Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 57: Candles

I can't resist candles. If it smells like cloves, pumpkin, hippies, tea, oranges, plumeria, or sugar, it will be mine...oh yes, it will be mine. The catch is that I'm pyrophobic so I don't really like to have candles lit unless they are under constant supervision. I'm actually kind of impressed that the wicks are burnt on these three. I blame George! He doesn't share my obsession with fire safety.

Anyway, I basically own a lot of good-smelling wax. So I'm going to pare down the collection a little bit. (But NO WAY am I ever getting rid of my Capri Blue candles that smell like Hawaii!)


Day 56: Monogrammed Soaps

These were a gift from our friend Christina, and we loved them. But we probably loved them a little too much, because we refused to use them. We've been saving them for a special occasion, like, "No, let's keep using the Dial and save these for something fancy!" But the chances of us having any sort of special hand-washing occasion are slim. So, heads up, friends -- if you want to enjoy the "good soaps," you'd better visit soon, because they're officially in rotation.

Oh, and since the soap usage is kind of an ongoing thing, the official "toss" is the pretty box, which we donated to G's mom. You can't see the front, but it has a cute "W" emblem on it.

DESTINATION: Soap goes in the soapdish, box goes to G's mom.

Friday, February 25, 2011

THINGS WE DIDN'T TOSS (YET): Maintenance Requests

While I was in my file-dumping frenzy tonight, I came across something I couldn't part with -- at least not until I'd scanned them for posterity -- the maintenance requests from our old apartment.

We actually liked our apartment except for two minor issues: Nothing ever worked, and communicating with the maintenance department was like playing the worst game of "Whisper Down the Lane" ever. We actually started to look forward to getting the work orders, just to see her interpretations of our requests.

Here's a series of six requests in which we attempted to get a wonky stove burner replaced and a broken heater replaced.

"Large burner does not working. Fan for heater is very loud." Their solution was to jiggle the stove burner until the connector worked again, and "lub" the heater fan motor. I don't know what "lub" is, but I can tell you it did not fix our heater.

"Big burner has a bad connector....if you wiggle the burner it will work for a half-hour then it will die out again. Please please replace the connector." <-- I appreciated that she transcribed my begging verbatim. Unfortunately their solution was to "Plug it in securely. Will it stays hot....wiggled it again and it still works got it cherry red also." Okay...but...but...

"Big burner please do not try to fix connector. Replace the big burner connector. Replace replace replace." <-- I feel like she really captured my desperation in this particular work order. It finally worked.

"Heater works but is so loud." With the stove fixed, we decided to focus our efforts on other problems, including the heater which still sounded scary and sometimes refused to turn off. You'll notice they completely ignored the heater on this work order. We put in a few more requests over the next few months, including this very specific one:

"Heater sounds like it's ready to take off." They determined that the heater was working properly, which was technically true except that it sounded like it was powered by a jet engine. Not too surprisingly, a few months later, it finally had an electrical fire. We called and said (I felt like this was pretty straightforward), "Our heater had an electrical fire." She said, "Are you sure?" I said, "It tripped the breaker, there are burnt wires, and you can smell the burning." Which resulted in our favorite work order of all time:

"Smell like it's burning." That was it, in its entirety. If I were writing the work order, I might have mentioned the electrical fire -- but whatever, at least they finally fixed the heater. We didn't renew our lease.

Day 55: Old Files

I found this article on Bankrate, which convinced me that maybe -- just maybe -- I don't need to be saving my bank statements from junior year of college, or the rent stubs from our first apartment, or two years' worth of AT&T bills from our last house.

I'm creating a lot of recycled material tonight.

DESTINATION: Recycling. Except the random bits of paper with account info on it -- those go in the trash under the dirty diapers. When you have babies, you don't need a shredder! Your trash is its own protection.

We found some treasure while cleaning out the file bins. Random post coming in a few...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 54: Eyeglasses

I only wear glasses when I'm driving, and only at night, and only when I remember them. And sometimes at concerts. (When people I know see me in glasses they ask, "Oh, do you usually wear contacts?" and I'm like, "No, I usually squint.")

Anyway. A few years ago, G had some "use it or lose it" flex spending money, so we went out and bought ridiculously expensive frames. (His are Oliver Peoples, mine are Versace, a.k.a. ver-SASE for those of you who have seen Showgirls.) So I don't really need this pair of cheap frames from 1996. I was saving them as a backup, but my real backup is still...squinting.

DESTINATION: Goodwill. I'm hunting for a place that collects used eyeglasses, but so far the last three I've found say they're overloaded and not taking donations. I guess that's a good thing!

Day 53: Geriatric Socks

While I was pregnant with our older son, we went to Iceland and Amsterdam on a babymoon. Since I was having some swelling issues (sexy, I know!) my OB suggested I wear these socks to prevent my veins from exploding mid-air, or something like that.

G actually balked a little when I said I was tossing these. He argued that knee-highs are knee-highs, and they're always hot. I was like, "Okay, but these are DVT socks from CVS."


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Inspiration: If he can do it, so can you.

I'm stealing this post from Tim Ferris. Rolf Potts travels around the world while packing "Ultra Light" 6-weeks traveling through 12 countries with no bags.If he can do that, you can get ride of a few things around the house.

If your interested in Rolf and his story, I highly reccomend his "Do" lecture. It's inspirational. Time is our most valuable asset.

PS: If you like that lecture is a great place for insiration. Sometimes I frequent these talks at lunchtime to get my mind off of work.

Day 52: Discman

K wrote up my super sweet MP3 player yesterday as something that may have walked the halls of Bayside. I don't think Zack would have any idea what to do with it. Her classy Magnavox bootleg discman equipped with star power would be a better match for sure. He could have called everone over to the Maxx on his microwave sized cell phone and cranked the beautiful melodies of "Zack Attack" on this CD player.

What's funny is thinking back to how awesome CD's were when they came out! "You can skip songs and the music doesn't sound like its being played under water!" After saving every penny from your $6/hour job to buy this thing, discarding it feels wrong. But, then you realize that we should have tossed it about five iPods ago.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 51: Prehistoric MP3 Player

You might be wondering how we could part with this fine piece of technology. After all, with 32 megabytes of memory, this baby can hold up to eight songs. Eight songs at one time! I could almost get through an entire half-hour workout without listening to "Lip Gloss" twice. Amazing.

The sad thing is, this really seemed pretty sweet when we bought it, which wasn't too long ago in the grand scheme of things.

DESTINATION: Goodwill. If I had a time machine, I'd go straight to Bayside High and give it to Zack Morris, and he'd love me forever. But alas.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 50: Alice Munro

Alice Munro is one of those writers that other writers love, so I felt like I should get acquainted with her work. But every time I tried to read this book, I lost interest after the first few pages. I couldn't even tell you one thing about them. I don't know why I don't connect with her style, but it's time to stop trying. I feel like I'm forcing myself to listen to jazz -- I'm sure it's brilliant, but it's not for me.

DESTINATION: Goodwill, unless someone from my family snaps it up before the weekly "Goodwill bag" leaves my house :)

Day 49: Twee Jewelry

I have a lot of age-inappropriate obsessions that I'm not going to part with anytime soon -- owl pajamas, sparkly eyeshadow, Muppets, Avril Lavigne. But I think I'm ready to let go of the plastic jewelry and glittery butterfly hair clips. I just can't come up with an occasion where I'll wish I had a puffy heart barrette.


ETA: George asked me, "Did you mean tween jewelry?" Nope. Here's some clarification if you're in the same boat as he is.

Day 48: Broken Belt

This was a $12 belt. It started to unbraid itself. Rather than throw it out, I fixed it with Scotch tape (!) and then kept it in my closet for almost a year (!!) in case I ever had an outfit that called for a gold belt with Scotch-tape accents.

I think it's okay to get rid of it now.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 47: Bad Music

Yeah, I know, all music is subjective, blah blah blah. But I couldn't even get rid of these CD's for a quarter at a yard sale. I tried -- three times. So I finally brought the whole stack to Tunes this morning and promised myself I'd take whatever they offered.

Tunes offered me $3 cash or $4 store credit. (If I had to guess, I bet I got $2 for Rufus, $2 for Wilco, and the rest were a lil' donation.) I took the store credit, obvi, and traded this stack for Rivers Cuomo's home recordings. Good times.

DESTINATION: Tunes in Marlton. If you see something in this pile and think, "I would have taken that!!!!" you can check their dollar rack. And next time Saratoga Farms has their yard sale, go there and buy my crap for a quarter.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 46: Canvas

This might just look like a blue canvas, but au contraire! It's art! A friend painted this back in college, as part of a four-part series on the seasons. This one, obviously, was winter. It was also, obviously, the one she liked the least because she gave it to us. It hung on our wall for eight years, but we haven't heard from her in two years, so I think it's time to take her artwork off the proverbial refrigerator.

DESTINATION: My sister Colleen is an awesome artist (here's some of her work) so I gave her the canvas. I'm sure she'll put it to good use. I told her she has to paint me a picture of a cherry blossom tree, but that's not true -- she's allowed to use it however she wants. Especially if she wants to paint me a cherry blossom tree.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 45: Butterfly Rings

I really like butterflies, and people know that I like butterflies, therefore I get a lot of butterfly-themed gifts. That's not necessarily a bad thing. When we first started dating, G bought me a silver butterfly ring, which I promptly broke. I kept that one for sentimental value. But I don't need all of these -- I almost never wear rings aside from my wedding ring, and these particular rings have seen better days.

DESTINATION: Goodwill. They can make the "clean 'em or toss 'em?" decision for me.

Day 44: Wedding Album (Not Mine)

Okay, this might seem like an inappropriate item for Valentine's Day, but a) I don't care, and b) it's not my album. Or anyone else's, for that matter. It's an old sample album for my wedding photography. I'm not offering this brand anymore, so do I really need the album sitting in my closet?

DESTINATION: Trash. Photographic paper can't be recycled because of the coatings, just FYI.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 43: Card Box

We picked up this greeting card keepsake box at Christmas Tree Shop for $2.99 because we figured it could make a good filler gift for someone someday. And then we eventually came to realize that, no, it probably would not make a good filler gift for anyone, ever.


Day 42: Ski Jacket

This ski jacket was a score for me -- it was only $14.99 on end-of-season clearance at American Eagle. I loved the bright red because it made it easier for George to find me when I was lagging 400 feet behind him on the mountain. (I'm a very careful skier.)

My "ski pants" of choice were jeans over leggings, which is not the most waterproof option. And suffice to say my skill level necessitates waterproof pants. So I finally decided to invest in some real ski pants a few years ago, and while shopping for those, I found a matching ski jacket that was warm and cute (remember my jacket problem?).

So, I haven't worn this one since I bought the new one. Check out the ski tag to see how long it's been sitting in my closet.


Day 41: Straw Hat

A few years ago my brother and I took my father to a Phillies game for Fathers Day. It was really hot that day and the sun was relentless -- luckily we got these fancy straw hats courtesy of Chevrolet! My dad was so impressed with how effectively the hat protected his delicate Swedish skin that he wore it until it fell apart. While I inherited his amazing sunburning abilities, I'm a slave to fashion and can't really bring myself to wear this hat. It's been preserved in my closet ever since I got it, and now that we're cleaning up it's resurfaced. I'm giving it to Dad so he can relive the magic. We did a quick "glamour shot with fancy drink" photo shoot before sending it off.

DESTINATION: G's dad for maximum UV protection.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 40: Infant Bath

This was an easy one to part with. We used it exactly once. Our firstborn wiggled and slid and managed to wedge himself in the little drain areas about 1293874 times during his first bath, so we relocated him to the bathroom sink for the next few months. When our second son was born, we didn't even bother attempting this tub -- he went straight to the sink.

So we put the tub in the craigslist free section, and off it went.

DESTINATION: Local mama by way of Craigslist.

Day 39: Floor Lamp

I was swamped with work yesterday, so I asked G to post this one. He said, "No, because I don't support it." I guess he wasn't joking. So, I'm catching up today.

I got this floor lamp at our bridal shower six years ago. We picked it out, so obviously we liked it. But there's one hitch: the burgundy lampshade is like a blackout curtain. It didn't matter in our previous house, because we had recessed lighting and the lamp was just there to look good. But in our current house, it barely lit the room. It was mood lighting. My mom bought us a table lamp, so I put this on craigslist. Our floor space is cluttered and we're planning to rearrange the entire living room anyway, so....

...George fully disagrees. It's a "perfectly good lamp." And he's right. Maybe I was wrong when I guessed that our first difficult disposal wouldn't be until July!

DESTINATION: Marlton by way of craigslist.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 38: Diaper Bags

One of my favorite parts of giving birth (besides actually getting to meet my kiddos, obviously) was all the freebies. It started when I checked in and the nurse said, "Here's your remote and keyboard. There's free wi-fi!" Then we discovered the "refreshment room," a magical little place stocked with free pudding, Saltines, graham crackers, and those little cafeteria tubs of cranberry juice. Then they handed us the room service menu and let us order as much as we wanted. YESSSSSS. At one point, I actually slipped and called it "the hotel."

And before you leave, they shower you with even more freebies, courtesy of the formula companies. Among the sweet swag were these two surprisingly-not-ugly diaper bags. One from Nestle, one from Similac. But I already have two diaper bags -- one for daily use and one for G to lug around since mine is shiny and silver and technically a purse. So I put these in the freebie section of craiglist, and two mamas are now rockin' the little black bags.

DESTINATION: 'Round here. I love craigslist's free section!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 37: Plastic Bin

This bin used to hold things. We have fewer things, we need fewer bins. This one drew the short straw because it has no lid, so it's not stackable or dust-proof or kid-proof. Triple fail. (I described it a little more glowingly in the craiglist ad.)

DESTINATION: Someone else's closet, by way of craigslist.

ETA: I'm editing to add that this bin was originally the "gift box" for one of the most useful gifts we ever received -- an emergency supply kit from my brother's family. It was filled with glow sticks, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, and other items that responsible adults should have in their homes, and we didn't. Just FYI for anyone that needs a gift idea that won't wind up on someone else's 365 dump :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 36: Scanner

I've finally found a printer that only tries to ruin my life about 10% of the time -- it actually prints correctly the other 90%, and for a printer, that's an amazing ratio. (If you have three minutes, read the most accurate summary of printers ever written here.)

Anyway. My mostly-cooperative printer is an all-in-one, so I decided it was safe to sell my old Canon photo scanner. The product shot for craigslist was pretty boring, so I went ahead and scanned my face. Um, more than once. I think I have a new favorite hobby!

DESTINATION: Marlton, NJ by way of craigslist.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 35: Requiem for a Dream

Every now and then, I get on these kicks where I'm going to get cultured and watch serious, important movies about serious, important things. It usually doesn't pan out, and I end up watching Superbad for the 85th time. Requiem is one of those movies that people are always telling me I "really should watch," even though they always seem to follow up it up with promises of hopelessness and devastation ("It's so depressing! You'll want to rip your eyes out and un-watch it!")

Despite the fact that I cry at everything, even Taylor Swift videos (the one where he shows up at prom with the note for her? and he's been in love with her the whole time?) (cut me some slack, I was pregnant), I gave in to the pressure and bought this movie. But I've been too afraid to actually watch it, because it might send me spiraling into a serious existential crisis. So you know what? I'M NOT WATCHING IT! I'm going to keep watching the kind of movies I like. Like The Hangover. And Elf. And I've been dying to see Cop Out.

DESTINATION: Goodwill. I actually just noticed that it was the edited version, anyway -- no wonder it was $4. That'll teach me to buy movies from ecampus!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 34: Red Gloves

So, while finding those purple gloves the other day was total serendipity, I also felt like it defeated the purpose of our mission. I mean, obviously I can live without them, since they've been sitting in the pocket of a neglected ski vest for the past five years. So, I decided to go back to the OCIOGO rule -- one comes in, one goes out. These red gloves are nice and warm, but I have a pair in white that I wear all the time.

G passed out early and couldn't take a picture, but luckily my feet make excellent hand models!

DESTINATION: St. Paul's Episcopal in Camden. P.S. If you're local, they are ALWAYS accepting donations of outerwear!

Day 33: Old Cordless

We've been saving this cordless just in case (do you notice a trend? we save a lot of stuff "just in case"). The irony is, the "6" button doesn't even work, so I don't think it's really the most reliable backup plan.

DESTINATION: Trash. It's broken.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RECAP: One Month Down!

Since we made it through the first month, I figured I'd share a few observations so far:

1) It was way easier than expected. So far, nothing's been painful to part with. I wonder which month it'll start getting difficult? I vote July.

2) Having a blog is like having a workout buddy -- it shames you into staying motivated, in a good way.

3) It's made me (a slob) interested in cleaning, and it's made George (a packrat) willing to throw things out.

4) It's fun. Like a scavenger hunt for crap. I find myself scrutinizing everything I own, evaluating how much I really need or value it.

I think my goal for February is to include a few more tips and helpful links. But first, sleep.

Day 32: Pile of Coats

Remember when I mentioned my scarf addiction? I also have a coat addiction. Basically, I hate winter with every fiber of my being, and I survive it by wearing as many layers as humanly possible. This morning, for example, I was wearing a tank top, t-shirt, flannel pajama pants, a cardigan, and a flannel comforter wrapped around me like a cape. (At least until my niece came to visit, and I felt obligated to dress like a normal human being instead of an abominable quilt-monster.)

So, I have more coats than I can count. I don't even know what coats I have. I'll think, "I really wish I had a leather bomber jacket to wear with this outfit...OH HOLY CRAP! I DO!!" It's like I have a coat fairy, except the coat fairy is me, buying too many coats.

Today I got rid of four coats: a red down vest; a black hoodie that I wore until it fell apart; a denim jacket that should have come with a sell-by date of 1987 even though I bought it three years ago; and a windbreaker with a butterfly on it (why?).

When I started piling on the coats for this picture, G said, "Don't do that." I did anyway. Woohoo! It reminded me of the scene in Friends where Joey says "I'm wearing ALLLLL your clothes!" (Anyone?)

DESTINATION: St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Camden. They run an amazing coat collection and soup kitchen, both of which my brother is very involved in.

Two sidenotes.

1) We had a debate over whether this should count as one post or four. What if we ran out of things later? But I went with four because I wanted them out of the closet, and because I look so awesome wearing all four at once.

2) When I was checking the coat pockets, I found a cute pair of gloves! Bonus!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 31: Ill-Fitting Dress Shirts

So, I have had these shirts forever. They weren't purchased when I was at my largest, but when I wear them they look like trash bags. Who needs shirts that add 20 lbs? (Case in point: while taking the picture for this post K said "hold on, I need my wider lens.") They were also purchased before I knew you could buy fitted dress shirts! I bought a nice fitted dress shirt several years ago and I have worn it to every wedding, funeral, and job interview since. This week I decided to step up my game and I picked up two new shirts that fit like a tailor made them for me. I can't wait for an excuse to pimp them out.