Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week Twenty-Eight, Items 221-230

Nail polishes 3 through 8

I love nail polish, and bright and dark shades in particular. But these six individual polishes were sitting around unused for various reasons. I love the color of the hot pink, but have a different hot pink with a much more user-friendly formula; the yellow is sheer, which I don't like; this green is a medium green, while I prefer bright or dark greens; the royal blue nearly matches the sapphire of my engagement ring, and I don't like things that are matchy-matchy; the purple is a blue-toned purple, while I prefer red-toned purples; and the gray, when applied and dry, looks too close to black. (I swear I'm not as difficult as that sentence made me sound!)

Shower gel packs 1 and 2

I still do not like beauty supplies and samples that do not come in resealable packages. I appreciate immensely that philosophy is such an animal-friendly company, but I do not like the cumbersome samples that are too large for one use but that do not store well for future uses.

Sticky notes 2

I mentioned in March that we have too many sticky notes. It's still true. So when I stumbled across this unopened package of them, it was a no-brainer to get rid of them. At least this picture of sticky notes is slightly better than the one I took of the other package months ago. Still, I don't think I am destined for a career as an office supply photographer.

Constitution print

I used to have this print hanging up in my dorm room in college (for reference, my first day of college classes was 09/11/2001), but I haven't put it up anyplace since. I find the Constitution fascinating (and am particularly fond of a couple of its amendments), but the style of this print is just not really me.

Progress: 230 items out of 400 = 57.5% done.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Week Twenty-Seven, Items 211-220

Refillable planner

This is one of those planners that you can buy the refills for every year. Which is great, only I haven't purchased a refill in a couple years now. I'm not getting any use out of this planner anymore, but someone else might like it.

Pair of hair clips

These came in a pack with similar pairs of hair clips. I wear the dark brown and black ones that came in the pack from time to time, but I have never used these frosted white ones. I'm sure they would look fine in blond hair, but, put in brown hair, they might look like some sort of detritus. No, thank you.

Snowflake ring

Yet another little random object floating around in the box of tacky holiday things. The one thing this ring has going for it is that it's similar in color to my all-time favorite nail polish (a Hard Candy shade from back in the day). I'm thinking that another round of ditching odds and ends is coming up, because I'm tired of little things like this. I want to just clear them out.

7 t-shirts

Even after clearing out this stack of t-shirts, my husband still has plenty remaining. Most of these are pretty old, and a little worn out. I've yet to figure out how he manages to be so hard on so many of his possessions.


I'm past the halfway point. I had kind of expected the decisions to become harder by now, but I still have not reached that point. I have a lot more stuff to get through before I will face any difficult decisions about parting with things. I haven't decided whether I should increase my goal for this year, or continue this project next year. Maybe both! I'm down 220 items (not counting about a dozen items that were too cumbersome to photograph, including a longboard and a nightstand) and still nowhere near as decluttered as I'd like to be.

Progress: 220 items out of 400 = 55% done.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Week Twenty -Six, Items 201-210

Travel case 2

This travel case was a giveaway that came with a makeup purchase a while ago. It's cute, but I haven't used it. I have enough travel cases, so this one has just been sitting around. I'm giving it to someone who will use it.

Pink shirt

This shirt is, let's see, about 8 years old. It's still in perfect condition (rather remarkable for a shirt from Old Navy, I suppose), but it just isn't my style anymore. I like the pattern, but it's been ages since I've worn light pink. It's a cute color on little girls, but I feel too old for it.

Black shirt 2

I have several black shirts, and this is my least favorite of the bunch. I like the tonal stripes up at the top portion, but the fit is just a bit too boxy for me. I hardly ever wear it, so it can go.


These are my husband's jeans, and this pair is too big for him. Nobody needs to hang on to jeans that don't fit (he has two pairs that do), so these can go.

Meet the Parents

Back in the first week of this project, I said Zoolander is the only Ben Stiller movie I need to own. After going through our movies, I discovered we actually had another. Because my enthusiasm for this movie can be summed up with the word "meh," this can go.

Word usage book

As an editor, I have seen people use the wrong word countless times (one instance that stands out was when someone used "precedent" instead of "president"). While I definitely appreciate the purpose of this book, I don't need it. My husband doesn't need it, either—he has me around to correct him! This book should go to someone who will get some good use out of it.

Foam football

This little football toy is about the size of my palm. It feels pretty similar to a Nerf ball. I am not sure how we ended up with this, but it seems like it'd be a good toy to pass on to someone with a kid.

Fabric pieces 1, 2 and 3

These fabric pieces were all in a box of stuff we have for our annual tacky holiday party. I am not sure whether they used to be attached to each other, to something else, or what. I have no idea what to do with them (not being the crafty type), so they can go.

Progress: 210 items out of 400 = 52.5% done.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Week Twenty-Five, Items 193-200

Star Wars trilogy

My husband and I each have our own copies of this boxed set of the original Star Wars trilogy. We both love these movies (let's not speak of the prequels), but that's not reason enough to keep two identical boxed sets. We don't need duplicates of things, so one of these can go.

Tom Clancy book

There's a thrift shop across the street from the auto repair place we use. This came in handy one day when I had to wait two hours while getting some work done on my brakes. I went across the street, bought a book, then sat down and read it while I waited. This kept me occupied for a couple hours, but I don't feel the need to keep it.

CD case

Several years ago, I bought a set of classical music CDs at Costco. My husband has a music degree, so I thought I should put a bit of effort into listening to classical music—I thought that maybe if I listened to more of it, I would come to like it. Well, no luck on that front. But the set did come with this CD case, so perhaps someone will get something out of that purchase after all.

Striped Bermuda shorts

I used to wear these to work, but now that I work from home, I just don't need as many office-appropriate clothes. These are well-suited to Casual Fridays; they're comfy and casual, but fit well within the standard business casual dress code. I haven't worn them in a couple years, though, so they can go.

Black hanger

I have mentioned before that I like all of the hangers I use to look the same. Well, this one is not like the others. So it can go to someone else (someone less particular, I suppose).

Crystal pendant

This is a pretty little pendant, but it's so understated. I don't wear necklaces all that often, but when I do, I like them to be more noticeable than this one—larger, more colorful, or both. I'm sure someone with slightly different taste in jewelry would enjoy wearing this. Bonus: Packaging it up in this little gift box gets another item out.


I have no idea what event this was from or why I still had it. It could certainly be reused, though. There are no markings of any kind on the lanyard—just a spot to insert a name tag or other pieces of paper.

Red poppy

I am proud of getting rid of this, because I think it demonstrates how I've gone from being a person who holds onto things too easily to being a person who knows how to keep only what's necessary. I got this from a Korean War vet around Memorial Day. He was standing in front of the grocery store with a bunch of these little poppies, giving them out to those who donated to the VFW. I gave him $5 and we started talking. I mentioned that all of my grandpas (I am blessed; I had three) served in the military, and he wanted to hear about them and their service. He told me he was removed from a bad home when he was small and put into foster care, and that he considered his foster father—a career soldier in the Army—to be his real father. So he went into the military to follow in his father's footsteps. It was just such a humbling and inspiring conversation. In the past, I would have kept this poppy as a reminder of it. But I know that I will think of that conversation every Memorial Day, and that the memory lies with me—not this plastic poppy.

Progress: 200 items out of 400 = 50% done.

Now that I am halfway done, here are all 200 items broken down by category:

Clothes: 43
Household Goods: 26
Books: 22
Accessories: 21
Miscellaneous: 18
Movies/TV Shows: 15
Toys/Games: 14
Craft/Office Supplies: 14
Health/Beauty: 12
Holidays/Parties: 7
Shoes: 3
Car Stuff: 3
Pet Stuff: 2

Total: 200

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week Twenty-Four, Items 185-192

Quiz game

If I remember correctly, this little electronic device mostly has language quiz games. It also has calculator and currency conversion functions, apparently. I didn't even know I still had this—it's been years since I last used it. When I came across it, it took me a few minutes to even remember what it was. Precisely the sort of thing that can go.

Key 3

This is my husband's old key to a place I used to live. I'm sure there are creative upcyclers out there who can turn boring old keys into cool new things, but I just am not one of those people.

Blue performance shirt

This shirt is made of a lightweight, wicking material. It is meant to be ideal for camping, hiking, etc. The concept is great, but this shirt doesn't fit me well. The sleeves are too short for it to be long-sleeved, and too loose to wear underneath something that has long sleeves (they get bunched up, which I can't stand). They're also too loose to stay up on their own when pushed up.

Gray Bermuda shorts

I'm not really a shorts person; I prefer skirts and dresses. (Somewhere, 9-year-old me cannot believe this.) These fit well and look nice, but I just never wear them. I'm sure someone else could get good use out of them, though, especially now that the weather is warm. I think they'd even be office-appropriate for a Casual Friday.

Red punch bowl

We used to use this to serve punch at our intentionally-tacky holiday parties, but I don't think we've actually used it the past couple of years. So it's just been taking up storage space in our kitchen. I'm going to donate this—someone just might want a sparkly red punch bowl for their 4th of July celebration.

Heat pack boxes 1 and 2

Someone gave us these big boxes of heat packs (I can only assume they came from Costco). It was a nice gesture, but we don't use these. We have an electric heat pad that we use instead. We try to avoid buying and using things that are designed to be thrown away, and that's exactly what these are.


The premise of this book is interesting: A middle-aged man dies in 1988 and wakes up as his teenage self in 1963, with his memories and knowledge from adulthood intact. When he reaches 1988, it happens again. And again. The idea of living one's life over and over is intriguing, but this book is not. Despite having the knowledge of an adult, the main character spends his time acting like a selfish, hedonistic teenager. He spends centuries living and still manages to avoid any kind of growth. In addition, the dialogue is trite and laughable, and Ken Grimwood's treatment of women is shallow and insulting. This book seemed like nothing more than Grimwood living out personal fantasies through his main character (similar to how I imagine Dan Brown really wishes he were Robert Langdon).

Progress: 192 items out of 400 = 48% done.