Inadvertent Decluttering

My mother dropped my glass double walled loose leaf tea mug on a large glass jar, shattering both into a hundred pieces. There was glass everywhere.

While I liked the mug and used it fairly often, I suppose it’s one less thing in our house. This was actually the second glass double walled loose leaf tea mug of mine. I had bought this one to replace the one I dropped and broke the last year. Fortunately, only the inside glass part broke then, making the clean up much easier than this time.

Considering the fragility of these mugs, I don’t think I’ll get a replacement. I can just pour the loose leaf tea through one of our various strainers/sieves or use the several disposable loose leaf tea bags we have lying around the kitchen.

I’ve got to say that this type of inadvertent decluttering is very refreshing. I didn’t have to make any decisions about whether to keep or get rid of something and with no effort on my part, there are now two fewer items in our kitchen.

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Collectible Cereal Boxes?


I found some cereal boxes from the 1990s in our basement.

Yup, it’s that bad. We have kept cereal boxes for 15 years. Sigh.

These lovely varieties feature Tiger Woods (when he was still wholesome enough for Wheaties), Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, and Eric Lindros (it looks like it’s signed, but it’s not a real signature).

Well, that’s three more items for the recycling bin.

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Decluttering Status Update #3

I’ve just completed month three of my decluttering journey. While I’m still decluttering (albeit at a slower pace than when I first started), I’m finding it difficult to keep posting about it. I just don’t feel like it anymore.

This Christmas, I suggested to my family that we give each other consumable gifts or items we had lying around the house. My aunt that moved to a condo gave us a raw prime rib roast. All I had to do was put it in the oven and 1.5 hours later, we had the YUMMIEST GIFT EVER! So I’d say my idea of consumable presents was a success! As well as a bunch of goodies I baked, I gave away lots of items I found around the house, but I didn’t keep track of them all for this blog. Oops.

Anyway, here is a status update for December.

Total Items out of the house: Approximately 115 (it’s actually more, but I’m not counting the all the items I gave as presents)

Breakdown of items:


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Why do I have these CDs?


Throughout my decluttering journey, I find I’m often asking myself the question: “Why do I have this?” and then I follow up with “Why have I kept this?”

I asked myself these very questions when I came across a CD of Kenny G playing My Heart Will Go On from Titanic.

Frankly, I don’t know why I have the Kenny G version of the Titanic theme song and I really don’t know why I kept it. I think I may have gotten it free with a purchase of some sort. I also found some other CDs from the 1990s that came free with stuff (Starbucks, Aldo shoes, etc.). I listened to them all and thought, “Was all 90’s music this bad?”

I find it amazing how much stuff I have that I don’t even like, just because up until this point I haven’t been very good at giving stuff away or throwing stuff out. Really it’s just laziness.

I’m going to donate these CDs, someone out there may really love Kenny G.

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Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

I’d been putting off cleaning out the medicine cabinet for several weeks because the task just seemed so daunting. However when my brother came home with yet another package of sore throat lozenges, when I knew we already had a package hiding in the cabinet, I could no longer procrastinate.

I took everything out of the medicine cabinet and dumped it in the bathtub. Then I tried cleaning the shelves. I say “tried” because I wasn’t that successful. There were rings of dried up cough syrup and hairspray and who knows what else caked onto the shelves. After spraying the shelves with several different cleaning products and much scrubbing to no avail, in the end I just decided to put down some shelf paper (old wallpaper I found in the basement) on the offending shelves.

I had put approximately 110 items into the bathtub. I say “approximately” because I kept losing count so I may have counted things twice or not at all.

First, I sorted the items into categories: painkillers, cold and flu medication, allergy medication, stomach problem medication, first aid items, hair products, foot products and face products.

Then I went through everything and threw out expired items. I think the oldest expiry date I found was some Immodium from 1997. However, some items didn’t have expiry dates on them which causes me to think they are super old. For example, that calamine lotion looks like it might have come from the 1980s. For those items, I just made a judgement call, if it looked icky I threw it out, if it looked okay, then I kept it. There was only one Tums left, so I ate it.

Then I put everything back into the cabinet in a logical order. There is a cold and flu medication shelf, a painkiller shelf, an allergy and stomach meds shelf, a first aid shelf and a shelf for all the taller items (mostly first aid, hair and face stuff). There is also a shelf for the corn plane. Yup that’s right, it’s a plane to shave off the corns on your feet. It was made in West Germany so that means it’s at least 23 years old, because West Germany became regular old Germany in 1990. I don’t think anyone has used it though, it looks brand new.

IMG_1508There are now 65 items in the medicine cabinet, which means I got rid of about 45 items. Unfortunately, the cabinet looks almost as full as it was before. But at least it’s better organized.

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Throwing away old school stuff

Out of all the decluttering I’ve done so far, I find throwing away schoolwork to be the most thought provoking. Reading old notes, essays and textbooks brings me right back to that time in my life and resurrects old memories I thought were long forgotten.

It’s encouraging to see how far I’ve come since my old schooldays, but it is also moderately dismaying to see that I’ve actually regressed in some ways. My old math homework looks like a foreign language to me now. But really, does anyone who is not a mathematician remember how to do calculus a few years after taking it?

If I discard these writings, will it mean that those school time memories are discarded with them? Am I okay with that? Or do I want to revisit my past every once in a while, and to do so, will I need to keep my schoolwork to jog my memory?

Questions, questions, questions. It’s almost as if I’m back in school.

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Travel Documents

IMG_1477I found a whole bunch of guidebooks, maps and boarding passes from various cities I’d visited over the past several years floating around my room, in bookshelves, in the closet, under my bed. Don’t ask.

I had kept them as mementos of my travels but I’ve found I’ve rarely (or never) looked at them once my trips ended.

So, I put them all in the recycling bin. Now, I realize I may end up regretting this in the future. Case in point, I had forgotten that I ever even visited Regina and I only remembered once I saw the map that I’d kept from that trip in 2000.

However, I think that perhaps I don’t need to remember every thing I ever did in my life. I think if a trip was eventful or important enough I’d remember it.

Besides, I need to keep some room in my brain for living in the present.

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