I have decluttered very little in the last week. Work has been extraordinarily stressful. By the time I get home in the evening, I am completely exhausted. I basically have dinner and go to bed. Technically, at this point, the “streak” part of my Holiday Declutter Streak has fizzled out. However, as we head into the next two holiday weeks, things should be somewhat calmer.
We had a “dirty Santa” gift exchange at work this past week, with a $10 spending limit. I decided to save myself from the hassle of purchasing a $10 gift with no idea of the final recipient. Instead I made gingerbread man soaps (seen above). They are the fanciest soaps that I have made to date. I used Brambleberry Shea Butter Melt and Pour Soap for the “icing” and Brambleberry Honey Melt and Pour Soap for the the “cookie”. I colored the “cookie” part with BrambleBerry Shimmer Copper Sparkle Color Block, and scented the soap with Brambleberry Gingersnap Fragrance Oil. The soaps turned out absolutely adorable and smelled good enough to eat! I was very pleased that one of my new team members ended up with the soaps and was delighted with them.
Now, on to the decluttering stats!
We cleaned out from under our TV. This area holds the Wii, Wii games, Wii accessories, DVD overflow, a toybox for the cats, and many dust bunnies. First, we sorted through the movies and games, and chose several to take to the used bookstore; the remaining movies were placed with the rest of the DVDs. Then, we went through the cats’ toybox. Their toybox is an old clementine crate overflowing with catnip mousies, balls with jingle bells on them, etc. We got rid of all the balls, except Bridget’s ball, which is the only one that ever gets played with. We got rid of many mousies who were all played out, or in whom no interest had been shown. We kept all the favorites. It’s easy to tell the favorites as we have actually given them names over the years, since we see them so often lying around the house. Among others, we have Ruff Ruff Dog, Cheer Bear, Teddy Mouse, Crinkle Snake, Colonel Tiger, Fifi Bat, and the all-time favorite cat toy, One Fish Two Fish My Fish Blue Fish (it’s an incredibly popular blue fish). We had lots of helpers as we went through the toys, but in the end, we got rid of 60 items from this area.
I cleaned out my purse, and my canvas bag that I carry to work, when I travel, etc., affectionately known as My Bag, as in “hand me My Bag, please”. I am very attached to My Bag, or at least, to its contents. Let me put it this way – recently at work the fire alarms went off, and I actually took the time to pack up My Bag. I have it down to an art, so it only takes about 30 seconds.
My Bag holds my Passion Planner, colored highlighters for color-coding things in my Planner, a couple of pens and pencils for use with my Planner, various medications (migraine medicine, Tylenol, sinus medicine, etc.), and a handkerchief. I think one of the reasons that My Bag is so important to me is that I never clutter it up with receipts, papers, or unnecessary items. It’s just Passion Planner and accessories, my meds, and a hanky. (Occasionally, I will throw in a book, or some knitting if we are traveling, but it always comes out as soon as we return home.) I can always find what I am looking for in My Bag. Only certain things belong in My Bag and they all have a place within it. It’s a tiny prototype of the minimalist, decluttered, organized, non-stress-inducing life that I am trying to achieve.
Anyway, I only removed 3 items from My Bag: a couple of Christmas cards and some physical therapy notes. My purse however was another situation! I deliberately carry a small purse, but I still managed to get rid of 70 items, mostly receipts, business cards for people that I have forgotten, and rewards cards for stores that I never visit.
So this week I got rid of 133 items. I am hoping to get a little time to declutter this weekend, but later today we will be crawling under the house to fix the heat pump. I’m not sure what state I will be in after that, but I imagine a hot toddy will be involved!
Decluttering Total To Date: 399 items removed