Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week Ten, Items 81-87

Scrabble card game

One thing I've noticed is that we have a bunch of things that serve only one purpose. (It reminds me of wedding registry checklists that tried to tell us that we needed an apple slicer, an avocado slicer and a mango slicer, instead of just, you know, a knife.) This is one such item, and I want to concentrate on reducing the number of them that we have.

Handheld games 1 and 2

Two more single-purpose items we don't need. I loved watching Wheel of Fortune as a kid (largely for Vanna White's dresses), but that doesn't mean I need to keep a handheld version of the game. I hadn't seen these in ages, and didn't even remember that we had them (look how dusty they are!). That definitely means we can part with these.

Extra windshield cover

This goes on a windshield to cover it up in case of snow or ice. But because we only have one car, we don't need to keep this one. (Seattle winters are generally quite mild, anyway, and a quick scraping or dusting will suffice. I'm so glad I don't live in a place with real winters!)

Napkin sets 1 and 2

These came in a gift basket we got. While the other contents of the basket—including wine and chocolate—were very much appreciated, we won't use these. We have enough cloth napkins that we can use those when we have guests over (though—don't tell!—not all of them match).

Pinstriped capris

These would work in an office setting during the spring and summer, but I work from home and dress casually most of the time (note: casual ≠ sloppy). Should I need to dress professionally on a warm day, I have plenty of other options—I much prefer skirts or dresses to capris when it's warm, anyway. I don't need these, and someone else could get good use out of them.

Progress: 87 out of 400 items = 21.75% done.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Week Nine, Items 67-80

11 of my husband's shirts

I can only see 10 in the photo, but there really are 11 in this stack, I swear—I counted it three times. I could have photographed each one individually and written about all of them, but then we all would have been here for far too long. My paring down is rubbing off on my husband, apparently; he went through his clothes and decided to donate these shirts. He wore the green striped one in the middle of the stack on one of our first dates, and that's pretty much all I have to say about his shirts.

Heart wine stopper

This is a favor from my bachelorette party. I am extremely grateful to my friends for going out of their way to throw me such a fun bachelorette party—I had a blast. The thing is, I am just not a heart person. I've kept this because it was given out at the party, but honestly, I received other gifts and have plenty of memories from it (really!)—I don't need to keep a wine stopper I'm not going to use just because of where I got it or because of who it's from. Giving this away does not mean that I don't love and appreciate my friends.

Wine and food pairing guide 

This was a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law a few years ago. I've learned a lot from it; most importantly, it taught me which wines are best to pair with spicy foods. I have already gotten everything I can from this book, though. I'm a vegan and my husband is a vegetarian; most of this book focuses on which wines go best with different types of meat. There must be an omnivore out there who would appreciate the information.


I am glad I read this, but it was so intense and depressing that reading it once was enough. In that way, it's like Black Hawk Down. It's valuable, but not something I'll return to. In passing it on, someone else can get something from it; it does no one any good sitting around taking up space in my house. Anyway, an interesting fact for those in the Northwest is that the author, Anthony Swofford, used to teach at Lewis & Clark College. Also, I'd like to take a moment to thank all current and former members of the military I know for their bravery and sacrifices. Politics aside, our troops—particularly veterans—deserve much better support than they get.

Progress: 80 out of 400 items = 20% done.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Week Eight, Items 59-66

Ichiro shot glass

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Ichiro and I love shot glasses. But we have two of these. And while there are many things I think a married couple ought to have, matching shot glasses don't necessarily appear on that list. With the regular season fast approaching, I'm sure there is someone out there who is in need of an Ichiro shot glass.

Alarm clock

Another duplicate item. My husband's workplace gave out alarm clocks a while back, but—like every adult I know—he already has one. This one has been just sitting around, taking up space since the day he brought it home. It's one that projects the time in large numbers, so it might be useful for someone whose vision isn't the best. But we don't need it here.

Plastic hanger

I don't even know how this hanger got into our house. I like to use all the same type of hanger (all facing the same direction, of course), and this is not the type I use. Out it goes, so that someone less particular than me can hang another item in their closet.

Big red earrings

So it turns out that big red earrings just aren't my thing. It's hard to tell from the photo, but these are slightly larger than silver dollars. The size would be fine with me if they were a color I liked, but I'm discovering that maybe I just don't really like red. I don't own many things that are red, and the few red things I do own keep finding their way into my assortment of things to part with.

Shells 1 and 2

These are nice, basic tops that are perfect for a professional wardrobe. But I rarely wear them, and someone else could get a lot of mileage out of them. Seattle has a Dress for Success chapter, so I will stop by there soon to donate these tops and other clothing items that would be suitable for a work wardrobe. (In case you haven't heard of Dress for Success, it is a fantastic organization that provides disadvantaged women with professional clothing for job interviews. Once a woman lands a job, she can return to receive more office-appropriate clothing. They also have mentoring and career development programs.)

Anthropology book

At the end of an academic year, my college's library had a small book giveaway. Not being one to pass up a chance to get books for free (but then, what college student passes up anything that's free?), I picked out a few that looked interesting. Two have indeed been interesting, and I'm quite grateful I got the chance to scoop them up at no cost. But I haven't read this one. I've had it for several years, and if I were going to read it, I would have done it by now. So I will pass it along to someone who will read it.

Grey's Anatomy

I love the person who gave me this, but I have never opened it. I know the show is set in Seattle, but that's just not enough of a draw for me to be interested in the show. Soap opera/medical drama shows aren't really my cup of tea. I feel guilty that I never watched an episode and I feel guilty that I am giving it away, so I am just going to choose the guilt that results in less clutter, and then tell myself to get over it.

And now, please allow me to briefly geek out over how cool the Internet is. Debra Daniels-Zeller, the author of one of my favorite cookbooks—The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook—stumbled across my blog on Twitter. She said my blog inspired her to do some decluttering of her own, and in this post on her wonderful blog called Food Connections, she details how she tackled her fridge and pantry and got rid of items that were going unused. She also talks about food waste in America, which is much more rampant than I realized (researchers estimate that 25 to 40 percent of food that enters American homes goes to waste). Anyway, I just think it's cool that the Internet fosters a sense of community even as the planet's population nears 7 billion people, and I love that this blog has allowed me to connect with people I would not have encountered otherwise.

Progress: 66 out of 400 items = 16.5% done.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Week Seven, Items 51-58

The O.C. seasons 1 and 2

I used to like this show—I thought Seth was hilarious, and I liked his parents, too—but I don't think I ever enjoyed this show enough to actually justify owning it. I haven't seen any of the other seasons, and it's been years since I've watched any of the episodes I do own. These need a home with someone who will watch them. We have enough DVDs that we don't need to keep ones we don't watch.

Tetris for PS2

Years ago, my husband was planning to buy a PlayStation 2. So, when I saw this on clearance at Best Buy, I got it (I apologize, gamer friends; I am a sucker for Tetris). Shortly thereafter, we wound up getting a Wii for Christmas, and we agreed that one gaming console would suffice. This never got used, and now that I've tracked it down, I'm going to donate it.

Pleated blue shirt

I've had this shirt for a few years, but have only worn it a handful of times. I do like the color quite a bit. I just hardly ever reach for it when I'm deciding what to wear, and I'm sure someone else would get more use out of it. I have plenty of shirts, and don't need to keep the ones that mostly go unworn.

Silver sneakers

I used to wear these shoes a lot when traveling, because they slip on and off easily. I got them specifically for a trip to Japan, but they are also convenient for going through airport security. Then I wore them to do yard work one day. That was a terrible idea; these shoes are largely made of mesh, so tons of dirt got into them. I've gotten most of it out, but they need one more good washing before I think they're suitably cleaned up. Then I can donate them.

Sticky notes

Sticky notes are one of the more useful items we get in our Christmas stockings, but we don't use them as often as we get them. We have more than we need, so this unopened package of them can go.

Quiz book

I got this as a gift years ago. It's full of "would you rather" questions. I can see how something like that could be fun on a road trip, or even just at home with a group of friends, so I appreciate the sentiment. The trouble is that this particular book is full of questions that are gross, macabre or both. I flipped through it one more time to see if I could find a question to post as an example, but they're all vile enough that I'd rather not post any of them here. Long story short, this book is just not for me.

Scented sachet

This was also a gift. But some people are scented sachet people, and some are not. I am not. What can I say? I dislike things that remind me of the time I tried to eat potpourri when I was little. (My mom had put some out in a little glass dish. The pieces of potpourri were small and colorful, and they smelled edible, so I assumed it was a dish full of candy. It was decidedly NOT candy.)

Progress: 58 out of 400 items = 14.5% done.