November Minimalism Game–Week 3

There’s a big, glaring thing wrong about this post, and that’s of course that it was supposed to be out the third week of November, and not the second week of December. Why is it late? Because it’s not only hard to purge this much stuff, but it’s also very time-consuming. Something I also discovered the last time I did this is that it’s almost impossible to go through this process with also doing one or more project-type cleanings. For example, two years ago I got rid of almost all our CDs and DVDs and all my old magazines. This year, even though I am only on the third week, I have completely cleaned out my freezer and also the toys in the living room. We got rid of a storage ottoman that was broken and replaced it with a non-storage ottoman, to encourage us to have fewer things. Then, I also went through the toys one-by-one. Some things had a lower age limit of 9 or 10 (my oldest is only 6), so I put them in the basement for later. Some toys seem interesting but maybe they could be rotated back, so I also put them in the basement. A lot of toys were too young for even the youngest, so these got donated. And a lot of toys were broken or redundant, so these were either recycled, thrown away, or donated.

Before I get to the list, I want to say that I do intend to finish this process, even though it’s late. I am going to try to finish by January 4th. I know that I’ll probably have to think of another big project to do, and that will probably be going through the basement, since it was the only thing I didn’t do two years ago. Okay, here’s my list:

15. (1) Crap masks, (2) Candy no one liked, (3) Small pieces of something, (4) Baby toy, (5) Graphic novel (sold on Amazon), (6) Sock with a hole in it, (7) Cheap plastic toy, (8) Plastic pieces I don’t know what they are, (9) Broken wooden car, (10) Package of wipes have gone dry, (11) Allen key, (12) Melted candle, (13) Too small tote bag, (14) Lots of small pieces to something or other, (15) Bag of dry cat food.

16. (1) Cat carrier, (2) Plastic lid of something, (3) Piece from an old baby game, (4) Oddly shaped plastic piece, (5) Ripped underwear, (6) Too many combs, (7) Annoying toy, (8) Weird color sock, (9) Odd mat thing, (10) Mommy Hook, (11) Second Mommy Hook (this is a real item, BTW), (12) Gross tub toy, (13) Really old and gross tub of diaper cream, (14) Even older tub of Vicks, (15) Large lid of something.

17. (1) Baby rash cream, (2) Wound barrier cream, (3) Crap check holder, (4) Annoying cup, (5) Annoying Sippy cup, (6) Stray lid, (7) Reusable straw, (8) Broken toy, (9) Cat or kid toy, (10) Weird balloon thing, (11) Craft sword, (12) Tupperware lid, (13) Dead plant, (14) Catnip spray, (15) Cup lid, (16) Crap glasses, (17) McDonald’s toy.

18. (1) Small plastic toy, (2) One horse, (3) Another horse, (4) Yet another horse, (5) Crap puzzle, (6) Play Doh, (7) Crap car, (8) Part of car, (9) McDonald’s toy, (10) Cookie cutter, (11) Wooden puzzle no pieces, (12) Another puzzle no pieces, (13) Socket protector, (14) Stale frozen sandwich, (15) Wooden sticks, (16) Puzzle game pieces missing, (17) Literally a bag of rocks, (18) Broken toy.

19. (1) McDonald’s toy, (2) Cow doesn’t go with anything, (3) Dino I don’t like, (4) Broken Lego pieces, (5) This truck is too big, (6) Expired food, (7) Instrument we don’t play, (8) McDonald’s toy, (9) Disposable tablecloths, (10) Diaper cream, (11) Burp cloth, (12) Diaper bag, (13) Broken car, (14) Stray plastic piece, (15) Plastic rope tie, (16) Broken tail of something, (17) Slap bracelet, (18) Kazoo, (19) Guy too big for Lego.

20. (1) Phone holder, (2) Stale sunscreen, (3) Granola bars of yesteryear, (4) Prized Lego that’s really broken, (5) Doodle book doodled in, (6) Broken toy, (7) Rice spoon, (8) Bad sunglasses, (9) Novelty glasses, (10) Broken eraser, (11) Old gift bags, (12) Painting device, (13) Wood glue, (14) Stale frozen sandwich, (15) Melted and reformed Popsicle, (16) Baby book, (17) Old karate belt, (18) Failed craft, (19) Ripped blanket, (20) Not a good bear.

21. (1) Boppy, (2) Boppy cover, (3) What did the kid make?, (4) Stale perfume, (5) Desk lamp, (6) Chipped cup, (7) Chipped saucer, (8) Very old bath product, (9) Components for game we don’t have, (10) Book for game we don’t have, (11) Medicine dropper, (12) Leather pouch thing, (13) Lots of expired freezer food, (14) Very old peanut butter, (15) Teether, (16) Small Tupperware, (17) Expired baby Tylenol, (18) Medicine syringe, (19) Q-tip holder, (20) Holiday ribbon, (21) Cough drops from many colds ago.

November Minimalism Game–Week 2

Second week of November minimalist game is over and it’s getting much harder. One thing I wanted to note for this week was that my cat passed away a few days ago. You can  read about him in the post I wrote last week. Something I’ve been asked repeatedly since he died is if I’ll be getting another cat. I don’t know, but probably not. I don’t miss or want a cat in general. I just miss Pyewacket, my constant companion of the last 14 years.  So yes, I got rid of all the cat-related items. Keeping them around made me sad, and I probably won’t need them.

8. (1) Broken musical instrument, (2) Old cake topper, (3) Warped puzzle, (4) Play doh, (5) Broken toy, (6) Tote bag I don’t like, (7) Baby rattle, (8) Gross placemat
9. (1) Graphic novel (sold on Amazon), (2) Strange metal doohickey, (3) Dry marker, (4) Broken water bottle, (5) Baby nose sucker, (6) Tape, (7) Gauze, (8) Infant tylenol, (9) Tiny onesie
10. (1) Scratching post, (2) Litter box, (3) Food bowl, (4) Water bowl, (5) Under bowl thing, (6) Under litter thing, (7) Cat food, (8) Cat litter, (9) Cat spray, (10) Cat brush
11. (1) Formula dropper, (2) Infant vitamins, (3) Broken headphones, (4) Crappy nail clipper, (5) Antibacterial cream, (6) Cat medicine, (7) Pill crusher, (8) Baby food crusher, (9) Nightshirt, (10) Tote bag, (11) Old homework
12. (1) Baby pjs, (2) Tiny pants, (3) Tiny shirts, (4) Tiny shorts, (5) Tiny socks, (6) Broken cup lid, (7) Cat litter scent thing, (8) Dead pen, (9) Crap yarn, (10) Abandoned craft project, (11) Graphic novel (sold on Amazon), (12) Tiny shirt
13. (1) Broken umbrella, (2) Crappy cup, (3) Dead highlighter, (4) Bad tupperware, (5) Expired nutritional shake, (6) Sippy cup top, (7) Key to car we don’t own, (8) Decorative bow, (9) Plastic mystery item, (10) Replacement parts for something I lost, (11) Ten year old dessert, (12) Cap to something, (13) Plastic part of toy I hate
14. (1) Sweater not worn in years, (2) Shirt not worn in years, (3) Freezer burnt frozen pizza, (4) Stale granola bar, (5) Expired frozen food, (6) Sunglasses case, (7) Year-old cookies, (8) Crap necklace, (9) Broken bucket, (10) Stale nail polish, (11) Binder clip, (12) Weird wire, (13) Some stickers, (14) Small plastic box.

November Minimalism Game–Week 1

Probably longer ago than I think, I first did a minimalism game where I got rid of a ton of stuff and cleaned out my house a bit. As I said, it was long ago, and I thought I would see if I could do the more difficult version (getting rid of one item the first day, two items the second, three the third, etc).

The list is getting a bit much, so I thought I would do what I did the last time, and post it week by week! Here’s the list from the first week:

1. (1) Broken sippy cup
2. (1) Graphic novel (sold on Amazon), (2) Tiny shoes
3. (1) Graphic novel (sold on Amazon), (2) Gross bottle of vinegar, (3) Expired mustard
4. (1) Graphic novel (sold on Amazon), (2) Deflated balloon, (3) Baby sweatshirt, (4) Broken headphones
5. (1) Expired eye drops, (2) Very ripped pants, (3) Expired vitamins, (4) Floss holder, (5) Broken toy car
6. (1) Many puzzle pieces, (2) Broken baby toy, (3) Horrible talking toy, (4) Broken puzzle, (5) Other broken puzzle, (6) Odds and ends in bottom of toy box
7. (1) Broken ottoman, (2) Too many pipe cleaners, (3) Expired Tylenol, (4) Broken toy, (5) Baby book, (6) Other baby book, (7) Toy that I don’t know what it is

MinGame — the October edition

It’s finally happened! For the first time, as I am posting this, I am exactly up to date. That is, I don’t have anything done yet for November. This means that, quite possibly, I won’t have anything done in November and December. But I have I ton of other projects this month, so I’m not sure I will get to it. Maybe what I’ll do is have a massive clean-out later in the month, and get rid of 30 items all at once? Hopefully, I will be able to continue this at least until the end of 2015, but we’ll see!

Here’s the list for October:

1) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
2) Watch sold on eBay
3) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
4) Expired food
5) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
6) Expired printer cartridge
7) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
8) Expired food
9) Old printer never used
10) Old tapes
11) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
12) Brita filter
13) Broken statue
14) Goody bag items
15) Horrible shoes
16) Expired food
17) Awful rug
18) Worse shoes
19) Teether
20) Ring toy
21) Weird horse
22) Baby toys
23) Crap iPad case
24) Lots of unneeded paperwork
25) Broken flashlight
26) Old lipsticks
27) Yo-yo
28) Tiny onesies
29) Bad water bottle
30) Infant car seat cover
31) Infant car seat

Minimalism Game–the September edition

The year of minimalism is two-thirds of the way over, and I am still going strong. Last month, I concentrated on stuff that I thought was too valuable to just give away, trash, or recycle. I didn’t make a ton of money, and sometimes, when I sold something for about $2, but had to buy an envelope to send it in, pack it, and then walk to the post office to mail it, I questioned whether or not I was making any money at all.

But the most important thing is that I’m still decluttering. Here’s the list for September:

1) Necklace sold on eBay
2) Baby play mat
3) Small bear
4) Knitted scarf that didn’t turn out well
5) Necklace sold on eBay
6) Bracelet sold on eBay
7) Pendant sold on eBay
8) Flowerpot
9) Pendant sold on eBay
10) Camera part sold on eBay
11) Necklace sold on eBay
12) Newborn bassinet given to friend
13) Old calculator sold on eBay
14) Light meter sold on eBay
15) Broken frame
16) Microphone sold on eBay
17) Decorative box sold on eBay
18) Stroller frame
19) Camera sold on eBay
20) Baby swing
21) Microphone sold on eBay
22) Cabinet given to friend
23) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
24) Old underwear
25) Knitting sample
26) Magazine from May 2015
27) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
28) Old nail polish
29) Graphic novel sold on Amazon
30) Broken headphones

Where do I get it from?

My constant struggle to declutter and minimize is not something I do just because I think it will make my life easier and my environment more pleasing–I actually enjoy getting rid of things. Whenever something, especially something big that I’ve had for a particularly long time, leaves the house, I feel happy and lighter.

When did this begin? I think I may have been influenced by my mother. When I was a child, one of her favorite games to play with me was to give me a garbage bag and set five minutes on a timer. I then had to run around the house and see how much I could fill the bag in the time allowed. There was no tangible reward at the completion of this game–just the pleasure of throwing stuff away.

IMG_0960
My mom and me in the late 70s. Probably in Florida, as evidenced by the plethora of oranges.

My mother is an odd case, because although she grew up with very little in the way of material things, she also didn’t want many material things. My father, who also had very little while growing up, was somewhat the opposite. If he saw something that he could get for free or very cheaply, he would get it just in case he would ever need it.

When my parents retired, they moved to their summer house in upstate New York. While my mother kept the house very neat by doing a weekly deep clean and actively discarding non-desirable items, the garage and barn were filled with all sorts of items by my father. Eventually, he rented one other garage, and then a second. There was also a one-bedroom apartment attached to the house, which was filled.

My mother passed away first, and eventually the house was also filled with my father’s near-worthless items. He then moved to Florida, and planned to sell the house, but neglected to bring any of these things with him. Instead, he got some people to take away all the stuff so that he could stop renting the garages and put the house up for sale. (Think of a more redneck 1-800-JUNK type of company.)

Unfortunately, I was in the process of moving from the house to an apartment in New York City with my then-boyfriend, and they also took all of my belongings. These included off-season clothing, decorative items, memorabilia, and most things I thought were too breakable to take in the moving van we had hired few few days before. Also, my cat.

When I went back to get my stuff, I fortunately found both my cat and the urn containing my mom’s ashes, but everything else was cleared out. I felt depressed and violated, but relieved that the two things that were the most important to me were still there.

Having a strange fascination with hoarding, I know that these types of events are generally ones in which a hoarding inclination is triggered. I was nervous about this going in, but fortunately I still have no hoarding tendencies. At least in this case, I seem to be taking after my mom.

Minimalist Game — the August edition

Yes! I am still going strong with this minimalist game! In fact, I just the other day found a box of CDs that are from our move in 2004! Yes, 2004! Eleven years ago! I immediately felt rage and disgust, and then determination as I dove right in and separated out the cases and paper for recycling. Most of them didn’t even have the actual CDs in them. It is amazing to me that I have been doing this decluttering for so many months and can still come across something as big as an entire box of CDs!

1) Small stamper
2) Contact lens case
3) Contact lens solution
4) Rewetting drops
5) Contact lenses
6) Broken necklace
7) Baby hat
8) Plug from electric blanket
9) Ugly sunglasses
10) Prescription glasses
11) Expensive watch I never wore
12) Dish rack
13) Bottle parts from non-preferred bottle
14) Cup I hate
15) Dish pad
16) Medicine dispenser
17) Magazine from April 2014
18) Broken headphones
19) Very old mints
20) Doll sized garbage can
21) Magazine from March 2015
22) Necklace sold on eBay
23) Old nail polishes
24) Ugly hat
25) Lots of tiny plastic toys
26) Earrings sold on eBay
27) Jewelry set sold on eBay
28) Necklace sold on eBay
29) Tons of jewelry not worth selling
30) Jewelry organizer no longer needed
31) Jewelry boxes