Last New Years Eve, I stumbled upon the Minimalism documentary on Netflix and then learned about the fast fashion industry in the documentary True Cost on Netflix. Upon learning where my clothes came from (mostly H&M and Forever 21) and the environmental and social ramifications of supporting “fast fashion”, I decided to go cold turkey. I began to notice how small things consumed small amounts of my time, attention and energy and I was ready to clean it all out. I narrowed my closet to 30 items, packed my absolute favorite material possessions in boxes and went off traveling for 4 months. Although I still have very few possessions – my book collection tends to be the hardest thing to part ways with – I often get rid of 100 or so of my possessions every 3-5 months. When my birthday or Christmas rolls around, I politely ask family and friends not to give me any items but rather an experience, such as a dinner out or a photography/painting class.

The idea of minimalism tends to confuse people, but please know that I’m not against consumption. I’m against over-consumption. Every item should serve a purpose. For example, some things help or improve our lives and others bring us joy when we use or wear them.  As long as we need, use, or love them, we should keep these items. If we find something that brings us joy, we should absolutely treat it to ourselves! But after the time has passed that we notice the item doesn’t bring us happiness anymore or doesn’t serve a purpose, it is our responsibility to take the items someplace where they can be used and appreciated again.

Scroll down to check out my tips on starting your own Throw out 100 things challenge!

Here is a glimpse of my 100 things I am giving away this week! If you plan on doing your own “Throw Out 100 Things Challenge”, please comment or message me and we can celebrate together! 🙂

Throw Away 100 Things TIPS

1. Set a clear intention. Help guide your exfoliation choices and shape your home’s vision for the future

2. Take photos of items you’re emotionally attached to. With items that are emotionally important to you, it’s important to realize that oftentimes we keep items we don’t need, use, or love because they are tied to a memory we are afraid we might forget. Rather than hold onto the item out of guilt, take a photo or make a nice video of the item. You can  create a memory book so the memory stays with you. You’ll feel more refreshed have a clutter-free home.

3. Box it. If you are unsure about some items, put them in a box and mark it with a date a few months out. If you haven’t thought about or needed the items in the box by the marked date, donate the unopened box.

4. Ask yourself: if you suddenly died, and your loved ones had to deal with your stuff, would they toss it out or keep it?

5. Research local shelters. Women shelters often are in need of formal women’s attire (blazers, suits, skirts, nice pants, formal shoes, portfolio books, etc) in order to help women find jobs. Goodwill is for profit, so look into your nearest Salvation Army! I have a thrift shop in my town that donates proceeds to the school for the blind here in Alexandria, and there are quite a few non-profit thrift stores that donate their funds to help their community.

6. Trash as little as possible. Most items can be either donated, recycled, and passed on to someone new in order to help the environment!

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2017 Throw Out 100 Things Challenge

December 22, 2017


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.