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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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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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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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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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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