Saturday, November 30, 2019

Less is more - day 30

On this last day of my 30-Day Minimalism Challenge, I thought this was a very appropriate find.  After getting rid of  25 Homeschooling Today magazines earlier this week, I came upon a file box full of over 40 more!   Aaaahhhh!

Organized by year, no less - with indexes for each year.  😯
Let it be known that I am one amazingly organized hoarder.

It seems apt to end my challenge with a large collection of something I've saved that represents the past, when that's how I began this challenge on Day 1. 

I wrote then:  [This challenge is] about making decisions.  It will be a month full of making decisions about things I'm going to let go of, things I'm going to keep.  Hopefully, it will result in some clarity about how what I own should reflect my life - what I want out of  life, and what I want life to be about in this stage.  

Well, homeschooling is definitely not what my life is about anymore.  And yet, here I am, five years after my youngest graduated, hanging on to all these remnants of those bygone days.

Just as I set those t-shirts free a month ago (and my thoughts of what I once felt inspired to make with them), I now set free nearly 75 publications that were inspiration for things I wanted to do with my young sons years ago.  Some happened.  Some didn't.  C'est la vie.

Goodbye 40+ more things that are truly no more than weight for me today!

If you have the stomach for one more post on the subject, I'll be popping in early next week with some things I've learned during this month-long exercise.  

Thank you, again - everyone who offered encouragement this month.  It was a fun experience, but you made it more fun.  πŸ˜™

Friday, November 29, 2019

Less is more - day 29

More random stuff:

After studying this magnificent collection, I thought you might like to play an eye-spy game.  Can you find:

An Opryland torch holder (or possibly shot glass)
A child's art project
A race enthusiast's collectible
Shock protectors
Four handle-less cups
Two brass noise makers
An ankle bracelet that doubles as a jump rope
A box of crustacean armor 
      & lumps of minerals and chemical compounds
An ice cream liquidator
A carrier for a digital brain
An empty confection box
Four mini vases
A glass pottage holder
A box of torch holders & various related items
Seven bound manuscripts

More than 29 more things going tootle loo!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Less is more - day 28

Today is a random collection of things:

A couple of photo albums - I guess for all the digital photos we don't print anymore, a curtain valance that doesn't fit my "yarn room" anymore, yarn I don't like anymore, slippers I don't wear anymore, a spider plant I don't care for anymore, two bird whistles no one whistles anymore, strainers I don't strain with anymore, plastic doilies I never did use, a crocheted bag I don't particularly care for anymore, and linens that are worn out and won't get used anymore.  

That said, before this very old, worn-out pillowcase gets tossed, I'm going to try to remove this very sweet bell trim that someone crocheted for it once upon a time:

I'm just amazed at how a pillowcase can be worn and shredding in places, and this delicate looking trim is still going strong.

Twenty-eight more things gone!

Happy Thanksgiving all my U.S. friends!

I'm enjoying the day with family - 
eating Italian and playing games.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Less is more - day 27

Today is Hub's turn again.  He went through all his paints that he's used for model painting over the years and found 27 containers of old, dried up paint:

Not much to say, except I'm glad he's had a hobby where he looses track of supplies too.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Less is more - day 26

As you can see below, I'm beginning a purge of lots of files.  I have so many files...   from years of homeschooling...  being a Sunday School teacher...   being involved in various aspects of children's ministry...  being a mom...  I have collected pictures, brochures, maps, party ideas, cake designs...   you name it...  if it was on paper and I thought it was clever at all, I filed it away.  

Some of it I actually used.  

The first picture represents 26 files of travel brochures and miscellaneous pictures, lesson plans, I think I see a valentine idea even.  We'll (maybe) salvage any file folders that are in good condition, but otherwise, everything below is going straight into a box for recycling.

Someone, please tell me I won't regret this.

And below are a bunch more materials (similar to the above) pulled from even more files.  I'd say at least 27 files because this was originally going to be a separate post for day 27.  Honestly, I've lost track of how many files I've cleaned out.

I threw in some magazines and a yarn catalog to recycle, and a timeline kit that I'm going to try to rehome.    A lot is buried under the top layers and isn't even visible.  Everything from these two pictures (minus the timeline kit) overfilled a box that held a case of paper (or 10 reams of printer paper). 

So much paper!   πŸ˜Ÿ

Hopefully, now that it's set free it will become something else.

Like this, maybe:

A video explaining how paper is recycled


Monday, November 25, 2019

Less is more - day 25

I don't normally hang on to magazines for very long, but Taste of Home and Homeschool Today magazines have felt hard (for me) to get rid of over the years.  

The reason Homeschooling Today magazines are hard to get rid of is only obvious to another subscriber (or maybe a subscriber wannabe).  They are full of great ideas for home educators who enjoy pulling together their own curriculum.  They also have sections that focus on the fine arts and literature, so a person who's interested in doing so, could actually pull their curriculum for these subjects directly from the pages of the magazine. 

I have no idea if Homeschooling Today is still this amazing resource, but that's why I've saved these. 

I think I'll check with a friend who's in one of the co-ops we used be part of, to see if she thinks there might be some takers.  If so, I'll place them at one of their gatherings with some other freebies.  If they don't get taken, the next plan is to place them directly into our home recycling bin.  At which point, I'll remind myself to not save things just because I think someone else may want it some day. πŸ˜•

I know it's not necessary to mention this, but being that this week will be busy with various things, not the least of which is getting ready for Thanksgiving, I've managed to pull together all the rest of the posts for this month.  And they're ready to roll out! 

Truly...  getting rid of begets more getting rid of and we've managed to collect a pile of things to get rid of that still haven't been shown.  As of this writing, they're actually already gone (or are heading out soon).

I spent some time on Sunday taking the photographs and finishing up the posts.  So this week, while you'll see posts appear here daily (I hope), I'm actually errand running, grocery shopping appointment keeping, cleaning, cooking...  all the things the rest of you are likely doing.

Anyway, I thought I'd just be transparent about all the posts this week because I'm sure some would wonder how I can do all this decluttering during what's typically a busy week for folks.  

When this month is over I'll recap and share some thoughts I have about this challenge.  We're on a roll here and I fully expect it to continue beyond this little 30-Day Minimalism Game.  πŸ‘  Not the daily posting, but the getting rid of.  πŸ˜‰

Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Less is more - day 24

I've had this post ready for over two weeks - remember when I said I had a clever idea for a get-it-outa-the-house haul?   

Well...  it started with coming across these 6 candles:

I bought them once upon a time for small gifts.  But somehow I never got around to gifting them.   I was going to just donate them and then it occurred to me that if I just applied myself, I could create six nifty gifts and empty my house of more than just the candles.

So...  I added some hand-knitted dishcloths I already had (2 per candle):

Then dug through my gift bags and tissue paper, and came up with six gifts - all now ready at a moment's notice for a cute little gift when something like this will be appropriate:

Including the bags (that we seem to continually accumulate) here are 24 more things ready to leave my house!  I'm thinking between Thanksgiving and Christmas I'll surely find homes for these.

You've gotta admit...  that's a lot more clever than just donating them, right?

And since today is my Year of Project Update,  I also want to share two scarves I finished this past week:

An easy ribbed scarf made with two strands of a pretty paprika-colored yarn, combined with a closely matching fingering weight yarn - for a bit of depth.


 A Puff Stitch scarf.  Oh, how I love this.  I'm giving this one away, but hopefully soon I'll start on one for me!

To see what other YOPers are up to, visit their blogs -- over there in my sidebar.  πŸ‘‰

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Less is more - day 23

Organizing the spice drawer I found 23 bottles or tins of expired (and I mean some seriously expired) spices and spice blends.  The truly sad thing is some of these had duplicates.  These bottles have been hanging around, possibly being used while I could have been using fresher spices!  sigh

I know it's pretty impossible to not find oneself with old spices at any given time.  Some get used regularly, and some are purchased for a recipe - never to be used again. I don't even think buying spices from bulk containers can relieve that scenario (nevermind that I don't know of a place where I can buy spices from bulk - i.e. buy only what I might reasonably use in say... a year's time.  At least, I'm not aware of a place anywhere near me.

While I'm not a stickler for expiration dates, I think I should probably try harder to dispose of them within, say... the decade they expire.    😏

Friday, November 22, 2019

Less is more - day 22

Today is hubby's turn again and he pulled from the DVD and book shelves:

Eighteen Dr. Who video sets and four books for a total of 22 things leaving!  πŸ˜ƒ

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Less is more - day 21

Still under the weather, I really don't have it in me this evening to dig through my closet, or kitchen drawers, or anything that requires much thought.  So I pulled open a few drawers in my paper craft area and found some odds and ends that I'm happy to say good bye to.

An old calendar with pretty pictures that I don't care about anymore, some rubber stamps that won't be missed, some blingy-thingy, miscellaneous photo cards I don't remember why I've been saving them, and lastly a little crocheted pumpkin "box" that was kind of cute when I first made it, but now it's become misshapen and it long ago quit making me smile.  

Bye-Bye 21 things!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Less is more - day 20

Today I ventured into the desk and shelves where I keep cookbooks and recipes.  My cookbook collection is way out of control, so this is the start of ending that madness.  

Twenty cookbooks or recipe booklets - outa here!

Since I'm all about owning my problem, I'll go head and confess... I had two copies of The Pioneer Woman Cookbook, and the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook.  And I have a NEW Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, so maybe the older duplicate of the one above that I'm saving for now, I'll discard later.  And should I risk being heckled by tell you how many I'm keeping (for now)?  

Nah...  I'll let you guess - until I put up my post on Sunday 11/24. 

If you live in the continental U.S., and you want to participate, post your guess of how many cookbooks I still have in my collection.   The one who's closest can have her/his choice of any one of the above books (except the Pioneer Woman Cookbook - sorry...  I'm going to make that a Christmas gift).

Here's a list of what you can choose from (you can tell me later what you'd like if you're the winner):

Food for Dudes (board book)
Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipes (board book)
Diabetic Meals in 30 Minutes or Less!
Working Mom's Fast & Easy One-Pot Cooking
Secrets of the Great Old-Time Cooks
Encyclopedia Brown Takes The Cake!
Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook
First Ladies Cook Book
The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook
Dinner's in the Freezer

Pamphlets (winner take all):
How to Grow the Tomato and 115 Ways to Prepare it for the Table by George W. Carver
Tasty Recipes for People with Diabetes and Their Families
Second Helping (My Slow Cooker)
Slow Cooker Suppers For The Cookingly Challenged
Mix It Up! 
Bisquick Party Book (vintage)
Favorite Christmas Cookies
Homemade for the Holidays
Irish Food & Fun (76 Recipe Cards)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Less is more - day 19

I came down sick last night with something  😷 so was glad for Hubs to take a  turn at minimizing today.   He sold 6 new models online (packaged and mailed already), and sent off some DVDs to a friend in Florida who gives them to a VFW post where they have a lending library.  The VHS tapes got taken to Goodwill.

House is clearer by 19 more items today!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Less is more - day 18

I'm venturing back into my closet.  It's fairly organized, if crowded in there, but recently (when moving things around for painting) I stuck some items in there that don't really belong.  Good.  If they don't belong there, maybe they don't belong anywhere here.  

An advantage to moving things out of the space they've been residing is that it gives a bit of a fresh perspective on them. Looking at these today, I'm not even sure why these books were being saved in the first place, let alone deemed worthy to carry into my closet when my "yarn room" was being emptied to paint:

Actually, the Nat'l Gallery of Art book is one I've been hanging on to for years.  I have lots of art books.  They are probably the hardest for me to let go of.  Today I watched a short Minimalist video where The Minimalists, Joshua and Ryan talk about working the "muscles" of minimizing by letting go of some hard things.  Not necessarily precious things, but things that are perceived to be hard to let go of for whatever reason.  So...

One big fat art book and 17 other miscellaneous books -  
for a total of 18 more books going to find new homes!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Less is more - day 17

First, my Year of Projects update...

I started crocheting this Puff Stitch Scarf yesterday and am already a third of the way finished.  I love how this is turning out and how quickly it's working up.  It's a prettier mustard color than my camera was able to pick up in the light I was shooting.  This one is meant for a gift, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be making another for myself when this one is finished.


And for my 30-Day Minimalism Challenge:

Checking out a bathroom cabinet to see what might be lurking in there that could go, I saw light bulbs I haven't liked since the day someone brought them home.  They're 75 watts.   Where do you use a 75 watt bulb?  It's too much wattage for 60-watt fixtures, and too dim for a table lamp.  I seriously dislike them.  I've used a few (possibly in some 60 watt fixtures - I don't know), but I overall, I avoid using them.  Which means they've been in this cabinet for several years - annoying me every time I see them.

So bye-bye 75-watt lightbulbs!  

I'm happier already.  πŸ˜€

I'm curious what kind of light bulbs others like.   Sometimes I long for the days when picking out a light bulb was a simple matter.  Heading to the store, all I needed to know was what wattage, and size of the screw end the fixture could receive.  The shape and size of bulbs was pretty standard.  I might choose between a regular bulb shape or a flame shape, but really... wasn't it about that simple?  Yes...  I miss those days.

On the other hand, today I kind of enjoy discovering brighter lights than I knew existed before (if they existed before).

I've disliked CFLs ever since they made their appearance, and LEDs have had to evolve to something usable in regular light fixtures and lamps, but now that they have, I'm kind of in love with them.  Not their price tag, but the bulbs for sure.

The older I get I'm finding I like my lights bright.  I prefer a cool white to soft white for reading and doing handwork, so my lamps are slowly starting to get brighter (as a bulb burns out, I often replace it with an LED daylight bulb).  It's not always the perfect choice, but I'm so glad to have a choice!  

Daylight bulbs don't create the ambiance that a soft white bulb does, and figuring out the balance and placement of soft white and daylight bulbs in a room is still a process for me, but overall...  I like my lights brighter than softer and yellower. And the great benefit of LED bulbs is I can put brighter bulbs in lower wattage sockets - and that makes my aging eyes very happy.

Adding a note for anyone who hasn't been initiated into the LED converted crowd...  When buying them, note how large the bulb is.  Many LEDs have bulb ends that are too large for  the harp on some lamps, and the enclosure of  ceiling light fixtures.    

It took a little trial and error on my part, so I thought this might be worth mentioning.  Do research, read the reviews, and be sure of the bulb size (and lumens - you want to learn a bit about lumens) before ordering.  Also, some are not dimmable, so if this is important, look for that on the packaging -- though, buying name-brand LED bulbs, I have yet to have a problem with putting them in dimmable light fixtures.  Light fixtures and your experience could vary.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Less is more - day 16

Cleaning out my candles and candle holders, I found at least 16 candles that are in some way ugly, pretty much used up, or just not wanted anymore.  Don't worry, I still have plenty to burn, but now have twice as much space on the shelf where they're stored.  Ultimately, I'd like to stop storing candles as I really don't burn them often.  Baby steps... 

Believe me when I tell you these candles look better in the picture than they do in person.  The ways candles can turn unattractive are many, I've learned.  πŸ˜•

And now for your listening pleasure (and because I couldn't resist😊):

From the year I was born, here are The Crests singing "Sixteen Candles"


Friday, November 15, 2019

Less is more - day 15

Today I just quickly collected a random assortment of things in the kitchen cabinets. 

Nothing noteworthy.  Nothing clever.  Just some odd stuff we truly don't need and don't really use.  Except that any of the cups might be grabbed for coffee or hot chocolate.  But there are still enough others that no one is going to miss these.  

I was chatting with my oldest son last night and I told him about this challenge.  He did the math in his head and he laughed and said he didn't think he had 465 things, period - let alone 465 things to get rid of.  I think he might be surprised.  I said I imagine I could pick any random category of things we have and could probably find 465 things to get rid of in each category.  Then today, I thought...  except for a few rooms, I could probably complete this 30-Day challenge in each room!   And I doubt I'm alone in that.

I'm very glad I'm doing this.  I don't really expect to see a big difference in our house in just this one attempt at the 30-Day Minimalism Game, but it's doing something to my brain and how I think about the stuff we have.  

Honestly...  it's kind of a challenge to not get rid of more.  It seems the further I go with it, the more clarity I get about all the stuff I have.  I find myself asking "Why do I keep this (or that)?  What do I actually use it for?"  But then I tell myself, "Pace yourself.  No sense in just going hog-wild clearing stuff out.  You might regret it later."  I think the truth is somewhere between those two thoughts and I hope to land solidly on it at some point.   And I'm hoping this sense of wanting less stuff stays with me when I'm done with this challenge this month.  

I appreciate those who are following along and are offering encouragement.  You're the best!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Less is more - day 14

These books have been like a friend to me since sometime this summer.  I started reading them, not sure I'd have the stick-to-it-tive-ness to read a series straight through that was 14 books long, but I got hooked and they are the only books I've read for months.  In a way I'll be sad when the series ends, but I'm also looking forward to reading something(s) different.

A quarter of the way through Sunrise, I'm beginning to see the end, and I'm pretty sure these will be re-homed this month.  I would have waited to post this picture until I was actually finished reading them and they were ready to head out the door, but when I realized what day it was in the month I couldn't resist.  πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Less is more - day 13

I opened a dresser drawer today just to see what was inside and I was surprised to find more than a dozen new/nearly new socks.  Then I remembered...  I bought them I bought them for my guys because I thought they liked these ankle-length kind, only to find out they like low-rise or no-show socks - and actually, now that I think about it more... they wear black or gray far more than white ones.  I also remember that at the time I thought I'd wear them so I put them in a dresser drawer for my future use.  But I'm pretty sure I've had these for at least a year (if not two) and I haven't worn them - because you know what...   I don't really care for the length either.   

I ended up sorting through all my white socks (even the ones I wear - which would really only be as bed socks when it's bitter cold).  Some of the socks got tossed and more than a dozen pairs got culled and set aside for...  what?  

Are opened, even slightly used (or just washed) socks good to donate?  One way or another these are out of here.  But I welcome hearing suggestions - even if it's "throw them away"!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Less is more - day 12

Tonight I did a quick look through my closet and easily picked out 12 items that can go.  They either don't fit, are possibly a color I'm not all that fond of, too worn to wear in public, or...  they don't fit.  Oh yeah, I said that already, didn't I.

There are too many things in my closet that don't fit.  Above is a dress (and sweater) that I wore when my youngest was 4.  He's now 24.   I'm wearing the outfit in a church directory photo, so I know exactly how many years it's been in my closet, and approximately how many years it hasn't fit.  

The eternal optimist in me wants to think I'll get back down to the sizes of these clothes I have that don't fit.  But I know the truth is that if I actually ever do accomplish that kind of weight loss, I won't want to wear those same garments.  Why is it so hard to just let those things go?

Tonight I wasn't up to doing the psychological work of tackling what keeps me holding on to things like clothing that doesn't fit, but I think I'm going to take another tour through my closet another day during this challenge.  We'll see if I make some more progress in this area.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Less is more - day 11

Hubs went out alone today looking for a table to hold a turntable and speakers in our family room.  We'd been making do with something, but we wanted a more permanent solution.  Well...  he found two tables and I liked them both for different reasons when I saw the pictures he texted me.  It was a little impulsive, but both of us agreed he should buy them both and we'd figure out after he got them home exactly how we'd use them.

Well, one works perfectly for the stereo and I decided to put one up in my new room.  Which meant some rearranging, which meant emptying the shelves in the bookcase, which meant taking another gander at what I had stowed there.

I decided I could part with some more pamphlets and magazines.  Eleven to be exact!  And it wasn't even hard.  Maybe this getting rid of is getting easier...

It might be about time to move into my closet 
now that I'm picking up steam.