Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week Fifty, Items 456-475

Mass market paperbacks 1-6

These books were hand-me-downs from my aunt, but they aren't the sort of thing I read. I finally decided on a New Year's resolution today—to read more fiction (I don't have a particular number of books in mind)—but mostly my goal is to get to some classics I've been meaning to read for years. I always gravitate toward non-fiction, and leave fiction on the back burner.

Airways Brewing coaster

I mentioned before that we have a number of coasters from breweries we like. This coaster, after years of use, has become stained and warped. So it can go. And actually, I'd like to sit down and go through the coasters we have, because we have more than we use on a regular basis.

Travel toothpastes 3 and 4

I think I need to give Santa a heads-up that he can skip these in our stockings in the future, because we don't use this brand of toothpaste. Besides, then he'd have more room for the airplane shots that he's always kind enough to include!

Reindeer noses

These came in our stockings, and while they might work for our annual tacky holiday party, they would just be stored for 364 days a year and used for one. Also, they're made of plastic, which is something we're striving to use less often. So we don't need these.

Trivets 1 and 2

These Christmas-y trivets are festive colors, but we already have enough trivets. So it just doesn't make any sense for us to keep these, especially considering that we don't often use the trivets we have.

Bowl scrapers 1 and 2

We already have one bowl scraper, and got these in our stockings. Once again, the colors are very festive, but we just don't need this item in multiples.

Syrup jug

This is cute, but not something I need. I'm not Canadian, and I don't like syrup, particularly maple syrup. I really can't think of a reason to keep it, but I'm sure someone else would enjoy it.

Magnet set

We have enough magnets, but I probably would not keep these even if we didn't. Magnets in the shape of little casserole dishes just aren't my style. But they're bound to be somebody's.


If we kept this whisk, we would have five. Five is too many. Four is probably too many as well, so I'm going to pay more attention in the next couple of weeks to figure out which ones we use the most. Then the others can go.

Leopard print tote

One of my Christmas gifts came wrapped in this bag. Wrapping things in reusable bags is a great idea. But I have never been a fan of animal prints (no offense, animals), and don't see that changing at any point in the future. So I won't keep this bag.


I learned about ableist language this year, and have done my best to stop using it. (For a bit of background on the topic and why it matters, read here.) So I just don't feel comfortable keeping and using a notepad that says "crazy" on it.

Progress: 475 items out of 500 = 95% done.

Note: 475 items gone in 2011! That's pretty darn good (though I guess I should've called the blog 9.5 Items A Week). I feel some guilt that Christmas added some items to our house, but those items are either a) practical or b) perfectly suited for us. I very much appreciate the careful gift-giving my family did. It's the stocking stuffers that generally turn into clutter, it seems. My dad's side of the family is huge, and all the men get identical stocking stuffers, and all the women get identical stocking stuffers—just for simplicity's sake. Maybe I will ask Santa to skip my stocking there next year. The thought behind the stocking stuffers is nice, but frankly, I'd rather not deal with the stuff. It's my hope that in 2012, I can get more of my family on board with de-cluttering. Happy New Year! And thanks for all the feedback and encouragement you've given me this year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Week Forty-Nine, Items 447-455

Penguin shirt

I think this shirt is funny (figure-skating penguins!), but it's one of the extra holiday things we are getting rid of. We have two boxes of stuff we keep on hand for our annual tacky holiday party, but we'd prefer just one. It's nice to have extras for guests, but shirts like this are less practical than cardigans, ties, etc. Those things are easier to add to whatever people are already wearing. And this shirt is a petite one, so I'm several inches too tall to even try wearing it.

Santa necklace

You can't really tell from the picture, but this Santa is squishy. If you remember those sticky hand toys from the late '80s or early '90s, well, this Santa feels the same as those. If you squeeze him, he lights up and starts playing music. It's extremely obnoxious, and the squishiness is honestly a little gross. So, this necklace also goes.

Santa candle

We also keep some decorations around for the party, but most of the things are either useful (such as the dreidel-shaped candy dishes) or flat (such as the Kwanzaa banner). So they make sense to keep. This candle does not fit into either one of those categories, so it can go.

Snowman ornament tag

This little snowman has a loop like he's an ornament, and he could be put up on a tree. He also holds a tag that says "to" and "from," and he could be used as a gift tag. It's very confusing. Anyway, we have plenty of ornaments, so we don't need to keep him for that. And a snowman gift tag is a little more cutesy than we would use. So on this confused little snowman will go.


These stickers came with an order from Threadless a while back, and somehow wound up in our box of office supplies. They certainly don't belong there, and I can't think of a way we would actually use these, so out they go.

Black scarf

I love scarves, and wear them pretty much every day for five or six months of the year, but I still have more than I can reasonably wear. That includes three black scarves. Nobody needs three black scarves! One is lightweight, and one is heavy and warm. This is a medium weight one, but I've never worn it (as you can see). I also don't even wear black that often, because I'd rather wear bright colors. So I don't need to keep this.

Orange shirt

I was never really sure what colors looked good on me until I started this project. To pare down my wardrobe, I'll try on a shirt I love, and then others that are similar, to see what I want to keep. It often turns out that shirts I rarely wear are colors that just aren't flattering (and I had never actually noticed the difference until I immediately went from wearing one color to wearing another). Earthy colors, like this rusty orange, look way worse on me than bright colors. So I guess that explains why I like bright colors!

Pairs of boots 1 and 2

First things first: In person, these boots look like they need a little bit of TLC. In this picture, they look terrible! I promise they're fine. They are several years old, though, and I hadn't worn either pair in a couple of years until just the other day. I figured I should wear them again to see whether I wanted to keep them. I love wearing heels, but these boots just aren't comfortable. I wore them for 12 hours, but wanted to take them off after about 6. I have several pairs of heels that I can wear for 12 hours with no problem, so these just aren't up to par. Besides, I'm not really a pointy shoes person.

Progress: 455 items out of 500 = 91% done.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week Forty-Eight, Items 436-446

Red cardigan

This was a gift, and I can see why it was chosen for me. It's a bright color, and I generally love those; I also wear cardigans a lot, especially open-front styles, like this one. But this one is wool, which I don't wear, and red, which I don't like (red is the only bright color that I don't like). I still very much appreciate the thought, but this does me no good just hanging in my closet.

Dotted tank top

A person can only wear so many tank tops, especially when they live in a climate that is cloudy and cool most of the year (as I do). I like this tank top just fine, but I haven't worn it in a couple years. That means it can go.

Striped hat

I've mentioned before that we have a stash of tacky holiday gear, accrued over several years of hosting an ugly holiday sweater party. This is a a kid-sized hat, making it too small for most of our guests. There will be a 9-year-old boy at the party this year, but somehow I doubt he'll want to wear this.

Santa vest

The thing about a lot of the ugly holiday gear is that it's oddly proportioned. This vest is cropped, but also really wide—three of me could easily fit in it. I don't think it even fit the person it was made for, because it wound up in a thrift store in spite of the tag inside that reads "Made especially for you by Betty McDougle." Well, back to the thrift store it goes.

Wreath cardigan

Another oddly-proportioned item. This sweater is thick and boxy, and the sleeves are a strange length. Plus, that green trim around the neck and cuffs is even scratchier than it looks. We have two boxes of ugly holiday stuff, which is one box too many. I don't mind keeping some stuff on hand, but two boxes is too much for just one day. So we're paring down the stuff that gets worn least often, meaning that this can go.

Denim shirt

This shirt is embroidered with all kinds of holiday-themed items, but it just isn't as in-your-face ugly as some of the other holiday clothes in our stash. Maybe it stands out less because the colors are subdued. Regardless, this is one of the things that goes.

Mitten sweater

This sweater is decorated with bright, fuzzy mittens. It also seems to have a poodle where the collar should be. This is certainly ugly, but not as decidedly holiday-themed as some of the other tacky items of clothing we have. We'll keep the other stuff instead.

Gaming magazines 21-23

My husband and I go about reading magazines very differently. I just read the articles that interest me, but he reads the entire issue, cover to cover. He does that with every magazine he reads, which means he's always in the middle of a few at a time. Anyway, he finished these three gaming magazines, so they can go now.

Kleenex pouch

This was a favor from a shower I went to, but I do not need to keep it. It's meant to hold a pack of tissue, but frankly I just don't understand the point of that. It's not as though tissue is some uncouth item that needs to be hidden. If I have a pack of tissue in my purse, and someone sees it, that's okay with me.

Progress: 446 items out of 500 = 89.2% done.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Week Forty-Seven, Items 427-435

Ab muscle tool

I don't use this random little ab tool, which I think this was originally my brother's. It's just been sitting unused in a corner closet since we moved into this house a few years ago. It's supposed to help build ab muscles, but I prefer doing different sorts of crunches, which have the advantage of not requiring any equipment.

Striped sweater

This sweater is striped, blue and soft, all of which are characteristics that I love. So I feel like I should love this sweater. But for some reason, it's just never been one of my favorites. I have plenty of sweaters, and this one just doesn't fit me quite as well as others, so I don't need to keep it.

Brown sweater

This sweater also doesn't fit me quite as well as others I have. It's slightly short and boxy on me, so it would work better on someone shorter, or at least with a shorter torso. I also try not to wear solid dark brown shirts very often because my hair is dark brown, and I just think it gets to be too much.

Sequined top

I loved this top (I am more fond of sequins than perhaps anyone should be), but it's another one that I just feel a little too old to wear anymore. I think my days of wearing slightly cropped sequined tube tops like this one are behind me. 

Rhinestone bracelet

I also think I'm too old for this rhinestone bracelet. Getting rid of things with sequins and rhinestones doesn't mean that I have lost my love for sparkly things, though! Not by any means. But I don't wear bracelets that often, and this one just seems more appropriate for a person who's closer to 13 than 30.

Heart bracelet

Another pang from parting with another gift. They get a little smaller each time, but they still happen. The thing is, I never actually wore this. I know that lots of people love heart-themed jewelry, but it really just is not my style. It doesn't make sense for me to keep something I am getting no use out of, no matter who gave it to me.

Pairs of hoops 1 and 2

I don't really wear hoop earrings that often anymore, and the color on both of these pairs is beginning to chip off. I still have a ton of earrings, so I don't need these.

Bead strand 3

We've kept this strand of beads as part of our stash of tacky holiday stuff that we have for our annual party. At the party, we award a prize to the person in the most outrageously tacky outfit. But one strand of shiny red beads isn't enough to turn an outfit from tame to tacky, or from tacky to prize-winning, so these can go.

Progress: 435 items out of 500 = 87% done.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week Forty-Six, Items 419-426

Teal fleece pants

I think that most people in relationships eventually wind up hating certain items of clothing that their significant others have. These are my husband's pants, and I hate them (even though I know clothes meant for lazy weekend days aren't designed with appearance in mind). Thankfully, he hasn't worn them in years—they've just been taking up space in the dresser. Even more thankfully, he finally decided he didn't need to keep them.

Blue shirt 2

I had this shirt in two colors, but I already got rid of the red one in week twenty-nine. I kept this one longer because it's my favorite color, but I have other shirts in this color that I like much more. The sleeves of this shirt are neither tight nor loose, but instead fit in some weird in-between area that I've never liked. So this one can go, too.

Cowboy boots

There are some people who can pull off cowboy boots in real life, and I am not one of those people. I got these to wear to the Hick Party fundraiser, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to keep an item that goes unused 364 days a year. I would rather have the space than the boots.

Purple lei

One of my good friends gave me this lei to wear at my college graduation (she's from Hawaii). I very much appreciated the thought, then and now; since graduation, though, this has just been sitting in my box of random college-era items.

Plastic food containers 1-4

We are trying to cut down on the amount of plastic we have at home. Getting rid of some plastic food storage containers is an easy way to do that. There are still plenty of other plastic items that can go, though.

Progress: 426 items out of 500 = 85.2% done.