Saturday, 31 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 31

31 marbles.

The end of the challenge.

When I finally cart the last load of junk down to the charity shop next week my house will contain 496 fewer things than it did at the beginning of the month.

To be honest there were times when I wondered whether I'd find enough stuff to get rid of.  It turns out I needn't have worried.  I could carry on dumping for (at least!) another month.  The real challenge lay in sorting through drawers, cupboards and shelves, identifying items, cleaning them, deciding where they should go and disposing of them.

There were days when I struggled to find time to gather enough together, days when I had to play catch up.  But it's been a strangely liberating, almost addictive experience, and one which I vow to continue, in a less formal manner, until I reach a comfortable balance with regard to my possessions.

My thanks to Mrs Green at My Zero Waste for inspiring me to embark on this journey.  

Friday, 30 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Days 28-30

Once again time has been against me.  So here you have it - three days for the price of one!

Day 28
I've been rifling through my wardrobe and have am horrified to discover how many coat hangers I possess.  I've kept the good ones, but am getting rid of the flimsy ones cashiers automatically slip into your bag.  I now make a point of refusing them, for reasons apparent from the picture above! 

Day 29
A pile of some of the clothes I'm dumping.  My wardrobe is still full of garments I hope to fit into again one day.  They are now on borrowed time.

The hoop at the back is a canopy my younger daughter would have liked suspended over her bed but, for various reasons, it never even emerged from its packaging.  Hey ho!

Day 30
I said I'd discovered a wardrobeful of coat hangers!

I'm not sure what to do with them.  I'll check whether any of our local charity shops would like them.  If not I'm afraid I'll have to bin them.  

Unless anyone has any novel suggestions?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Days 22 - 27

A combination of long hours at work, hosting a French student and delivering leaflets for the Green Party has left me with little time to sort, count and photo my daily collections.
  However I have been continuing to dump junk.
  Here's the evidence.

Day 22
More clothes, including two gowns (one adult, one child) commissioned for a Harry Potter themed birthday party.

Day 23
More plastic cutlery!

Day 24
I made a batch of Seville orange marmalade and, rifling through my collection of lids, I decided to bin any that were less than perfect.  The stripey socks date from my girls' secondary school days and the Barbie kite to when they were still in primary school!   

Day 25
I cleared out a drawer-full of old gift bags.  Most of them will end up in the recycling bin but I managed to salvage a few for the charity shop. 

Day 26
The last of the plastic cutlery (yeah!) displayed on an old tea towel to mark the day when the Church of England finally got round to consecrating a woman bishop!  

Day 27
I ventured under our bed and found a pile of old crockery.  The egg poaching pan has been claimed by a colleague at work.  And I never really felt comfortable in those thongs!

Back up to date again!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 21

A still life made up of a strange assortment of junk: straws from children's drinking bottles, stirrers, a wooden clothes pegs, bottle stoppers, a birthday candle, a pressure cooker weight and a device to prevent drips on wine bottles!  My kitchen drawer is now a lot tidier.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 20

I've been very busy at work and at home the past few days, unable to rummage around for more junk to dump.  Fortunately I'd already unearthed a carrier bagful of plastic cutlery.  The plan was that I would reuse them for parties, picnics etc but in reality they've spent the last however many years buried in a drawer.  Time to go!

I'm now two thirds of the way through the challenge and 210 items lighter.  I feel sure I 've enough junk to hit my target of 386 items.  I'm just short of the time it takes to sort them out.  But I'm determined to give it my best shot.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 19

A motley assortment of old bags, threadbare towels, a dull downie cover, an unwanted dressing gown and six sock hangers.  The sock hangers are what remains of a packet I bought for the the girls' Advent calendars.  I thought they might be useful - but I was wrong!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 18

A mixed pile of books.  The Kitchen Yearbook at the bottom belongs to my sister and will be returned to her next month.  Sarah Brown and Rose Elliot were my cooking gurus way back in the 70s and 80s and even their names bring back fond memories of those days.  I feel guilty for giving away their books, but it's been a while since I referred to either of them.  There are a few I've never opened and a couple I didn't finish.  Their time on my bookshelves is over.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 17

Today's collection illustrates the extent of my hoarding tendencies.  An exploration of our bathroom cupboard revealed a packet of Napisan and a bottle of baby lotion.  For goodness sake!  My younger daughter is now 20 years old!!!

On the plus side, I have also discovered that I will not not need to buy any toiletries for the forseeable future as  I have enough to stock a small chemist's shop!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 16


Today's offering is a pile of children's books, including a boxed set of 10 Roald Dahl books.  I started reading James and the Giant Peach to my daughter when she was young, took a dislike to it and haven't read another once since.  Was I wrong?  Anyway, the collection deserves to grace the bookshelf of someone more appreciative of his works than I've been.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 15

I didn't have time to photograph today's collection of junk until this evening, hence the poor quality.  I'm sure I could have managed a better shot if I'd taken the time to acquaint myself with my mobile phone's settings, but that's another challenge!

The napkin rings are from Pier, a shop I still miss, especially at Christmas.

At Day 15 I'm now half way through the challenge, but at 120 only a quarter of the way through the total number of items to be dumped.  I wonder whether I'll be able to find another 376 to get rid of?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 14

Back to the wardrobe, drawers and coat pegs to produce a taller pile than before.  The white towelling bundle is a lovely soft dressing gown, spoilt (for me at any rate) by the Guinness logo on the cuffs and collar!  Alan's got one in black which doesn't bother him.

When I posted the last collection of clothes my younger daughter complained I'd given away a spotty top she'd had her eye on.  So I've checked in advance this time.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 13

Today I turned my attention to the bathroom cupboard where I unearthed this bagful of out of date medicines.  I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg!  The upside is that, given the stash of toiletries I've discovered, I'll be saving a small fortune in the weeks (months?) ahead.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 12

I had to snap today's collection before shooting out the door tow work this morning.  The solar powered calculator no longer works and one of the bowls is badly scratched but the Tupperware blue shaker has hardly been used.  I have another one in my kitchen cupboard but it's missing its lid so has won a reprieve until it turns up elsewhere.  The black candle holder has a charming rustic appearance but is not very steady,  And does anyone else remember the Hama bead craze?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 11

Another motley assortment of kitchen/dining room items.  The food warmer takes me back to meals shared with friends in London in the 80s but, rarely having used it since we moved to Bristol 24 years ago, I think it's had its day.  The yellow silicone egg poachers were more trouble than they were worth and my girls are way too old for a teddy bear shaped birthday cake!

All but the two rusty dented baking trays are on their way to the charity shop, who are doing rather well out of me at the moment.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 10

A collection of art materials, used a couple of times, then consigned to a cupboard.  I'm hoping someone else will make better use of them.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 9

I've been attacking my ironing pile before it topples over.  Yes, I know that if I were to hang wet clothes up straight they could be folded and put away without needing to be ironed, but I prefer pressed clothes - and sheets! and tea towels! - but I draw the line at knickers!  And I quite like ironing, especially in the company of Radio 4, and take pleasure in transforming a crumpled heap of clothes into a pile of crisply folded garments.

I picked out a few items that I no longer wear and these have now been taken down to my favourite charity shop.  Next stop my wardrobe!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 8

These Ikea place mats once seemed a good idea.  They will soon be on their way to brighten up someone else's dining table.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 7 (+ Review of Week 1)

These old alumnium foil trays have loitered too long on the top shelf of my kitchen cupboard.  I harboured good intentions of reusing them, but never did, and probably never will.  I held on to them out of guilt for buying cheap disposables in the first place.  Fortunately our council recycles foil so they're in the black bin waiting for Friday's collection and I won't be buying any more.   

Week 1
So far so good.  Working through cupboards and drawers I've had no difficulty finding items I can happily part with.  It's as if this challenge has given me permission to dump stuff  I've been wanting to get rid of for years but never felt confident enough to do so.

You should try it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 6

We are family that like our games and have built up quite a collection.  But we have grown out of some of them.  I consulted the girls before dumping these.  The Harry Potter board game was vetoed and put back in the cupboard, but I have permission to take these ones down to the charity shop.

PS  I do apologise for the quality of my recent photographs.  The days may be getting longer but I still find myself trying to conjure up enough natural light in the evenings.  I didn't do very well with this one!  

The Year in Books

I have joined Circle of Pine Trees' A Year in Books project.  This is a virtual reading group in which members choose their own book of the month and post a brief review of it for others to share.  There is also a plan for everyone to read the same book one month.  Pop over forLaura's far more coherent explanation here.

Anyway, I have chosen We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler for January, or rather it was chosen for me by my husband who included it in my Christmas stocking.  It's my first of her books and I'm looking forward to reading a new author.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 5

My aim in this challenge is to dump my junk sustainably, recycling or donating the majority of it.  However I'm resigned to the fact that this won't be possible with each and every one of the 300+ items.  Today's fall into this category - a leaky liquidiser jug, and attachments to a food processor that broke years ago.  I'm afraid they'll been consigned to the landfill bin.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 4

I bought these ice cream glasses for my daughters years ago from a charity shop.  Or was it a jumble sale?  Anyway I don't remember using them more than a couple of times.  So they're going back to where they came from.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 3

I raided my dusty shoe box in the hall and found these.  Only the white heeled pair in the middle are worthy of the charity shop.  The other two are unwearable, which begs the question why they weren't binned* years ago!

* ie consigned to the recycling box which is where they are heading today.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 2

I found these two wooden pegs while clearing out one of my kitchen drawers.  I'm sure some crafty person could create a couple of delightful dolls with them, but that person is not me.  So I'm donating them to a charity shop.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Dump Your Junk: Day 1

Because I would like this challenge to be more than just getting rid of stuff (although that is of course the name of the game), I thought I would chose my first item with care.

It is a book that I read some years ago and mostly enjoyed, but which I do not feel the urge to open again.  There's something so seductive about a living room lined with book shelves, and we do have a respectable collection.  But books are not meant for decoration.  They're meant to be read, and if I'm not going to read this one again then it should go to someone who will enjoy it.

So today I released it into the wild ie I left it on a chair in Zazu's Kitchen for someone else to pick up.  I've registered it on the BookCrossing website and stuck a label on the first page so that the finder can look it up and, when s/he's finished with it, can send it on its way again.

I've been releasing books on and off for the last six years, 19 to date, of which I've only been able to track three.  However one of these did end up in Arlington, Virginia.

I wonder what will happen to Chocolat.

Bon voyage!