Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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gottawonder is doing 28 things including…

stop being such a packrat

55 cheers


gottawonder has written 40 entries about this goal

May 9

I recently looked through all of my posts under this goal, and it’s kind of crazy. Every post talks about me taking literally garbage bags of clothes to my sister, and a couple of boxes of stuff to the thrift store.

I would have a difficult time telling you exactly what those things were. That tells you how important they were to me. Yet, were I to see them again, I would definitely recognise them, and likely miss those things, and feel a little tug that I got rid of them.

It’s HARD to get rid of things. I also buy things easily.

I feel really trapped in this cycle.

I’ve been getting bags of clothes together for my sister again. I’ve got some other stuff too.

I’m putting together another box of things that can go to the thrift store.

What’s so sad, is that I end up buying more things. It’s just habit. I go to the thrift store, and I find some art stuff, some books, maybe some Tupperware, and it’s a shopping bag full. I’ll do that a couple of times a month.

Going to the thrift store used to be a big fun outing with Mom when I was a kid. We didn’t have a lot of money, and it was almost the only source of “new” things. It was a big deal to get some clothes or toys or books.

I go to Winners, and find three or four items (not always clothes), no biggie, but I might do that twice a month.

It ends up being a fair amount of money (not more than I can afford but that’s not the point), considering that it’s mostly things I don’t really need. I guess it isn’t really a bargain if I didn’t need it.

It adds up!

I admire people who have nice things, but not too many things. People who don’t need to buy a lot of new things, even if they are cheap.

I guess I have gotten into the habit of always bargain hunting, and shopping as entertainment. I need to find something else to do that can replace “entertainment shopping”.

Spring clothing sort.

I’ve been putting together bags of clothes to take to my sister again.

I have about two shopping bags full of clothes, and some of them are clothes I’ve never worn. That part kind of shocks me.

I sometimes buy clothes that are a tiny bit tight, as in I can wear them, but they don’t quite hang properly, but I keep thinking I’ll lose the weight. Why do I waste my money!

Anyhow, tonight I kind of went through my closet really quickly, and I was able to identify several things I just know I won’t wear, and a few things that I don’t wear a lot. I went through my jeans, and since I don’t wear many of the wider legged ones anymore, and I bought a couple of pair of skinny leg ones, I figured I should clear some of them out.

I’m more or less just making room for the stuff I’ve bought this winter.

Really, what I need to do is stop buying clothes for about three years, and really wear what I already have. I know I don’t need anything new now.

For a while, I was buying new things because I had only bought thrift store stuff for a long time, and it was time to update. Now, I have lots of nice things that fit me well, and I should just wear them.

A few more...

A bag of fabric I won’t use, and nearly a box full of candles and candle holders that I just don’t need.

Naturally I’ve brought in other things, but at least I’m removing things I won’t use.

Time to purge again.

I’m finding that my junk room is a little junkier, my drawers are a little hard to close, and so on. So, back into the fray.

I guess I hang onto things for so many reasons. They remind me of someone, a time, or a place. Maybe who I was at that time. I don’t really want to lose that, so I hang onto it. Then, when I go through things I think of all of those things.

It’s kind of a security thing too. Like I will always have all of these nice things tucked away, so that if I need them I will never be “without”.

I am shocked every time I start digging. All of this stuff! All of the “projects”, all of the memories! The cumulative amount of time and money spent on collection and then management. It’s a monument, in a way.

I said to my Mom once, wouldn’t it be interesting, if when you die, you got to go to a warehouse, where everything you ever owned was stored. Your clothes, your books, your toys, your cars, dishes, and so on. Wouldn’t that be something.

In some ways, my house feels like that.

There are times

when I am looking for a specific thing, and I’m forced to dig around in my junk room.

Even after getting rid of about half of the stuff in that room, it’s a lot of stuff.

I feel a little weird sometimes, like “I could totally have enough stuff to puzzle an entire African village somewhere”. What would they make of my box of candle holders, my old shoelaces, all of my craft stuff, magazines, weird little broken things that I don’t even know what they’re doing there, jars of screws and nails, old digital cameras, endless string, boxes of fabric and yarn, buttons, and so on that “I might need someday”?

That sounds like it would make such a fabulous short film. A hoarder opens up her stash to a village, and it’s a parade of colorful fabric, and they make instruments out of the cookie tins and metal bits, kites out of all the paper, and they dance with abandon at the fun things they’ve found.

Some CDs.

I donated several to the local library. Some were just duplicates of ones we own, so no need to keep two copies.

So, a few things moved along to where they will be more useful.

A small box of stuff

I took with me to the thrift store, mostly to offset what I would inevitably purchase!

Another trip home,

another bag of things to give to my sister. This wasn’t as big a purge as last time, but then I haven’t accumulated that much in a few months.

I also recently tossed a few things that were just worn out.

When I visited my family this week,

I loaded all the clothes up that I decided I didn’t need, as well as some shoes, more bedding, and some toiletry stuff I don’t use.

All together, it was about three garbage bags worth.

It was fun seeing my sister try on some of the clothes, and they looked great on her. I’m glad I sent them along, because I wasn’t wearing them. Things shouldn’t just rot in my closet, they should be worn by someone who will enjoy them.


I went through the DVDs last night, and came up with a stack to be donated to the library.

I used to do this at the library where I used to work, too. I likely donated 20 or 30 DVDs there.

I’ve already donated five or six to this library, and I came up with 16 more. Sometimes you get a movie, and watch it once, and you just know you don’t need to see it again. Or, you’ve watched it a few times, but now it’s okay to let it go.

In either case, these are movies that have just sat here for the last couple of years, and they would do more good at the library.

gottawonder has gotten 55 cheers on this goal.


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