Tuesday, February 17, 2015

linen emergency

This year has been a little tougher on me to easily find the things I want to de-clutter. Last year, I opened closet and things fell out. Usually THOSE were the things I wanted to keep, but it was easy to find things that I didn't need anymore. This year, I find I'm having to go through the things I decided to keep, which always makes for a tougher decision making process. As a consequence, I've had more "zero" days (days were I don't get rid of anything) than last year.

Case in point. Last year (almost exactly wow), I tackled the linen closet. Here is what it looked like:after
Do you see that top shelf? Well, I kept 2 top sheets for our bed (even though I didn't have a fitted to match) and another set of sheets (green, and apparently underneath something in that picture) that I didn't like but it fit our bed. Well this weekend, we had kind of a linen emergency. As in, someone managed to tear a huge rip in the fitted sheet on out bed. This I guess is the problem with having one sheet set for your bed, It wears out quicker. Anyway, in trying to find something that would work, we resorted to the green sheets I hate so much. And... I still hate them. I am glad I kept them though because they work better than trying to use a flat sheet for the fitted. I'll be replacing the sheet I liked that ripped, and looking to do it so I don't have to buy a whole set and thus getting stuck with another set of pillowcases and another flat sheet.

It did get me thinking though--why on earth did I keep both of those flat sheets? Wouldn't one be plenty? So into the donation box it went. As I was digging around I also spied 3 pillowcases that will never be used and tossed those in too.

I also found a few odds and ends that must have gotten missed the first time around because I don't know why I would have kept them. And I still feel like I should get rid of the vaporizer and the large plastic containers in the back. But I'm still keeping them.

Maybe this is why I had so much clutter to start with--it is this never ending battle.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where does it go?

You would think after a little more than a year of this massive de-cluttering project that I would have figured out where to "get rid of" all this stuff. What I mean is--what do I do with the stuff I don't want?

Some stuff is simple. Got a pile of coupons? Go through them and recycle the expired or unwanted ones. Old books? The Friends group at the library. Some need more creativity. Got an old T-shirt that is way too holey? Rag bag. 3 deodorants bought on sale before discovering your daughter is allergic? Food pantry! But other things aren't easy and I have not thought of a creative way for dealing with them. I try to avoid throwing away as much as I can, so with this in mind, I present you with the "stuff I can't figure out how to deal with"

Any suggestions are welcome.

Old television set:
We are a one TV family, but currently we find ourselves with two. I called around and none of the re-sale donation shops will take a TV this old (circa 1998). Currently the plan is to set it out for large trash pick up in hopes someone will take it. However, with the snow this may be a spring project.

2 cans of Pledge furniture polish
My initial thought was trash. Trash guidelines indicate that I should not throw away full aerosols. I never see food pantries request "cleaning supplies" as much as "personal care items" so I have no idea if they would take them. I also considered donating them to my regular donation place. My only "disposal" option is my city's hazardous waste disposal, which is by appointment only and in the summer mostly.

Blood glucose monitor:
When I was pregnant I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and bought a blood glucose monitor. That was 12 years ago. At the time, all the doctors scared me into thinking I was well on the road to type 2 diabetes and so I thought I should hang on to it because it was pricey and my insurance paid for it but I wasn't sure how long I'd have to wait before they bought me a new one. I lent it to a friend in a similar circumstance and was stupid enough to ask for it back. Now, I find myself a good 7 pounds lighter than I was pre-pregnancy, and modeling the healthy eating and exercise I want my kids to have. I still have a bunch of risk factors (weight (still!), family history, etc) but the monitoring my doctor has done tells me that I'm still good, and not even in the "pre" category. It is time to get rid of it, but I don't want to throw it away. I don't think my regular re-sale shop would take it. I spent a whole afternoon trying to find out if there was anywhere I could donate it. I think I need to make more calls, but gah!

Socks I knit:
Ok, I knit. I knit a lot. I have a ton of handknit socks, and some of them well--they've been darned to death. My head says throw them in the rag bag. My heart says save them forever! I guess I'm still working on not where these go, but if and when.

Shredded paper:
I mentioned on Twitter that I hate shredding. And two people (that's a lot for me) commented that they don't hate it. I do hate it and the reasons are many, but one big reason is--I don't have a solution for getting rid of the shreds that I like. I would personally love to recycle those. However, my recycling situation is such that it would a) fill up the bin and space is already tight given they only pick up once a month and b) the bin gets emptied "automatically" meaning that no one jumps out of the truck and chucks it in--an arm comes out and grabs the can and lifts it and dumps it in the truck. Which means on recycle day, I end up picking up stuff that gets dropped. Now imagine tiny shreds of paper with bits of your personal stuff on them FLINGING through the neighborhood. I know that there is a place in town that you can drop off recycling but I'm not comfortable giving them a bag of shreds of paper, although I suppose if someone wants to tape together the giant jigsaw of my visa statement from March 2004 they can have at it. Currently, I throw them away, usually mixed in with other trash to discourage puzzle people.

So my de-cluttering friends, how do you deal with the stuff you don't want? Any solutions for my stuff? Anyone worked out the shredding issue? Tell me in the comments!