Decluttering challenge, days 10 and 11

Oops…skipped a day, didn’t I?  Well, I did have a few things already pulled out for yesterday with the thought that I’d finish gathering the remaining items when I got home from work.  Then it ended up being a major struggle to make it through the work day…just felt weird (and that’s the official medical term for it) all day.  I told my boss I felt like I was walking sideways, if that clears anything up for anyone.  After work, I stopped at Pet Smart and CVS so I wouldn’t have to get out today.  By the time I made it home, all I wanted to do was soak in a hot tub and climb under the blankets with the kitties.

Scout climbing high

Scout climbing high

Scout didn’t feel like going to bed though.  Her thoughts seemed to be how high can I go? And she managed to climb pretty high without breaking anything.  What a good girl.

I didn’t bother to take pictures of the items I gathered for days 10 and 11.  And I’ll tell you why.  I cleaned out my chest of drawers (found several pair of socks with holes in them.  Why I ever put them back in the drawer, I couldn’t say.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of socks.  I even have socks I’ve never worn, so why save holey ones?  Also found three bras that I never wear because  they simply don’t fit right.  You gals know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.  Again, not sure why I’d bother to save them…with the thought that they might become more comfortable??? Sheesh.  Also found a pair of pajama pants that are old and worn.  Then there were the two T-shirts that I don’t even like.  Oh, and I can’t forget the teddy that I’ve never worn.)  Combine those items with a couple of magazines and an orange (have I ever mentioned how much I dislike wearing the color orange?) canvas tote and I have my 10 items for yesterday.  I decided to just count all of the socks as one item in order to get rid of more stuff…my goal.

Then, for today, I decided to tackle the vanity in my bedroom (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my chest of drawers and vanity were refinished by the astronaut, Gus Grissom’s, dad…he was from Mitchell where I lived for many years…and where I hope to move when I finally am able to retire.)  Anyhow, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I’m counting as one item all the little pieces of paper with notes and phone numbers (some with no names…smh…).  I just threw all of them away.  There was also an older phone book, no need for multiples.  Heck, I’m not really sure how much need there is for a phone book at all any more, but I did save one from last year.  I found some post cards with kitties and puppies on them.  Figured Clara would like those.  I also found several notepads that had been mostly used up.  Clara gets those too.  There was a calendar from 2012…I don’t see myself needing to refer to it for any reason…trash.  Health insurance packet from 2005…we have a totally different policy now and get the packets every year when we renew…again, trash.  There were some small notecards with envelopes (some of the envelopes are so old that they’ve sealed closed…haha).  So I thought these would be something Clara could have fun with.  She likes to make cards for her mom and grandfather, so if she can use them she might as well have them.  There were several non-functioning ink pens…pitch ‘em.  I also found several sheets of stickers.  Back in the day, when I actually wrote letters, I would decorate the envelopes with stickers.  Now, not only don’t I decorate envelopes, I don’t even write letters.  So Clara gets all of the stickers too.  There were also some cards that people had sent (or given) me.  I stopped saving cards a long time ago, so I’m not sure how those snuck into the drawer, but they’re history now (I have to admit, I did save wedding and birth announcements from my nieces and nephews, as well as the photo Christmas cards they send me).  And last, but not least…or maybe it is…there was a partially burned, soot-covered plain votive holder.  I’m sure I kept it because, well, you never know when you’re going to need a candle.  But you know what?  I have an entire little storage table filled with jar candles.  I don’t think I’ll even miss this little one.  So there you go.  Now you can see why I didn’t bother taking pictures…just a bunch of junk today.

I ended up with a small bag of trash to go out and a few little things for Clara.  But now my bedroom is almost clutter free.  Well…there is still the closet…yikes!

Not counting all of the items individually from yesterday and today, I’ve now managed to eliminate 87 items from my home in the first 11 days of January.  Who knows what the closet will bring?  But it sure is a good feeling to have the bedroom cleaned up, well…sort of cleaned up.  I should take down the curtains and wash them and the windows.  Isn’t it funny how decluttering makes you want to do some cleaning as well?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 9

Wow!  We’ve finally managed to escape the deep freeze.  It was above 30 degrees yesterday, felt downright balmy.  Of course, they’re calling for some kind of winter mix tonight then lots and lots of rain and temps in the 40s.  Where I was sliding on ice, I’ll now be needing my flippers just to tread flood waters.  But hey!  Spring will be here before you know it.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’ve ever looked forward to spring more than I do right now.

Alrighty then, on to today’s decluttering mission.  I needed to find nine items to remove from my home today (and look at that!  It’s the ninth!  Amazing how that works out, isn’t it?) so I once again opened the closet in my spare room.

A mish mash and more magnolias

A mish mash and more magnolias

I found several more floral bushes (2 gypsophilia and 2 more magnolias) and a pretty white magnolia swag.  I don’t really remember being so fond of magnolias, but there must have been a time when I found them particularly appealing…you know, judging by how many I’m finding hidden away.  The little pink tote is one we did for some kids’ event at work.  Whoever the girl was who was conducting the event made them for those of us working that day.  Mine is pink (of course) with hearts and ballet slippers.  Very cute.  It is.  I like it, a lot.  But it’s a little small for anything practical and it’s just been hanging there in the closet for, oh I don’t know, probably four years.  So Clara is going to get a cute little Clara-sized tote bag one of these days.  There’s also a little St. Patrick’s Day party favor hat that I bought to use for a picture of Spook…

Drunk on green beer?

Drunk on green beer?

Oh my goodness, that poor little kitty…the things I’ve made her do.  Anyhow, I thought Clara might enjoy the hat too.  Spook sure didn’t.

You can’t see it very well, but there’s a little clear hard plastic Christmas tree box that I bought one year when it went clearance.  Still has the clearance sticker on it.  Never been used.  Another item in the Clara pile.  For some reason, this kid loves boxes…thinks every box is a treasure box.  Ah…to be 5 years old again when everything is full of magic.

And then there’s Santa.  I remember buying him at 90% off after Christmas one year.  I even put him out a few years.  But he’s been sitting on a shelf in the closet for several years now.  I’m debating what to do with old St. Nick.  I work with a guy who might like him, so I think I’ll ask him if he wants him.  If he doesn’t, I’ll just drop it off at Goodwill with everything else I’ve got designated for there.

So there you have it, my nine items for today.  This brings the total up to 66 items sent to a better place…a place where they can bring a smile to someone’s face.  And that feels pretty good.

What have you eliminated from your life so far this month?  And how does it make you feel?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 8

Here we are starting the second week of this decluttering challenge.  I feel like I’ve made some progress, have dug up quite a few items that are no longer useful to me and have actually managed to get them out of my home and my life.  Being the 8th, I needed to find eight items to get rid of.  I once again went to the closet of my spare room where I quickly pulled out several things that had been stored there for several years. I didn’t even have to give it a lot of thought.  I knew it was time to get those things out of my house and into someone else’s who might enjoy seeing them on a daily basis.  Isn’t that much better than having something just sitting in a dark closet, taking up space, not bringing joy to anyone?  I think it is.

So today what did I find?

Amish family

Amish family

First, I found this three-piece Amish family.  I don’t remember where I bought it, but I remember they used to sit on a long shelf in my dining room when I had my house in Mitchell.  I always thought they made such a cute grouping and I enjoyed them at that time in my life.  But they’ve been sitting in a box in a closet for years, many years.  I think there are still people who would enjoy adding this little family to their home so I’m dropping them off at Goodwill.

Cute, but not for me.

Cute, but not for me.

What else did I find today?  Let’s see, a little winter bear (price tag still on it, looks like I never did anything with it).  And a Native American Barbie minus the stand and one of her boots.  Both of these items are going to be given to Clara at some point in time.  I’ve decided I’ll give her something once or twice a week,  things I’ve found that are in good shape and that a little girl of 5 or 6 would love. And yes, this would also save me some money.  I’ve pretty much stopped buying things for her.  Instead, I’ve been printing off coloring and activity pages and giving her crafting supplies.  I want her to understand that I am her friend whether or not I spend money on her.  Okay, enough about that.

I also found 3 very pretty crosses that you hang on the wall.  I know someone gave me these for a gift, but I never really had a place to hang them.  I hated the thought of giving them away (come on, they were a gift), but then I realized my keeping them in a box in the closet wasn’t really showing my appreciation for the gift either.  So I decided to drop them off at Goodwill where I’m certain someone will snatch them up and make good use of them.  This may be just the thing someone needs to brighten their days.

So there you have it.  Eight more items gone from my house and my life.  That brings the grand total to 57 items released in eight days.  Not bad for a few minutes of work a day, huh?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 7

While the wind is blowing outside (wind chill’s well below zero), I’m sitting inside all cozy in my toasty warm microfleece pajamas.  Yes, I probably will actually get dressed at some point in time today and may even venture outside later this afternoon when the temps creep above zero.  I’ve got to attempt to get in my car and start it, get it cleaned off.  I will have to return to work at some point in time (Thursday, I’ll be there Thursday…for sure.).  And I just received a text from CVS letting me know I have a prescription ready for pickup, so will definitely need to swing by there in the next few days. Honestly, I’ve been just a little afraid to step outside and breathe in the bitterly cold air.  Breathing has been enough of a struggle for me over the past two weeks without adding that to the mix.  But the weather guy promised me we’d have temps in the 40s by the end of the week…oh yeah, and rain.  Just got to shake your head at the twists and turns of the weather in central Indiana.

I’ve kind of been watching some of my neighbors try to get their cars out of the parking lot.  They’re having a lot of trouble.  Apparently all of the rainy, icy, deep slushy mess we had froze everyone’s tires in place.  I’m serious, when I came home Sunday afternoon I was traipsing through slush that was at least three inches deep.  Once the arctic freeze descended, that slush became rock-hard ice.  Not good for the tires, I wouldn’t think.  I did see a couple of young guys manage to get a car out with a lot of pushing and rocking back and forth, so I guess it’s possible…you know, if you happen to be a young guy with a lot of strength and immunity to cold.  Since I’m neither young nor immune to the dangers of cold weather, we’ll see what happens when I finally make it out there.

In the meantime, I’ve been fooling around on the internet, catching up on some blog reading, enjoying browsing some new-to-me blogs, pinning this and that, checking up on my friends on facebook, all those things I don’t have time to do when I’m not snowed in.  Now I remember how nice it is to have a snow day…it’s been a long time since I’ve been home with nothing pressing to do and feeling well enough that I can spend the day out of bed.  I’ll be rejuvenated when I go back to work on Thursday…I’ll need to be, there will be a lot for me to do.

I decided to get my decluttering mission for the day out of the way early.  I went in to my spare room and opened the closet door, quickly picking up the needed 7 items for today.  Easy.  Not a lot of thought or time went into it today, but I found some things I’d been holding onto for many, many years.  Time to release them.  These things will go to Goodwill where someone else will be able to find joy in them.

Heading to Goodwill

Heading to Goodwill

Okay, what did I find?  Some fall colored magnolia bushes.  I like them, I used them for a couple of seasons, I saved them anticipating that I would use them again.  But they’ve been in that closet for probably 3 years.  Time for someone else to enjoy them.  Three sewing patterns (a stuffed Annie doll, some geese items, and aprons).  You know what?  I’ll never use any of these.  Why not allow them to go someplace where someone might find them and realize they’re just what she’s been looking for?  A little country wreath…yes, I could have repurposed this.  But I haven’t…in over 5 years…so let someone else make use of it.  A cute cow mama and calf…not really my style, but I bet they’ll fit in with someone’s decor.  And a crystal (faux) bell.  Nothing valuable, but any of these things might bring some enjoyment to the right person.  If you can catch me before I get out and drop these off at Goodwill, I’d be glad to let you have anything here.  If not, well…they’ll be on the shelves of the Goodwill store on Liberty Drive in Bloomington soon.

So on day 7 of this decluttering mission, I released another 10 items (you know, if I count each item individually) to bring the total to 49 items.  Forty-nine things gone from my house.  I want to ask you something…when you declutter, do spring cleaning, organize…however you refer to it…do you find yourself feeling lighter as you release more and more stuff?  See, I do…and I am wondering if there is a connection between clutter and being overweight.  My personal experiences seem to suggest that the connection is there.  What are your thoughts on this? And how do we make use of this information to keep us healthier?

Decluttering challenge, day 6

Wow!  With the nasty weather that’s moved in here in central Indiana, I almost didn’t get this post published.  I’m in Bloomington, south of Indianapolis.  We didn’t get the huge amounts of snow that Indy got, but we had a nasty, slushy, icy mess with snow on top of it.  And then the “polar vortex” moved in…yeah, I’m thinking you all can keep anything with the word polar in it as far north as possible, thank you very much.  Right now, our wind chills are about -40 F…I haven’t even opened my door today and I’m still struggling to breathe.  Honestly, I am much more concerned about the bitter cold air than the snow.  I grew up out in the middle of nowhere and drove on snow-covered roads (narrow, hilly, cliff-hugging roads) every winter.  But the cold?  With the respiratory problems I’ve had over the past few years?  Yeah, not a lot good going on there for me.  Fortunately I was able to call in without adding too much extra work for the people I work with, we ended up not being busy…so that makes me feel a little better.  Well, better other than the thought of how much I could have accomplished on a not busy day at work.  But…such is life…we take what we’re given and do the best we can.

Now, on to the decluttering.  I thought about it a couple of times over the course of the day, but didn’t feel like getting up to search for anything.  I kept telling myself I’d just resort to getting rid of more magazines…boring!  When I finally went into the kitchen to do some dishes, I remembered I’d seen a couple of Cool Whip bowls in the pantry, so I grabbed those.  Then I opened the drawer where I keep my silverware and found a few old unused items languishing in the back of the drawer.  So I was quickly able to gather today’s 6 items.

useless kitchen gadgets

useless kitchen gadgets

The vegetable peeler is probably 30 years old.  I now use one that is easier on my hands.  Age will do that to you, huh?  Same with the little metal can opener on the left…older than the hills…actually rusted.  Hasn’t been used in years.  The other can opener is broken.  Why in the world I ever put that back in the drawer is anyone’s guess.  And the little red plastic thing?  Heck, I don’t even know what it is, much less why I kept it.  And two Cool Whip containers, minus lids.  Now you might just think those Cool Whip containers are totally worthless, but I’m taking them to work.  I was putting ice melt on the sidewalk yesterday morning and we didn’t have anything to scoop it out with.  I was using my bare hands and dumping it into a dust pan.  Not all that great for the manicure.  So at least the plastic containers will find a second life.  Now if only someone at work could tell me where they put the snow shovel…

At the end of 6 days (you realize that’s not even one week, right?), I’ve gotten rid of 39 items.  If I’m going to be honest, I must admit that today’s items haven’t actually left my house yet…heck, I haven’t even left my house yet today.  But as soon as the arctic cold temps move out, today’s items will be moving out as well.  I just wanted to make that clear…you know those pesky disclosure policies…

So has anyone else been decluttering or organizing?  How’s it going for you?

Decluttering challenge, day 5

What a day.  I had to work and had so much to do.  Then, to top it all off, everyone who was working with me had problems I needed to help them solve.  Yes, that’s part of my job.  But it sure makes it rough to get the other parts of my job done.  I managed to get my tasks finished right before it was time for me to go home.  So at least I’ve got that going for me, right?

Add to the stressful day at work the fact that we’re expecting a major winter storm (like, really?  who isn’t?).  I tend to keep my pantry full and always have plenty of cat food on hand so at least I didn’t have to do battle at the grocery store.  I’m hearing that the shelves are pretty bare…especially the pizza and beer.  Hey, us Hoosiers have our priorities straight.  If you’re snowed in, pizza and beer make it a little easier to deal with the cabin fever.  I did stop at CVS to pick up a prescription and then swung by the gas station to fill the tank.  Now I feel like I’m about as prepared as I can be.  Let it snow!

I thought I’d have an easy time finding five things to get rid of today, but it didn’t happen like that.  I decided I’d go to the kitchen cabinet where I keep my cups and glasses.  I have to admit, I do have a lot more cups than I need.  I really only drink out of two cups.  I like the handles on them, what can I say?  But I didn’t force myself to get rid of all of the others.  I did find a travel mug minus a lid (I know, doesn’t really do me a lot of good like that, does it?) and a stainless steel bottle.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the taste stainless steel adds to my water?  Well, I do…I really do.  So out with both of them.  Then I started looking through one of the drawers in the kitchen and came across this little blue candle kind of thing shaped like rocking horses.  I’ve had that thing for years.  Used to hang from a peg on a shelf, but it’s not really all that appealing to me any more.  Why in the world have I hung onto it all these years?  Pitch it!

This is when the struggle started.  I looked in this cabinet, thinking I’d get rid of all of those old plastic tubs and lids that something else came in…you know, like Cool Whip or Country Crock.  Oh yeah.  I forgot, I got rid of those the last time I cleaned out my cabinets.  Then I looked in another cabinet and couldn’t find anything that I don’t use.  Same thing in another one.  Okay, about time to give up on the kitchen.  I walked upstairs and a pile of small boxes caught my eye.  I’d been saving them to wrap gifts in for Christmas, but ended up using gift bags because…well…who has time to wrap gifts?  And guess what?  Christmas is over.  The boxes go.

Then for good measure, I quickly gathered up a few more magazines to take to work.  A couple of the ladies I work with were telling me how much they appreciated having something to read in the break room…if only they weren’t so out of date.  I’m thinking that was a wee hint for me to be a little more timely in my magazine redistribution.

assortment of goodies (?) going to work

assortment of goodies (?) going to work

I didn’t realize, until I looked at the picture, that I gathered more than the five things I needed for today.  Oh well…nothing wrong with that.  The little bottle in the middle is a free sample bottle of self-tanning moisturizing lotion.  I really thought I’d use it, but never did…and it was free…so off to work it’ll go too.  Surely someone wants to add that healthy glow to their skin in the dead of winter.

So there you have it.  Day 5 in the books.  Not very exciting.  But a few more items out of my home and my life and that’s really what I’m trying to do here.  This brings the total, in five days, to 33 items released.  Not too bad for a few minutes of scrounging. And the thing I haven’t been showing you is that I’m finding things to put in the trash as I go…today I found a stack of coupon flyers from the newspaper…unfortunately all expired.  I need to do a better job with the coupons.  But I’ve also managed to get rid of a couple of small bags of trash, nothing monumental, but it still makes me feel better.  I wanted to say “lighter” and that might just be a topic for another day.

Decluttering challenge, day 4

It’s hard to believe we’re already four days into the new year, isn’t it?  Do you feel like you’re moving toward the goals you set for yourself?  Is there something in your way?  Usually, the something in my way is me.  I can see that exercise is a good thing for me to do…or that not stopping at a fast food place is the right thing for me…or that not allowing junk to pile up in my house (or my life) is the direction I want to go.  But then I get in my way.  I come up with excuses (you know the ones…I’m too tired after working all day, I have too much other stuff to do, I’ve got to sit down and write a post for my blog…oh wait, that’s the one that is actually keeping me going on this little decluttering challenge.  Yea for the usefulness of blogs!).

I was having a hard time figuring out what to let go of today.  Yes, I know, I had the same problem a couple of days ago.  I hope this isn’t going to be a recurring problem…no, it won’t be!  I’ve got it figured out (fingers crossed).  I think part of the problem is that the blog post is always in the back of my mind.  You know, I want it to be exciting.  I want it to be something that you all will look at and wonder a) why in the world did she ever buy that?, b) what kind of goofball is she that she would keep something like that?, or c) {{{gasp}}} how could she let go of that and will she let me have it?

So I’ve decided I have to do this without a lot of thought as to the pretty pictures.  Just pick a room and quickly find however many things I need for the day to get rid and gather them up.  Period.  Well, then I guess I have to take pictures and figure out something witty and entertaining to write about…but you catch my drift, right?

I decided to open the door to my downstairs coat closet…okay, lots of coats, jackets, sweaters, scarves, a snow shovel and bag of ice melt, and…wait…what’s that???

What is that?

What is that?

Okay, the cat stays…she’s just curious.  But there were two pairs of shoes that I haven’t worn in years, an umbrella that doesn’t work, oh…and the stability ball that sweet little Scout destroyed when she was just a kitten.

part vampire?

part vampire?

So I’d be willing to bet that some of you were asking yourselves why in the world I ever bought those shoes (hey, they were work shoes.  I’ve had problems with my feet for years…had no idea it had anything to do with RA…so I had to settle for comfort over style) and what kind of goofball am I that I didn’t immediately throw out the stability ball that Scout chewed on and destroyed.  To that I have no answer.  I didn’t even realize I’d kept it.  When I moved something in the closet, I thought what is that? So, yeah…you got me there. But now it’s gone…unfortunately to the landfill, but what can I do?  Hopefully she’s over her teething phase (or fanging phase, as it may be) and that won’t happen again.

Once I decided to stop over thinking the process, it became a little easier to find a few things to toss out.  In the process, I did find three things to sell as well, but we’ll talk about that another day.  Lesson for today:  don’t paralyze yourself by over thinking.
 

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