Decluttering Status Update #1

I’m one month into my decluttering journey and I thought I’d write down how much I’ve accomplished in the past thirty days.

Total Items out of the house: 160

Breakdown of items:

Considering my goal was 30 items (1 item a day), I’d say it’s going pretty well so far. It’s actually more than 160 if you count the individual items of clothing and cutlery, but I just stuffed them in boxes and bags and didn’t count them.

I know I said this after the big CP pickup, but even though I’ve gotten rid of so many items, it’s hardly made a dent inside the house. It is, however, a little better, so I’m encouraged to keep chipping away at piles of clutter.

I do expect decluttering to become more difficult though as time goes by. It’s easy to get rid of things I consider to be useless or garbage, but one day all the “garbage” will be gone and I’ll start reducing the things I think have real value, be it sentimental or actual. That won’t be so easy.

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Donating a Fan

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Here is a lovely hand painted fan that I am donating to be sold at our church’s bazaar next month.

This fan is beautiful, but it’s been sitting closed in a drawer for years. I’m letting it go in the hope that it will find someone who will really appreciate it.

We do have a lot of beautiful things that are just hidden away because we have no room to display them. It’s kind of a shame.

I have come to realize that I can appreciate beautiful things, without needing to own them.

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Cleaning out the bucket under the bathroom sink

IMG_0960For some reason, we have a wooden bucket filled with plastic items used for hair styling under our bathroom sink.

This bucket has been quietly sitting and collecting dust (an embarrassing amount of dust) for months (dare I say years) without one of us using any of the items in it.

I decided to do an inventory of the items in the bucket. I dumped everything out in the bathtub so I could give them a good wash.

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  • 17 hair clips
  • 13 combs – including one from an airplane flight my parents took 19 years ago.
  • 3 plastic brushes – including one shaped like a Christmas tree
  • 2 plugs – which don’t fit in any of our sinks or bathtubs.
  • 1 hair styling tool
  • 1 pumice stone
  • 1 sponge
  • 1 piece of string
  • 1 rubber glove

Total – 40 items

I managed to get rid of 26 of them.

  • Garbage Bin – 2 plugs, 1 pumice stone, 1 sponge and 1 piece of string
  • Recycling Bin – 12 combs, 3 brushes and 1 hair clip.
  • Donation Bin – 5 hair clips

I kept the rest, but not in the bucket. Now I have to figure out what to do with a nice empty wood bucket. One thing’s for sure – I’ll never have to buy another hair clip again.

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Goodbye my Old Favourite Jeans and Good Riddance.

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After reading the most recent blog post from The Minimalists, I went through my clothes drawers, pulled out these jeans and put them on. Then I went “ugh!” and promptly took them off.

I don’t know what happened – these used to be my favourite jeans. I wore them consistently for about seven years. But I hadn’t worn them for a couple of years and something had changed in that time. They looked horribly out of fashion, like bell bottoms, even though they are only bootcut. And they made my legs look short and stumpy. Not a good look for someone who is barely five feet tall.

I had stopped wearing them because I had lost a bit of weight, so they were a bit baggy and I kept having to pull them up (I don’t think it was all me though, I think they also just stretched out). Now, I’m wondering if they looked this bad for the seven years I wore them.

I suppose I kept them because they were my “favourite” pair (and in case I put on weight again). But I now realize keeping something awful is not good, even though you used to love it. I must live in the present, not the past or future. Goodbye jeans. Into the donation bin you go.

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Duplicates + 1 = Triplicates

Remember when I talked about duplicates? Well I found some more.

I went through one of my dad’s bookshelves. He has a collection of books by Robert Ludlum, Louis L’Amour, John D. MacDonald and others, totalling 189 books. While I was putting them in alphabetical order, I discovered the following:

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  • Two copies of the entire Bourne Trilogy (we must really like Jason Bourne)
  • Two copies of one John D. MacDonald book
  • Duplicate copies of ten Louis L’Amour books
  • Three copies of The Burning Hills by Louis L’Amour!

Now we are into triplicates! Sheesh! I am realizing just how ridiculous our situation is.

Well that’s another fourteen books that we are donating to the upcoming church bazaar.

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Decluttering the Bananas out of my Freezer!

I opened the freezer today and almost couldn’t close it again because it was so full. So I decided that I should start eating some of the frozen food to declutter the freezer.

I chose to start with the bag of bananas. This summer, I had peeled some bananas that were turning brown and stuck them in the freezer. I thought that I could make banana bread when the weather cooled down and I could turn on the oven without making the house feel like a sauna. Well, the weather has been cool for over a month now so guess what? Today is Banana Bread Day!

When I took all the bananas out of the bag, I found a had a few too many for just banana bread so I put the extras in the Magic Bullet with some cocoa powder and some almond milk and made myself a chocolate banana milkshake. Yummy!

Then I defrosted the bananas and used the banana bread recipe from the 1997 Joy of Cooking cookbook. (We also have the 1974 Joy of Cooking cookbook, but they are so different I’m not counting them as duplicates.) I also added in some chopped up candied ginger we had lying around and sprinkled some almond slices on top. I’m not sure that the candied ginger was the best idea, but it got rid of another thing in the kitchen and it adds a bit of zing to the banana bread.

Who knew that decluttering could be so delicious?

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Recycling My Old Cell Phone (another one, not the one I recycled last week)

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My first cell phone! Just sitting in my room for about 10 years.

I am ashamed to admit that I found yet another old cell phone in my room. That means I had three cell phones in my room at one point. Yup, people reading this must think I’m drowning in piles of junk. But it’s not that bad! Well, at least I’m working on it.

I believe this is the first cell phone I ever had. I think it’s circa 2002-2004 because I remember taking a vacation in the summer of 2004 and it totally crapping out on me. I would charge it for hours and it would only work for about two minutes before it died. Right after that vacation, I got another cell phone. This means that I have kept an unused broken cell phone in my room for over nine years. Sigh.

Since I didn’t have another one of those convenient prepaid envelopes to mail the phone to the recycling people, I decided to walk to the Rogers store to recycle it through the Phones for Food program, which helps to fund Food Banks Canada. So today I decluttered, recycled, donated, and exercised. Not a bad day.

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