Home Decor

Minimalist fundraising – rejecting raffles and accepting donations

Finished the #minsgame and looking for ways to stay clutter free? This is worth a read….

I attended a community fundraiser this morning supporting the Red Cross’s work to help the people of Nepal recover from a series of devastating earthquakes. It was fun event, full of community spirit.

Minimalist fundraising

The fundraising featured the usual raffles and auctions. Being in the throes of the Minimalist Game, I viewed the tables of prizes through a different lens. Now, don’t get me wrong, the prizes were lovely, tasteful and good quality. But it was also stuff I don’t need and don’t really want, stuff that would just sit around my house for a few years before I moved it on.

My usual approach is to buy raffle tickets no matter the prize, but now I really don’t want to win! I don’t want to bring the stuff into my house. What to do? On the spot I formulated some quick strategies , which I thought I’d share.

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MinsGame · Spring Cleaning

A quest for Minimalism – or at least a de-clutter #minsgame

This is not the first time I have attempted this quest. My ability (almost a superpower) to collect clutter seems to be one of the few constant enjoyments during my life. I try to rationalise with the idea that if I lived in a 5 bedroom house with a loft it would not be such an issue. But I don’t. My husband and I rent a bedroom, kitchen, lounge and bathroom from my grandparents. Our huge piles of stuff (we both collect things) have spilled in other spare rooms of the house. I seriously need to get this back under control.

Hence the return to the #minsgame. It is something I originally discovered in 2013 in a blog by David Seah. I have been redirected to the concept through the discovery of a new blog – The Minimalists. The entire concept of the blog is learning how to become a minimalist. Although I am pretty sure that I have no hope of becoming an actual minimalist, I believe that learning some of the elements of this lifestyle would help me concentrate on the things in life that actually matter. There are concepts of the lifestyle – that stuff becomes a distraction – that I can relate to. Hence why I need to de-clutter.

The rules of the game:
Day 1 – get rid of one item.
Day 2 – get rid of 2 items.
You have to get the items out of the house (or into the bin).
You cannot hide stuff at other peoples houses – I did double check.

Can't Hide things

I think I made it to about day 13 last time. Although I won’t take many photos, I will keep up up to date with my progress. Hopefully it will give you some ideas if you want to de-clutter and have no idea where to start. I started off with random drawers that had no particular purpose, things in piles that I already wanted to get rid of and spaces that I didn’t usually use.

If you are starting to struggle then here are a few blogs  to help you get rid of the clutter from your life. As you go through the month and need to get rid of 10+ items per day it will get much more difficult.

– If you haven’t used the item for X amount of days then get rid of it. – the 90/90 rule. The Minimalists
–  Struggling to let go of items from loved ones? How to get rid of sentimental items The Minimalists
–  Feeling like you are losing momentum? This blog shows how making yourself accountable to other stops you from giving up. Hold your own feet to the fire. Zen Habits. 

I’m currently on day 12 – having missed day 8, 9, 10 & 11 I’m having to play catch up. So somewhere with a concentrated amount of unused stuff was required. I have a cupboard filled with stuff that I haven’t used since I put them in a spare room. Some of the bits I am saving for when me and my husband finally get our own house. However, some stuff just went in there to avoid the effort of sorting through them last time. This managed to fill the quote for these days nicely. Rather than stuff trying to jump out of the cupboard at me, I now have space left! Which is great, as my husband picked up 6 of those funky mason jar glasses as part of our ‘bottom drawer collection’. They had been sat on the floor outside of the cupboard. They are now in it! (Loud cheers from someone… Probably my nan)

Day 13: This was one of the first days where I consciously began to find throwing away stuff slightly more difficult. This eventually led me to going through a set of drawers – of which I had forgotten the contents it contained. I actually found a stapler that I had forgotten I owned….  (I’d been looking for one last week). It’s worth doing this exercise for this reason if nothing else.

I’m also beginning to think of this game as a little bit like writing an autobiography. I’m discovering things that I have kept for the sake of being sentimental, but not necessarily for their practical use. It’s interesting the reasoning for surrounding yourself with things. They are all really just a distraction from the main focus of what actually makes me happy. Hopefully this game will help me focus and work out what that actually is. I’m 23, but still learning.

Day 14:  So I’m going to try and do a couple of days at once today. We’re away this weekend at a show (Airsoft Showcase – I’ll be at Drone Airsoft’s stand), so it’s about the only way I can think of to try and keep on top of everything. Well that’s the plan anyway. Hopefully it will actually make a dent in the tidying I also have to do. I might treat myself to a glass of wine if I successfully manage it.

Successfully completed day 15 🙂 (Totally going to have to get some dinner now).

My husband has returned from a friend’s house and he apparently doesn’t want to get rid of anything he owns…. this could get awkward…. Then when I think about it… most of the “stuff” is probably mine…. So I’m possibly being a bit unfair….
Only one more thing to go for day 18…. but I need some more time to think.

Inspiration hit this morning while I was putting some DVDs in a box I’d cleared out. I found a duplicate of the Harry Potter Half Blood Prince DVD – I’d brought the whole box set after being given the 6th one on DVD. So I have no idea why I still have the spare one. It’s a great example of how you can end up keeping so much extra stuff you don’t need at all. Also shows that I need to be a lot more disciplined about getting yet of stuff when I buy new stuff to replace it.

If anyone is wondering, I have just calculated that I’ll have got rid of 496 items by the end of May 2015. Which is really cool. I’m probably about a 1/3 of the way through now in terms of getting rid of items. I’m already really starting to notice the difference. Managing already to make some space and prioritising what stuff to put in storage for when me husband and I get our own place and what stuff I’m never likely to need again. The concept of just getting rid of the “just in case stuff” that is cheap to replace is also working well. I don’t feel any regret for getting rid of them either. So this is really helping me feel a lot better about myself and how I live.

It’s the 18th now. So I have now caught up with the progress ahead that I was on Thursday. So I thought I would use this as a serious bit of motivation to give my kitchen a good tidy (and get ahead again!).

Personally, I find my kitchen one of the most difficult rooms in the house to keep on top of. It’s the place that become a bit of a dump zone on route to the lounge. So, because of all this stuff it becomes really hard to keep tidy. The plan – reduce the amount of stuff in the room so that it is easier to keep tidy! Hopefully that works….

Kitchen Pre-tidy
My kitchen. To much stuff for the storage space.

Day 20 – Well we’ve been looking at houses this week. It turns out we have way to much stuff for the size of the houses we can afford. So it’s turning out this game is also a great exercise if you are planning on downsizing. I’m pretty sure I also need to have a bit of a rethink on the units I have as well.

Day 24 – I’m currently still running on 2 days ahead. Really proud of myself for making it this far through the month. Slightly concerned that I don’t appear to be struggling with this as much as I probably should be. I am thinking that perhaps I should repeat this exercise – or something similar – when I pack up my things upon purchasing a house. Although my rooms are looking tidier, there is still a lot of stuff. I am actually starting to feel the difference now though.

So I have made it to day 25. Still running a couple of days ahead (yay!) but that still means I have 137 items to find and remove from the house by the end of play on Sunday. Which means I’ve already removed 359 items from the chaos.

I’m not too concerned at the moment – but by the time I’m working on day 31 I’m sure the indecision will begin to set in. My kitchen and lounge are definitely starting to look at lot tidier. I personally feel a lot better for it and the tidy spaces are much more enjoyable.

Really, the plan is to continue to tackle the lounge today. We have some friends coming over this evening, so it would be nice to have it a lot tidier by the time they come over. Have lit a candle (spiced apple) in an attempt to make the room smell as well as look clean. Wonder what the chances are of me being able to run a hoover around the room as well?
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Day 27 – So it has now reached the time that my husband will actually let me get rid of some of his clothes (yay! – he doesn't wear half of them). We had a quick blitz before work this morning.

What we have realised is that in any new house we can afford we will only fit about 1 wardrobe and 1 chest of drawers into the bedroom. Currently we have clothes in the wardrobes/drawers of the spare bedrooms. The total currently stands are : 4 double wardrobes, 4 chests of drawers. Conclusion – Lots of clothes need to leave the house. Having given a lot to the charity shop this month I don't feel to guilty at taking these down the fabric bin place. You don't get a lot of money from it, but hopefully we get swap the few bags of clothes for £20 and pay for lunch somewhere as a reward. It's a lot less time consuming then selling all of your stuff on EBAY.

Also, I managed to finished another book and get it reviewed in the last couple of days. My rule is that once it has been completed and reviewed it has to leave the house. The original plan was so that I could make room for more. Now it's just because I need to claim some space back on my shelves. You can find my Game of Thrones review here. 

Day 28 – Well we are now on the final few days of the challenge. Still the tide of items leaving the house does not seem to be slowing. While I do feel that there is definitely progress in both my living room and kitchen, there is still progress to be made in bedroom storage. I count this as clothes storage – which is the additional storage I mentioned earlier. This has been the main areas I will be tackling in the next few days.

Currently there is 3 large black bin bags ready to leave the house in the morning. Win.

Day 30: My weekend runs Sunday – Monday. So will have to catch up a bit on today’s attempt either tonight or tomorrow. My home looks so much tidier after this month. This really has become the motivational tool I needed to get my butt into gear and sort out my living space. I feel so much better for it and hope that this progress will continue after this month has finished.

For an update on the clothes – weight was about 13Kg and we got about £5.49 for it. Not much – but it did equate to one very yummy bottle of sparkling Rose 🙂
Day 31: I actually managed to complete it. In some sort of rewarding fashion I now have space where I live that I actually feel like I want to live in. It’s not perfect yet – I always new the big purge was going to be big job. But the progress from here is not as big a step as the mountain I’ve climbed in the last month.
The slightly scary thing is that I managed to actually throw away over 31 items of clothing today. My husband joined in for a sort out of our clothes and we found so much stuff that neither of us had worn for a long time (there were other drawers we hadn’t touched the other day). Hoping there will be some new funds for some more sparkling wine….
Thanks to everyone who has joined me on this journey. I invite you to follow my blog and watch the continuing updates.

If you want to play than tweet your progress with the hashtag #minsgame. 

  1. From the drawer of random stuff in my kitchen: A padded envelope I was keeping “just in case. I don’t even know why. I never post anything. In the bin.
  2. From the random drawer of stuff in my kitchen: A knitted duck that I am pretty sure originally had a chocolate egg in. Totally no idea why I still had this. Also discovered a set of coasters my Nan had been sent in the post and then given to me. I have some Despicable Me ceramic coasters I brought on my honeymoon – so these freebies are not required. In the bin.
  3.  From a kitchen cupboard: 3 out of date packaged jelly cubes. I’m presuming these were brought with the concept of making jelly shots once upon a time. In the bin.
  4. From the kitchen: A box presumably kept with the intention of using it for something. Found some napkins I’d kept from a takeaway for some reason. A leaflet that was kept to remember a place. But has ended up hidden in a drawer. Also uncovered a divider for a camera bag that I don’t need. So that all went in the bin.
  5. From the bedroom: I remembered about the game just before I went to bed, so I had a hunt around. I quickly uncovered a coaster from an Explorer camp that I decorated in 2005. It had a forgotten melted wax candle covering it. A plastic decorative wedding shoe was also discovered on  my windowsil – something remaining from my wedding in 2012. A duck shaped radio – barely used because there is very limited analogue radio coverage where I’m living. 2 plastic cherub bookends were also found in my box of decorative items. They all went in the bin. It seemed the quickest way of getting them out of the house.
  6. Spare bedroom: Here I had stored a collection of books I had no more use for with some hope that my family would take them. No such luck. Thankfully, there is a “book club” bookshelf in the units where I work. So 6 of these books became my donation to the bookshelf.
  7. Lost track of the days today. So only picked up 6 items (all books I had finished with again) and so need to find something else to throw away when I get home. The books were donated to a charity shop around the corner from where I’m currently working. The additional item that made it’s way out of the door was a birthday badge – also to a charity shop.
  8. DAYS 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 were all done together. I last track of time the last couple of days. So had a major purge of some wardrobes that had been forgotten in the spare bedroom. DAY 8 – Some dog tail hangers brought but never hung, some book covers (never used), some random snap cards which came from somewhere, a bottle opener and a Chinese calendar from 2013. Seriously wondering how I have managed to hold onto any of this stuff.
  9. 2 Old mobile phones that were totally forgotten about. A box of charging adaptors for a MP3 player that I’ve not ever needed. Also a language CD I think I got free with a magazine and never used. Another bottle opener (I think I used to collect them at Uni Fresher’s fairs….) 2 bags that I don’t need. An empty phone box. A random To Do list that was also floating around in that particular box. Anything usable can go to a charity shop.
  10. A random selection of charging cables and in-ear headphones. I use over the ear now as I find them more comfortable and the sound quality is a lot better. A remote for a digital photo frame that I think I’ve already thrown away…. Also a CD that obviously came free with something and has since not been used. It’s been in the box for at least 12 months, so I doubt I’ll miss it. Charity shop.
  11. Some more cables went. Also found a broken microphone (seriously wondering how that didn’t get thrown out when I originally chucked all those cables in the box). Also found a light that I think you might be able to clip onto a book and read. But I think it was a cheap one as it is a bit temperamental. Found some other random stuff (including a revision notebook) So one bag for the charity shop and one for the bin.
  12. For this one I also had to venture into another of the wardrobes in the spare bedroom. This also did me very well. Out of it came a gift box which had stuff stored in it the previous day. An odd flip flop has also appeared (I know I throw the other away because it became damaged beyond use) – a total shame as this particular pair of animal flip flops are the best I’ve ever owned. Also found a cape I’d made for a L.A.R.P. event a few years ago. That can go. Also found an empty shoe box – which had originally been the box for my wedding shoes. This shoe box then got filled with a load of crayons, pens, oil pastels and other drawing related items that I think I might have kept since art GCSE. I literally haven’t drawn since then. Which is a shame. But these can now go to a charity shop and hopefully someone can use them…. I counted the drawing implements as multiples…. but I thought it defeated the purpose if I used one for one item.
  13. While hunting through my bedroom office draws I found yet more items that I didn’t realise I owned. Somehow I managed to find another 6 pairs of in-ear headphones. How the heck have I managed to collect some many in-ear headphones? This is getting ridiculous. I also found 2 more in-ear set – unused – which came which my husband’s and my phones. So I’ll keep them for emergencies. Also I found 3 scientific calculators in the drawer which I’m pretty sure I’ve had since year 11. I’m keeping 1 for emergencies – and because I might dabble in some more A-level maths this year. Another desk-top calculator has also ended up in the charity shop bag. A hooded jumper I hardly wear, a coin purse I don’t need any more and a mini USB keyboard has also headed out of the door.
  14. The majority of the items today were keyrings. For some reason we had a collection of them gathering in a storage pocket in the bedroom. I also get rid of some OOD passport photos, one of my less successful craft projects and a stylus pen I’ve never used. I’ve attached a picture of the sock monster so you can laugh. Apart from the photos, all the stuff got left in a charity shop this morning. So hopefully they can get some love from someone.
Made with new socks and stuffed with cushion stuffing.
Made with new socks and stuffed with cushion stuffing.
15.  One empty wine box (1) that should seriously have been in the bin. I’m so messy. It’s actually disgusting sometimes, but there is seriously never enough hours in the day. Empty box for a USB keyboard I brought for the Raspberry Pi (2). Might need to move the Pi downstairs to use with the TV. The spare monitor is no longer spare as we need it for the desktop computer and the original monitor no longer works 😦 Anyway… I’m getting distracted…. Another empty box (3),,,, One of the 2 copies of an information booklet (4)…A set of flip flop rubbers that I’ve never needed (5)…. another bottle opener/keyring (6)….A sperm shaped USB stick (a reward at a fresher’s fair for not having an STI) (7)… OOD Voucher (8)….A set of tarot cards that I had from a time I used to dabble in my teens (9)….Couple of screws (10)….  A necklace I don’t wear (11)…. Bags that  I never use (12, 13, 14, 15) – trying to reduce the number of bags I have to one small one and a larger smart one for work and day-to-day. The eventual plan will be to upgrade them to some high quality ones rather than having cheap ones that fall apart in to minutes…
16. Transferred an excess of my husband’s socks into a drawers and got rid of the shoebox that was storing them (1)….A pot of chewing gum from a bag that I’m not going to eat (2)… Random spare pieces of cardboard and card making bits (something I dabbled with and decided wasn’t something I enjoyed) (3, 5,6, 7, 8,9,10,11,12,16)… A dead set of headphones (they’ve been stepped on at some point) (4)…. Some unused belts from dresses that long ago left the house and I long ago lost the ability to fit into (13, 14)…. An old shopping bag that I don’t need (15) So I will use it to hold anything that I plan on sending to the charity shop tomorrow…..
17. Found 2 more bags! (1, 2).. One is a project I made when I was in year 9 – so about 14 years old. I am not sure why I kept it. The size was never big enough really… but I was proud of it. It is a pretty easy project if you have some material to use up. In the same cupboard is also a place where I stored a load of jewellery. They’ve been hanging there and I’d forgotten I’d owned most of it. So anything that wasn’t a gift from my husband or family is heading to the charity shop. I found some of those plastic bracelets from my teens. No idea why I still have those…. (3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17). Also managed to find the necklace I wore to prom in year 11. Haven’t worn it since, so I really don’t understand why I’ve kept it so long….. Also found one of my really early jewellery  makes. I’m going to send it to the charity shop, but there’s a picture below.
One of my early attempts at making my own jewellery
One of my early attempts at making my own jewellery
A small pouch bag I made in Year 9 Textiles class
A small pouch bag I made in Year 9 Textiles class

18. The coat hanger used to store the necklaces and bracelets is going in the bin (1). So this battle against the choas is starting to make some progress. I’m slowly clearing out a cupboard in my bedroom which is the only major point of storage. So hopefully can use it to store some of the stuff I actually want to keep! A mixture of more card-making stuff (2, 3, 6 ,7, 9, 10,), Another old bag (4), A tube that used to house a poster (5). A half finished scrapper foil picture I brought at some point (8). Found an ‘award’ from my sixth form that I’d been hanging on too (11) – In the bin unfortunately, but here is a picture for prosperity. A couple of wedding decorations (12, 13), A decorative ornament a friend brought back from a trip (14). An unused necklace chain (15). A valentines card from my husband in 2014 (16). A cork this I was keeping for sentimental reasons…. (17) A double copy of a DVD – Why do I own 2 copies of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince? (18)

2010 The
The “Miss Independent” Award
Kirsty Jones

19. A black bin liner of items from my fridge – I’ll count this as 3, but it is a lot more. But I want to make a significant difference with the stuff I get rid of (1,2,3,), Box of biscuits left over from Christmas that haven’t been eaten (4), A name bade from my time as a summer school Aimhigher mentor in 2013 (For some reason I was known as my maiden name for 2 weeks…) (5) 3 x DVDs that I had put aside the last night to get rid of – The Golden Compass & Black Beauty (The books are better) & I know who killed me (Just strange watched about 5 mins and turned off!) (6, 7, 8), a 21 coaster (I’m now 23 so not really relevant any more…) (9), A stopper for preventing your drink being spiked (I don’t go clubbing that often to bother – once in the last year) (10), A random plastic tag that came with my flip-flops I brought on my honeymoon in disney (11), A loyalty card for a bookshop that was at my uni (I graduated 2 years ago….) (12), A keyring charm from somewhere without a keyring loop (13), 2 Easter eggs that I haven’t eaten yet and don’t plan on eating (I’m not really bothered by Chocolate – I gave it up for leant about 7 years ago and haven’t craved it since) (14, 15), A diary (unused from 2014) (16), A half unused back of large plastic placemats (17), Non-required Orange Top Up Card (18), Another Uni ID card – my student card (19).

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20 – Some salt packets from a previous take-away (1), A Chocolate bar I never planned on eating (2), A gift bag (3), A charm from a keyring that I can’t use for anything else (4), a little egg hat I knitted for practice – but am never likely to actually need (5), A pack of facial wipes that were really cheap and really useless – that will teach me…. (6), A pack of cake bars we’re unlikely to eat – and a fit to eat a bit more healthy (7), A utensil tin that I don’t need now I’ve moved them all to a spare drawer (8), A knife block I no-longer need (9), A spare ‘just in case’ water filter (10), A bag some chopsticks once resided in (11), A wheel I brought for the Gerbils that is too big and never got around to returning (12), A plastic shaun the sheep box – from a Happy meal? (13), A circuit board from something (14), A scent block thing that obviously ran out a while ago…. (15). A half used bottle of green ginger wine that I don’t think we’re likely to use (16), 4 x Microwavable rice (there was originally 5 but I cooked 1 once and it smelt like a really bad fart in my kitchen) (17, 18, 19, 20)

In Double Knit Glitter wool with a red pom-pom
In Double Knit Glitter wool with a red pom-pom
21 – Christmas Cupcake set (1), A puzzle alarm that I think I spent £20 on and then never used (2), 3 x travel coffee cups (3, 4, 5), A cow shaped milk pourer (6), Unwanted mugs (7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13), A set of measuring spoons (I have a spare set that I want to keep which I brought at Disney) (10), Another milk pourer (14), A frying pan with the non-stick gone (15), UV Gel Nail Dryer – An impulse buy where I momentarily forgot that I don’t have time to do nails – ever (16), nail gems (17), Nail polish (18, 19, 20, 21)
22 – Nail Polish (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Nail Glitter, (8), Fake nails (9), Empty Bottle kept for sentimental reasons – that I still don’t understand…. Monkey Shoulder is a yummy whisky if anyone is looking for something new…  I’m pretty sure I kept it because I thought the 3 metal monkeys looked really cool…(10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,), Craft equipment – card making tools/equip to a very excited cousin (18, 19, 20, 21, 22)
23 – Craft equipment – card making tools/equip to a very excited cousin (1, 2, 3, 4), Another unwanted mug (5), A revision skills book that is really helpful, but no longer needed (6), Sets of earrings I’ve kept but don’t wear – my ears aren’t pierced any more and cheap metal irritates them. These owl studs were one of my first pairs from my grandparents when I was 13. (7,  8,  9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,), random toy crab (19), Cardboard (20), More Cardmaking stuff (21, 22, 23)
One of my first earring sets - a gift from my grandparents.
One of my first earring sets – a gift from my grandparents.
24 – Loom Band Kit – I got caught up in the excitement last summer and it didn’t really set the world on fire for me (1, 2), Nail polish that is just useless (3, 4,), Plastic money from a LARP event I used to attend (5), Some freebie badges (6, 7), Some cardboard I’d been saving for a project that isn’t likely to happen any time soon (8), A frame I don’t need  – and don’t have the clips for (9), a plastic clip (10), a card punch (11), More card making stuff (12, 13), Belt I don’t use (14), Watch that needs a battery & I don’t wear (15), Another Jiffy bag I’d kept for some reason (16), A crinkled “Happy Birthday” sign (17), A crinkled “birthday girl” sign (18), A load of unused gift boxes (18, 19, 20), Book on how to make sock creatures (21), Book on how to watercolour (22), Jewellery making course book (23), vanity mirror (24)
25 – old pocket hairbrush (1), empty bottles (kept for some odd sentimental reason or left over from a get-together) (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ) an old pay as you go phone (8), push spot light (9), Small travel pouch – I can’t see us going away for ages now (10), Unrequired cable (11), set of broken xbox headphones (12), sets of in-ear headphones (13), DVD, (14 , 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23,) Giving back a mate his Now TV box that I won’t get around to using (24), An information CD I no longer need (25)
26 – A set of instructions (1), Small Tea serving tray – we have another one which is also never used for serving tea (2), An information leaflet for a National Trust place I visited (3), Notebooks I’ve finished and that don’t contain potentially useful scribbles (4, 5), A cardboard cake-stand that I’ve never used (6), A birthday card I received ages ago (7), A small shopping bag (8), A backpack with a dodgy zip (9), A DVD (I admit I brought the William and Kate film – I now can’t watch the whole thing through) (10), A pair of shoes I hardly wear (11), A pack of sequins I don’t use (12), One of those fluffy desk monsters (13), A Christmas card that my very clever cousin designed and made for me (14), Mini Whisky bottles – My husband was going to collect them… but I wanted to drink them…. so I won (15, 16, 17, 18), Lotions and potions from the bathroom that I never use and are probably long out of date (19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)
A card designed by my cousin Faye
A card designed by my cousin Faye

27. A pair of kitchen tongs that I had been planning on throwing away a while ago and have already brought a replacement sent for (1), A stand for a set of salt and pepper shakers that they never sit in (2), Pairs of shoes I never wear (3), DVDs that I have no intention of watching again/are double because we’ve somehow managed to acquire 2 copies (4), a getting started national trust handbook – I’ve been a member 2 years now (5), A guide to owning a hamster – we have gerbils now (6), A koala that grabs onto the side of your computer (7), A scarf I barely wear – it’s only usually cold enough to bother with a scarf for about 2 weeks. I never get a chance to wear all of my scarfs (8), Tiny glass jars (9, 10), Souvenirs some friends got us from holidays a few years ago (11, 12), Tangled bits of remaining cotton from a cross stitch pattern kit I finished (13), Badges I kept but now live in my sewing basket (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19), A mickey Bag clip charm given to me by a friend for my wedding (20), Nail/ Beauty stuff that I don’t use – made the mistake of buying cheap polish that takes longer to put on then it does to take off (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)

28 – More bathroom stuff (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,), DVDs I don’t ever plan on watching again (10, 11, 12) A board game I never plan on playing again (13), A beautiful butterfly jar – can never work out what’s worth storing in it (14), Old towels (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22), Dan’s old clothes/ones he no longer wants to wear (23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28)

29 – Dan’s old clothes/ones he no longer wants to wear (1, 2, 3, 4), Game of Thrones book, a song of Ice and Fire Book 1 – all read and reviewed (5), Old clothes I don’t need – bagged for money (6 – 23), Old shoes (24-28), Empty shoe box (29),

30 – A signed lab coat from Year 11 – why do I still have this? (1), An old fabric hat (2), Old clothes I don’t need any more (3-12, 27-30), A rocking dolphin thing that I somehow haven’t got rid of yet (13), A book on cake pops – I had one attempt and it went horribly wrong. I didn’t enjoy it enough to try to again (14), 2 packs of playing cards (unopened) – these aren’t my entire supply either! (15, 16), Never used freebie sports cap (17), Winter hats (18, 19, 20), unused bag (yes another one) (21), unused gloves (22, 23, 24, 25, 26),

31 – Old clothes that my husband hasn’t worn in months (I got his ok) (1 – 28), Old clothes I don’t need any more (29-31)

The battle has been won.

The war against my piles of belongings does go on – but with the motivation of the completion of this challenge to booster my confidence.