Sunday, November 30, 2014

30 Minutes for 30 Days, Day 30: I DID IT!

Welcome to my 30 Minutes for 30 Days series!  If you are joining me for the first time, you can find out how this all got started HERE.  You can read all the 30 for 30 posts HERE.


30 MINUTES FOR 30 DAYS IS IN THE BOOKS!   As of the moment of writing this, I have completed 30 straight days of doing 30 minutes or more of cleaning, sorting, and organizing in the main living areas of my home.

Today being my last official 30-for-30 session, I spent it in the utility room sorting and organizing.  I would describe the result as a meaningful but undetectable dent.  :)  The main thing is that I found and gathered all the little things we need to get started with our Christmas decorating!  Things like Command Hooks and batteries for fake candles and sticky stuff to keep all the little knick-knacks in place when the cats try to knock them off the mantel.

For The Minimalist Game, today I got rid of:

  1. One manual for an item I don't even own anymore. (1)
  2. 7 number of magazines, pillaged for images to cut out, then recycled. (7)
  3. Two Halloween jack-o-lanterns in the composter. Don't judge.  (2)
  4. One camera bag. (1)
  5. Two plastic chinese take-out containers in the recycling bin. (4)
  6. Box of greeting cards. (1+)
  7. Random pieces of loose, unidentified hardware in the trash. (9)
  8. One ratty scatter rug in the trash. (1)
  9. Three packets of watermark resume paper. (3)
  10. One folder of papers shredded and in the recycling bin. (1)
  11. One bag of fabric sewn into a gifts that will go in the mail on this week. (11)
  12. One stack of fabric sewn into a gift that will be delivered this week. (3)
  13. One kitchen set added to a gift that will go in the mail this week. (2)
  14. One cute skirt that I got on impulse at the thrift store and never wore.  (1)
  15. One electric tea kettle. (1)
  16. One partial bag of marshmallows inadvertently decluttered by virtue of my trying to make a treat and instead making them into burnt offerings.  :(  (1+)
  17. One pair of women's crocs. (2)
  18. One pair of girl's outgrown Mary Janes.  :(  (2)
  19. One box of toys spirited out of the house before someone remembers they exist.  (7)
  20. One pair of panties sacrificed to the patternmaking gods. (1)
  21. One cute ceramic snowman tray. (1)
  22. One project finished for a friend, to be delivered this week. (2)
  23. Five containers of skin creams/ointments that we tried but didn't like.  (5)
  24. Five expired containers of various cortisone skin treatments. (5)
  25. Three partial packages of heartworm treatments for dogs that are no longer with us.  :(  I have been too sentimental to deal with that particular basket in the medicine cabinet.   (3+)
  26. Two expired partial flea treatments for cats that are no longer with us.  :(  Also have been too sentimental to deal with them. (2)
  27. Three partial containers of prescription pet treatments that are no longer needed but which I had saved in case we needed them in the future.  (Vets, please don't hate.  This stuff is expensive and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to afford them twice.)  (3)
  28. One container of expired insect repellent which we quit using because it doesn't work.  (DEET is the word, people.  Use it and be blessed.)  (1)
  29. One partial package of vaporizer cleaner for a vaporizer we no longer own. (1+)
  30. One package of coffee filters that not only don’t fit our coffee maker, but they have become inexplicably damaged in storage.  (1+)

I have no idea what didn’t make it into these pictures.  Definitely the stuff that is in the trash or recycling bins.  Definitely the toys.  Probably some other stuff too.  OH, and the gifts are not pictured now, but they will be once the recipients have opened them.

Still life on stovetop.

Ella doesn't like these because they are "sticky."

Feeling pretty sure that if we ever needed any of these again we'd be able to locate some for purchase.


I really miss these guys.  :(

I really miss these guys too.  :(

Happy to report that these guys are all still going strong!

The jack-o-lanterns would have wanted you to remember them like this.


...of which today there were 85+ discrete pieces.  To date I have removed more than 1798 individual items from my home.


And now the moment we've all been waiting for: the total time I spent in November cleaning, sorting, organizing, and decluttering my home:

30 minutes for 30 days:  900 minutes
3 extra minutes 3 times a week:  36 minutes
5 extra minutes 2 times a week:  40 minutes

16.26 HOURS

If someone had said to me in October, “You should spend 16.26 hours cleaning, sorting, organizing, and decluttering your home,” I’d have come up with 16.26 excuses why that was impossible.  I’m glad nobody suggested it.

PS - I still owe one more day of The Minimalist Game.  Tomorrow will be my final post about it.  In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I will be posting about Advent every day between now and Christmas morning.  Look for some links, projects, and a special offer.  :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Minutes for 30 Days, Day 29: Eight, no wait, SIX

Welcome to my 30 Minutes for 30 Days series!  If you are joining me for the first time, you can find out how this all got started HERE.  You can read all the 30 for 30 posts HERE.


It was a pretty warm day here, so I spent my 30-for-30 session on the front porch, cleaning things and sorting things and decluttering things.  I have a dream porch in my head, which you’ll love when I win the lottery.  It will have a sky blue ceiling, and a hand-painted ceiling fan, and rocking chairs with comfy striped cushions, and a mint julep dispenser.

For The Minimalist Game, today I got rid of:

  1. One ladies blouse. (1)
  2. Two girls' blouses. (2)
  3. One girls jumper. (1)
  4. Two foil pie pans in the recycling bin. (2)
  5. Two plastic condiment bowls. (2)
  6. One dozen packets of hair conditioner. (12)
  7. One dental pick that I bought to use as a loom knitting hook but for which it turned out to be completely inadequate. (1)
  8. One child faucet cover in the shape of an octopus. (1)
  9. Two standard American rubber duckies. (2)
  10. Two tiger stripe duckies. (2)
  11. Two pirate duckies. (2)
  12. One green plastic bowl. (1)
  13. One empty bottle of dog shampoo in the recycling bin. (1)
  14. One souvenir ice cream cup. (1)
  15. One broken plastic flower pot in the recycling bin. (1)
  16. One really old soap holder that is so old, it has hardened and broke in my hand. (1)
  17. One small pile of random trash culled from the gardening cart. (10)
  18. One small pile of random compostable stuff culled from the garden cart (6)
  19. Two containers from #18, in the recycling bin after emptying contents into the composter. (2)
  20. Four PVC pipes. (4)
  21. One empty container of plant food, bag in the trash and box in the recycling bin. (1)
  22. One broken plastic hand bucket in the recycling bin. (1)
  23. One bag of planting garlic that didn't get planted in time and has dried too far to plant. (1+)
  24. One dead light bulb to go to the household recycling center. (1)
  25. One coffee can that had been a great planter until it rusted and leaked, now in the recycling bin. (1)
  26. One set of cute salt and pepper shakers, spirited out of the house before someone under the age of 12 objects. (2)
  27. One toy, received as a gift but never played with, spirited out of the house before the same someone objects. (5)
  28. One ball of yarn, converted into hats and donated. (1)
  29. Six lip balm containers that I was saving because I was totally going to scrape out the last little bits of balm and melt them all together and refill one of the containers so I wouldn't waste any.* (6)

Friends, at this point in the game, I’m just running around hoping I took pictures of everything.  I know already that I left some things out, like the condiment bowls.  If I were super conscientious, I’d dig them out of the box and carefully restage all these completely haphazardly-staged photos to include them.  I’m not that conscientious.  Don’t hate.

Blouses, jumper, duckies, octopus, cup, bowl.  Duh.

Dental pick, hair conditioner packets.

Broken flower pot.

Garden cart trash.

I remember putting the tape on the ends of these pipes, but I don't remember why I did it.  Memory suppression is a wonderful tool in the fight against clutter.

I offer no defense.

In the composter.  Seriously.  Next Spring, all this will be lovely and black and ready to feed whatever I plant.

Ball of yarn, pre-hat-ifying.
We'll come back to these in just a minute.


...of which today there were (74) discrete pieces.  To date I have removed more than (1713)  individual items from my home.


*There were originally eight lip balm containers, but after I looked inside them and saw how much was still in the bottom, I decided to give it a try.  I scooped out as much as I could, put it all in a little jar and heated it up in the microwave.  I stripped the plastic labels off a container and poured in the melted mixture.  I had so much that it filled two containers.

The last bits scraped into a jar.  Doesn't look like much.

Melted and poured.  Two "new" lip balms.  I call this flavor "Minty Cherry Bubblegum Wax."

Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Minutes for 30 Days, Day 28: I Gave Thanks, then I Gave In

Welcome to my 30 Minutes for 30 Days series!  If you are joining me for the first time, you can find out how this all got started HERE.  You can read all the 30 for 30 posts HERE.


Well, I have hit a wall, and must admit partial defeat.  I did my 30-for-30 session yesterday, but I did not remove 28 items for The Minimalist Game.  I was going to try to power thru today and remove yesterday's number plus today's, but I decided not to be a hero.  Instead, I'm going to add one day to the game, which means my last day of this round will be the 1st of December.  I'm just telling myself that compromise is a sign of maturity.  

For The Minimalist Game, today I got rid of:

  1. One large disposable roasting pan, disposed of in the recycling bin. (1)
  2. Two small disposable baking pans, used as a roasting rack, now disposed of in the recycling bin. (2)
  3. One commercial jar. (1)
  4. One old loaf pan that I've been using to create steam in the oven and thus it has rusted. (1)
  5. One silicone baking pan that makes cupcakes in the shape of a train. <3  (1)
  6. One crate-ful of books to read at McKays. (19)
  7. One crate after the books have been traded. (1)
  8. One pair of sneakers. (2)
  9. One pair of cute crocs. (2)
  10. One angel food baking pan that lifts and separates. (2)
  11. One stack of paper shredded and in the recycling bin. (1+)
  12. Dead batteries to take to the household recycling center. (10)
  13. One insulated container for carrying soup, with folding spork. (3)
  14. Four returnable milk jugs passed on to someone who wants to return them for a discount on milk. (4)
  15. One broken plastic basket in the recycling bin. (1)
  16. One dress blouse. (1
  17. One baby doll top. (1)
  18. One yoga tunic. (1)
  19. Two t-shirts. (2)
  20. One bed skirt. (1)
  21. One salt shaker. (1)
  22. Three cute mugs that we have never used.  (3)
  23. Three plastic, lidded food containers from the fridge, in the trash rather than trying to save them. (6)
  24. Three large plastic storage bins  with lids, to be returned to their rightful owner. (6)
  25. One plastic jack-o-lantern to be returned to its rightful owner. (1)
  26. One electric tea kettle that I have a sentimental attachment to.  <3 (1)
  27. Three damaged dog toys in the trash.  (SEE?  I told you.  Sentimental.) (3+)
  28. Two empty cardboard boxes in the recycler.  (2)

A bunch of stuff.

Two more stuffs.

Stuff in a stuff.

Dog-destroyed stuff.

Stuff destroyed by the elements.

Stuff that belongs to a friend.

Stuff exploded so you can see the cute folding spork.

So much stuff is going out that I think I missed putting a few things in pictures. In fact, now that I think about it, I realize the jack-o-lantern is not in the pictures, and neither are the three mugs. Dang.


...of which today there were 80 discrete pieces, counting bundles and bags as single units and not by their individual pieces.  To date I have removed more than 1639 individual items from my home.


Tomorrow and Sunday are the last two days of my 30-for-30 project.  On Monday when I post my catch up game numbers, I will post the grand total of time spent cleaning, sorting, organizing, and decluttering.  Any guesses of much it comes to?  HINT:  I’m going to have extra time to putter this weekend.