500 things!

  30. Veronica says:

    I love this idea. I get rid of stuff every day. Partly because we are moving soon and also because I just hate having stuff. I might link up but i have to be honest i’ve pretty much given everything away in preparation for our move lol

  31. Mommy Boots says:

    What a challenge! I definitely think we could find quite a few things to part with in our daughter’s toy chest… And maybe it’s time I let go of some of those tops I haven’t fit into since 2004…..

  32. Lindsey says:

    Oh wow…my husband and I have recently gone through 98% of what we own. If you had posted this 4 months ago, we would have totally been in on it! Let’s just pretend we already did it, because we basically did. Carload after carload to Goodwill…

  33. Margaret says:

    The html in the box did not give me a picture. Can you fix it? 🙁

    Also, I’m in. And writing a post now, to go up tomorrow. I’ve posted it on FB, too. This is such an awesome idea. I love it.

  34. Apple says:

    I just went through my closet and drawers and got rid of a ton of things I don’t wear anymore. Have to do J2’s clothes next and make my hubby go through his clothes tonight…it’s a start! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  35. Erin says:

    I’m so totally in. 500 by Christmas sounds perfect. Fall cleaning!!! And a season of cheer!

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