Thursday, July 31, 2014

the water bottle

So yesterday I tweeted "Can I count the two casualties of today's bike ride? If so a water bottle and a pair of pliers. I'll replace the pliers." I was only half joking about those being my two things (although I did go back and go through my box of "christmas" jewelry (which is supposed to be holiday jewelry, but aside from the wind up skull pins, are all Christmas) and got rid of a bunch of things.

The first though is interesting to me because it really shows how far I think I have come on this journey. We went on a bike ride yesterday (10 miles go us) and I had each of the girls bring and carry her own water bottle. One child picked a really old bottle, that she had loved, and she could not be talked out of bringing it--even though she thought it would leak. Well guess what? By mile 3 she had a small puddle in her pack. By Mile 6 she had a water spot 6 inches in diameter on her back and she asked, did she really need to carry it. I said--drink what you want, throw the bottle away. And she did. None of us were even sad about it.

Last year, I never would have been able to so freely suggest that she ditch her bottle. Despite the fact that last year I had more water bottles! This time, I just really saw this as what it was--something that if it made it home, was probably never going to be used again. It leaks! I probably would not have been allowed to get rid of it either--as it was a favorite. But the fact that it made ice water run down her back while she was biking, made my daughter realize that this item had lost its usefulness to her. I had to share my water at the end of the ride, but this was a really small price to pay (even though she chews on the spouts SIGH) The only bad part, was not recycling it.

The pliers on the other hand... well they fell off the bumper of the car, where I had set them down after tightening a screw on the bike rack. I probably have another pair somewhere, but please note I retraced at least part of our trip looking for those. They were my favorite pair.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Bin.

I did it! I finally went through the entire bin of fabric (after going through the entire dresser). What exactly was this?

before room

In purple is the bin, in green is the dresser. Although this is after I started on the dresser drawers so you can start to see the piles I was making. I went through the dresser first and so as I went along, anything I wanted to keep--I put away in the dresser. And now? The bin is empty!

empty

Which should make me feel better. Except that I have piles of fabric that I no longer want, but are large enough that perhaps someone else could make use of them.

unwanted fabric

Which is kind of depressing.

I still have a ton of novelty fabrics that won't fit in the dresser, and a bunch of flannel that won't fit. I think I'll be making some room on the shelves. I also have re-discovered some projects I still want to finish and have those items all placed together--usually on a shelf.

I'm either going to sell or donate what is left, but with kids home from school thinking about that is overwhelming so...
Yeah you know where this is going
I may put all the unwanted fabric back in the bin until September.

Have an opinion? Leave me a comment, shoot me a tweet.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

garages

Can we talk about garages?

I read somewhere that some absurd number of people don't park their cards in their garages because of all the stuff they put in there. And So to write this I went looking for the number. According to this story on ending garage clutter "According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 percent of homeowners with two-car garages don't park any cars in there and 32 percent parked only one." Someday, I'll spend some time tracking down that number to see how accurate it is. Now, I can tell you that my anecdotal evidence would suggest that that is about accurate.

Personally, this is not a problem I have struggled with. It seems keeping snow and ice off my car keeps me motivated enough to not let clutter build up. But that isn't to say that my garage doesn't have issues. Oh no. We have a lot of storage space, which can be a real problem, because lots of useless stuff gets stashed in there.
This weekend, I decided I'd tackle a small area of the garage in order to get back on track after my vacation. And I thought I'd take some before and after pictures to help out. So here is before:

before

And a trashbag full (and donation box and recycling added to), I ended up with the space looking neater.

After

It was hard explaining to twitter what exactly I had gotten rid of. Garbage, old broken plastic frisbees, and toys were the bulk of it. I could not believe how many popsicle wrappers my kids have stashed in the garage. Cleaning and sweeping this small section took me roughly 40 minutes, which is about twice what I like to spend on my de-cluttering, but in this case I really did have to pull lots of stuff out and then put back the stuff I wanted to keep.

Of course, I still have a long way to go, as I turn around from "my" corner and face this:

still dealing

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

vacation!

When I planned this big project of getting rid of two things every day, I built in a little vacation time in my mind. I figured I'd be rid of at least 700 things at the end of the year. Why not 730? Vacation!

So we just got back from a ten day trip to Mackinac Island and Door County. It was lovely. Cool and sunny and full of fudge, cherries, and cheese. We bemoaned the lack of commas on one sign that proclaimed fudge cheese ice cream pies. We hiked, biked, swam, boated, and ate too much. We shopped. But I did not de-clutter the house. I didn't even think about de-cluttering the house.

I did however, as we were packing, find a bag of kitchen utensils that we had deemed at one point too useful to throw out, not used often enough to keep handy. Things like the corkscrew and the candy thermometer. I use them, just not very often. However, there were also a bunch of other things in there and as my husband was complaining as he tried to get what he wanted (extra medicine spoons) I said--you know what, Let's get rid of everything in here except the spoons, the corkscrew, the candy thermometer and the nutcrackers. So out went some cheese knives, and a whole bar tools set.

I think my bigger break through came though in the shopping. I only bought consumables for my souvenirs. Fudge, some lingonberry jam, and some yarn. No t-shirts or sweat shirts (although I really really wanted some), no thing to hang on the wall, no thing to put on the shelf. Well, two exceptions: magnet for my fridge magnet collection, and an ornament for the Christmas tree. And I didn't need the ornament, that was my husband. At the end of the vacation, all the souvenirs will be gone (um fudge almost is) or made functional (you should see the sweater I'm making).

I am trying to get back into the swing of de-cluttering. Yesterday I finally got rid of the spaghetti squash I realized a few months ago I had no desire to eat. And I decided four months was long enough to keep two shamrocks given to me on my birthday (I like plants, I have plants, I hated these). Later today, I'll go tackle the fabric again. Or the garage.

Next week is camp week, and I'm planning a big donation day in there somewhere.