Collectible Cereal Boxes?

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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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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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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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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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No more coupon books for me

I'm not sure why half the cover is ripped off.

I’m not sure why half the cover is ripped off.

I just tossed this book of coupons into the recycling bin. It expired on November 1, 2013. My brother had bought this book for me as a present last year because he knows how much I love using coupons. But of the hundreds of coupons in it (mostly for restaurants), I only used about 10 of them. So although it was very nice of him and I truly appreciate his thoughtfulness, it wasn’t the most useful of presents. (But really, what presents are?)

The book cost $30 and I probably “saved” about $75 using the coupons, but a lot of the coupons were “buy one get one free” deals so sometimes I think I spent money I wouldn’t normally have spent, just so I could use the coupon.

One good thing to come out of it is that I tried a couple of new restaurants I never would have visited had I not had a coupon. Some of them had dishes that were very yummy.

So there are positives and negatives to getting this coupon book, but overall, I just don’t think that it’s worth it for me. Paying for coupons kind of defeats the purpose of using coupons in the first place.

I’ve told my brother that I appreciate his thoughtfulness, but asked him not to get the 2014 coupon book.

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