Throw Away 50 Things

It’s that special time of year!  It’s January, a new year, a clean slate – it’s throw away time!  Throwing away 50 things – since 2012.

Skip right to my tips.

I have stuff. I like stuff.  The word stuff is actually in the title of my blog, so I think it goes without saying that stuff and I are quite fond of each other.  We’re not without our disagreements of course. Like any happy couple, we have our ups and downs, our periods of absolute bliss and our periods of holy shit, get the hell away from me I can’t even look at you anymore.

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Oh sure, during the holidays we get along.  Everyone’s in a good mood, there’s candles going which makes all in the vicinity look and feel special, and it’s nice to feel kind of smothered in December.

Through the cool and cruel eyes of January though there’s a definite shift.  It’s no longer nice to feel smothered. It’s annoying. I want SPACE.  And every January I stand in the middle of my house kick a sheepskin across the foyer and throw my fists to the ground while screaming, YOU NEED TO BACK OFF AND GIVE ME SOME SPACE.

And so it begins.  The annual January purge when I don’t see clutter as cozy, I see clutter as claustrophobic.

This isn’t just a weird thing specific to me, it’s a weird thing specific to all of us. That’s why Rubbermaid containers and totes and anything related to organization is on sale in January.  It’s because that’s the month we all lose our minds and feel the need to take control of all of our stuff.

For the past 7 years I’ve been chucking, heaving and drop kicking  50 random things every January.  The Throw Away 50 Things idea was inspired by a book by Gail Blanke, Throw Out Fifty Things.  And every January I’ve tackled something different.  My junk drawer, my stack of warranties and instruction manuals, even my fridge and freezer have been overhauled. 

To be perfectly honest with you I’ve done my junk drawer um …. a few times.  It just keeps filling up.  And not really with junk.  A lot of it is stuff I’m just not sure what to do with yet. Or where to put it. Take that black skull patch in the centre of the drawer for instance …

I love him!  And I want it on a tee shirt or a hat but haven’t found the perfect tee shirt or hat for it yet.  Regardless, it belongs in my sewing kit upstairs, not in my “junk drawer”.  Ditto for the billion pairs of scissors.

This year I tackled the drawer again in an attempt to get myself worked up to actually organizing the rather stately antique hardware cabinet in my kitchen.

Here’s how I did it.

How to Organize a Drawer

The first thing I did was take everything out of the drawer one by one and put it into an appropriate pile.  I had piles of:

  1. Garbage.
  2. See if anyone else wants it.
  3. Put it back in the drawer.
  4. Put it where it actually belongs.

Yeah. I had a handful of Pixy Stix in my drawer.  What of it?

Once I had a list of everything that I was going to  keep I tested to see if it worked.  Does the yodelling pickle yodel for instance?  Yes.  Good. Back into the drawer it goes.

I tested every pen.  Those that didn’t work went into the garbage. Even if I really liked them at one point and they were my favourite pen.  I know there will be the ultra conscientious among you now thinking, but, BUT you could put new ink in those pens!  So wasteful! You’re filling up landfills with plastic! You’re an awful horrible person and I hope one day you eat an apple thinking it’s organic and IT ISN’T!!!

  It’s O.K. Sometimes you really do just have to throw something out (or put it in the recycling bin). For one thing buying new refills would involve throwing out the plastic packaging they came in so …

Pick and choose your battles when it comes to garbage guilt.

I also tested all my scissors to see what ones worked well enough for the craft corner, the sewing room and the kitchen.  They all got relegated to their appropriate homes.

Which left me with this.

handmade antler bottle opener available here.

Just look at all that negative space!

O.K.  I’ll meet you  back here in exactly one year when it’ll be overflowing and making me itch again.

It was so cathartic I’m going to do my 2 medicine cabinets and my office desk drawers as well.  I contemplated doing the cupboards in my office but realized that was just my “organized me” showing off for my “messy me” and I’d probably never get it done.  No need to set ourselves up for failure folks.

What about you?  Do you think you can throw away 50 things this year?  And what are they going to be???**

**Husbands and children are not allowed to be thrown out.  Locking them in a closet for a predetermined amount of time is acceptable.

→My name’s Karen. I do stuff on Instagram. Follow me there.←

 

97 Comments

  1. Kipper says:

    I do the same thing every January! Just binge watched the Marie Kondo series to get primed up. Junk drawers can be a challenge. The antler bottle opener is a hoot,

    • Karen says:

      I LOVE my antler bottle opener. Made by a reader actually! They’re made by Steven in Alabama and you can get them from Broken Door Goods. ~ karen!

      • Paula Beattie says:

        I don’t think he does it anymore, everything is sold out 🙁

        • Karen says:

          He absolutely still does it. 🙂 He hand makes all of them though and probably sold out over Christmas. He’s the next comment in this thread so you can ask him here. 🙂 ~ karen

        • Steven says:

          Oh he does! Holiday shopping has picked the site clean though. Now that the celebrations and holiday hubub is over, I’m going to start carving again and restocking.

        • Audrey says:

          Steven still makes them, and there were some in his shop when I checked. We have one, and I have given them as gifts, too. They are beautiful! He makes them all by hand and no two are alike. If they are out, contact him because he may just be finishing up a new batch!

    • Betsy says:

      I also binged the Marie Kondo series! It’s so addictive!

  2. Sonja says:

    Have been going through everything from our basement to our attic. We have a ‘free to curb’ pile, a donate pile, recycle pile, and finally, as a last resort, a trash pile. Thanks to my daughter being in town to help for a few days, we’re making great progress! Feels great! Oh, to only have a drawer to deal with! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Ummm … I don’t only have a drawer to go through, lol. It’s just what I chose to do this day. I’m constantly going through the house doing this. The basement gets done at least twice a year. Whenever I start to smell dead mouse. Just kidding. Kind of. ~ karen!

      • I don’t have a basement, I have a garage. With a cute little red Honda Fit in it. With a dead mouse somewhere in the dash. Maybe the whole family. It’s stinking pretty bad and I noticed today I MYSELF smell like dead mouse after driving only 5 minutes to my place of volunteer-ment. It’s okay though because I have a bad cold and want people to stay at least 6 feet away from me until my nose quits running.

        That garage needs 50+ things thrown out, and I intend to start just as soon as the dead mouse smell goes away.

  3. Sue says:

    365 Day Declutter Challenge on Facebook. Began my second year on October 1. Is now an obsession. Am itching to get into my husband’s “stuff” but must do my own first. I figure another year, maybe two, and I’ll have it all under control . . .

  4. Ella says:

    I will do what I call my shopping closet. It’s actually two shelves of my linen closet and it is jammed with the extras that are part of huge Costco packages of shampoo, toothpaste, etc. as well as old medications, samples, hotel bottles, old sunscreen, make-up, skincare – most of which is probably expired. And while I am at it, I will do the rest of the linen closet.

    Then…..the garage!!!!!

    • renee ryz says:

      If toiletries are unopened and not expired, you might look for a shelter. I had a bunch of items when my Mom passed this summer, and found a women’s shelter that was thrilled to have them.

  5. Glad the bottle opener made the cut along with the yodeling pickle! He’s good company.

    • Sarah McDonnell says:

      I read this blog specifically because it’s one of the few places one can find a yodeling pickle! In good company, no less!

  6. Bev Rommens says:

    Up for this too! 50 objects- no problem. How long may I leave the kids and husband locked in the cupboard? 😂

  7. Cool. The biggest challenge for us to figuring out how to stop the darn stuff getting into our home to start with… 😉

    All the best to you in 2019 Karen, may it bring all (well, nearly all!) you wish for…

  8. Marna says:

    Great idea! I try to go through something once a month, but I swear it all multiplies at night! At least that is what I tell myself. This year I am going to get rid of all the stuff my 3 adult sons say they don’t want, after asking them for the past few years. I was sure they would want some of it. Also I thought it would be fun to show their children, including having some old toys on hand for them to play with, but I have no grandchildren. I am going to be 69 this month, it is time to donate their stuff, or toss it. No sense in saving it for any more years. I have some special things they did in school saved, now they are just for me.

    • Heather Dreith says:

      I’ve been taking pictures of sentimental things, then giving away or tossing the actual item. Maybe someday I’ll get around to journaling about the sentimental item. 🙂

      • Pip says:

        That is an awesome idea!!! Although I actually already have loads of photos I’m going to print one day 😂
        Something else on the to do list I guess 🤣

  9. Sherri says:

    Did you make the extra divider or all of them? What keeps them upright?

  10. Yes! Thank you for reminding me that I want to get rid of stuff instead of bringing in more stuff. Yesterday, I couldn’t resist a giant black top hat, presumably for a snowman, in the after Christmas sales. (That gives you some indication of the sort of stuff clogging up my basement.) Today, I will go through all the old Christmas stuff and get rid of a lot of it. Then, I’ll tackle the kids closets – none of them live with me anymore but their closets are still full of stuff. It’s gotta go! The junk drawer in my house looks pretty good. I did it last week. : )

    • Karen says:

      My sister’s (Fish Pedicure) daughter moved out before Christmas and she’s already turned her room into a craft/hobby room, lol. ~ karen!

      • Grammy says:

        That’s what you have to do. My son was happy to jaunt off to Hawaii and not worry about what would happen to his room. My daughter, however, was shocked — shocked, I tell you — that I could barely wait to help her move the last items to her new apartment and make over the room for sewing and crafts. After a few years of bliss, that room is now full of her son’s crap — a 4th grader who’s here every day after school and I gave him the room for my own sanity. Priorities. I hope Fish Pedicure gets to have fun in her new space until something else comes along that she likes more.

  11. Gina says:

    Pretty sure I got close to 50 out of the fridge alone…it was terrifying.

    I have definitely found myself in January purge mode, but I haven’t counted the garbage. Now I will be compelled to next corner I tackle.

  12. Susan Claire says:

    The gentleman who shared my house passed away in November and left me to deal with an over-packed and messy garage. I wish I could invite you all over to take what you want, it would cut my work in half! If he couldn’t find a particular item in that rat’s nest he would just go out and buy another, so lots of duplicates for the trash bin.

    • Lynn says:

      Freecycle? Craig’s List? If you can keep it separate from your stuff you could advertise a free-for-all type garage sale, then call whatever charity will pick up the rest.

      Or put it all outside with really expensive price tags and most of it should be gone by morning.

    • Janet says:

      Maybe you could contact second hand shops and have them pick up the items? Or a church group that is having a community garage sale? Someone who needs them will joyously give them a new home.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Well, where do you live, Susan ? Someone might live close by!

  13. Lynn says:

    Label makers rock socks!

    A few years ago my father in law gave me a label maker since I was already labeling everything with blue painters tape and a sharpie.

    A couple nights ago I was inspired to tackle my baking cabinet, pretty much the same way you tackled your drawer. You know I had FIVE bags of powdered sugar! No wonder I had to stuff everything in.

    Now everything is themed, in labeled sections of shelf, or in small, labeled plastic totes.

    I feel free! (To go do more baking…)

    Now about my sewing room…

  14. Leisa says:

    Hehe…my eye went right to the pixie sticks. I hope you disposed of them properly! 😉

  15. Cheapdiva says:

    Moved in early October and my husband had major emergency surgery 2 weeks later and was hospitalized until early December. I managed to put the house together but the basement is still a disaster! Christmas stuff is all over the living room until I can get the Christmas storage room organized. He goes back in for another surgery today so I’ll be working on that project while he’s in the hospital.

    • Ardith says:

      Hello Cheapdiva. Best wishes to you both on your husband’s second surgery, and to your new home bringing you comfort, rest, and contentment. Cheers, Ardith

  16. Cindy Copeland says:

    But, what is the definition of a “junk drawer”? Karen, you now have a nicely organized drawer of necessities. But it is now not a junk drawer. I like a junk drawer to be that mess of things that I may want/need in the now or in the future, that if I delegate someplace else in the house, I won’t know where it is! A lot of things in the drawer come in right handy at some point….maybe!😀
    I’m a new senior, grew up with my mom’s version of messy junk drawer and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  17. Emily says:

    Many pens and markers can be recycled now. Crayola does it for free. In my area schools accept old supplies for art projects locally or they will mail them in bulk to children in places (such as Guatemala) where such things as art supplies wouldn’t exist without being donated.

    It’s always best to reuse or recycle when possible. However, sometimes we just have to toss something out and get new ones.

  18. Jen says:

    I want to know more about the “junk” you have! Like, what is that ADORABLE what looks like a caricature of you on a card???

  19. Amy says:

    I love to purge…my husband is a pack rat. Last summer, our block flooded and we had 26″ of water in our basement (28,039 gallons… I calculated). We lost a lot of stuff that was precious and it was a f%#kload of work and expense, but the whole time I kept thinking how glad I was to see most of it go.

  20. Ellen says:

    What timing! I was feeling the claustrophobic affects of my Christmas stuff the other day! I loved your comment: “Pick and choose your battles when it comes to garbage guilt.” It is very real.
    The first pic of your drawer reminded me of the “Eye Spy books” I sat staring at it for like ten minutes, picking out items! LOL! then finished reading..
    As always, thanks for the laughter!

  21. Terri says:

    I get rid of one item a day; sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s tortuous. My sister has a rule that if she buys a coat, another coat has to go away. Ditto for shoes, linens, etc.

    • I have that rule also! It forces me to think before buying something, as well as not increasing the amount of stuff that I own. Occasionally I break the rule, but not often.

      • Lynn says:

        I am the same way something in something out. I also have a tendency of going around the house in closets and everywhere and anything that that has not moved in a long while gets put in a pile.
        Then it gets either tossed or given to Good Will.
        I have never regretted anything put any of those two piles.
        😁
        Hubby calls me a pack rat … He’s the pack rat lol
        I never touch his stuff, but boy would I love to.

  22. Robyn says:

    Christmas for me is bah-humbug. This season of cleaning, organizing and the arrival of seed catalogs in the mail is pure bliss! I will gladly join you in throwing out 50 things. I do try to ‘throw them” to places that can repurpose them when possible. Thank you and happy new year!

  23. Peg says:

    Two years ago my husband gave me Kon Marie’s book for Chirstmas and it felt awesome to do a huge purge, until I got to the areas that were shared storage and I pulled down a large box of his stuff from 20+ years ago for him to go through and he said, “What the f* is this doing here? I don’t have time to deal with that!” I was nice. I didn’t throw the welding mask sitting on top of the overburdened, oversized box at his head that I had to figure out how to heft up a ladder to put away. That killed the purging high I was on fast.
    But that was two years ago and I’ve been working out so I’m ready for another round. This year, I plan to clean out a theme each month. This month is reorganizing the kitchen. Next month, old electronics will actually go to the recycling center. Etc. That box is definitely on the list.

    • Elizabeth says:

      My husband is the same. I’ve done the KonMarie purge but the communal things were tricky. My father was a pack rat and when he died my sister and I had to help my mom dispose of all this mostly useless stuff. I would never do that to anyone.

      • Peg says:

        Oh gosh, I would never give his stuff away without checking with him. I’m just standing my ground and making him do something without it this year. Divorce is not a resolution. LOL

  24. Angie says:

    This is my project for next weekend. It was supposed to be my project for last weekend but my husband was working nights and it’s not nice to bang around and make noise when someone who worked all night is trying to sleep just a few feet away.

  25. Katie Schneider says:

    I can’t believe that nobody’s brought up Buy Nothing! You can join your local Buy Nothing group (it’s by neighborhood on Facebook) and get rid of things with abandon…it’s also a great way to get to know your neighbors. I find it liberating, as I know stuff I no longer use is going to a good home so am less likely to hold onto things like clothes and kid’s toys. I have given away everything from clothes to shampoo that I didn’t like to extra produce to furniture….and found new-to-me items that are perfect, too. Have I evangelized enough?
    https://buynothingproject.org

  26. Jeanne says:

    You are a pro to have all that stuff in a junk drawer already! Isn’t that the antique cabinet you just put in your kitchen? I only know that because my apothocary cabinet has 52 drawers! Only about 6 of them are empty. I don’t think I would notice a differnce unless I threw out 500 things. Maybe that will be my goal for the year. Thanks Karen

    • Karen says:

      Ha!! No, I haven’t even put anything in my hardware cabinet yet. I only got all the drawers washed over the holidays. They’re still empty. This is from the antique candy counter island in my kitchen. 🙂 ~ karen!

  27. Christie says:

    Just threw away the first batch yesterday. We brought in so much stuff to the thrift store that someone asked if we were moving. And I’m not finished. Not by a long shot! Ahhhhhh.

  28. Patricia says:

    I tackled my bedroom last weekend. Definitely tossed our more then 50 things and it was great!! This weekend its a toss up between a large closet and kitchen cabinets. I’m leaning towards tackling the large closet. We will see how it goes.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve already done my bedroom closet. It contains a lot of stuff besides clothes. It’s storage for all knitting related stuff, fabric and patterns for sewing etc. It is now so organised and thinned out and I also got rid of a few unworn clothes of my husband’s, who I share the closet with – with his permission yet! That made part of a garbage bag and one full bag for The Thrift. So I am ahead of the game. Today, I am tackling That Strange but Necessary Storage Space Under My Drafting Table. The stuff is already all over the floor so there is no backing out now.

  30. Alena says:

    I will try to make a dent in the 50 items this weekend. I was planning to it last weekend but then I brought home 3 books from the library (one of them being an Elizabeth George book) so as I can see I have a legit excuse why I had to skip the purge.

    Last year, at some point, I jumped on a challenge I read about elsewhere – to get rid of 1 item every single day. That may be easier than 50 items at once if (there is an if) you stick to it.
    Off course I fell off the wagon two weeks later.
    The best option may be a combo of the two – throw out 50 items in January and then 1 item a day for the rest of the year.

    I organized my night stand a few months (it has two large and fairly deep drawers) which used to be a mess. I tossed a bunch of stuff and the rest I organized using small boxes (whatever I could find at home and at work) to create compartments. I am proud to announce that it still is as when I finished the purge. My kitchen junk drawer, on the other hand …..

  31. I went to South Korea for a month and stayed for six last year. While I was gone, my son decided to renovate my house. Long story short, when I came back, the house was gutted except for one functioning toilet (in the basement) water available in the kitchen, a functioning laundry and electricity here and there. I sat on a cushion in the empty living room and read a book every night before bed (at 9 p.m.–nothing else to do). I ate off one plate with one set of cutlery and bought food I could eat every day without storing much except salt and pepper etc. Result–euphoria! I wanted to live like that forever. Liberating, peaceful, organized, amazing. Loved it. But then–the POD in the driveway had to be emptied. Stuff had to come in the house. Boxes had to be emptied. The end of innocence. How in the world did I collect so much STUFF?! Fifty percent of everything got thrown out or given away and I’m still overloaded. I’m a convert to living as simply as possible. More tips on ditching stuff, please!

  32. Thera says:

    I am proud of, and bragging that, I no longer have a junk drawer!
    I moved at the beginning of November and purged tons before the move and refuse to unpacked anything that I do not love or need (I will toss/donate the remaining stuff i haven’t bothered with in app 6 months), I just went through each and pulled out what I wanted:needed. Then I decorated for Christmas and have just taken all that down and went through the bins of decorations I did not use or put up, down to 1 bin of unused from 3.
    I do have a stationary drawer, a craft drawer and a painting (watercolours) drawer, but each has minimal supplies and has just been created!

  33. Sherri says:

    The purging bug bit me on December 31 and by January 2 I had laundered 8 loads of clothing donations, packed clothes in donation bags (or put some on hangers), and filled my Honda HRV to the roofline. Our local thrift shop benefited from the purge, as did one of our sons who inherited some great fleece and knit pullovers that my hubby had “outgrown.” Our local community action center was thrilled to have clean and gently-used winter outerwear. My 🚗 is now ready for me to tackle that spare bedroom that has become a storage area for junk I don’t want to see anymore. Onward and upward!

  34. Susanne says:

    I too have “thrown out pen vs. new ink” related guilt. Thankfully, I discovered that Staples recycles pens and highlighters. Just take ’em in and there is a bin. It makes one feel slightly smug about (i) having organized a drawer and (ii) given that favourite (or not so favourite) old pen a new life.

  35. Jacquie Gariano says:

    I’m staying at my daughter’s house in Vermont for the winter due to family medical issues. So I have to be more careful with my purge impulses…LOL. but I did find out she has 3 junk drawers. SOOOOOO. I found dead pens, dead batteries, shears that no longer cut at all any more. And talk about the rubber bands (or don’t), small nuts, bolts, nails (usually bent and/or rusted. The list goes on. I learned my purge skills from “The Sidetracked Housewives” or “SHE” for short and have used their system for years to help control things. I do frequently fall off he wagon and have to start over, but it really helps. Funny, how after the Holidays and into the douldroms of January and Feb. we get the urge to declutter. Maybe it’s the stuck-in-the-house weather.

  36. Cynthia says:

    OK!!! Ready set… I think I’ll have a cup of coffe first. Oh then I’ve got those 2 loads of clothes to wash. Mmmmm, maybe tomorrow 😊
    Happy New Year everybody !

  37. Maria says:

    I could probably do 50 things a month. This place is driving me nuts.

  38. Shel says:

    A picture of a junk drawer just made my day! Go figure. (Maybe it was the pixie sticks.) Now I just need to figure out *which* junk drawer to tackle…

  39. susang says:

    2 comments – what are the 3 bee things? napkin rings? I am going to start the death cleaning thing. wanted to start January 1st but had to work. being on call really can mess things up happy new year to everyone

  40. Lisa says:

    Idea for your skull patch — put it on the back of a jean jacket if you have one. I have an embroidered butterfly patch on the back of mine.
    You are so right about the decluttering that comes with the new year. Kind of like the beginning of school thing and wanting new pencils and notebooks. Junk drawers are next on my list. This week I was lucky enough to find two people who wanted to take stacks/years of magazines from me.

  41. Jen Mullen says:

    I could probably throw away 50 things from one drawer. Maybe I’ll begin today!

  42. Addie says:

    I am stuffed with STUFF!!!!!! And it feels much worse when it is snowing outside!!!

  43. Patricia says:

    I’m from IN (now in FL) and my visiting son-in-law asked me if I had a junk drawer. I pointed immediately to it and we got a big laugh. He said he thinks junk drawers are Midwestern specialties. Anyone else disagree?

    Mine contains batteries, measuring tapes (3 big industrial ones), glue, packing tape, scotch tape, twine, fire starters, sewing kit, plug in refills, small kits if screw drivers,boxes of plastic Screw anchors, 4 scissors/shears, tack hammer, flashlights, sprays, extension chords, cat food can lids, light timers, picture hooks, and “miscellaneous” lol).

    Think I better start, but DH freaked when I threw 4 of our 8 wine openers out last year!

  44. Yvonne B. says:

    I’ve been reading your newsletter for quite a few months with great joy! I got hooked by the word “stuff” in your title. I looove stuff. It gets my creative juices flowing, the endless possibilities of creating useful and interesting items – notice not more stuff mind you : ))
    So, I have a lot of stuff for all the projects I have been working on, but the problem is I keep finding more things to create, and end up with stuff I haven’t yet used and who know when it will all get used!
    So, I thank you for the reminder of what can be the payoffs for getting rid of stuff, and ways to do it.
    I haven’t the resources or physical agility to do many things you do, but you give me ideas that I can do within my limits. Importantly, I love your attitude and go gettum gumption and let it be what it’ll be! Plus all the laughter that is generated when we share how we do things; the art of doing it Great conception!

  45. Jody says:

    Just to be clear I will so not be doing that! Fifty items? How about 150. I need to purge my sewing room of stuff. Half started projects I know I won’t finish, what-was-I-thinking fabric, off cuts of fabric, notions I have no idea about, patterns I wll never use. I also need to make a list of all the quilts and other sewing projects I have fabric for but need to start/finish. Yikes.

  46. theresa calter says:

    you have to catch the hubby at just the right time to get him to go thru and toss worn, wrong size and unused clothing…after Christmas when he has a new stash of shirts and socks is the sweet spot and I NEVER hesitate to pull out the “If it goes to Goodwill now, it could be helping some guy who doesn’t have something this nice and who really needs it” card. Antler bottle opener for gift giving –this blog is an embarrassment of riches in a junk drawer.

  47. Cindy G says:

    Along with a couple of cousins (they’ve already done at least one month each), I’m playing the 30-day Minimalism Game. On day 1, get rid of one thing. On day 2, get rid of 2 things, and so on. By the end of the month (if you make it that far), you’ll have gotten rid of 496 things! I’m pretty sure I can make it through at least 2 months…

  48. Mary W says:

    Most of my ‘stuff’ has a tiny bit of memory stuck to it. Cards from friends, handmade bookmark from grandson, candy wrapper from bar brought home as surprise for me and paid for by my littlest granddaughter. I found that keeping a journal on my desk and putting those little bits in the journal, or writing about them, or even cutting out a small portion and gluing that in, or sticking something down into a paper ‘pocket’ resulted in my throwing away a ton of junk that was hard to just throw away – like loosing a good memory. Now my yearly journals are full of dates and information and tons of junky memories that I treasure and have in my bookcase. If it doesn’t have a special place it is just junk.

    One thing that I plan to do is date my spices with the day I open them – I put a sharpie in cabinet specially for this purpose. I sprinkled some deviled eggs with brown paprika and after we had all eaten some began wondering why it was brown. I pried open the little can and saw that it was tiny beetles (still alive) and tons of their poop. Lesson learned – best use by date was over10 years ago. Even after several years, I still feel the grit in my teeth.

  49. Ella says:

    Karen,
    I’m dying to know what the scissor-less scissors are for? The ones you kept in the junk drawer. Do you use them as a tool for something? Or did you leave them there to see if one of us noticed?

    • Marion says:

      They’re for trimming cats’ claws. We have several pairs spread around the house so if we come upon a sleeping cat we get at least one claw trimmed before he is fully awake!

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