Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week Fifteen, Items 117-124

Angels and Demons

Oh, Dan Brown. If only I, too, could become so wildly successful with so little talent and creativity. While your books are not the worst books I've read (the prize for that goes to Stephenie Meyer, who has managed to sell hundreds of millions of books despite her obvious illiteracy), I don't feel the need to own them. Also, readers, in case you have not seen it, give this Dan Brown sequel generator a try! It's hilarious.

Black shirt

This shirt has sleeves that hit me in just the wrong place. They stop right below my elbow, and when my arms are bent, the sleeves slide up above my elbow. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's annoying by the end of the day. Someone whose arms are just slightly longer or slightly shorter than mine can get some good use out of this shirt, though.


This book was given to commemorate what's actually a rather unhappy event. The thought at the time was nice. But I didn't even realize that I still had it, and it's certainly not something I need to keep; I'm not going to look through again. So it goes.

Keys 1 and 2

These are the keys to my parents' old house. Because they sold their house and moved to a new place (well, two new places), I obviously don't need these anymore.

Perfume samples

These came as a free sample with a Philosophy product I purchased, but I'm not going to use them. First, I don't wear perfume. Second, even if I did, these do not seem user-friendly. Maybe there's some way of opening a bubble of perfume without making a mess, but I don't know what it would be. Also, I can't think of a way of reliably re-sealing the bubble once it's open—and those bubbles hold way too much perfume for just one use. Nobody needs to bathe in the stuff.

Ribbons 1 and 2

Martha Stewart and I have a couple things in common. She likes dogs, I like dogs; she likes food, I like food. But I think that might be it. See, I assume she is the type who wraps gifts in pretty paper with coordinating bows, and the type who makes those fancy ribbon curls. Well, I'm more of a gift bag person—they're easy and reusable. These ribbons came from gift-wrapped packages, and that's the only way I can think of to use them again. But I'm certainly not going to be the one to do it, and don't need these floating around in my closet.

Blog mention

Judith is an organization (organisation, rather—she's in the UK) coach who has a blog over at Clutter-free Mind. She found my blog via Twitter, and recently wrote a nice little post about it—and the slow-and-steady philosophy of de-cluttering—here. Thanks, Judith!

Progress: 124 items out of 400 = 31% done.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Week Fourteen, Items 110-116

Red plastic cups

We have had this bag of red plastic cups for years, and have occasionally used them at parties (because we typically drink & serve bottled beers, though, we really haven't needed many of them). Now that we're closer to 30 than 21, it's probably time to start serving other drinks out of actual glasses.

Blue dotted shirt

In buying this shirt, I outwitted myself. It came in solid colors, but I decided to buy a patterned one to make myself branch out a little (as I've mentioned before, I don't wear prints that often). In reality, I just wound up with a shirt I hardly wore. Oops.

Blue henley

The amount of blue clothes I've listed on this blog might lead you to think that perhaps I don't like blue. In fact, the opposite is true: I love blue so much that it makes up the vast majority of my wardrobe. My closet is organized by color (well, by sleeve length—sleeveless, then short sleeve, then 3/4 sleeve, then long sleeve—and then by color within each of those categories) and my husband occasionally teases me about the percentage of blue compared to other colors. Anyway, this shirt still fits, but I feel like I've outgrown the style. It's been a couple years since I've worn it, so it's time for someone else to get some good use out of it.

The Summons

John Grisham books are a bit like Tom Clancy books—if you've read one, you've read them all (though Grisham's books at least have the advantage of not being peppered with the phrase "pure vanilla"). Anyway, while this book is fine for mindless summer reading, that's something I've done a lot less of as I've gotten older. With all the good books in the world, it just doesn't make sense to me to spend time reading mediocre ones.

The Thomas Crown Affair

In addition to consolidating our movie collections, we've started going through and evaluating them. We both have several movies that we like, but don't necessarily feel the need to own (buying used movies for cheaper than it would have cost to rent them is to blame for this). This is one such movie.

Rush Hour

I enjoyed this movie well enough the first time I saw it; it's mildly entertaining. But the first time I saw it was also the last—a clear indicator that it's been just collecting dust for years now, and that it ought to go to someone who will get some use out of it.

Rush Hour 2

Consider this paragraph a sequel to the one above (as in, I don't have to come up with anything original. I might have more to say if I could recall any distinguishing facts about this movie. The fact that I can't means that, quite obviously, we can part with it).

Earth Day

And, because today is Earth Day, check out this great list of 42 ways you can prevent future clutter by reducing the amount of trash you produce (my inner geek loves that the list contains 42 things). And after you're done reading that list, I highly recommend that you peruse a few other articles on that site. YES! Magazine is one of my all-time favorite publications. I'm proud that they're local—it makes me happy to know that so much great work is being done right where I live. If you've got any interest in making the world a better place, I promise you will love YES!

Progress: 116 items out of 400 = 29% done.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Week Thirteen, Items 103-109

Italian cookbook

I am not sure how I wound up with this cookbook. As you can clearly see from the cover, it is neither vegetarian nor vegan. I do love Italian food, and can veganize just about anything, but I have never found this particular cookbook that useful. With the number of cookbooks I do love, it seems silly to keep one I don't.

Boggle book

This is another one of those single-purpose items I'm trying to cut back on. I feel like we've got too many items in our house that have just one function. This seems like the sort of thing that's meant to be used to pass time when traveling, but my husband likes to nap on planes and trains, and I like to read. So neither of us would use this.

Floral skirt

This was a hand-me-down, and I, in turn, am going to hand it down to someone else. I wore it once, and while it fits, the floral print just doesn't suit me. I rarely wear prints, and when I do, I prefer simpler ones. But I'm sure someone else can get some good mileage out of this skirt.

Gray shirt

This is one of four long-sleeved gray shirts I own. Four! One is light gray, one is dark gray, one has an interesting neckline, and then there's this waffle-textured one. I love gray and live in a climate where it's cool much of the year, but I still just can't justify having four items that are so similar. Of the four, this is the one I wear least often, so it can go.

Curtain ties

These go with a set of curtains that we have hanging in a little nook in our house. The opening is an odd size (it's basically a short closet), so hanging curtains seemed a much easier solution than installing a door. Because we use the nook for storage (for holiday decorations and some camping gear), the curtains are always closed. Always. So we don't need these.

Yellow tie

My husband has had this tie since before I knew him and I have never, ever liked it. I just dislike the pattern. He has plenty of other ties (fortunately, someone with good taste started buying them for him!), so he certainly doesn't need this one. Happily for me, he agreed that it could go.


We have friends who host an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society called the Hick Party. Last year, it was an incredible success, raising $18,080 (every penny of which was donated to the cause). As for the party itself, it's a ton of fun. People wear hick-themed costumes and eat hick-themed food and compete in hick-themed games for amazing (and yes, sometimes hick-themed) prizes. Anyway, in coming up with our costumes last summer, we were on the hunt for as much red, white & blue as we could find. We grabbed this scarf at a thrift store, intending for one of us to tie it like a bandana or something, but we wound up finding better ones to use. So, back to the thrift store this goes.

Progress: 109 items out of 400 = 27.25% done.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week Twelve, Items 95-102

Pastel Seahawks hat

This was given to me as a gift, and I know it was with the best of intentions—I love the Seahawks and I love the color blue. But frankly, I resent the trend of sports teams making pastel items specifically for women. As a lifelong sports fan, former sports editor (back in my college days) and a person who argues with my husband about the best picks we can make in this year's draft to bolster our defense, I think I've earned the right to not be condescended to because of my gender. I refuse to perpetuate the idea that women will only support their teams if they can do so in cutesy, dainty pastels. The best way I can support my team is by being a knowledgeable fan. I don't need to wear a pastel hat to do that.

Green headband

Another headband that I purchased on impulse, apparently paying no attention to the fact that I dislike wearing headbands. I won't wear this, so it does me no good. I'm sure there's someone out there who likes to wear headbands, though, so at least someone will benefit from my impulse buy.

Blue shell

This shirt looks a bit odd in this picture. It's a sleeveless shell with a collar that folds over. It looks great once it's actually on, but it's a distinctly professional/office type of top. Working from home, I just don't need as many office-appropriate clothes as I used to. This is one of the things I didn't wear during my year of participating in The Great American Apparel Diet, so it can go.

Mat board cutter

This was only sort of an impulse buy. I did go into the store intending to buy a mat board cutter, but I had my eye on a different type. This one was marked down so far, though, that I couldn't resist, and I bought it instead. I wish I hadn't—I wound up using this for just one project. It's pretty frustrating to work with, and I am not sorry to see it go.

Pillar candles

I had totally forgotten that I bought these. I got them a long time ago, intending to use them for wedding decor, and just found them today. That means they've been languishing in my closet since the spring or summer of 2009, then. That's kind of embarrassing. Fortunately, I know someone who can put them to good use.

Candle holder sets 1 and 2

I bought these candle holders to go with the pillar candles. Apparently sets of candle holders come in different amounts than sets of candles—just like hot dogs and hot dog buns, I guess. Unlike Steve Martin in Father of the Bride, though, the mismatched numbers did not send me off the deep end. These candle holders will go with the candles to a good new home.

Small purse

I haven't used this purse in a long time; it's been sitting in a dresser drawer since we moved into this house. I definitely haven't missed it, so I don't need to keep it. Besides, I know someone who likes to use small purses like this one (it doesn't hold much more than a wallet and a phone), so I will pass it on to her.

Progress: 102 items out of 400 = 25.5% done.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Week Eleven, Items 88-94


I bought this in Japan because I liked the color and the pattern. It was an impulse purchase rather than one I thought through. I love how headbands look on other people—I think they're cute. But I can't wear them for more than a few minutes before I find them too irritating and give up. I've kept this because I got it in Japan, but it's silly to keep something I am not going to use. Especially because I'm sure someone who likes to wear headbands could get some enjoyment out of this one.

Three Dots shirt

I got this shirt as a gift years ago, and loved it. I wore it a lot. But, after years of being washed and worn, it's too short for me now. I'm sure I could go out and pretty easily find a similar shirt. In the meantime, this goes to someone else.

Pink striped shirt

So far, during this project, I've realized I'm not really a big fan of red. Turns out I'm also not really a fan of pale pink (or pastels in general, actually). Anyway, while this shirt still fits, I do feel like I've outgrown its look. But someone out there with a slightly different style could get a lot of use out of it.

The Economic Naturalist

This book has an interesting premise: answering questions about quirks of everyday life using economic reasoning. Questions include "Why do baseball managers wear uniforms?" and "Why are hotel minibar prices so exorbitant?" Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately, it's not. The execution of this book is laughably poor. It's a compilation of essays written by college students, who were limited by their professor to about 500 words. It's not at all the fault of the students that a series of essays lacking any detail whatsoever made for an awful book; I would gladly have read a full-length version of any of their essays. But reading this felt like talking to a person who is easily distracted and incapable of deep thought. Terribly frustrating. It was a huge disappointment, and this is something I am quite happy to get out of my house.

Dog grooming items

Last year, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law asked what I wanted for Christmas. Because I am generally pretty terrible at coming up with things I want, I just jokingly said "less dog hair" (we have an adorable dog who, as most dogs do, sheds a lot). They took me at my word, apparently, because they had my husband's parents get him these two dog grooming tools for Christmas. The thought was appreciated, but it left us with two dog grooming tools we don't need. We have a FURminator (really, that's how they capitalize the name), and it's 100% awesome—it's effective and our dog doesn't mind it at all. So we just don't need any other sorts of brushes. I'm going to call the shelter we adopted our dog from to see whether they could use these.


My husband and I each had an iron of our own before we knew each other. For whatever reason, we've kept them both up until now—even though I haven't ironed anything since we moved in together. That was in 2006. Since then, I've either asked him to iron things for me (he doesn't hate it as much as I do), or just hung them up in the bathroom while I shower. The steam gets the wrinkles out, and it requires as close to no effort as is possible. So why in the world would I bother ironing? Frankly, I'm not sure we need one iron, let alone two!

Progress: 94 items out of 400 = 23.5% done.