Old disgusting items

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The past few days I got rid of an old shower curtain liner that was orange-brown on the bottom. Disgusting. I also tossed my old cushions that we used in our kitchen nook. I turned them over awhile ago and now there are no more sides to turn over to show a clean side. The picture is of the old cushions.

Yes, I did replace the liner and cushions with a new ones. I realized that part of me getting rid of junk is to help beautify my home. I can actually buy some nicer things and get by with less. I usually buy a lot of cheap junk to fill my home with stuff, options – junk. Now I am intentional in my buying and replacing. The new cushions are lovely and make my kitchen nook look inviting again. It even made the curtains look fresh. The shower liner is purely for sanitary reasons but I bought fresh clips to make it easier to keep the curtain shut so it can dry properly. Intentionality. I like the idea of making my home more inviting and beautiful. The less I have, the more I can enjoy it. Step by step. I am starting to enjoy tossing stuff. It’s a good feeling. Less guilt and regret these days.

Ok two more things. One – I gave away a purse the other day to a friend. I found it in my closet with the tags on. I bought it a year ago. I used it for two days. One of the days I had lunch with a friend who admired it. I did not like the purse – not the look but the functionality of it. It didn’t work for how I use a purse a.k.a. finding my keys when I need to drive. Anyway, no pictures so my friend can use the new bag (only 2 days used equals new) and not be spotted with a hand-me-down. 🙂

The last item is the ABC pants. I couldn’t mention something so humiliating and not post a picture. So, here are the ABC pants I used to wear in my youth. Cheryl – I wanna see the kangaroo print pants now.
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Stop laughing.

Dream Big!

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Argyle Sweaters

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My mom sent down some of my old clothes she saved from my childhood. Some argyle sweaters that you see in the picture. A pair of jeans with a zipper on the leg so they can be skin-tight on the calf. (I’m dating myself). Also a pair of ridiculous blousy bright yellow pants with the alphabet on them. They look like clown pants. My kids cried in laughter when they saw them. Sorry no picture. I can’t document for all eternity that I wore those pants when I was a kid. So the pants, jeans, two sweaters and a trader joe bag (random but it needed to go – ripped lining) are all headed to the donation pile.

I must confess I kept a sweater for the costume box. A pair of argyle socks and a sweater vest were saved as well. I like Halloween and someday someone will want to be a preppy. I just loaned my leg warmers to a friend attending an 80s party. Yes, I still have my leg warmers. It’s all in the costume box. The costume box is one way to help me hold onto the past for a valid reason. Sorry, but it is off-limits to this blog. Maybe in November I may tackle it but for now, I am holding onto that box as the one place I can “legitimately” save something I am not ready to part with.

Dream Big!

Baby Toys

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It has been a few days since I last wrote. A three-day weekend and a great opportunity for me to teach a leadership training class, had me tied up. I’m here and have a ton of stuff I tossed. Since the 14th, I am donating an old Trader Joe grocery bag along with a ton of kid toys. I have a many more to go. When my kids grew out of toys, I saved them. My mom saved a lot of my toys from my childhood. My kids would play with them when they visited my parent’s home. Some of my childhood toys my mom sent home with me. The kids liked some of them. Some just freaked them out or they thought were boring. For me, it was fun to see these memories from childhood. I want to give my kids that opportunity to have their old toys saved. I saved way too many. I finally pulled a bunch of them out while digging through my costume box to loan something to a friend.

In the picture you see a book about a wacky goat – it wasn’t a good book but I made a funny voice and the kids loved it. The ubiquitous shape sorter needed to go. They will have those around forever. There was a radio that played kid songs like “The Wheels on the Bus.” Lastly a Fisher Price zoo complete with animals and zookeeper. Fun stuff.

I will have a ton of items in this category when I start uncovering these pockets of saved kid stuff. In the past, I couldn’t part with the toys. All three kids played for hours with the zoo. Wacky goat is a poorly written book but it always brought laughter when I read it. Again, it’s the memories that tie me to stuff. I remember the kids being small and playing. I don’t need the toy to remember that. I know that now. I truly felt little pull to keep these items. I asked the kids in case they were a favorite. They were good with it. My youngest didn’t remember them too much. That’s odd since he is the last one who played with them. I think he bypassed a lot of baby stuff because he wanted to play with this big sisters. So off go the toys. Another family can enjoy them and create new memories. I am just so grateful to be caught up on my blog and that I didn’t struggle as I thought I would getting rid of these items. It’s progress my friends.

Dream Big!

Expiration dates

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I start this blog with one request – no judgement. That being said. Although I did it all today, I count this for the 10th-13th. This picture shows the items that were trashed. Yep. All of these items were expired. The exceptions are the taco sauces and parmesan cheese from take-out food. It all began with me having to remove several cans to get to my bread crumbs for dinner. (Yummy pork chops coated in bread crumbs, parmesan and crunchy fried onions) I noticed the cans were expired. I set them on the table. Also, as I pulled out the bread crumbs, the bag of condiments came falling out, so I saved a handful and tossed the rest.

I must confess I was shocked how many cans I had that were expired. One had started to bubble on the bottom so it would have exploded soon. The winner of the oldest is the chilis from 2008. (Remember I said no judgement).
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My old pantry was deep – about 2 feet deep. I always had expired stuff because I rarely got to the back and kept new stuff in the front. When we remodeled 4 years ago, we installed this pantry, which is much less deep. I thought I had been better about using stuff up. Guess not. Today will hopefully help me turn a new leaf. Look how usable and nice it looks now. (I wish I had a before picture.)

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OK time for the analysis part of the blog. I grew up in a home that always had fully stocked cupboards. Why mom kept it that way, I am not totally sure. Security. In case of emergency. Stock piling. I don’t know. I do it for several reasons. Here they are in no particular order.

1) It’s what I know from growing up. It’s familiar and comfortable even though it is wasteful and inefficient.

2) I feel I always have something to cook if we need a meal or snack. I am prepared to provide for my family. The odd thing is that I provide for my family by meal planning, creating a list of what is needed to make those meals and I grocery shop every week. Having a few extra “in a pinch” meal options in my cupboard is fine. What I had in there before today, is not fine.

3) I don’t fully trust that God will provide for all of my needs so I plan ahead for the worst case scenario. Yikes – did I just admit that out loud. (Seriously now – no judgement). I am a planner. I realize that in life I often get the go ahead from God on a new direction and I plan it all out. I get the idea from Him but the implementation is all me. With my home, I over stock to prepare for a bad day, a natural disaster or just to remind myself that I am provided for. This mentality leads to clutter. I hold onto everything because I may need it or if something happens, I’m prepared.

Follow my reasoning here for a minute. When my kids outgrew diaper bags, I was thrilled. I bought a small purse and happily entered the world without baggage – well, at least not a large bag with diapers. The freedom thrilled me. Also, when I travel, I pack light. I prepare for the weather, toss in a few extra items but I know that I can always find a Walmart if I forget something.

In my daily life, I want to live knowing I can always find a Walmart. If I truly NEED something, I can get it. If I truly NEED something, God will provide it. I don’t need to keep a stockpile of food. I can’t tell you how good I felt tossing it. I showed my kids the decluttered center cupboard (yes the side ones need work) and they said “wow.” The cycle of overstocking stops with this generation. WOW.

Dream Big!

Tea and Teeth

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This weekend I got rid of two tea strainer balls. They hold loose leaf tea and you put them in a teapot. I used one this morning and all the tea leaves came out because the tight seal is gone. The second tea ball didn’t even have a chain on it so you can’t get it out when you put it in the hot water. Again, why did I keep them so long? They don’t work. When I recently discovered how much I prefer loose leaf tea to tea bags, I noticed the strainers in my kitchen drawer. I haven’t used them in years. Their lack of use should have sent them to the trash sooner but “maybe I’ll use them in the future.” The future is now and they don’t work. They are gone.

Tonight I wasn’t going to blog. The time change has the whole family a bit tired, edgy and a bit grumpy. I anticipate a struggle getting the kids up for school in the morning. I have a few blemishes (a.k.a. pimples) on my face (seriously, you still get them in your forties). I drove 3 hours round trip to a soccer game this weekend (at least we won). I had two amazing speaking engagements this past week. There were several rehearsal for choir, baseball and improv this weekend for the kids. I am feeling exhausted from a good but long week.

I needed an item to get rid of for today. I was going to begin my ritual of opening cupboards, drawers and looking in containers for anything to toss. I wanted something “good” because the tea strainers were uneventful. Then it hit me. Why make this long weekend longer? Find something simple, write it up and get to bed. Sometimes you just need to K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple sister – I actually do a talk called that). So I pulled out an old mouthwash in the bathroom cupboard. It was from the dentist and very expensive. I prayed it had an expiration date and it was up. It did and it was. Job complete. It is tossed and I can go to bed.

Sometimes, just keep it simple and get some sleep. I have a tendency to overthink my life and situations. Tonight wasn’t a night that required that. You don’t need me to be profound every blog. If you do, please lower my pedestal by a notch. It is a huge feat for me to say “it’s good enough” and label it complete. I am doing that more in my life now. I learned to say it when I took a sewing class. It had to be good enough or I’d never finish a project. Tonight, it’s good enough so good night. Don’t forget to K.I.S.S.

Dream Big!

Makeup

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Today was awesome. I had the opportunity to speak at a church in Laguna Beach. Literally in downtown Laguna. The weather today was perfect. After speaking, I had lunch on the patio of a restaurant staring at the beach. (The picture above is my view from lunch.) I didn’t read, text or anything. I just absorbed the setting. I felt restored, rejuvenated and relaxed. Even the hour drive home didn’t return my stress. How grateful I am that the Lord allowed me this opportunity to speak, to hear feedback on how women were impacted and to spend a sunny afternoon at the ocean.

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As I unpacked (I crashed at a friend’s home in Newport Beach the night before to prevent a 3 hour drive in traffic), I realized I hadn’t cleaned my makeup drawer in a long time. My talk today is titled “Heart’s Desire.” It’s about pursuing goals and dreams. I shared the story of a woman who broke down the task of cleaning her house to a drawer by drawer action list. It inspired me. So I decided to tackle my makeup drawer. Not a ton to throw. I’m not a huge makeup gal. My drawer now opens and closes easier with the extra junk gone. I feel motivated to tackle a drawer every day or so. My nightstand, my junk drawer, my utensil drawer, my dresser drawers(9 of them). It’s nice when I seek to inspire others and find myself inspired as well. God is good how He blesses us when we give of ourselves. I am happy but tired. Wonderful day!

As you know, I end my blogs with Dream Big! I sang that song today. Yes, it is a song. It is a country style song by the Martins. When I recorded it we sped it up to make it more peppy. I’m not a fan of country music anyway. Here are the words to the chorus.

Dream big, it’s the Lord’s desire for you to
Dream big, in everything you say and do
You’ll see your greatest dreams come true
‘Cause all of heaven is dreaming big for you.

Dream Big!

Gemco

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Remember me? I’m the blogger who said she would get rid of one item a day. I didn’t get cold feet. I didn’t give up. I have 6 items to get rid of since it’s been 6 days since I last wrote. Since then my son had baseball opening ceremony that I missed while my daughter’s improv team competed in Redlands and won first place. Awesome!!! I returned exhausted after being gone 13 hours and I didn’t even compete. I may have won loudest mom when I screamed when they won. The next day was that same daughter singing in her ensemble at church only to rush off to my sons playoff soccer game. They beat the undefeated number one team and went onto finals. They tied, had two five minute overtimes and lost in penalty kicks. Great day. I rushed home to watch the Oscars without a party for the first time in 24 years. Long story but with the last minute playoff game and the guest list dwindling as the day progressed, I needed to call it off. Hopefully I can resurrect it next year. Those are a few of the distractions the past week. I had some disappointments in relationships as well but I’m tired and rehashing it would keep me up all night. So on with the list of six items.

1) a jar for making salad dressing

2) a candle that is waaaaayyyyyy to scented for me (it was going to be an Oscar party door prize but no party, time to get rid of it’s scent in my home)

3) an old Oscar centerpiece that was showing its age

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4) a broken teaspoon – it’s a spoon that holds loose leaf tea. I saw it broken next to the dish drainer and tried to fix it. I realized I have more and it’s futile so I trashed it.

5) a small bottle of ginger perfume that still has too much of a scent for me and I have no recollection of why I even saved it. It was in the back of my makeup drawer. That drawer could fill a week of stuff to toss I’m sure.

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6) another jar for making salad dressing but this one has the ingredients for like 6 recipes and the line to show you how much to pour in of each ingredient. This is the main part of the blog. This item should be #2. I saw both of these jars together. However, I couldn’t part with this one until today. The recipes on the bottle is so helpful. However, in all the years I’ve owned this, I don’t recall of time I ever used those recipes or the measuring lines. The key in this last sentence is “all the years.” I struggled pulling it down on day 1 with the other one because I wasn’t ready to part with it.

If you look closely at the label you will see the word Gemco on it. Do any of you remember Gemco? It was the Target of my childhood. We got our prescriptions there. We had our film developed there. We shopped for clothes there. It was a pre-Target. I think we visited Gemco weekly when I was a child. When I saw the logo on the bottle, I was shocked. Memories flooded back and my desire to keep this unused bottle grew. As I type this I am tempted to google Gemco bottles to see if it’s worth any money. Seriously? Who wants an old bottle for making salad dressing from Gemco? It’s so old the glass will probably break if I tried to put anything inside of it. I took the picture of this item purposefully so I could look back at it later if I miss it.

As I sit on my bed typing this blog I realize the longer I type, the longer I get to keep it. I don’t know if you relate to this at all. Again, I’m surprised by the power an unimportant object has over me. The link to my childhood, the waste of me never using it that much (guilt), the hope of making homemade salad dressing and not having a container to do so, and the pull of stuff to keep me from release.

I’m tired. The bottle is old. Gemco will forever be in my heart. It’s gone.

I will write again much sooner. Forgive my delay.

Dream Big!

P.S. The temptation got to me and I googled it. There are a ton of these jars out there. They cost about $4. So if I have remorse, I can always buy one on ebay.