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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Decluttering Status Update #2

I’ve just completed month two of my decluttering journey. Here is a status update.

Total Items out of the house: 333

Breakdown of items:

While the variety of items I’ve gotten rid of is down this month from last, the number of items has more than doubled, thanks to all the books. I probably could have accomplished a bit more if I hadn’t taken a two-week break, but we all need a rest sometime.

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1 room, 3 bookshelves, 234 books Well, it’s an improvement.

I’ve reduced the number of books in my room from 553 to 234. Still a lot, I know. But this number will be reduced further as I am planning on re-gifting some books at Christmas and selling some books on Amazon (or trying to). I also have a tall pile of books I want to read/reread before deciding what to do with them.

What did I do with all the books? I donated most of them to our church bazaar, and some to the Cerebral Palsy people. My aunt took a few (or a lot, depending on your perspective) and I threw a couple in the recycling bin as they had come apart or were water damaged.

IMG_1466My goal is to get rid of this one bookshelf that prevents my closet door from opening fully. There aren’t actually a lot of books in it. It holds mostly CDs and VHS tapes (and some cassette tapes if you can believe it). But if I get rid of enough books on my other two bookshelves I’ll be able to move these CDs and tapes and totally eliminate this bookshelf from my room. I already did a cull of my CDs last year but I can probably get rid of some of the VHS and cassette tapes.

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Giving away some new stuff in an old bag

My friend had a baby girl a few months ago and so when I went to see her recently I decided to look in my house to see if I could find anything I could give to a baby.

So I went down to the basement (or the “Underground Store” as I like to call it), I found several boxes of toys. And this is the part that confounds me, they were all NEW toys! As in, toys still in the packaging that hadn’t been played with by me or my brother. Granted there were even more boxes of used toys, but that’s to be expected. I’m not sure why my mother collected all these children’s items and never gave them to any children.

Anyway, I picked out this cute little Curious George stuffed animal.

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Then I found an appropriate card from our giant box of unused cards (I think we’ve had this baby card since the 1980s), and a suitable gift bag (from my cousin’s baby shower last year) from our seven bags of gift bags. I store all our gift bags in seven larger gift bags. I’m hoping to reduce this to six after Christmas this year.

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The Winter Scarf Debacle

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See how the blue part is about an inch longer than the yellow part? This is not on purpose.

As it has now dipped below the 0°C mark in the “great” city of Toronto, I went in search of some scarves, hats and gloves. They are stored in two large tubs in our basement.

Again, I’m overwhelmed with the number of choices of winter apparel we own. I’m betting I could wear a different set of accessories every day for a month before repeating an item. Granted half of them would be menswear (as 2/4 of the family is male), but still, do four people really need 30 pairs of gloves?

Here is a scarf that I knitted myself a few years back. I called it a debacle in the title of this post because I looked up the definition of the word debacle and it stated “A total, often ludicrous failure”.

Maybe “debacle” is not the right word to describe this scarf as it’s not a total failure. I’d say it is successful in that it does look like a scarf and performs the function of keeping my neck warm. It is, however, a complete failure in the aesthetic department. I want to get rid of it, but I’d feel bad about giving it to someone I know (or a complete stranger for that matter), but I also don’t want to throw it in the garbage because it’s a functional scarf.

Perhaps I should have titled this post “The Ugly Winter Scarf Dilemma”.

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Trick-or-Treating for Candy and Christmas Decorations?

My grandma was told by her condo board/property manager to clear out her storage space so that they could do some sprucing up. She took it as an opportunity to downsize even more and decided to get rid of the majority of her Christmas decorations.

She has a mini tree she puts up each year and hadn’t taken her full size ornaments or lights out for several years. My Mom took the decorations home and called my aunt to come over to look through the box and take what they wanted.

After that, there was still a fair amount of ornaments left. I was just going to leave them out on the front lawn, but my Mom suggested we leave the box on the front porch so trick-or-treating kids and their parents could take some after we gave them candy.

It was actually a good idea. Some kids and parents really wanted Christmas decorations. Some people weren’t interested at all. They took them if they wanted some and didn’t take them if they didn’t want any. We did get rid of a lot of ornaments that way. I think I’ll just leave the rest out on the lawn when it stops raining and the ground dries out.

Next year, maybe we’ll leave out books for the kids.

What's left of the Christmas decorations after Halloween. The box was overflowing pre trick or treaters.

What’s left of the Christmas decorations after Halloween. The box was overflowing pre trick-or-treaters, but I forgot to take a picture.

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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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