30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 16

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 16

Day 16

121. This kitchen scale.

Stopped working just a few months after I got it. Actually, it still weighs, but it’s wildly inaccurate (it might register that a cup of rice weighs four pounds) and there is no way to re-set it. Junk.

122. This empty tin.

Remember when this brand of watches was popular? They came retro-inspired tins like this one. I still have the watch, too.

123. This heart.

I’m just not a plastic huggy-heart type of guy.

124-125. These bookmarks.

I made these bookmarks from clip-art way back in 1991.

126. This cellphone.

I checked the trade-in value of this iPhone 3, and it is currently less than $5. My time is worth more than what it would take for me to pack it up and send it in.

127. This cellphone cover.

128. This film camera.

This is a Lomo “ColorSplash” 35mm camera. It has a rotating filter that covers the flash, so you can add a pop of color to your photos. I’m sure some of these are still in use (just not by me.)

129-135. These plastic clownfishes

Wow, did I have a thing for fish in the 1980s – 1990s. They’re cute, but I have no use for them anymore. (Enough clowns in my life as it is.)

136. This red hippo.

This was a sample from a trade show.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 15

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 15

Day 15: The Half-way Point

In terms of time, I’m now at the half-way point in the challenge, although there’s a way to go yet to reach the half-way mark in terms of number of things disposed of.

I never really start out thinking “OK, today’s challenge is going to be all red and yellow things” but somewhere along the way, a theme usually develops. And, is it me, or do I seem to hoard things in fours?

106-109. These heart- and flower-shaped ice cube trays

110-111. These empty boxes for mounted slides

I went to art school “back in the day” when we had to photograph things on film, then develop it, and mount the slides in little plastic holders, which went into a big plastic holder called a carousel. When they weren’t in carousels, we kept slides in boxes like these.

112-115. These four plastic bubbles

I probably bought these from the gum machines at the grocery store near the exit, and I probably got them more for these plastic bubbles than whatever was inside them.

116. This silly putty

Isn’t life silly enough?

117-120. These four diner baskets

Yes, friends. I am weeding out some of my diner-related paraphernalia. Get over it. These have taken up valuable space in my kitchen cabinet for years since they were last used.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 14

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: Toy Boxes

Two weeks. We’re passing 100 items gone today. The last half of the challenge will be the hardest, since more than 3/4 of the stuff I’m jettisoning goes then. You may remember from my introduction that I’m doing this challenge in support of my borderline-hoarding mom, who is doing it too. She’s been keeping up with it, and has been very diligent in sending me pictures every day of what she’s getting rid of. I’m very proud of her for keeping up with it. I hope that by the end of the month, we’ll both want to continue with the challenge. It’s already made such a huge difference in my cluttered office area.

So far, I’ve been making the task easier for myself by not selecting things that have any sentimental value. That’s going to have to change though, if I’m to get through this whole challenge. To that end, today’s challenge comes from two boxes of toys I’ve had packed away since the mid ’90s, when I was an avid collector of them. A lot of them I won’t be able to get rid of, but going through them did prompt me to thin them out and to display the ones I want to keep, instead of keeping them packed up in boxes.

92. This unused American Flag sticker from a hardware store.

93-94. These cartoon trading cards from a fast food restaurant.

I cannot remember the last time I lived in a state that had this restaurant, much less ever going there. But I love Hanna-Barberra cartoons.

95-96. These trolls.

Because, frankly, I have enough real trolls in my life. These two came from a bag of maybe fifty of them.

97. This French globe.

This tiny globe has “made in Hong Kong” printed on it, so you know it was before the handover in 1997. It is labeled entirely in French, and omits a lot of countries but labels some tiny islands that were/are French territories.

98-100. These three globe pins.

All of them centered on the North Pole.

101. This mini photo album of New York.

This was the “bonus” album from a book of postcards. Probably from my first trip to New York City in the early 80’s.

102. This monster grin pencil sharpener.

I think this was a sample from when I owned a store that sold novelties like this.

103. This Chinese dragon finger puppet.

This must be either from the 1988/89 Year of the Dragon, or (probably) the 2000/2001 Year of the Dragon.

104. This gorilla nose pencil sharpener.

Another sample. I was thinking of making these prizes for staff training at work. Do you think this is (racially) offensive?

105. This Super Action Clip-on Yo-Yo! Micro Size.

The package says 1988, but I doubt I’ve really had it that long. Wasn’t the last big yo-yo craze in the early to mid 90’s?

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 13

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 13

Day 13

79. This gas stove supply line.

I got a new stove a few years ago and had to buy a supply line to connect it. Then when the stove arrived, I discovered that it came with one. I intended to return it, but never got around to it.

80. This air pump.

Yet another box of aquarium-related supplies. I suppose this means that as soon as I get rid of them, I will decide to set up a new tank and have to re-purchase these things. That’s the thought that’s kept me from tossing all this stuff years ago anyway. Oh well. I don’t need it now, and haven’t for at least ten years, so out it goes.

81-82. These two bottles of aquatic plant fertilizer.

You can tell the challenge is getting a bit more, well, challenging. On Day 3 of the challenge, I eliminated some bottles, but counted them as one item. Not any more! Each one of these counts!

83. This bundle of airline tubing.

Because one never knows when one will have some air that needs to be tubed.

84. This airline manifold.

For diverting airlines to various features in an aquarium. Too bad I don’t have an aquarium anymore.

85. This thingy for measuring the mix of water/anti-freeze in your car’s radiator.

It seems so old-fashioned. Remember when you had to mix water with anti-freeze in your radiator? I can’t even think of the last time I didn’t pay someone else to do this for me.

86-91. These two aquarium powerhead pumps, and their attachments.

It’s not cheating if each of these things was a separate item in a box I really want to get rid of.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 12

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 12

Day 12

All of today’s items came from the same small “junk” box I’ve been hauling around with me for years. I’m not sure what that says about me personally, but for some strange reason all these things belonged together.

67. This packet of Sea-Monkey Food.

The date on the package is 1972. I don’t think I’ve had it that long, but it’s probably from the early ’90s.

68. This rubber slug.

I’m sure at one time I really, really needed this rubber slug.

69. This fluorescent light bracket.

So far as I know, these things are only useful when in pairs. I only have one none.

70. These two “travel kits”.

Each containing two buttons, a needle, and several inches of thread. From back in the day when people used to repair shirts instead of buying new ones.

71. This “mending kit” from an insurance agent.

The agent that gave this to me was my insurance agent for over ten years before I moved away. Either I was sentimental, or else I thought I might need to do a lot of emergency sewing.

72. Stories for bedtime.

No idea where I picked this up, but it’s very strange. Apparently it was in a hotel room I never stayed in?

73-76. These electrical adaptors.

I once had a neighbor that always kept these in her light sockets when she wasn’t using them, because she believed “the electricity would leak out” if she didn’t. True story.

77. These electronic game instructions.

I don’t think I’ve owned this game in at least 5 years. It sure was fun though.

78. This badge.

From a convention I attended in 1992. Sheesh.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 11

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 11 Day 11

56. This pile of business cards.

Found another small cache of business cards I can get rid of.

57. This commemorative pin.

Commemorating a trade show I attended. I’m just not one of those people that collects pins and walks around trade shows with them stuck all over my badge.

58. This plastic gewgaw.

I think this was from one of those giant plastic bags you put pillows in, and then use your vacuum cleaner to suck all the air out. The valves didn’t work, so I returned them.

59. This button from the Metropolitan Museum.

I’ve heard people collect these in every color, but I’m not sure why.

60. This remote control.

Every computer I’ve purchased in the last ten years came with one of these, and I’ve never used one.

61. This pointing finger.

How great is this? If you carry this around with you, you’ll never be lost.

62-66. These empty plastic containers.

I get these from work, and they are pretty useful (I kept one to put pencils in on my desk.) I don’t need any now, and if I need more in the future, I’ll know where to get them.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 10

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: The White Stuff

It’s shocking how long I’ve had some of these things—not neatly organized in a file or box, but scattered throughout my office area. Also shocking: how little each one of these items needed to be kept at all.

I’m starting to see real progress in my office area now.

46. This installation guide.

Because once you’ve attached your new stove to the wall with this anti-tipping bracket, you should put the installation instructions in a drawer and keep it forever, right? Wrong.

47. This instruction manual.

I disposed of the camera on Day 8. So I guess I no longer need the instructions?

48. This software disc & papers.

Apparently I’ve been doing my taxes electronically for a long time… this software is dated 2003.

49. This computer repair receipt.

For repairing a laptop I owned… in 2004. Who keeps these things for TEN YEARS?

50. This printer set-up guide.

Do I even still have this printer? I don’t remember getting rid of it, so you may see it in a future post.

51. This plastic cap.

By itself. No tube. No matching cap. Not sure why.

52. This software manual.

When are they gonna stop printing these things?

53. This instruction sheet.

For a remote start vehicle switch on a truck I sold a year ago.

54. These blank application forms.

Ashamed to say these have to do with buying my loft… eight years ago.

55. This auto insurance policy.

What, you don’t keep your car insurance policies lying around on your desk for SEVEN years? Well, neither do I (now).

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 9

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 9

Day 9

37. This unused cabinet door.

Almost too good to throw out. Brand new. Never used. What am I waiting for? The day I buy a cabinet that hasn’t got its own door, and yet matches the finish on this one? Good grief.

38-39. These two paintings.

These two paintings are so bad, I’m embarrassed for the artist. I wish that artist wasn’t me.

40-41. These two ticket stubs.

I visited the Great State Fair of Texas for the first time in 10 years last year. It rained. A lot. The food was expensive, and greasy. The crowds were damp and smelly. Why do I still have these tickets?

42-44. This business card and two expired coupons.

Nothing gives me more de-cluttering satisfaction than tossing a pile of business cards I don’t even remember getting (sorry if it’s yours.) Except for expired coupons.

45. This adaptor thingy.

Another thingy I kept for fear I would need it at some point in the future. I guess if that point ever comes, I will remain thingy-less.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 8

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 8

Day 8

Everything in today’s de-cluttering is something I might regret getting rid of later. But isn’t that the point?

29. This clay extruder.

Used in my studio for extruding clay or wax. Very useful when I need it. I haven’t needed it in nearly 15 years.

30. This mini plane.

It came with a set of craft knives, and I can’t recall ever using it. I’m sure I’ll think of a use for it as soon as it goes in the trash.

31-34. These four knobs.

Can’t think of anything I have that needs a knob and doesn’t have one. Besides, they’re about 50¢ a pair at the shop where I got them.

35. This teapot lid.

When I moved into my current loft two years ago, there was no kitchen. I couldn’t afford cabinets right away, so I put up a swanky new set of shelves. Two weeks later, at five o’clock in the morning, they came down with a crash… breaking every dish I owned. Except for this teapot lid.

36. This old film camera.

What a trusty, reliable camera this was. I took it on my first trip to Scotland in 1997. When I opened it up, the battery still worked. Hasn’t had film in it in at least 8 or 10 years.

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 7, and a recap

30 Day De-Clutter Challenge: Day 7

Day 7

22-25. These four unopened rolls of medium-format film.

For a camera I haven’t owned in at least three years. Yes, I’m counting each one of these because I can, and because they were purchased individually.

26. This handle contraption for carrying two wet paintings on canvas.

Useful for painters who paint outdoors, and need a safe way to transport wet paintings back home. Yeah, like I’ve ever done that. You’re supposed to clamp the two canvases facing each other. Pretty clever device… if I needed one. I’m sure another painter in my building will appreciate this.

27. This electrical plug adaptor.

Probably from way back when I lived in a house built in the 1920s with knob-and-tube wiring, and electrical outlets with only two prongs. Nope. Don’t need it. All my outlets are good-ole three-prongers now!

28. This brand new RCA cable.

No idea what it came with. And I probably still have half a dozen of them somewhere anyway in case I need one.

Re-cap: The First Week

This is the end of the first week of my 30-day de-clutter challenge, and I can’t believe it’s already ¼ over. So far, that’s more than 28 things I didn’t really need I’ve been able to get rid of. I’ve noticed that the de-cluttering is beginning to change my thought patterns. Now, instead of asking myself where I’m going to put something (or where it “belongs”), I ask myself if I really need to keep it. It’s carried over onto my digital desktop, too. I’ve been deleting unwanted email instead of just letting it clog up my in-box, and I’ve also been better about keeping the desktop itself organized (throwing away docs I don’t need, and organizing the ones I do need to keep.)

How’s your first week of the challenge going?