Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Question For You...

While cleaning today, I came across my wedding dress. I need some advice. Should I keep it or should I donate it?

PROS of keeping it:
* It's a beautiful reminder of my and Alex's love.
* It cost a gajillion dollars and I only wore it once.

PROS of donating it:
* I will never wear it again.
* It cost a gajillion dollars, I only wore it once, and someone else who can't afford a gajillion dollars could make excellent use out of it.
* I don't have any daughters to pass it down to. If my kids marry (girls), those girls will likely not want to wear their mother-in-law's dress.
* I have a lot of photos of it, so I don't really need the dress.
* Since I've been married, I haven't looked at it.
* It is sitting in a box in my basement, hopefully not getting moldy.


I have set up a poll in my sidebar for you to help me make this decision. If you are Alex, your vote counts as two. If you are my mom, who paid for the dress, your vote also counts as two. And don't forget, it's entirely possible that I will totally disregard your advice anyway.

Also, if you know of a place that takes donated wedding dresses, let me know in the comments. Thanks.

Shudder...

I've been avoiding a certain area of my basement not just because there's a lot of crap there, but because I'm afraid to find spiders and crickets there.

I'm more afraid of the spiders (Seriously, I shivered just writing that. It's a problem.) but the crickets jump. And for some reason they always seem to jump STRAIGHT. AT. ME. (And then I scream and do a prissy girl freak out because everyone knows that crickets can't latch onto you with their horrible jaws and spiked talons if you're jumping up and down on your tippy toes.)

I didn't get rid of a lot of stuff today, but I did rearrange some stuff and move some other stuff to a better location.

I went from this:


to this:


The stuff on that table in the foreground is what I'm getting rid of: a scarf, an old photo mat, another toxic water bottle, an extraneous cable and a little bag. And that stick that Quinn is playing with belongs to your tent, WhyMommy. We'll have to get together so I can get it the hell out of my house where it's been a sword, a gun, and a general poker give it to you.

Total items for today: 6

Oh, and FYI, I did find crickets. There was one that I thought was a spider at first, which was disquieting because while crickets are scary, cricket-sized spiders are a total deal breaker. I was composing in my head my speech about how to break it to Alex that we were moving while I inched close(r) to the cricket/spider to determine its species. Fortunately he was a cricket.

The crickets were holding a convention in a bucket. (I dare you to click on this image to enlarge it. Dare. You.)


I left them there in the bucket in hopes that they would pack their suitcases and leave now that they've been exposed to the light. Or at least that they would go to a more covered spot so I can pretend they're not in my basement anymore.

Not a single one of them attacked me although one did make a sudden move causing me to freak the fuck out. And I smashed my ear on my furnace moving some bins into their new home.

Do I sound completely crazy?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Keepin' Them On Their Toes.

It's too perfect. Just as I was typing the headline for this post, Sam asked me, "Mom, why do we always have changes in this house?"

He's talking about my pathological overwhelming need to rearrange the furniture in my house on a weekly basis. For various reasons discussed at Stimeyland, we moved Quinn's bed into Sam and Jack's room this Saturday. And then we moved it back to his own room on Sunday.

As long as I was moving furniture around, I decided to make some changes to the kids' rooms. In Sam and Jack's room I put all their clothes on a newly created shelving system in the closet and moved their dresser out to the garage.

For Quinn's room, I put his books on his toy bookshelf and put the bookshelf in Sam and Jack's closet for the newly created shelving system mentioned in the paragraph above. Then I shuffled his remaining furniture around for good measure.

To fit his books on his toy shelf, I had to move some toys to our basement play room and put some in our donation box. I also found some things behind his dresser and decided to toss out some things that just plain needed to go.

That cone? Alex bought it for some reason that I can't figure out. I've tried to find a use for it for a really long time now, but mostly it just gets in my way. So fuck that. Unless one of you can come up with a compelling reason for me to keep it, I'm saying goodbye.

Those two toys are totally awesome and I fully expect one of my friends who reads this to email me to tell me she wants them. First come, first served.

There's a bunch of other crap, including some mostly used diaper ointment and sunscreen (the latter now expired as well). The shark is funny, but no one likes it. And there's also a changing pad cover that is so stained it's just embarrassing.

So that's 11 items from Quinn's room.

Also, while I was transferring Sam and Jack's clothes to their new home, I found 9 white undershirts that are too small for them. Normally I would save these for Quinn, but I have deemed them not viable for hand-me-down status. (Due to general nastiness.)

Total: 20

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Becoming a Pest in 59 Short Days

Well, I think I've officially become the jerk that forces her stuff on other people. I pretty much made my friend take these bowls home with her when she stopped by this afternoon for some scooter riding in my driveway.

I learned something from today: If you have to talk someone into taking something, maybe they really don't want it. (Although I do think she really wanted them, she just didn't have a need for them. Or space for them. Am I hurting the cause of decluttering if all I'm doing is causing clutter in someone else's home?)

But just look at that awesome set of six stainless steel bowls! I have some other mixing bowls that I like better, which is why I'm getting rid of them.

Sorry, L. Next time I won't require you to take my junk home with you.

Also discarded today: a cracked hamper and a ball.

Total items: 8

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Kids Are Lucky I Didn't Have a Record-Setting Day

Seriously, if you want to get me all in a tizzy and angry, have me do a thorough cleaning of Sam and Jack's room. 'Cause after I find my sixth grape and a completely dehydrated banana peel mixed into piles of unsorted toys, I'm ready to murder me a little boy.

Fortunately, cooler heads usually prevail and I take my anger out on their toys by getting rid of them.

Today I was tempted to take everything off the floor of their room and put it directly into a garbage bag.

Instead, I just got rid of the following:

The books, puzzle, and the broom were legitimate "the little dudes don't play with them anymore and/or they're too broken to enjoy."

The over-sized playing cards were vengeance. After I picked them up from all over the room, I recycled the hell out of them.

There are four McDonald's toys there. I think that in honor of Earth Day, McDonald's should pledge to stop making a whole bunch of plastic crap and throwing it in our kids' food bags. Except for when they give away really cool things, like Bionicles.

A friend of mine gave me that yellow shirt as a hand-me-down for Quinn. But he refused to wear it. Maybe because it has a stripe, perhaps because it has a zipper, possibly it was because it had long sleeves. Regardless, he won't wear it and it won't fit next fall, so off to the donation box with it.

There is a tube of flesh-colored oil paint in that photo. I was completely chagrined to find that in my Michael's bag after a trip to the craft store one day. Obviously someone had bought it and the clerk didn't give them their bag. I hope they noticed, went back, and demanded themselves some flesh-colored paint. (And who knew they were still calling it "flesh" anyway?)

See the horrible mailbox that looks like it would be hard to stuff a stack of Entertainment Weekly's and Time magazines in there? That used to be our mailbox until I realized that the hardware stores sell mailboxes and I'm allowed to switch mine out. The much-hated mailbox enjoyed a brief renaissance as a toy mailbox in Sam and Jack's room. But now I hate it again because they throw it on the ground and it gets in the way. Trash!

Total items for today: 12

Monday, April 21, 2008

Deadly Water Bottles

I am saddened to report that our three super-cool water bottles are now poison.


Well, maybe they are and maybe they're not, but I'd really rather drink out of something that I know is not poison.

That green one on the left is almost new. I bought it about a month ago and loved it so much that I almost blogged about it before I realized how utterly ridiculous blogging about a water bottle would be.

When the BPA thing started getting wide exposure, I figured that I would just not let my kids and their little developing brains drink out of the toxic plastic. But then a friend of mine talked me into getting rid of them.

My new water bottle is an Eddie Bauer brand. I emailed them asking if I could get a refund. They emailed back with this:

"The manufacturers of our polycarbonate products monitor scientific research
concerning the safety of products including BPA.

Recent comprehensive reviews of polycarbonate and BPA by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, the American
Council on Science & Safety, and many regulatory bodies worldwide, including
the European Commission Scientific Committee on Food, the United Kingdom
Food Standards Agency, and the Japan Ministry for Health, Labor, & Welfare
all concluded that there is no known safety risk."


I hope you didn't bother reading all of that. Basically it said, "Blah de blah de blah, BPA is safe. You're not getting your money back."

But, I said to myself, my trusty friend and the Today Show says it's not safe. Who to believe?

Total items: 3

Videography Supplies Closet

This is the top half of our Cat Closet/Videography Equipment Closet:


The bottom half has dog and cat food bins, a litter box, and a shelf for our cats to sit on and eat in peace. Well, mostly.

There was a lot in this closet that doesn't need to be there. We don't have any bookshelves on the main level of our house, so I put the books that are next on my list in there. In lieu of making Quinn move into Sam and Jack's room and making his room a library, I decided to just go ahead and move these books to the shelves in the basement. I guess I can muster the strength to walk down the steps whenever I need a new book.

Except for our dictionary and our bird book. Those have to stay near my desk and the back-door-bird-viewing space respectively.

We keep a few oft-used tools in a plastic box up here so we don't have to walk downstairs to our tool cabinet everytime we need to hammer something. Yes, we are the laziest people on earth. Alex, in several fits of laziness (he may dispute this), overloaded this box and started dumping tools everywhere. I moved them downstairs.

I found some stuff for positions I hold in two organizations. Both of these positions will end in June. So I will put these items in the Videography Equipment Closet where they will be given a short-term lease.

My box of photo negatives from a time before digital cameras? If my photo albums can live in a cupboard in my bedroom, so can these.

My biggest dilemma was what to do with all my old greeting cards. What do you do with yours? I feel bad recycling them because they each cost $4 and I feel bad throwing them away. But that's ridiculous. So I propose a pact. We will only give each other homemade cards from now on. No more store-bought greeting cards.

If you need artwork for your homemade cards, let me know, because I happen to have a little three-man factory outputting dozens of pictures a day.

Counting my stack of cards as 1 item, I got rid of 4 groups of things from this closet.

But I made a big difference. See?


I made that bottom shelf all for my videography supplies (and Sam's karate bag over on the right).

The top shelf holds the swim class bag and my important memorabilia. All of this is easier to access now. This includes my kids' baby books and the scrapbooks I make of their school paraphenalia.

Don't get any ideas about me being a fancy scrapbooker. Really what I do is paste certificates and pictures on a page and then scrawl what year it happened. There are no stickers or fancy scissors involved.

You'll also see my 2007 edition of Stimeyland on paper. That's going to be gold someday when I need to embarrass my kids. The Junk Pyramid is purely to embarrass myself.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Goodbye, Crib! (Updated)

I was able to give away (one of) my crib(s) today. Hooray!

My friend S, who just had a very adorable baby whom I will be covering in smooches, head strokes, and foot pinches at my very first opportunity, needed a crib. And I just happened to have one in my garage.

To let you know just how awesome I am, it even had the instructions still with it.

I would show you a photo, but I forgot to take a picture until S's husband and father (in-law?) drove up to pick it up. And at that point I figured I would look a little bit too much like a lunatic if I were to photograph the item they were carting off.

If it had been S, I totally would have done it.

But I think all of you have seen cribs before. Imagine your crib, in a natural wood color, unassembled, and covered in garage dust and there you have it.

Total items for today: 1

UPDATED TO ADD: S read my post and, sympathetic to my lack of photo, emailed, "For thorough Junk Pyramid documentation purposes (should you so choose), here's a photo of the crib."

Oh, I choose.


Thanks, S!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let's Call it Even

Who would get rid of this awesome stuff, you may ask yourself.


Well, certainly not me.

My friend L is doing some decluttering of her own and was getting rid of these items. Crazy lady.

My family is planning on switching from paper napkins to cloth napkins in the near future [By the way, Alex, we're switching to cloth napkins in the near future.] and L gave me these awesome napkins to get me started. And then I walked past her "get rid of" box and couldn't just leave those three beautiful bowls in there.

Now I know how my friend H, to whom I give much of my detritus, feels when she sees my "get rid of" box.

But then I felt bad that I'd actually added stuff to my house today and had not done a stitch of decluttering. So I grabbed some easy stuff out of my silverware drawer.


I'm going to call it a draw. I added some stuff, but I took some stuff away too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How Many Goddamn Books Do I Have?!

I was in the garage getting the bag I'm setting out for the people at Value Village to pick up tomorrow when I decided that if I didn't take this opportunity to get rid of six quick things that I was a total idiot.

I walked over to a random bin and found a bag full of 45 childrens books. If I remember correctly, I had moved these out to the garage months ago because I thought my kids were too old for them, but I wasn't ready to part with them yet.

Obviously things have changed.

I am so ready to part with them now.


There was one book that I knew Quinn would love, so I brought it inside for him. (He was thrilled.)

That means I got rid of 44 books today.

There are certain people out there—you know who you are—who might be interested in some of these books. If you are, email me tonight and I will bring the bag (it's all or nothing in Stimeyland these days) to you tomorrow to do with as you please.

Thrift Store Mama, if you want some of them, they will available any day now at Value Village.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Neeeeeeeeerrrrrrrd!

I used to play computer games a lot. Alex used to play computer games even more. And everyone has software that becomes obsolete, duplicated, or incompatible because you bought it before your husband left the dark side (PC-ville) and joined the Jedis (Mac-land).

I decided to get rid of all of that shit today.

We've had this little cabinet forever and haven't looked into it in nearly as long. (See the dust?)


I went through it today and was surprised by how much I really didn't need. I obviously kept software I currently use, but I was able to get rid of a lot of superfluous stuff.

I am about to expose Alex and myself as nerds. Oh, who am I kidding. Everybody already knows we are nerds. Here is the software I'm getting rid of:


In my defense, most of the really embarrassing titles up there belong to Alex.

The Sims did belong to me. I was really excited about that game for a brief period of time. That is, until the little dude I created came home from work every day and couldn't eat or look for a better job because he was too busy sobbing. He was super depressed by the life I'd built for him. Poor little virtual dude.

I found 9 items to throw away and 14 to donate. And I took the little CD cabinet and I'm going to use it for my videography.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Decluttering is Bad

I fucking told you so.

Do you see what Alex is doing there? Do you see?!


That's right. He's pouring antibiotics into a cup for Sam to drink because WE DON'T HAVE ANY SYRINGES.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Double Feature: "A Fistful of Pens" & "Snacks on a Shelf"

For my movie theme today*, I took about ten DVDs out of their cases and put them in a DVD wallet that already houses most of my kids' videos. Then I re-purposed the cases over to my Videography Supplies Closet. (Not to be confused with the Videography Equipment Closet.)

I was able to find three children's videos that we can't watch because we don't use a VCR anymore.

*****

Though it may be hard to tell, the photo on the left is the before picture. This is one of those skinny little drawers next to the stove that isn't good for a whole lot. (Although as soon as I wrote that, about six ideas for uses popped into my head.)

Anyway, it wasn't serving a purpose other than holding assorted crap that I didn't know what to do with. Mostly that crap consisted of pens, markers, crayons, and pencils. (The reason you can't see them is because they're under all the other crap.)

But other crap to be thrown away was a deck of playing cards from McDonalds (huh?), a Weight Watchers food journal (only three pages filled out), and a barette. There were some things in there that were supposed to live in other places as well.

I took all of that out and made it my pet supplies drawer. (Not to be confused with my Pet Supplies Closet—it's complicated to live here.)

I counted the mountain of pens as one item, added that to the three other things from the drawer I threw out, included the three videos, and came up with 7 items.

*****

So, Cara, you say my house doesn't look like a Container Store, huh? I'll show you!**


That's my snack cabinet after I reorganized it today. (And took a trip to The Container Store.) I know I didn't throw anything away, but doesn't it look beautiful and streamlined?

See the improvement you've forced me into, Cara? And look how happy you've made my visiting gerbils. They get to recycle all these boxes for me over the course of the next week.


See the little dude in there drooling?

You'll also see a copy of some small Maryland suburbs yellow pages that I'm getting rid of, because if a listing is in there, it's probably also in my regular-sized yellow pages and I don't need duplicate phone books.

So that brings my total number of items for the day to: 8

* Could you tell it's a movie theme? I was playing on A Fistful of Dollars and Snakes on a Plane. It made perfect sense to me.

** She's right. My house makes pretty much any other house look like The Container Store. I didn't take any offense from her comments.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Have I Lost My Mojo?

Have I just turned into the crazy cat lady who's trying to dump her useless crap on others? Has The Junk Pyramid become a three days out of seven endeavor?

Maybe.

But I'm not giving up. And if you'll notice my new column in "The Count" over there at the right, you'll see I'm still well ahead of my goal of 46 days x 6 items a day.

I may not be as gung ho as I was in late February, but I still have shitloads of junk in my house to get rid of, so don't give up on me yet!

(And don't worry, I'm still going to try to pawn off all my expired medication onto y'all.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Free To Good Home (Now With Update)

It seems like a shame to throw all of this feline Advantage away.


Don't even ask me how I ended up with all of this. I have no earthly idea. I guess I must have kept on buying it way after I stopped using it.

I do have cats, but they are indoor cats and (knock on wood) they don't get fleas. Or, rather, they have not had fleas for the whole five years we've lived here, and I haven't put this on them, so I'm thinking I don't need it.

Which brings up something else: this Advantage is probably really old. I don't know if it expires, but it seems like it would still work, right? Maybe?

Anyway, in what might be the lamest giveaway ever, I am offering free, finely-aged feline Advantage shipped to your home. Act now and you will also get this awesome orange mouse of questionable origin as well.

To enter, just leave me a comment on this post. I'll pick a winner on Sunday, April 13.

* Participants in this giveaway acknowledge that "finely-aged" means "probably expired" and agree not to hold The Junk Pyramid responsible for any fleas or other negative consequences of using the FANTASTIC prize of this giveaway. *

EDITED TO ADD: No one wants my Advantage. Sniff. Don't any of you people have cats?! All right, I guess I forgive you because I wouldn't have wanted it if you had offered.

The Videography Equipment Closet

FINALLY!

Are you as tired of hearing about the goddamn videography equipment closet as I am of thinking about it?

If so, you'll be pleased to hear that I finally cleaned it out today. And did I hit the mother lode!

The picture to the left is not very good. There's a sweater hanging on the door and a dog lollygagging in the front of the photo, so it's hard to see exactly how much of a nightmare this closet really is.

But it was terrible. I couldn't get to the things on the bottom without lifting heavy boxes full of the things on the top. So I never bothered to get to the things on the bottom.

The first thing I did was pull everything out of this closet. It would have been impossible to work on it without clearing it out first.

I wanted to put the file cabinet on the side of the closet, but if I did that, I wouldn't be able to open the drawers, so I had to leave it sort of in the middle. But fortunately the space left on the side of the file cabinet is exactly guitar sized. With a little room left over for a yoga mat.

I ended up consolidating all of my videography equipment and putting it on the shelf above the bar. I have some lighting stuff in the garage, but the garage is a whole other thing. I can't even think about that yet.

I did still have to stack three boxes there in the right side of the photo, but the one on the bottom has music books for the guitar, and since I don't actually play the guitar, I don't need them very often. Someday I'll learn. Someday.

The middle box has some occasionally used desk things and software CDs and manuals.

The box on the top is full of stuff I'm keeping for my board position at my kids' preschool. It's not actually stuff I use, but it's stuff I have to keep around. My board position expires in June. And then I will be passing that box onto the next sucker who takes my job.

I know the two photos above don't look dramatically different, but do you want to see what I got rid of?


And the printer I'm donating didn't even make the photo.

That there is 24 items, my friends.

Included in that count are three boxes and one stack of computer discs. I wanted to count them as 51 items, but the friend I was on the phone with at the time wouldn't let me. So I counted them as four. Some of these discs are so old that they are for a word processor I had way back in college.

Hopefully you will never hear the words "videography equipment closet" again. At least not from me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Syringe Hoarding

After reading the comments from my Secondary Utensil Drawer post, I realized that I am not the only one with a syringe hoarding problem.

So in light of the fact that I am really tired tonight (sense a theme here?) and don't want to get going on that videography equipment closet (it'll happen some day), I decided to lead by example and get rid of the rest of my syringes and medicine cups.

It makes me very nervous.

In fact, as I type, I am remembering perfectly good uses for old syringes: forcing water into a dehydrated child's unwilling mouth, forcing medicine into the unwilling mouth of a child who refuses to drink it from a cup, and for whatever other liquids need to be forced into unwilling mouths.

I'm starting to sweat. But I already threw them in the trash and if I went and dug one out, it would not only be embarrassing and against everything we at The Junk Pyramid stand for, but it would also put me at only five items for the day.

So, thus begins my syringe-less life. Wish me luck. And compliant children.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

If It's Heavy and I Own It, I Moved It Today*

1) Moved my dresser to a new location in my bedroom.

2) Moved my elliptical machine to where my dresser used to be.

3) Moved my treadmill from our TV room to the upstairs room where my elliptical used to be.

4) Moved my TV room chair to where the treadmill used to be and repositioned the rug. First moved all the furniture off the rug and vacuumed all the icky stuff off the floor. Moved all the furniture back.

5) Moved an electric piano into my TV room where my chair used to be.

Shouldn't I be fitter with all this exercise equipment I have? It's ironic to realize how out of shape you are because it is so difficult to move largely ignored workout paraphenalia.

The result of this whole reorganization is that we have us a new-to-us piano to delight the children and drive us completely bonkers. It also means that our TV room looks a lot more like a den and a lot less like the only place in the house where there was room to put the treadmill so we put it there.


So, not 6 items, but a productive day nonetheless

*****

* Alex helped.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hidden Junk

Oh, my day. There's a long story behind why we had to drop Alex at the airport very early this morning, only to have him return very late tonight in a U-Haul he picked up in Cleveland around mid-morning and then filled with a dining room table, chairs, and a piano.

There's a long story, but I'm not going to tell it.

Because I'm exhausted. Because I had these three kids all day with no school, no playdates, nothing.

And not only that, but tomorrow is Alex's birthday, so they were all hepped up about, "We have to get ready for Daddy's birthday! We have to get a cake for Daddy's birthday! We have to wrap presents for Daddy's birthday!"

(We have to throw our screaming, freak-out tantrums while Daddy is gone for Daddy's birthday!)

So between going to the park, cleaning the house, cleaning vomit off the book Jack was reading when he got carsick this morning, trying to be a good mom, doing some craft projects, going to the grocery store, trying not to murder my children, and wrapping presents, I decluttered exactly one item.

This:


Not the bird. That's Jerzy, and I love him.

I found this leftover bit of babyhood tucked behind a curtain in my kitchen. As far as I know, it is the last little bit of baby monitor we own.

And a receiver is not much good without a transmitter, so instead of donating it, I'm putting it in the trash.

Total items for today: 1, purely by happenstance

You'll excuse me. I'm going to go throw a frozen pizza into the oven for my kids.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Detritus

See the image of the Junk Pyramid up there? No, no, to the left. No, the other left. It's orange and triangular. Higher...a little higher...there! See how it mentions "detritus?" I used that term because I love it. Something about the way it rolls off my tongue, as well as the mental picture it brings up for me is terrific.

(The mental picture, by the way, involves bits of floating boards left over from a shipwreck. Which is actually more like flotsam—another great word. Weird things go on in people's brains. Or at least in mine.)

Today I truly found some detritus. I was still not motivated to go into the closet from hell I successfully avoided yesterday. Instead I went after the top middle drawer of my desk.

It was chock full of detritus:


After looking at this drawer, I am enacting a new law which states: All pens, pencils, highlighters and other writing utensils must be removed from their packaging before they are put in this drawer. Failure to comply will result in tarring and feathering.

(FYI, tarring and feathering wasn't as fun as it sounds. Are you watching John Adams on HBO? Did you see that guy get tarred and feathered? Shudder.)

What else did I find other than (a hell of a lot of) trash? Well, I always think there are no pens at my desk. Turns out there are 27.

Also pencils that I think I might have bought when I was in college. (How do you remember purchasing pencils, you may ask. Well, it was a GIANT pack of them that I bought for really cheap. I remember thinking what a good bargain it was. That's how I remember. Not to mention the segment of my brain that tries to remember why I just walked into the kitchen is currently occupied by the pencil information.)

Let's see what else... Thank you notes go here. Red ink Alex used to use because the judge he worked for only let him write in red can go in the trash. More thumbtacks? Those will be trash. Another stapler? Donation box. Four staple removers (two different types)? I'll keep one of each kind. Little bits of fingernails? How did these even get here? (I'm keeping those.)


Among some other things, I kept blank labels, post-it notes, pens, pencils, 2 rulers, a calculator and a scientific calculator (I'm donating a calculator as well), and a keychain photo from when my whole family went to see Thomas the Tank Engine in person.

The other thing I had to deal with was a stack of membership and other types of cards. We tend to forget to throw these out when they expire. I found memberships and things that expired in May of 2004.

See my beautiful drawer now!


It's hard to determine exactly how many items I got rid of by looking at that giant pile of detritus above. I came up with 14 items, 7 cards, and a big ol' chunk of trash.

Not bad for a Friday.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

There's Always Tomorrow...

Today I was going to attack this closet that's been at the back of my mind ever since I started this project. Most importantly, it's my videography equipment closet, but it also contains a lot of other things: various folders and boxes full of God knows what, my guitar, a file cabinet full of outdated files, and so much more.

I'm worried.

I don't want to go in there.

Today I was going to.

But then Quinn asked me to make cookies and I sort of wanted to do that anyway because I was taking dinner to someone this evening and wanted to add some yumminess (oatmeal and M&M cookies definitely fit that bill).

While in the middle of that process, I found my Secondary Utensils Drawer:


I had originally repurposed this drawer during a decluttering frenzy last fall that was really more of a reorganizational frenzy.

At that time I put all the utensils I didn't use very often in this drawer. (Hence "Secondary Utensils.") When I found this drawer today, I realized that I could actually junk a bunch of this stuff.


Quinn took liquid antibiotics for the first several months of his life, so every two weeks I would go refill his prescription and get another syringe with which to shoot it down his little newborn throat. I kept a couple because they can be useful, but I got rid of eight of them today. I also got rid of three of the little dosage cups that come with medicine.

I don't sift flour, so I got rid of my sifter (that is what that is, right?). We had two knife sharpeners, so I got rid of one. I tossed the storage compartment for my blender, because the blender lives in the drawer and doesn't need a storage compartment. And a couple assorted other things.

Here's my drawer now:


It will quickly regress to look like the photo at the top, but at least it will have less stuff.

Total items for today: 20

Oh! Oh! I put the dinner I took to my friend in a cloth bag and told her she could keep it. So...

Total items for today: 21

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Souvenir Cups Are Lame

I'm tired and I don't feel like decluttering, but while I was getting cups for my kids' dinner tonight, I had to fight past a sea of plastic, so I decided to get rid of the stupid million dollar cups I've been sold at places like the zoo and baseball games.


Never let me buy one of these again. They're stupid. (Can you tell that I'm cranky?) And no matter how much I believe I will carry the cup back to the zoo and get a refill, I will not.

Then there are a couple of kids cups there. Believe it or not, I bought that stack of Thomas the Tank Engine cups for Sam's second birthday party. Things sure hold up well if you don't use them.

So that's 8 cups. But I have to subtract one item because Quinn caught me trying to give a Lightning McQueen book to a friend, so I had to bring it back home. So I'll add 7 items to my count for the day.