Book Review: "Throw Out Fifty Things" by Gail Blanke and Book Giveaway

I'm giving away 5 brand new copies of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winners on Sunday March 8. US and Canada addresses only (No PO Boxes). Good luck!

"Our lives are so filled with junk from the past-from dried up tubes of glue to old grudges-that it's a wonder we can get up in the morning," exclaims motivator, best-selling author, columnist, and life coach Gail Blanke.

"If you want to grow, you gotta let go," is Blanke's mantra; and that means eliminating all the clutter-physical and emotional-that holds you back, weighs you down, or just makes you feel bad about yourself.

In THROW OUT FIFTY THINGS she takes us through each room of the house-from the attic to the garage-and even to the far reaches of our minds. Through poignant and humorous stories, she inspires us to get rid of the "life plaque" we've allowed to build-up there.

  • Those old regrets? Throw 'em out!
  • That make-up from your "old" look? Toss it!
  • That relationship that depresses you? Dump it!
Once you've hit fifty-you'll be surprised how easy it is to get there-and once you've thrown out that too-tight belt and too-small view of yourself, you'll be ready to step out into the clearing and into the next, and greatest, segment of your life.

If you ever come to visit me unannounced, your reaction would be "OMG packrat!" Because yes, I am that type of person that can't bear to throw things away. I could keep receipts because I like looking to see things I had purchased from back in the day. I would clean out this big cabinet under my desk once a year, and there are still tons of papers and binders left over from high school days (you never know when you'll need Algebra notes you know?) So this book was definiately something that I needed to read! It's a really great book as it tackles both the physical and psychological problem as to why we tend to keep things forever. The book starts off with the physical things that need to be cleared up. Each room in the house is taken into consideration with the author telling what she threw away and the reader has the same opportunity to write down their clutter finds as well. Then the book moves onto the mental issues we need to get rid of. And boy were there some good ones! A lot of the reasons why we're so down on ourselves or can't seem to keep up with everything is because we have so much clutter in our heads! The final section ties everything together as now that you've gotten rid of all the physical and excess clutter you can finally begin to really live your life. I really enjoyed reading this book. There's lots of great stand out tips throughout the book and the resource guide at the end is really handy. It's another book everyone should have in their house but not one of those you should be throwing out!

Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke is published by Springboard Press (2009)


  1. Please sign me up! Thanks!!


  2. Count me in for this giveaway. milou2ster(at)

  3. I'm a packrat, too. I always save for the what-if? Why do we do that? UGH!! Please enter me!! chellegoodson at gmail dot com.

  4. I'm a packrat too and trying to break away from it. Need all the help I can get. Plese enter me in the contest


  5. I am so laughing at this. I NEED this book in the worst way, but even more than that, my best friend NEEDS this book -- even worse than I do. I plan to give it to her should you pull my name! She has so much stuff, even her dog would beg your for the book since he's running out of room to roam! The two cats just sprawl themselves on top of everything, but the poor dog...think of the poor dog when you're drawing names...Grin!


    Thanks so much.

  6. Anonymous9:53 AM

    Please sign me up. aabs(at)insightbb(dot)com. Thanks!

  7. THIS IS ME!!! I can't believe (well, maybe) someone has who I am down to the nitty gritty. I am known as a pack rat, I'm OVER 50 years old, I WANT to let go but haven't a clue. I NEED a guide that can walk me through the process. Sounds like this is JUST the book for me. PLEASE enter me in your drawing. Thanks.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms at wb4me dot com

  8. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Please add me to the drawing! resonated[at]gmail[dot]com

    Thanks! :)

  9. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Hi! Please enter me in the drawing. This book would be a hoot to read! LOL :)

    ConnieJ at FR

  10. I desperately need this book! I have a two car garage with only room for one car! Please enter me! :)

  11. My whole family needs this book....I would love to be able to sit at the dining room table and have dinner without having to clean it off first!

    Thanks, Deborah, for offering not just 1 but 5 copies of this book. Looks like lots of us need it!

    Cindy - eclecticfirefly (FR & PBS)

  12. jempfer11:16 AM

    Wow. This looks like an awesome book, Deborah! Please enter me in your contest!
    jempfer from FR

  13. Jmiletic11:29 AM

    Please enter me too in the contest. I am looking for ways to clear out the excess. My PBS ID: RkdrMnlkS1FuVEk9


    --Joyce +

  14. Harley11:33 AM

    I am a packrat, so anything that will help me get rid of the clutter would be awesome. I have been trying to do that this year and so far have made some (very little) progress.
    Susan/Harley at FR

  15. JDobs @ FR11:34 AM

    Sounds like something I could use LOL! Thanks for the chance to win a copy! Julie (JDobs @ FR)

  16. Clutter is my biggest problem. I seem to have emotional attachments to everything anyone has ever given me and to everything my children have ever owned. I'd love to find a way to let go of that emotional attachment. HELP!
    Pam (aliadam from FR)

  17. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Oh, my goodness. It sounds like someone has visited me and has seen that I am the "Clutter Queen." I save thank you notes, old plan books (and I write different plans each year...), too many children's school papers, old rosters of their sports teams, etc.... I could go on and on and on. Just last night, I threw away a few things from a closet and just that little bit made me feel better. I could definitely use some help. If I were to win, I would read it and then pass it on for others. Thanks for having the contest.
    Shannon (schoolmarm on FR)

  18. Shannon12:44 PM

    OOPS...I put the wrong thing above and did not mean to be anonymous.

  19. I cannot wait to read this book! I'm adding it to my wishlist as soon as I'm done here! I take after my father and save everything. I'm a collector at heart, and *have* to keep it all. I've been battling this compulsive behavior for years and have only had minor success. And, for those who haven't heard of Flylady, visit for additional tips! Denise (dcw888 on FR)

  20. I'm not a packrat for my own things but I just can't seem to get rid of any of my daughter's things and she's 21 soooo...long story short, we are running out of room. Living in a mini-home, that's not a good thing. This would be great to see the psychological aspects behind why one keeps the things one does as well as the physical reasons too. Thanks for the chance because I really need help in this department.

  21. Anonymous2:20 PM

    LindaR @ FR
    Please enter me. I would love to read this book. You don't really mean Throw away 50 of my treasures. :o)

  22. Please enter me!


  23. Dayna3:32 PM

    Please enter me as well...
    DMBuffy on FR
    I have for the past year tossed 1 thing every day....did not really get rid of all of my clutter....I need a little more butt kicking to get me going!

  24. Before Spring4:33 PM

    Please add me! I am a packrat, too, and need some encouragement to throw some stuff out.

    Thanks for the chance to win :)

    beforespring -at- gmail -dot- com

  25. Becca Dowling4:37 PM

    Whoa! I think the Lord is trying to tell me something...LOL I've done a bit of this on my own, but have gotten bogged down. Perhaps this book will help! Please enter me in the drawing.

    becca[dot]dowling @ yahoo[dot]com

  26. I have so much junk!

    And I've given you a blog award, so head on over to my blog to get it!

  27. JustJanet at FR6:06 PM

    I need this book! Please enter me to win.

  28. Anonymous6:15 PM

    please enter me! i know i'm from australia but, if i win a copy, i'll give you a US address to mail it to, ok? :)

  29. I need this book (throw away 50 things ) I could do that just in my bedroom

  30. Anonymous9:07 PM

    I would love to win this book

  31. Enter me please.
    treewaterduchess (at) yahoo (dot) com

  32. Well, at least I'm not alone in my packrat tendencies! I have a really hard time getting rid of things, both physically and mentally, so this would be a great book for me to add to my TBR pile. Oh, wait, that's piling up more stuff! Nah, I think it would be worth it. Hoping you draw my name! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  33. Sigh Deb. Am sad that I need to enter to win this book. So tired of all the stuff around my house. Wondering how she knows that we all have the same 50 things. Interesting. :)

    Mimi B

    mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

  34. my husband and I both unfortunatly need this book. can you imagine living with 2 packrats? my poor children!
    stampedwithgrace at cox dot net

  35. I'm a packrat, so this is something I really need to read. I'd love to be entered in your giveaway :)

    Have a great day!

  36. My husband and I are BOTH packrats! So even when one of us decides to declutter, the other is hovering around saying, "Don't throw that out! We might need it someday!"

    Please enter me! allisonDOTcampbellATgmailDOTcom

  37. Lenda7:02 PM

    I have become a huge packrat as I'm getting older and can't seem to change. I need this book so badly. Thanks for the chance to win this.
    Lenda - FR

  38. i am a hoarder which i tend to think is worst than a pack rat thanks for the giveaway

  39. We have lived in our home for almost 6 years and I still have things in boxes! From the basement stacks to the
    second floor! Many of the decorations for our walls and such are still in them. I just haven't been motivated because I don't know where to begin! Please enter me in your book drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi

  40. I have trouble parting with things so I couls use this.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  41. Kristipye (FR)11:35 PM

    I'm trying to learn to declutter----but my hubby is a huge packrat---He really needs to read this one!!!!LOL

  42. This book sounds amazing! Please enter me!


  43. I need this book for my unorganized, cluttered life; please enter me. Thank you for offering this giveaway! eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com.

  44. Anonymous2:08 AM

    If you took a picture of the inside of my house it would the poster child for this book! Enter me in the giveaway.

  45. I could use some help. It's hard to keep the house cleaned out when 6 people live in it.


  46. Thanks for the giveaway!

  47. I would love to read this book. I really need help getting rid of things. My husband is such a packrat. Please enter me. Thanks for having this giveaway.


  48. Please enter me!! This book would probably be very useful for me :)

  49. I totally need this book!!!

  50. This is on my must read book list.

  51. I need this book. I have two teenagers who don't like to throw anything away (they take after me!)

  52. Please include me in your Giveaway.

  53. Anonymous1:13 PM

    This a book to give to a lot of people I know and I will start with myself. The first 50 will be the hardest I am sure! Please enter me.


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