I had a lot of stuff. No, really. Lots of crap. My family has always had hoarder tendencies. It's understandable looking at the conditions they had grown up and such, but we're past those conditions. Yet I was brought up to hold on to all sorts of old, broken, duplicate stuff just in case. Not only that, but if you get something new, keep it in pristine condition and never use it ... use the old one.
In the past few years I've done some big decluttering sessions, getting rid of all the obviously unnecessary stuff. Guess what? I no longer play Tertris and Jenga every time I want to use something! I'm at a pretty good place with the stuff that I own and the space that I have so crisis averted. But I still find these random things that I sorta glossed over or had trouble parting with when I upturned all my stuff and threw away 70% of it. And when I say trouble parting, I'm not talking real sentimental items, I'm talking things that I didn't even remember owning, found them, and then decided that even thought they were so useful to me that I didn't remember having them, I'll surely need it from now on. So I kept them.
THE MINS GAME
Long story short: a thing I saw on YouTube where you pick a month, get rid of one thing on the 1st, two on the 2nd, three on the 3rd, and so on. By the last day of the month you have gotten rid of almost 500 items. Seemed fun to do and a good way to chip away at those random things that sorta stowed away and survived the Trashpocalypse. Google it.
Going straight for my "I might need this" art supply drawer and gettin' rid of this jar of white paint primer. It's older than me I think. Dad used to use it, gave it to me when he stopped painting. I NEVER use it cause I buy already primed canvases. I'f I'll ever need primer for some reason or another, It's not such a big investment, so I'll get it then.
Not much to say about these. A notebook I never use, a phone case I use just as much and that one fancy hair piece I owned not because I had ridiculously long hair but because my mum is a hairdresser, had a competition and my head was the prop to which the flower got bobbypinned in an intricate hairdo.
Today's junk harvest: an old colour palette I hate to use, a broken detachable phone lens, an instructions manual for my almost decade old camera...I figured it out by now, I hope...., some college notes and the piece de resistance: a couple tram passes from 2011. Let's take a moment to reflect on those last two...
A book I got at a library clearing and never read, an old gross hairbrush, an old gross face sponge, an even older and grosser bunch of band aids, an expired sunscreen can that got replaced with a stronger version and abandoned, and a couple ornamental things I got as gifts a long time ago (a Buddha snow globe and a tiny pyramid with Nefertiti in it).
"Just in case" I kept 4 crappy pairs of earphones I never use and 3 phone cases from old phones. Then I kept an ugly fridge magnet and, as a bonus, I'm throwing out the little pouch thing I kept the earphones in.... which isn't really a pouch, but a detachable pocket from some old pants because that's something you keep.
You know those geometry sets that you need in school? I had several of them through the years. Here are the remnants.
Also throwing in the mix an old pair of tweezers, a spare button for some long discarded jeans and a fountain pen which is acting too much like a fountain and not enough like a pen.
Okay, this is a mixed bag: a dim flashlight, an old dingy compass I kept for decoration, a cute owl headlamp I got as a gag gift, a broken external battery, a broken tripod, an antenna from something that I don't own anymore, my camera's instruction manual, the instruction manual from my outdoor mattress, couple knives I never use and a 2017 calendar.
Books. Some were needed for school, others I got as gifts, some sorta existed in the house with no real use or value (like the thickest of them, which is a Russian-Moldavian dictionary my grandmother used that one time in the '70s when she went to visit Russia).
...and a big ass candle that sat on my shelf for over 10 years.
Alright, so today I did a major declutter in the paper department, which means a huge drawer under my bed and a full shelf. Depending on how you count I threw out way more than 13 things Pictured are an old box, canvas strechers, old courses, knives, notebooks, a photo frame and a eraser. All I have to say about this is: my back hurts.
Ok so...a big old gross bag, a small old gross bag, couple pens, a pen refill that dried out, a plastic thingy, a hair clip, a rubber cricket, fountain pen refills, the collar that belonged to a dog that we had over 15 years ago, a patch, a pouch, a shoelace, a pencil sharpener, couple lighters and a makeshift eye patch from a Halloween costume....oh and a watercolor case.
A bunch of old comics and catalogues, a key holder, couple outdated medical slips, yet another lighter, a smiley face patch, a game pass I've held on for years and never used, couple pen holders, some old envelopes and a bunch of leaky fountainpens.
To bee honest I think I'm reaching the bottom of the barrel soon.
An empty watercolor box, couple dried up tubes of paint, a tiny lanyard, an insert from a toolbox, a small bag of bits and bobs, couple old bus tickets, a gross shopping bag, couple business cards, two hair clips and a handful of old paintbrushes.
I keep saying I don't have anymore stuff and yet here I am...
So I'm at he bottom of the barrel...except for the CD barrel. I'm sure I still have a few things that are hiding from the Tashpocalypse and I will hunt them down. But the bulk of it will come from tat box that keeps staring me in the eye, daring me to go through it....the CD box. It's been sitting under the desk, mocking me for years.
More discs! Including one from an old phone that's long gone. I don't know why I held on to the software CD for that. Maybe I thought I'd sometime need it for a very specific and weird reason. Or maybe I'm just dumb and keep stupid stuff. The rest of them have stupid stuff I felt the need to save from the internet and forget about.
DAY 30 AND 31
I did actually get to do day 30 and 31, however I did not want to photograph them. But here's what I have to say:
●day 30 got up, close and personal with my underwear drawer and other really personal items.
● day 31 consisted of a box of old pastels that I got as a subscription at an art supply magazine. I hate pastels, can't really touch them without cringing. I did however intend to line them up and take a picture of them. So I opened the box, got swallowed by a small cloud of colourful dust, sneezed, closed the box and threw it away. So no picture.
THOUGHTS ON THE "MINS GAME"
● I went in AFTER a major decluttering and was aware that to do this game would mean I really had to take a hard look and dig deep into my stuff. And that was an intentional choice for me. But if you have too much shit and you are not sure how to even start to get rid of it and organise everything this would be a really good starting point.
● It was more fun than I expected. It changed the approach I had to clearing out stuff. After the first few days when the obvious shit went bye bye it forced me to open a drawer/box/whateverstorage and ask myself "What in here is actually trash I keep just because?" to which the answer usually was "Probably more than half of it.", shortly followed by making myself laugh like a crazy person that opened a drawer and laughs at it. After that taking the decision of what can stay took a more lighthearted funny turn.
● My friends think I suddenly turned philanthropist. No I'm not showering you with gifts, I'm just letting you rummage through my trash and pick what you like. Consider yourselves my pet raccoons.
● Speaking of what happened with the trash...what did actually happen with it? Except for the stuff I gave to friends, what could be donated was donated, what could be recycled was recycled and what was actually useless trash was....well..trashed.
● Did this result in trying to sell anything? Actually....no, I haven't listed in the game the things I intend to sell, but I did put all the stuff in one place. Same goes for some bigger items that need to be recycled, like an old sound system and an ancient tv and such. Those will get dealt with separately.
● I still have junk! But it has designated bins. Look, we all have those items that we are absolutely sure we're not going to use but we can't bring ourselves to get rid of....and so there are two small bins in my closet, one labelled "Feminine", the other "Special". They contain....you guessed it....the few feminine clothing items I own and maybe MAYBE sometimes I mix in with my usual wardrobe and the things that are dear to my heart for one reason or another, mixed in with a few very occasion specific items. Aside from those I have a small box of sentimental stuff.
● Was it a hassle? some days. But I cheated. Let me explain: during he first week I dived into one of the storage spaces I knew was overflowing with junk. I took everything out. I put back in just the things I was sure I want to keep and I put the rest in a big plastic bag. The I went ahead with going daily through smaller storage spaces. The plastic bag was in its self a space I needed to go through and decide on most things. So I used it either to complete a day that had me stumped on what else to find or...a few days where I didn't feel like I had the energy to pull everything out of a drawer, I would just pick stuff from the bag. Eventually I did get to those things in the bag that I needed to decide about but it was easier since it was no longer overflowing. Then I got into the CD's and we all know how that went...
● It's contagious. This game was limited to my own personal stuff. However there have been moments where other members of my family either wen through some of their things or sheepishly offered me the option to go through this or that if I feel like it. That being said, I would gladly do a housewide mins month if they'd make up their mind.