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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Decluttering Discouragement

After being extremely gung-ho about simplifying my life for the last a month and a half, I suddenly lost all desire to declutter. I just got tired of all the decision making that occurs when decluttering. My brain was starting to hurt. It’s very difficult to whittle away stuff day after day. Even though I knew that I would feel better with less stuff, I just didn’t feel like minimizing anymore.

So I took a break. For about two weeks. And now I feel refreshed. I feel like I can tackle the decisions that come with decluttering again.

I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my enthusiasm and drive for decluttering many times in the future, but because I have solid reasons for simplifying, I know I’ll be able to keep at it (even if I have to take a few breaks along the way).

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Three times a bridesmaid means … three bridesmaid dresses

IMG_1435It could also mean I’ll never get married, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing for me.

Here is Bridesmaid Dress #2 of my three bridesmaid dresses. I already donated Bridesmaid Dress #1 and Bridesmaid Dress #3 is getting cleaned.

I think that there are some bridesmaid dresses that can be worn on other occasions, but this dress is not one of them (unless the occasion is Halloween and I want to dress up as a bridesmaid).

As I haven’t worn this purple dress since the wedding seven years ago, I feel like I can donate it without regret.

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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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My bookshelf opened up to give me a “Gift from the Sea”

IMG_1415While decluttering one of my bookshelves, I came upon a book called Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

It was written in the 1950s and is a collection of thoughts about simplicity, relationships, taking time to recharge yourself, embracing change, living in the present and finding inner peace. It’s geared toward the “contemporary” woman of the 1950s, but I think it still applies to women today.

I found it a good read and will keep it as a source of encouragement to keep on decluttering. I know this may seem counterproductive, but so be it.
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