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. 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!!)

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!!!!

  6. Nancy Blue Moon says:


  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. Ev Wilcox says:

    I really really don’t like gaping potties and I always close them, even in other peoples’ homes. So if that makes me awful-so be it!
    The computer I am using right this moment sits on a desk with a large shallow drawer. Last night while getting ready to dose off, I decided that this drawer’s contents will be the first to undergo the great spring purge this year! So, like “great minds”, right? Tired from watching grandkids, so tomorrow is the day! Thanks for the push Karen!

  12. Jeannie Rickard says:

    The following is from Mythbusters: Breakstep Bridge episode.
    Finding: CONFIRMED
    Explanation: Every time you flush a toilet, it releases an aerosol spray of tiny tainted water droplets. So if, like many people, you leave your toothbrush in the vicinity of a toilet, does that mean it’s regularly bathed in bits of fecal matter? MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage uncovered the dirty truth to this myth by covering a bathroom with 24 toothbrushes, two of which they brushed with each morning — the others they simply rinsed every day for a month.

    As experimental controls, the MythBusters kept two untainted toothbrushes in an office far away from the lavatory. At the end of the month-long trial, they sent their toothbrush collection to a microbiologist for bacterial testing.

    Astonishingly, all the toothbrushes were speckled with microscopic fecal matter, including the ones that had never seen the inside of a bathroom. The confirmed myth unfortunately proved that there’s indeed fecal matter on toothbrushes — and also everywhere else.

    • Eileen says:

      wait..what? Poop matter on toothbrushes everywhere? As if I needed another reason to hate brushing my teeth….
      And btw: I’d really like that 1978 Vogue gauchos pattern – it’d be a swell addition to my collage materials.

      • Audrey says:

        Another good reason to CLOSE THE LID before you flush.

        • Eileen says:

          according to the info above, that doesn’t help:
          “Astonishingly, all the toothbrushes were speckled with microscopic fecal matter, including the ones that had never seen the inside of a bathroom. “

    • Dennis says:


  13. Lois M Baron says:

    Something is more embarrassing to mention than Preparation H?

    • Jennifer Lee says:

      I know that some years ago, the most frequently shoplifted item in the U.S. was Preparation H. People were embarrassed to buy it. Can you imagine how embarrassed they were to be caught shoplifting it?

  14. Audrey says:

    I will never understand it….never….never….never. Why does the toilet seat have a lid? Tell me why? No, never mind. I already know the correct answer. It has lid so that when you have finished using the toilet you can close the lid so that children, pets, your wedding ring and stuff from your medicine cabinet don’t land up in the same place you just pooped. Close the lid!!!! I make it my mission to close toilet lids wherever I am. If I’m visiting someone and notice the lid up I will scurry in there and close it. It’s my mission to keep perfectly good, children, pets and wedding rings out of toilets everywhere. There is another reason…it’s bad fung shui….an open toilet drains positive energy. Don’t believe me Google it. Just think of all the negative energy around when you’re fishing stuff out of the crapper. Karen, try it for a week and let me know how much better your life is without this peril lurking in your loo. Make a pledge.

    • Jennifer Lee says:

      I’ll give you another reason to close them. I have bad knees (osteoarthritis). When I’m doing anything like brushing teeth, or other grooming, if it can be done sitting down, I’m sitting on the toilet lid. I’m sure I spend at least as much time on the lid as on the seat. I also have a theory that people brush their teeth longer if they’re sitting down than if they’re standing up.

  15. Connie Bridgham says:

    Heavens, you make me giggle. It is such a joy to read your posts. They brighten my day! Now I have to get back to de-cluttering…

  16. ronda says:

    i have a really hard time getting rid of my stuff. the new rule is, if I buy something new, something has to go. which would be fine for that chair in the living room that I don’t love anymore, but my books?? THAT may take some will power!

    • It’s easier for me to get rid of books if I know they’re going to a good home, so I try to put them in a little free library or a friend instead of putting them in the thrift store pile!

  17. Dawn says:

    Been working on it, one room at a time, and the attic too, if it doesn’t fall through the ceiling.
    Seriously, I am now motivated to go conquer a new room this morning.

  18. Mary W says:

    Last night I went through one drawer in my bathroom, looking for toothpaste. I found a box of teeth whitener never opened which expired in 2004. I threw it out then went back after it and looked inside. I found the “treasure” of tiny paintbrushes used to apply the whitener and promptly put them with my art supplies. So many times I could use a tiny brush. So I reduced my junk from a 4-6″ box to a tiny bundle of miniature brushes. It felt so good! Wonder what is in the other 2 drawers. I haven’t looked in several years. Could be the hamster that escaped way back when. Thanks for a great reminder.

    • Lois Baron says:

      When I read this, the first line ended at “box of teeth,” which was startling. Glad you got the miniature brushes!

      • Mary W says:

        LOL – I do have a handfull of teeth from the tooth fairie days. Not sure why I keep junk like that but it needs to go. Maybe I’ll find them in the other drawers. Do you love reading the comments as much as I do? Karen has the best commenters! Have a great day.

  19. Brita says:

    this is where I get to feel all smug and superior because I already cleaned out my medicine chest like I do every January, and throw away anything with an expiration date more than 12 months old – maybe. **thinks back to make sure this is not a fib** OK, some of them I took to the office as emergency supplies. This is the time of year to stock up on fresh cold remedies because the coupons are plentiful.
    My medicine chest(s) is much more orderly because I have two (in the same bathroom) along with baskets in the laundry shelves and it all got a going over. I must admit I did keep the Depends left over from my MIL who has been gone nigh on three years now just in case anyone ever needs them, and the super unfashionable fanny pack I keep for beach items despite the fact I haven’t been to the beach in over 10 years.

    • Dawn says:

      Haha. Mom’s Depends, guilty. (as well as female products that I no longer need, you know just in case someone comes over and has an emergency). And I keep wanting to pitch the pool noodles (no pool in 20 years) and then I see all those cool posts about everything wonderful you can do with pool noodles. Sigh.

  20. Susan warder says:

    I’ve just finished discarding (deleting) more than fifty entries in my Contacts app.

    Without getting out of bed or pajamas!

  21. Jenny says:

    Very timely! I have this next Monday off and my husband and I were already planning that this weekend we will attack the house, put away the Christmas stuff, deep clean (5 month old dust bunnies, I’m coming for you), and seriously go through our closets to get rid of things we haven’t used since we moved in 3 years ago. We’re having a baby in the spring and are feeling the need to get rid of shit now before our house explodes with baby stuff and we never sleep again, let alone have time to organize the closets!

  22. Monique says:

    Yay..last 2 days I did more than 50..January always makes me crazy:)More to come:)

  23. Anne says:

    My hubby is an empty box hoarder – you just never know when you will need a box – right? Couldn’t agree more completely. Each week, I visit the attic, early on the morning of garbage day, and dispose of the new boxes. I needed them to fill up the garbage recycling bins.

    Next up – the odds and sods fastener bin. Washed the drawers and sorted the stuff. Learned that drawer dividers can be inexpensively made from a plastic cutting sheet (the ones you use in your kitchen). OCD or bored?

    Put the Craftman tools through the dishwasher. Worked like a charm. Sparkly clean.

    So much easier to sort out others mess.

  24. Erin says:

    You had me at “gauchos.”

  25. We moved on Halloween from a house we’d lived in for 20 yrs. That’s 20 yrs. of crap we had to go through. We filled TWO giant construction dumpsters, made TWELVE trips to the Goodwill donation center, and still managed to fill our on-site storage container (came with the house/land) about a third of the way, but with stuff we actually use.

    Among the things we found was a truly creepy animatronic doll that my daughter got when she was young. It was called the “Julie” doll, and she was creeeeeeeepy but my daughter loved her. We gave that doll to her along with giving the other kids some of their stuff we found while cleaning. We even had an original Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby. Apparently, those are quite collectible anymore. See, that’s the problem with purging too much. You might accidentally throw away your retirement fund. At least that’s the logic my husband gave me when he ‘rescued’ some old toy from the trash bin. Whatever, I’m just glad we survived the move and our new home hasn’t yet begun to accumulate crap we don’t need.

  26. Catherine says:

    Went into the chest at the foot of my bed, threw out $300 worth of Jenny Craig stuff that was never successful in helping me lose weight and included a bunch of cassette tapes that I don’t even have a player for. So I’m fatter than ever but I had a place to put my new set of sheets.
    You are an inspiration!

    • Jenifer says:

      On that same note, I’ve started tossing the jeans that haven’t fit me in 10 years. When I do lose the weight, I’ll want to buy new clothes anyway so why hang on to the constant judgment coming from my closet!

      New sheets are not judgmental at all and always fit! :)

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well then things went well for you. By the way, you want to lose weight? Invest in a huge garden plot. A) it’s a lot of hard work and B) by the end of most days in the summer you’re so tired from working in the garden you can’t make it to your car to get home so you just lay in the dirt and eat whichever turnip greens have the least amount of caterpillars on them. I’ve found it’s really a foolproof method. ~ karen!

  27. Deb says:

    I think I need to commit to throwing away (recycling/donating, etc) 50 things a day for the next 363(?) days! Then the 365 after that! But your post confirmed that my obsession with using the toilet lid for the purpose for which it exists is not crazy after all! Cabinets have doors. Jars have lids. So, too, the lowly toilet (residential ones, anyway) that are meant to be closed when not in use! My obsession began as a “Fairness Doctrine”, so that women were not the only ones required to touch the toilet before using it. If everyone is expected to close the toilet lid after use, no more “falling in” in the middle of the night!!!!! No more medicine cabinet contents falling in, either! (Besides, I’m a shorty and can’t reach anything in my medicine cabinet without standing on the toilet lid anyway.). Bonus: never having to lay eyes on an exposed toilet bowl, which, we all have to admit, is sometimes a major gross-out!

  28. Debbie D says:

    I have been working on getting rid of things and organizing things for months. I only have a half a day or so on the weekends to accomplish this task. So this week, I took a week off of work to “get things done!” I have not been able to do much outside due to the weather, but inside, my closet, bathroom, bedroom, etc., is DONE! Second bathroom is DONE! Starting on the second bedroom/office and have as my task today to get my file cabinet and bookcases DONE! I did my desk yesterday. Linen closet and living room is for tomorrow. Friday will be laundry room and kitchen. Saturday and Sunday will be the yard if the weather cooperates and I have way too many errands and things to do to take on more. Monday will be a holiday and a day to get ready for the week. Can’t wait to get it all done! Lots of things going to charity—yes! Feels so good! It is too cold to tackle the garage at the moment, but I went through things there and got rid of a bunch of stuff last year, so on a nice warm day, on a weekend, that too will get done!

  29. Amy Anderpants says:

    January is the month for weeding and tossing, because we all got new stuff for
    Christmas and when we went to put it away, there wasn’t any room for it. Unfortunately, a friend of mine who is also a Big thrifter turned me on To the idea that late January is the best month in the thrift shops, because everyone who cleaned their closet or kitchen has donated stuff. I think I bought that salad spinner, mentioned below, and we use it all the time, so the poster who donated it will be happy to know that it has found a home where it is loved and appreciated.

  30. Mary Lynn says:

    Just a thought….I’ll bet the expired Neo-Citran would work well as a toilet bowl cleaner!!!

  31. MindyK says:

    I’ve been doing a good job of sorting and tossing belongings since reading Mari Kondo this time last year. (I can’t claim that my socks are truly happy, but they do at least match.) To keep the ball rolling, I plan to edit my autumn and Christmas decorations before I box them up and put them back in the attic for the year. Unfortunately, I got tired of them being around the house and put them all in the guest room, where the attic door is, and now it’s an intimidating explosion of festive decor. I need to find a good audio book to listen to while I work–and invite company so I have incentive to deal with it sooner rather than later!

    • Sandra Blackwell says:

      check with your library. I download my audio books from the library to my phone. I always have one going.

    • Brandy says:

      I can highly recommend the J.D. Robb In Death series if you want something new (there are like about 45 books and it is still ongoing) :)

      • MindyK says:

        I’ve read a couple of them but hadn’t considered them as audiobooks–great idea, thanks!

        • Brandy says:

          Susan Erickson, the narrator, does an excellent job! I have actually gone and looked for other books by other authors but narrated by her because she is so good. She actually makes the voices sound like I thought they would

  32. Paula says:

    Yikes, get rid of stuff!? Doesn’t the person with the most stuff when they die, win??

    Seriously though, we are building an addition and I keep telling my husband that we can’t get rid of anything until it is built because I don’t know what I will want to use. “But Paula, we have a barn and two garages full of furniture.”

    I love Kijiji.

  33. Nancy Sanderson says:

    Last year I decided to quietly edit my husbands shirts by hanging them all in the closet with the hangers facing backward. Then whatever he wore would be hung up properly after washing and I’d know what to toss after a few months. But my daughter blabbed on me and I had to put them all back. So a few weeks later I went through anyway and threw out a bunch. He never noticed.

  34. Sandra Lea says:

    I don’t understand how things can fall in your toilet, don’t you close the lid of the toilet seat? Male or female I don’t care, who wants to look at a bowl of toilet water whether it’s clean or not?

    • Karin says:

      Ours stays up for very good nocturnal reasons. Nothing wakes you up faster than stumbling into the bathroom half asleep and peeing on the toilet seat. Cuz we’re fancy like that.

      • Teri says:

        Oh Karin. Tears. Sore stomach. Laughing till it hurts. So glad to know there are other fancy types out there. Wakes you up fast doesn’t it?

    • Karen says:

      Nope. I’m not in the least bit offended by a clean toilet bowl. ~ karen!

      • Paula F. says:

        I’m with you, Sandra Lea! We leave our lids closed (when not in use – ha ha) exactly to avoid anything precious falling in. Like iPhones and important documents, which clearly belong in the bathroom…

    • Tonia says:

      This was my thought too. We started putting lids down when we first got cats to keep them out of the bowls. After reading about toilet plume, I got into the habit of putting the lid down before flushing. Once it is a habit, it’s a habit. I’ve never gone to the bathroom in the middle of the night and not remembered the lid.

  35. Sabina says:

    HA! You have no idea! Take your medicine cabinet and multiply two and a half times! Mine goes over the toilet AND the sink! What in the world were the people who originally put this in hoarding??? But it does get filled, doesn’t it!

  36. Jane S says:

    I am sorting and getting ridof many Christmas decorations instead of just putting them away for next year. I also have an attic which is a blessing and a curse. I seem to empty it every 5 years and it magically fills itself again. If you like thrifting, many thrift store give discount coupons when you donate stuff. I guess that’s why my attic keeps refilling itself.

  37. Melissa says:

    How odd you post this today! I JUST did the very thing of which you ask…damn that I didn’t take a photo! I could kick myself, but I won’t, cuz I did throw away a pair of shoes too…really, really ugly shoes from 1975ish…of my husbands, that I’m sure he’ll miss soon, but oh well.

    You see, it’s a Tuesday, or lovingly known as “Trash Tuesday”, in which it’s the day the garbage men come and I frantically find 100 things that I can toss, so that they’re gone forever, mainly junk my husband ‘collects’ (or the people on the TV show call ‘hoarding’).
    Plus, we are moving in one month. ONE. MONTH. Which is only FOUR MORE TRASH TUESDAYS. F.O.U.R. So, I gotta get high behind and throw more sh*t out quick!

    Today was: hubby’s underwear from 1987, or 88, not sure, but they were an ungodly color that I know didn’t come that way, a shirt with fish on it, at least I think it was fish, could have been scorpions, the 1975 shoes that were red and green and I’ve sworn I’ve never seen him wear, but he’ll say he wears all the time, about a dozen various beer logo shirts, complete with holes and paint stains, 2 bottles of dried up foot cream?, several empty tubes of poison ivy cream, because you never know when you might have to squeeze out one more drop for your entire poison ivy-laden body, various antibiotics from 10 years ago, fourteen broken toenail clippers?, hundreds of loose pills from the bottom of the medicine basket, that who knows what they are, probably anti-diarrhea medication, of which we have 15 packets for some reason. The list goes on, but it was a good dumping day for Trash Tuesday. Of which I have only FOUR MORE LEFT before the big move.
    And next Tuesday…I’m taking photos!

  38. dana says:

    I have had a ticket that says KEEP THIS TICKET for about 15 yrs. I debated whether to throw it out when we moved 15 yrs ago. We moved again in Oct 2016 and I debated if I should keep it. I kept it. Thankfully, during the move, we tossed thousands of things. I tossed a pile of socks at my kid and said if they have a hole or ground in dirt despite being clean, they’re trash. She ended up with 1 unmatched pair of socks. All of my scraps of fabric and craft things went in the garage sale. The new rule is no saving fabric if it’s less than a square yard.

  39. Maggie Andrew says:

    No connection to your post but just to let you know …. check YouTube, Idris Elba is looking for a Valentine’s Day date! It’s for a charity , not sure if you’re eligible to enter or if it’s just for the Uk but have a look. X

  40. maggie van sickle says:

    How about the freezer? Cannot even identify some of the stuff in the bottom of mine Yikes

    • Jenifer says:

      OMG…the freezer. That one is definitely needed and probably the most scary!

      Great suggestion! When you are done with yours, will you come over and go through mine??


      • Karen says:

        Here’s my post on organizing a freezer. It works best with an upright but would still work with a chest freezer. People who come to my house sometimes open my freezer door just to marvel at it. I haven’t wasted a single item of food since organizing it this way and I can decide what to have for dinner in an INSTANT. ~ karen!

        • Jenifer says:

          Fantastic! I have an upright and a ‘system’ but fell off the wagon somewhere between the 1st and 2nd child. Time for a new system!


        • Lois M Baron says:

          I was pleased that I finally got the dead cat out of my freezer this year. Hey, it’s a big freezer and he died when the ground was too hard to dig. Then by the time the ground got soft I kinda had repressed the fact that he was in a box on the bottom shelf, and that went on for quite some time. People visiting me periodically asked about it, because I foolishly had mentioned the storage of my beloved pet. Anyway. It’s taken care of. Now I can go read Karen’s post and organize the freezer as soon as I’m done throwing out 50 items (which I might do on inauguration day here since I get the day off work and will want to throw things that day).

        • Annye says:

          Oh, Lois, you read my mind! I, too, will be throwing things — physical things, random curses, possibly chunks of hair — on inauguration day. People think Friday the 13th is scary but for me, Friday the 20th will be far, far worse this year….

        • Lynn says:

          Amen sister! Sigh…

        • Dennis says:

          You win!

        • Lez says:

          Are you really, really serious Lois?? I can’t stop reading this comment!! LOL!

        • Brita says:

          My freezer(s) actually looks much like yours Karen. I use Sterlite baskets (two per shelf) and keep the itemized list on the door where you are supposed to subtract what you take out. That works pretty well, but when I get down to less than 5 of any items I generally make inventory corrections. It also helps when making a shopping list and hubby asks if we need pork chops (no – we have 9 pairs)
          When I freeze veggies from the garden I make sure to freeze them flat so they line up beautifully in two rows in those baskets and look just like a card file.

        • Lez says:

          Karen, your whole post about being happy has just fallen by the wayside! I don’t know ANYONE that has an organized freezer!
          Now I find out that my super heroine Karen even has that!
          What to do!!?

  41. jen says:

    Smile…my cabinet is of the same vintage, I think. Innards setup looks similar except the bottom shelf is stacked double deep with almost full bottles of many years worth of ‘trendy’ nailpolish. And I only wear it on my toenails in the summer. And unlike on my fingernails where it is chipping off even before the second hand is painted, on my toenails it adheres like cement.

  42. KATHLEEN H says:

    Please don’t flush old pills ….or qtips!!!…..down your toilet. We have a serious campaign to keep medications out of our waterways (and landfills) as medications aren’t de-activated in wastewater treatment. They end up going into the bays and oceans…..Your environmental agency will know where they can go for proper disposal.

    I’m on such an agency board, just got home from the meeting, and this is a big issue!!!

    PS. The medicine cabinet is the worst place to actually store medicine….gets too humid.

    • Maryanne says:

      In Ontario you can take meds back to your pharmacy for proper disposal – yes keep them out of our drinking water.

      • Lynn says:

        Here in beautiful green (read rainy) Seattle we live on a very long fjord called Puget Sound. Every year students from the University of Washington take water samples from the fjord February 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th. Guess what shows up after the 14th. Give up? The answer is CHOCOLATE. And yes, the big cities on the fjord have water treatment systems and still chocolate shows up in the salt water after having passed through the water treatment systems. So, please don’t flush your extra meds. They are a lot harder on the fish than chocolate……

    • Brita says:

      Our non-liquid medications are kept in a breadbox on the kitchen counter. Which makes sense since we usually take it with food. The actual medicine cabinet gets cough syrups, Pepto and band-aids.

  43. Carly says:

    Thank you Karen for the reminder! I did this on Sunday! Went through my dresser drawers and got rid of more than half of my shirts! Really need the boyfriend to do the same to his dresser (does he REALLY need his high school t-shirts from 10+ years ago?! NO) but he has some attachment issues…The carport/garage could use a total declutter as well, but that area also belongs to the boyfriend with attachment issues.

  44. Jani says:

    Going to do this tomorrow….I am the procrastinating queen…..will let you know if I was successful!!! By the way did you fish that emery board out of the toilet? I once flushed down a half box of Q-tips that had fallen in and prayed the entire time that they would all go down. Thank God they did!!

  45. Robert says:

    How on earth do you end up with 2 watches on the bathroom cabinet (which I assume don’t even tell the time).
    Also, what’s in the batman box in the back of the right top corner? What color is the Chanel nai polish? And more importantly why is a package of CHANEL anything between all that clutter!!!!?
    Did you see my last comment on your previous post? I couldn’t wait until this one was up to tell you

    • Karen says:

      Batman bandaids right Karen?

    • Karen says:

      I did see your comment, lol. In the past 24 hours I have been INUNDATED with people letting me know that Idris Elba wants to go on a Valentine’s Date with me. Batman bandaids, Chanel nail polishes, black & pale pink. ;) ~ karen!

  46. Tasha says:

    My husband is seriously anti-stuff. So for New Years, “we” (aka him with enthusiasm and me because it makes him happy), go through the kitchen, remove everything, wipe down everything, and get rid of things we don’t use. We also do this elsewhere but the major focus is the kitchen. Anything that we are on the fence about (I’m looking at you salad spinner) gets a date written on it. If we pull it out next January and the year is still on it, out it goes. If we use it, we scrub off the date and it gets to stay. My husband takes pictures of all the unwanted stuff, writes relatively witty descriptions and we send an email to our neighbours in our co-op to see if anyone wants what we do not. This intermediate step keeps a surprisingly large amount of stuff out of landfills.

    • Mary W says:

      Our Hospice store accepts anything and everything that they get. They appreciate broken lawn chairs, glass from frames or broken vases, old stained clothes, etc. Volunteers sort and and accumulate all this for recycle and/or sending to poorer countries that use our worn out clothes and shoes. They took all my old craft “stuff” and sold it in their store for hardly anything but they got something so that was better than the land fill. You may want to call around or see if any nearby charities could use your old stuff, too. Or better yet, volunteer at one of these places to help sort and store. I make regular trips to give them boxes of “stuff” every time I clean out. So much easier to get rid of perfectly good salad spinners when I think someone will actually use it. LOL

      • Pam B says:

        Mary W, do you live in a small town in western North Carolina??? That’s exactly what our hospice does too. I volunteered there a few years ago and now work at that Hospice. A great organization that many people don’t like to think about, but they give a great service. I too donate to them regularly and now have my family members donating there too. Thanks for spreading the word. Hugs!!!

        • Mary W says:

          Pam, I live in northern Florida but my heart lies in Western NC. Any vacation has been to the mountains and it is so hard to drive home seeing them in the rear window. I have had several family members benefit from the services of Hospice and they really are a fantastic organization. Appreciate your volunteering and work. They are such a worthwhile place to support.

    • savitri says:

      This is an awesome idea. I plan to use this as I look forward to de-cluttering, something I alone enjoy in my family…. Thank you..

  47. Judy says:

    I threw away a husband a couple of months ago, the cheater. Does that count for 50 things? I feel 50 times better.

  48. Auntiepatch says:

    I just cleaned my work clothes out of 3 closets. It filled up the back of my SUV. Then, while taking down the Christmas tree, I bagged 25% of my ornaments to go to DAV. So, I think I’m good until next year. But thanks for the reminder.

  49. SuzanneLH says:

    I’m really good at winnowing stuff, into boxes. Then the boxes live in the cellar for 2 years. Then I might deal with them, or put more boxes on top.
    Where’s a good match when you need it?
    Good luck to you all. Snort

  50. Alena says:

    I was some minor decluttering last weekend and I accidentally found a bag of Demerara sugar that I had looked for, rather intensely, around Christmas when I wanted to make some baked apples.
    I knew the sugar must be somewhere in the house because I don’t bake that often and a bag of sugar lasts me 2 years, on average. I searched everywhere and I didn’t find it so I already convinced myself that I must have used it up, after all. Nope, it was in the basement, on the floor, next to a pair of sneakers.
    Decluttering, it’s a good thing. You never know what you are gonna find.

    • Sabina says:

      Hahahaaa! For me it was a missing watch band that was supposed to be a stocking stuffer! I ordered a second one in time for Christmas when a frantic search ten times didn’t reveal that hiding place that made sense at the time…it ended up being too big…putting away the extension cords from Christmas there was the first watch band on top of the storage bin not hiding in plain sight!

      • Alena says:

        LOL I am glad I am not the only one, Sabina. When I was a kid, my mom regularly told me at Christmas, after the presents were all handed out, there is something else for me but that she could not find it. It never failed – every year she could not find a present or two. But, there nothing like getting a present mid-March when you don’t expect it.

        • Kori says:

          I do that every year too but I don’t give it to them in March, I save it for the next year! LOL it doens’t always work though- A few times my kids have out grown it by the next year!

        • Laura Brown says:

          My daughter is getting a porcelain unicorn for Easter. Hid it in August and promptly forgot where. Found it two weeks after Christmas. My mom was the same way.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. On the basement floor next to shoes. That’s where *everyone* keeps their sugar. I don’t know why you didn’t look there first. ;) ~ karen!

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