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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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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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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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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