There’s a very little known fact about your toilet water.  It’s very gross.  I should have mentioned that this is only a very little known fact to dogs.

We humans of course know that toilet water is disgusting. It may not look disgusting, but unless you *just* cleaned and disinfected your toilet bowl chances are there’s some kind of 6 legged germ crawling around in  there just waiting to attack anything that comes into contact with it.  Like my hairbrush.  Or bandaids.  Or bottle of Advil.

This is the chance we take. We the rough and tumble folk who defrost chicken on the kitchen counter, who paint our nails right before getting dressed and who install our medicine cabinets directly over our toilets.

With a movie medicine cabinet it wouldn’t be a problem. You know the kind I mean, they’re the medicine cabinets people in movies have.  They hold precisely a single, white toothbrush in a crystal class, 1 or 2 bottles of top shelf pain killers and a Chanel lipstick.  And that is all.  You could open that thing every 5 minutes for days on end and nothing would ever fall out.

My medicine cabinet?  It also has a Chanel lipstick.  And 3 boxes of bandaids, each holding approximately 2 bandaids (all the weird big size with the 4 outstretched bandaid arms on each corner),  hair conditioner, suppositories, old gross toothbrushes for cleaning, bug spray, Pepto Bismol, not one but TWO watches, various drugs, hair rollers (I’ve never once used a hair roller),  a few empty bottles of something or other, various sample sized toothpastes from the dentist in case I ever have a toothpaste emergency where I can’t get to the store for a month and have literally cut open and scraped out the last chalky remnant of paste in my regular tube, various rusty bobby pins, tampons , Q Tips, Preparation H and other things that are far too embarrassing to mention.


Things drop in my toilet all the time.  I’ve never had a piece of thawed out chicken drop in the toilet but that’s probably just dumb luck.

In fact, as I opened my cabinet to take a picture of what was inside it, this happened.



Emory board.  Into the drink.  Luckily I had my camera.  Which is the first thing a blogger ever thinks in any situation by the way.

What I’m getting at here is I’ve cleaned out my medicine cabinet as my yearly THROW AWAY 50 THINGS routine.  Since 2011, you and I have been gathering in the middle of January around our piles of junk drawers, closets, fridges and freezers to get rid of STUFF.  Junk. Garbage. Things we put away and then never think of again.  Like that ticket stub to the fair. Or that stupid ugly keychain that person you don’t even like gave you.  Or a dirty Kleenex.  God knows what you people put in your closets and junk drawers, but I’m sure there’s a dirty Kleenex or two. At the very least there’s a pair of shoes you’d be mortified if anyone saw you in, yet there they sit on your closet floor.

Time to commit.  You need to pledge right now to …


In past years people have tackled their closets, their kitchen cupboards,  junk drawers, their medicine cabinets, their glove compartments, car consoles,  fridges, freezers and makeup bags.  Also? I’d like to make a few suggestions in case you think you just don’t have a single thing you could get rid of because you’re soooooooo neat and tidy.

How about going through the apps on your phone or tablet?  Or your pen and pencil drawer? Or your tea towels?  How about throwing out some of those tea towels that are covered in stains with burn holes lacing the edges?  Or the workshop?  Bit of junk in there I bet.  Or your sewing room?  Do you really need that Vogue pattern for gauchos from 1978?  Do you?

I’ll meet you back here in a few hours to see how you’ve done.  You can leave a list of your accomplishments in the comment section as well as a photo.

I know some of you are at work now and you can’t throw out 50 things, but extra points if you wander over to someone else’s desk and you throw out some of their stuff instead.  Mainly I’d just like the reaction shot as they’re lunging for you so keep your camera handy.

Stuff weighs you down. You don’t even realize it’s weighing you down but it is.  Donate it, ditch it or destroy it.  Whatever you feel will make your world a better place.  It’s like the KonMari method only with a bit more balls and a lot less folding.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a Neo Citron that boasts an expiry date of 2007 that I’m looking to prove wrong and a toilet to clean.


  1. Karin Sorensen says:

    funny i was wondering the other day when you will kick off the Big 50 Need To Go and BOOM! there it is. I’m proud to report that for once I got a head start: I tackled the kitchen cupboards last weekend, getting rid some stuff and rearranging. Next up the pantry cupboards, this weekend.
    Tonight i went though my sock and undies drawer. wow! suddenly there is room, awesome!
    at some point i gotta tackle the basement. but i’m ready, nothing’s gonna stop me now!

    Greetings from snowy Maine


  2. Magali says:

    Yesterday I cleaned out the three purses I regularly use. It was a scary thing to start, but I’m so glad I did it! And I found 2.5 pairs of earrings so it was definitely worth it!

    I’ve also been in the process of tidying up my entire home office (it doubles as a guest room and you couldn’t even see the bed anymore I had thrown so much stuff on it). Yesterday I was so proud of my progress that I hurried my husband in when he came home from work and he exclaimed “wow, this is the colour of your desk?!”. I’m doing a little every day with the goal of being done by the end of the week *proud face*

  3. Danell says:

    Finally! Fifty things was daunting until I went for it- it wasn’t hard to find but hard to get rid of. I put my blinders on and just ” Ate the frog!!” An old, slew of bathroom products- GONE! A box in the dining room just waiting to be sorted etc. -DONE!!!
    Yaaaay!!! Feels so good!!

  4. Yvonne says:

    If you find the gaucho pattern from the 70’s, please send to me!! Lol. Fond memories of those not quite pants, not quite skirt creation.

  5. Jebber jay says:

    Two girlfriends and I did a 30 for 30 day challenge. Day 1 get rid of 1 thing. Day 2, 2 things …. day 30, 30 things. I got to 20 before the holiday madness rolled in. It’s not just closet and drawer cleansing, it is soul cleansing and life clarifying. Sort of like ghee.

  6. Barb says:

    Dresser drawers – not doors)

  7. Barb says:

    We all have our methods for de-cluttering but over the years, 50 to be precise, I’ve found deep cleaning all the rooms (under the bed; dust on door frames, purging dresser doors etc.) every Jan/Apr/July/Oct & to get rid of one item every single day.(Freecycle) My house 2500 sq. ft now takes me very little time to keep clutter free thanks to a thorough purge throughout the year (less daunting, less crap!!)

  8. Maryanne says:

    Hi Karen,

    How did you like the KonMari book? I’ve been waiting for your review (so I can know if it’s worth it).


    • Karen says:

      Hi Maryanne! I liked some aspects of her book and others were a bit extreme for my lifestyle. :) But she does get you motivated to tidy up and declutter. And I really do like her general philosophy which is that you should only keep things you love and get rid of everything else. Now of course, if you don’t love any of your underwear, that’s going to be a problem. So if taken with a grain of salt and modified to fit your lifestyle I think it’s worthwhile. It’s said you have to follow her method to the letter, literally taking months to go through your home, and I’m sure that would create a very zen-like environment but it just isn’t realistic for me. :) ~ karen!

      • Maryanne says:

        Thank you for the reply! (Sorry I didn’t respond earlier – I was knocked down with the flu.)

  9. TucsonPatty says:

    “…extra points if you wander over to someone else’s desk and you throw out some of their stuff instead…”. All of my co-workers would like to do this with my station! I have A.D.D. and think that I cannot possibly put things away, because then I will forget I have them. Therefore everything I own is on display. Exactly like a museum. Only not as nice. I will work on this, I promise! I am with the toilet seat up crowd. I live alone so it doesn’t matter, and I also need the nano seconds it would take to lift the seat in order to not need those Depends from someone’s mother. Gotta go quick quick quick these days. Great reminder.

  10. Ellen says:

    Holy comments! I tried reading them all, but just can’t right now. I am attempting to follow Apartment Therapy’s House Cure. Cleaning out your pantry was on the list. I don’t have a proper pantry. I have five areas where food is kept. It took almost two full days but I got those areas under control. In the process I have removed a huge box of unnecessary kitchen items. I am sure I have over 50 items in the box, but will work on purging even more next weekend.

  11. Renee says:

    Freecycle is awesome! I used to teach ceramics, and had a kiln and hundreds of molds. They hooked me up with a high school that was trying to expand their art program. I got a tax write off letter, and they got some great stuff, and I felt great letting go. I also got a really nice letter from them too! PURGE THE CRAP!!!!!

  12. Nancy Blue Moon says:


  13. Thanks Jeannie,
    I got a good belly laugh from that last post!

    I am so glad I found your blog Karen…
    Cleaned out my bedside table drawers, hum… Now I know where all my pens went.

  14. Miriam says:

    75 glass jars from my loft, all brought to the bottle bank today!
    Can’t find the lids and I can’t use them without lids.

    I have a clothes rail ready to go, just didn’t have time to bring it to the charity shop, but will do.

    Good feeling!

  15. Jennifer Lee says:

    This looks like a good time for me to mention Freecycle. It’s an organization that helps people with things to give away connect with people who need those things. We exist in 32 nations (including Canada), and at present save 1,000 tons of stuff from landfills EVERY DAY! It’s totally free; in fact everything MUST be given away free. Just go to to read all about it and join. I used to have so much stuff that I had to squirm through “goat trails” through my home. Thanks to Freecycle, I de-cluttered and was able to move to where I live now. It really changed my life.

    • Miriam says:

      Totally agree Jennifer. we have it here in Dublin, Ireland, and I’ve given loads of stuff through it. One lady very kindly gave me a box of chocolates in return for the free stuff I gave her!

  16. I just moved, and I definitely got to a point where I (halfway) wished someone would break in to the old house and steal the rest of my stuff so I wouldn’t have to pick it up and carry it. I did a ton of throwing away/donating, but I’ve clearly got a ways to go!

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