as a clutter-phobe, i am lucky to be married to someone who doesn’t buy a lot of stuff or mind (too much) when i maniacally throw something of his away (sorry!). but it still surprised me that pierre (once he figured out what i was doing) supported the minsgame challenge and was willing to sift through a few drawers himself. before he got started he asked, “what counts?” i thought it was a pretty good question because, obviously, things come in and go out of the house everyday — like, does getting rid of junk mail or returning wine bottles to the liquor store count? i don’t know about the real rules, but we decided that only items that we had decided previously to keep and now decided to toss would count. for example, we get one magazine at the house that we read and then recycle immediately. on the other hand, we get a few magazines that we read and then save for future reference. so, the magazine we get and always recycle? doesn’t count. the dozens of issues of en route that i’ve kept in our book case for years? would count. (but won’t because they’re staying! i will totally move those to bc.) this might look a little different for you (say, you’ve got 40 empty wine bottles that have been sitting in your basement for years and the minsgame challenge finally inspires you to go claim your $6… then you might want to count your wine bottles in your tally.)
okay, so with pierre on board, here’s what we got rid of this week:
december 15 — we decided to return our little bungalow’s layout to a small dining room and larger living room on the main floor. while our dining room table for 10 was a handmade wedding gift and is not up for sale, we’re not exactly hosting too many dinner parties these days and having it take up the largest room in our house is not really the best use of our space for us right now. we do plan on moving it to bc, but i did donate our table runners (2), linen napkins (10), bedskirt (1), some fabric remnants and an old shower curtain (1).
december 16 — we went through our outerwear and donated a bunch of hats and scarves and a cheap pair of ski goggles (5), some jackets (4), an old robe (1) of mine, running shoes (3), a soccer jersey (1), a set of three lb weights (2) and a sleep mask (1).
december 17 — i took a package of juice boxes (11) to the grocery store’s food drive bin, some cat food (2) to the vet’s food drive bin, donated pierre’s hard hat (1) and recycled his university textbooks (5).
december 18 — i donated some non-saleable (e.g., hats) baby items (15), took my friend sarah some baby hand-me-downs (10), threw away the soothers (5) that frankie no longer uses and took a stroller accessory (1) to the consignment store that i frequent.
december 19 — i went through my “work boxes,” which are two large bins that hold the contents of my office from when i went off on maternity leave and mementos from previous jobs. in short, these boxes hold lots and lots of children’s books (23). most of our children’s books are in either frankie rose’s bedroom or play area, but i was hanging on to a lot of books that aren’t age appropriate for her (non-fiction books or chapter books) that i was keeping in case they are handy for my next job — whatever that is. i decided that a lot of the non-fiction titles would probably be out of date by the time i go back to work and that it wouldn’t be worth moving them. there was a holiday children’s book drive happening in my neighbourhood so i dropped a box off there.
december 20 — i sorted through my jewelry box and donated pretty much all my costume jewelry (18) and pierre added two pairs of cufflinks (2) and a never-worn watch (1). for my part, i could have actually gotten rid of the entire jewelry box as it’s quite large and, rather than jewelry, holds mostly things that should go in a fire safe box like my passport, frankie’s birth certificate, etc. i have my wedding rings, a watch, two pairs of earrings and maybe two bracelets and one necklace that i actually wear — surely a job for a much smaller box. but, i’m keeping it because, ostentatious or not, i do use it, but it could definitely be smaller and plainer than it is.
december 21 — i went through the kitchen again and got rid of a milk jug (1), vase (1), baskets (2), pens (4), magazine holder (1) and just some other miscellaneous tchotchkes. i’m not tallying sheets of paper, but i also went through all our recipes and recycled a thick stack of print-outs, keeping only the recipes for things we cook over and over again. i donated two pairs of earrings (2) that i never wear. and six pieces of luggage/tote bags (6). i had so many bags that basically held the same amount of stuff, but i always use one particular bag when we go away overnight or for a weekend so all the rest of them were just taking up space.
end of week three and we are now at a total of 275 things! lots more to go through next week including the kitchen (again), the shed, the storage space under the stairs and the christmas decorations (anything that didn’t get put out this year is going). i don’t seem to be running out of areas to purge; it’s surprising how much stuff this small house can hold!