Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Anti-haul...more cleaning out...

It's been quite rewarding to clear things away in both the space it creates in our home and within ourselves as we unload things that are nothing more than a physical burden. We want to have space and focus for the things we love, use, and value by clearing away the things that no longer fit that description for us. 

I have continued clearing the clutter in our home by playing the Minimalism Game for the month of April. Numbers motivate me. Who knew that would be the case? I surely didn't! 

I always see on YouTube people that share their "hauls" -- the things they went out and purchased and brought into their home then filmed a video to show all the "stuff" they bought. This for me is an "anti-haul" -- the things I am getting rid of instead of bringing into my home. For the record, some of the items here are things that Annah and Abigail wanted to get rid of so not all of the things are necessarily mine but I was given permission to include them in the anti-haul. So here we go....

Day 1: A cooler that served Tim well over the years but he just doesn't use anymore. We have another small cooler that is our go-to when we need it.

Day 2: How many caulk guns does one household need? The answer is one...only one. So we kept one and happily part with the other two!

Day 3: 2 unused notebooks and a dog tie out that is something 
we only used a few times when we took Ella camping with us. 
She's a little dog and surely doesn't need something that 
big to stake her out. :)Wrapping her lead around a tree works perfectly fine.

Day 4: A make up bag no longer used and 3 bandanas that the girls used for girls camp over the years. Annah kept the 2 she wanted and the rest are gone.

Day 5: Two Christmas trees the girls used in their bedrooms that they no longer want, a fall picture that is totally not my style, a mirrored tray that Annah no longer uses and an old Avon bottle in the shape of the Eiffel Tower that Annah got from a thrift store that she no longer wants. 

Day 6: 2 light up letters of A and V (belonged to Annah then she gave them to Abigail and Abigail is ready to let them go), a beat up (but cute) scarecrow that has seen better days, some fall garland that I have never used but kept for years, a votive holder that I no longer use and a stuffed pumpkin.

Day 7: 2 stuffed turkeys, a box of glittery pumpkins, 2 Christmas place mats, a bag of loose jingle bells, and one extra long glow stick. 

Day 8: 2 bags that no one claims ownership to, 2 belts, 3 phone cases and an Americana style wooden heart.

Day 9: 1 mirror, 1 makeup bag, one hair cutting cape, a black zipper bag, fall glittery gems, fall clothes pins with felt leave shapes on the end, 
a package of soccer themed stickers, a travel size pill box (had 2), 
and bag of greenish colored stones. 

Day 10: 10 various piano books that everyone agreed they don't use.
 We kept the few that are loved and used.

Day 11: 11 books we no longer use. And we somehow had 2
 of the piano simplified hymns books. :)

Day 12: A package of 12 LED tealights I bought to use for a
young women's activity some years ago.

Day 13: A box that I covered with paper and used to corral papers in but no longer need, a basket not needed anymore since it is emptied out, a plastic container no longer used, 2 toothbrush holders (from girl's camp days), a syringe bulb we had around for when Mackson lived in KY a few years ago, yet another phone case, a binder clip, a hand sanitize holder, 1 book, and 3 CDs. 

Day 14: "Real Life Organizing" book (as much as I like the gal who wrote it, I hated the book), 1 cup that once stored makeup brushes, measuring cups, measuring spoons, yet ANOTHER phone case, a blue plastic cup, a bag of silverware, a make up storage tray, 2 pot holders and an oven mitt, and 3 baggies with no longer loved necklaces in them.

Day 15:13 baggies with various necklaces and earrings in them to give away, a lip pencil not my color and a back end of a pig phone holder that in theory works better than it really does.

Day 16: 14 shirts and 2 pants all being given away by Annah.

Day 17: 10 glasses, 2 mugs, 3 paring knives that are dull and 
the basket they are all sitting in.

 Day 18: 12 gift bags (I had waaay too many!) 4 bags with jewelry in them, 1 phone case (just how many phones cases did we have??)
and a small plastic bin. 

Day 20: 1 book, 2 tote bags, 2 plastic pieces (one lid, one bottom) that no longer have their matching parts, 1 3 drawer unit I no longer use because of all the stuff I got rid of, on top of the drawers there is a nylon backpack, 1 Snow White costume, 1 lunch kit with a fork and knife (we had two), 1 sweater, 2 bags of white stones, 2 masquerade masks, 1 pair of wire cutters that no long cut anything, 1 wind chime, 1 small pink notebook, 1 pack of To and From labels, 1 magnet, 1 selfie stick.    

Day 21:1 scarf, 2 woven baskets, 2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of tights, 1 pair of slippers, 6 shirts, 1 hat, a set of 3 books, pineapple lights, a headband, a set of drum sticks gifted to Annah last summer by the drummer at an outdoor show,  a scarf hanger,a black painted board, and a flower stem. 

Day 22: 7 blankets, 4 decorative pillows, a glass jar with lid, 2 Easter baskets, 2 camp pillows, a black leather jacket (contributed to the count by Jacob) and 5 various trowels that haven't been used in a great many years.:)

Day 23: 19 hangers, a camera case, 1 plaid cape that I haven't worn in probably 20 years, 1 pair of pants, and an apron.

Day 24: 1 book, a mirrored tray, a protractor,1 white basket, 2 fans, 1 clay lamp, 12 baggies with jewelry, 2 baggies of fairy lights, a faux succulent, a 3-tiered jewelry tray, and one tube of tub and tile caulk that is has been laying around for a LONG time! 

Days 25-30: The following days began to get mixed up for my count each day as we cleaned out the garage and got rid a LOT of stuff! The pictures of the following things that we got rid of aren't specific to the number of the day but they were gathered and are gone, and more that isn't pictured! For instance, I got rid of a bin full of 37 Halloween items that I forgot to snap a picture of!

4 various sprinklers

3 watering cans, 2 metal flower, 1 Frisbee, 1 unopened hose splitter, 1 unopened replacement gas cap (to a car we no longer own), 
1 broken snow scraper, 4 sprinklers

4 pairs of gloves, 2 hats, one scarf, and 2 pairs of boots.

 1 metal pumpkin, a waffle maker, 2 sleds (radio flyer and one plastic), 2 empty boxes we were hanging onto, a baby walker, a broken ice scraper, 9 plastic containers (8 of them with lids),1 tote bag, and a small fan.

3 backpacks

 1 large trash can

An old, empty propane tank, an old broom, a broken wooden sword, a walking stick, and 2 scrap boards

4 waist packs, a string backpack, and a pink rain poncho

2 pairs of garden gloves, an outdated soil test kits, a small claw and shovel, rusted hedge trimmers, 2 pairs of rubber work gloves, 1 clay flower pot, 
and 6 different brushes 

1 jewelry box that I have had for a lot of years but after paring down what I had
I didn't something this big.

And last but not least...a lazy susan, a phone case (another one? Really??), a pad of paper, a pocket size thesaurus, gel inserts, a pair of shoe laces, 1 handbag, 6 bowls, a blue holder of things :), a metal office tray, 2 wallets, 7 books, 1 pink basket, a box that has been kicking around and the 
sequin pillow that kept track of the days for decluttering (thanks to Tim!). It now says "bye". :) 

So there it is....the second month of decluttering. It feels so good to have cleared our nearly a thousand things (and probably more!) out of our home. It was a very freeing process to go through as we accessed just what different things meant to us. There is so much that doesn't matter! Little by little we will continue to separate out the things that don't matter to make room for what really does matter...both in our home and our hearts. <3

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Minimalism Game Days 21-31

The last stretch of this game has been a challenge but also proof positive that if I look at our stuff with a critical eye I find many, many things I do not use, want, or need. So much of what I have chosen to keep over the years is more like a habit where I have told myself that because I own it I should keep it. But looking at things with that mindset makes no sense because if it's not used or needed or wanted, WHY keep it? Sometimes my mind plays tricks as I think about a particular item and that it had cost a lot of money or that someday "maybe I'll use it" but the reality is that whatever money I spent on an item is already spent and if I hang on to something for that "someday I might use it" I just accumulate a lot of stuff and a lot of guilt. I feel much better letting it go to be used by someone who may truly value it and put it to good use. 

So, here are days 21 -31.....

Day 21: 9 glass bowls (more wedding decor), 11 rolls of ribbon, and a metal reindeer. (I kept the smaller one from the set. 
This one was just too big for my liking.)

 Day 22: 1 pair of slippers, 3 pairs of flip flops, 1 pair of old sneakers (hanging on to them why??), a pair of shoe inserts I have never worn, 5 games (Trouble, Battleship, Twister, Taboo, and Toss Up), 1 giant container of dominoes (gray box), 1 almost empty bottle of Mod Podge, 1 empty box, 1 bottle of expired over the counter meds, 1 bag of clear stones, 1 bag of LOTS of dice, 3 card holders, and 2 plastic notebook pockets that are ripped.

Day 23: 1 phone book, 1 Dave Ramsey CD, 7 books, 13 magazines (6 of which sold on eBay for $61.01!!) and some pink plastic hearts.

Day 24: 24 pieces of our old entertainment center that was too big and bulky. 

Day 25: 7 Books (4 in Spanish), 2 CDs, 1 Air horn, 1 dish scrubber that doesn't work right, 1 bottle of old nail polish, 4 expired meds, 2 eye masks, 1 elbow strap (I had 2), 1 wrist brace, 1 pill container, 
1 hair scrunchie, and 3 blank books.  

Day 26: 4 slings from days gone by, 1 pan that drips rusty water all over when it's washed because of the rolled edge it has, 1 small bag no longer used, 3 supports for wrists and knees, 1 bottle of expired meds, 1 deodorant stick that doesn't smell good, unused small hair clips, 1 medium sized unused hair clip, 1 calligraphy pen tip, 6 old cell phones, 2 cell phone cases, 1 pair of frustrating nail clippers, 1 old eye shadow applicator, 1 old pair of glasses, 1 eye shadow with the colors I liked used up.

Day 27:1 Tupperware bowl, 1 juicer, 1 fat separator, 1 old faucet that got replaced, 1 Christmas card that was stick on the bulletin board, a few tacks and magnets, a note pad, 1 pen, 1 straggler flower, 1 mesh, grippy thingy, 1 face powder I don't use, 1 lipstick color I don't like, 1 make up concealer that makes me look orange, 1 picture frame , 2 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of fuzzy socks, 2 bowls, 1 night gown, and a wooden storage container.   

Day 28: 1 container and 27 spools and/or pieces of ribbon

Day 29: 20 CDs, 2 orange empty storage boxes, 1 CD that 
has games to play (we kept the family favorite game of Vampire cards that came with it!), and 6 books. 

Day 30: 28 books, magazines, and pamphlets, 1 tote bag, and a folder of old papers. 

Day 31: 31 CDs!

So there it is....496 items gone from our home in the course of a month! It is an awesome feeling to lighten up like we have and it has give us desires to continue even if I don't continue to document with pictures what we let go of.

Tim had some fun with a sequin pillow we have where he would put the number of items we needed to get rid of each day!

Truth be known, I don't really love the sequin pillow. I got it for Abigail for Christmas thinking she would like it but she didn't so it just ended up on our bed by default. It goes with nothing but it is fun to smooth the sequins from green to black and back again and it's been great for the Minimalism Game! I predict that after another round of the Minimalism Game it will get lovingly donated. :) 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Minimalism Game Day 11-20

My fun continues as I peek into cupboards and drawers for things that I don't need and don't want, for things that I thought I would use (I had good intentions!) but for whatever reasons they are just taking up space now. 

Day 11: 2 medium sized plastic bowls with lids, 2 smaller plastic containers with lids, 3 glass jars with lids, 2 lid-less glass jars, 
a tall plastic container, and a plastic shaker container.

 Day 12: A white wire orgainzer shelf, 2 small glass bowls, 2 small Pyrex containers with lids, a light blue plastic container with an upper section (I had 2 of these and kept 1), 3 small plastic condiment containers, a meat thermometer (have a battery operated one I like better), and a meat fork from our electric knife set that gave up the ghost.  

Day 13: A pie plate (I have 2 others), The Five Love Languages book (good book but we've read it and it can be passed on now), a toast stamp, 7 cookie cutters, a lone lid to a container I no longer own, a baggie with corn cob holders in it (we have another set that we like better), and a red plastic something that I don't even remember what it was! :D

Day 14: An unused notebook, a mini clipboard, an insulated cup, an almost empty bottle of rubber cement, a bag with a piping bag and tips for cake decorating (which I haven't done in probably 10 years or more), 
a calendar from 2016 (Why???) 4 pairs of scissors, 3 packs of various 
unused labels, and some wire twist ties.

Day 15: 3 water bottles, a pair of water shoes, a bag of rocks for the fish tank, a fish bowl, 2 baskets, a sifter, a bag of blue & white stones, an old pair of my sneakers, a packet of whatever keeps flowers fresh (?), pencils that all have nubs for erasers :(, a battery operated fan necklace, and a tiny tube and tips for decorating tiny cupcakes.

 Day 16: 5 baby bibs, 3 baby bottles, and a bottle brush from when Mackson was here; 2 more bunches of wedding flowers, a white stem of flowers, 
a rose boutineer, another bag of faux flower petals, 
and 2 glass decorative bowls used as wedding decor.

Day 17: A blanket that I made years ago that no one uses because it doesn't keep them warm ("It has holes in it!" They aren't wrong! That's the way it is with the granny square.) A plastic shoe box with no lid, a cardboard tube with a HUGE picture inside of Abigail's volleyball team (we took a picture of the picture to keep!), 9 little candy bars that nobody likes, a dog leash (we had 2 exactly the same), a stain pen that fills in scratches on furniture (we don't have anything that color anymore), a striped pen I hate feel of how 
it writes, and a sturdy cardboard box that has been in the 
garage for a long time with no purpose. :)

Day 18: A plastic box that no longer holds the ends spare contact lens cases it once did, a Christmas pick, 2 silver and 2 red strands of beads for a Christmas tree, a star shaped cookie cutter, a make up case, 2 spoons and a brush that came with my Instant Pot that I don't use and never will, 2 make up brushes, a mini (useless) whisk, a hair clip, 2 phone holders, and a fabric key chain.

Day 19: A roll of red crepe paper, a ribbon polka dot banner, a roll wrapping paper, a metal container, what's left of a package of jumbo craft sticks, an *old* Lexington Diagnostic  Center bag, white plastic basket, some cotton yarn, 2 bags of balloons, 3 packages of scrapbooking stickers, a package of pretty gift tags, a hair clip, some colorful twine, and 3 paper globe decorations (that are folded up in this picture).

Day 20: 7 birthday hats, 12 rolls of various crepe paper rolls, 
and 2 shiny silver hanging decorations.

Wow, 20 days down and 11 more to go! 

This feels great to be shedding so many unused items and passing them on to those who might find value in them. Sometimes it's hard to let go of things that you know that you paid good money for because it feels wasteful. But, what IS wasteful is to hang on to things for that reason only when others can benefit from them. I am finding more and more value in letting go and living with less.