Day 22—Consignment Shop

It went pretty well at the consignment shop this morning. They took seven things plus a ton of jewelry.

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November 10 — Five things I got rid of today (and why)

  1. Two sweaters
  2. Two scarves
  3. One jeans
  4. One shoes
  5. One belt
  6. A ton of my mom’s jewelry (not shown). She’s minimizing too!

What’s this all about? Check out my November pact to purge

5 Things Gone—Nov 21

November 21 — Five things I got rid of today (and why)

  1. Shower cap (Never knew I had this! Too bad, I ended up buying a few as a result. They’re handy for containing shoes in your suitcase. I already have enough for that, so goodbye to this one)
  2. Sponge holder thingy (Broken. Saving because it could be fixed. But will I? I don’t need to, I have other dish sponges. It’s clutter)
  3. Soap dish
  4. Soap dish
  5. Soap dish

What’s this all about? Check out my November pact to purge

Day 20—Even more personal care clutter!

Nothing wrong with this batch. It’s all just stuff I have too much of. I want less of this! Less stuff evolves into more thinking space. That’s the catch 22. The more you’re able to say “this could be useful if …” The more you will actually never use that thing. This is because there’s too much of it. It’s either overwhelming (so you just spend your time Netflix watching), or you have too many things to manage so you never remember you were saving it when (and if) the moment actually pops up! That’s the catch. You actually have to get rid of it to need it. At least this has been my experience. And that’s ok. I’m ok with this because I’ve made peace with this. It is a necessary part of the balance to the clutter situation.

5 things are
• John Masters sea mist (highly recommend travel staple
• Shampoo
• Face mist
• Makeup sponges
• Contact lens case

5 Things Gone—Practice Art

Not all art is sacred. Not all artists are born with talent, either. Therefore, practice art! Today’s purged stuff dates back to 1992-1998. I can’t say my newer art is light years ahead, but at least I know it’s time to let go of these very important (to my development) practice pieces.

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5 pieces of practice art gone today!

  1. Practice painting, lady
  2. Practice painting, fruit/still life
  3. Practice painting, dream scene
  4. Practice pad #1
  5. Practice pad #2 (Referencing my definition that a “thing” is a decision (every decision to toss equals one thing) this pad might count as 30 decisions (the number of sketches I flipped through, and decided to discard).

Have a nice day, everyone! I’ll see you tomorrow for day #20 of my November Pact to Purge

How Many Dishtowels Do You Need?

How many do you think you have? How many do you want?

FullSizeRenderIf I hadn’t been minimizing, my guess would be around 20. Because I actually laundered (finally) and folded every single dishtowel in my house. I now know I have (had) 33! That’s a little excessive, wouldn’t you say? Even worse, this suggests some big pile-up potential in the laundry room.

My new goal is to never let laundry pile up. I thought about this and how I could only minimally alter my habits to get this to be easy. This brought me to ask “How many dishtowels do I actually need?”

Every Saturday I’d like to routinely do 1 load of clothes and 1 load of household. The household would consist of something like; 1 set of queen sheets, 3 additional pillow cases, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2-5 washcloths, 1-2 dishtowels, 1-2 dish rags.

The good, I edited my kitchen down to 12 towels (7 towels, 5 rags) to support this new method. Here’s how it looks!

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The bad, I know I need to get that number down further. However, it seems that trying to manage a balance of festive (those bottom two are ready for the Christmas season) with “ok to get dirty” is getting in my way.

This is exactly the benefit of committing to getting rid of only 5 items/day. It allows you to get momentum without going too far and feeling overwhelmed.

Regarding the dishtowels, and what they symbolize for me, I’m working on detangling like and want. I’m working on appreciating a thing in the moment and not bringing it home because it made me smile for a few bucks.

All that and I was only able to get 1 towel out of the house! The remaining 20 are shoved in a plastic bag in the back of my closet.

Here’s what I was able to get rid of today

  1. Sunny-side dishtowel (because folding it to look right was more complicated than I’d like)
  2. Duvet cover
  3. Pillowcases that match the Duvet cover (note: separate decision equals separate item. I thought about keeping these, at first. Feeling great about letting them go!)
  4. Flannel pillowcases
  5. Queen top sheet (fitted fell apart years ago)

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Day 16—More Square Footage!

I’m not a scientist, but I did enjoy Jr. High physics class. It’s the first time I heard “matter is neither created nor destroyed”.  It feels that way at home now. All the time I’ve invested in removing excessive things from my home, is coming back to me. For more than two weeks, I’ve been going through daily clutter purges. I did not lose, or waste, that time at all. It just shifted. Removing stuff means you’re removing choices. Fewer choices means fewer decisions. I’m talking about trivial choices and decisions. Ones that don’t matter one bit. For example, should I moisturize with coconut oil today or sesame? Who cares!!! right? This is exactly the type of choice that brings a false sense of freedom. I removed it, therefore I have more freedom. I have more time. I have more square footage in my house! Look at these piles I dropped off at Salvation Army yesterday (batch one above, batch two below). Does it seem like an insignificant volume? It is the size of a small hall closet. I just increased the size of my living space and removed brain tax. Ahhh! Hello Sunday!

Since yesterday, I have said . . .

  1. Goodbye Marimekko paper placematts that I forgot I had
  2. Goodbye THREE decks of cards. Because the two decks my husband added  weren’t enough . . .
  3. Goodbye six bath and body products that I never liked using (Moroccan hair oil scent goes from lovely to OMG WTF really really fast)
  4. Goodbye umpteenth med item that expired in 2010
  5. Goodbye unneeded tablecloth that I always idealized for being classic white, but ultimately was also too fearful to use

Here they are, forever in photography…and thankfully no longer in my home.

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Hats off! (then out the door). Today’s purge, hall closet.

It’s Saturday! Naturally I do bigger purges on days I have off. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. I thought it might be useful to document my process.

Step 1 (it’s a two parter)—Find a space you care about (that is also driving you a little crazy), like a closet shelf (with an avalanche issue). Then, clear it out! (There it is. My clear shelf.)

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Step 2—Dump the stuff on a work surface (such as your dining table).Step 3—dump the pile on a work surface (like your dining table).

Step 3—Sort. Sun hats, mittens, gloves, baseball hats . . . etc.  A lot of “what ifs” here clogging up my valuable space.

Note: a “what if” applies to anything you rarely use but keep it just in case “what if a group of friends stop by and want to go for a walk and it’s cold out and none of them have hats! I better keep all these hats just incase that happens.” That’s not gonna happen. Don’t keep the hats for that reason.

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Step 4—Inventory. Use this to help you identify your excess items. Make decisions like “I will keep 10 hats” (or more, or less. This is a personal choice). Pick your favorites. Take the rest to Salvation Army.

I’d like to emphasize how valuable it is to confront yourself with the question of “how many _____do I need?”. This type of question gets you focused on you and your home (not the actual things cluttering it up). What you don’t want to do is emotionally connect with every hat you evaluate (“oh this would look so cute if I ever find that green plaid coat…”) This is the most challenging part of decluttering (or any change of meaning in your life), you have to change your thought process.

Also, if you’ve ever had a close relationship with someone who lived through The Depression (for me it’s my grandparents), this can make you feel ungrateful when you decide to let go of anything. You’ll need to work to get over this hurdle. Remind yourself that 2015 is a different time, with different challenges. Call upon others’ lessons who have also learned to let go, or embrace a life with less stuff. YouTube is full of tips. Here’s a video playlist of some of my minimalism favorites. On a few videos (may or may not be on the playlist) it was pointed out that just because you have it, doesn’t mean you’re using it. So many people in this world don’t have what they need. You hanging on to excess is preventing others from benefitting. This really spoke to me. I used this to motivate me. It really worked. Especially with the hats and winter approaching.

Step 4—Inventory

Step 5—Put all the keepers back. Woah. Lookin’ good!

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What did I Get rid of today?

  1. Eight hats (3 baseball, 3 winter, 2 summer/sun). Not great, considering 29 was the start. Still good. No shame in baby steps.
  2. Three, and a half, mitten/glove pairs (trashed the poor loner “half”, donated the mittens that still looked good, trashed another . . . placed the remaining one with my crafting supplies for the wool (shrug). Ok, ok. That one doesn’t count as a purge (focus on the other ones).
  3. Desk clock (not shown). Super cute, but loud as a knife stabbing your eardrum (at consistent intervals). Horribly unpleasant.
  4. Bathing suits (not shown). Some trashed for being old, others donated for looking new.
  5. Tights/stockings (not shown). “Hosiery” as my nana may have said. Basically, they were old, never used, duplicates or just no good.

Enjoy your weekend! Will these leaves ever finish falling?

Until tomorrow . . .