Day 82: The Nuts and Bolts Of Decluttering

8,200 things gone, only 1,800 to go

I was going to do a post on Squirrel’s garage tonight but I’m too tired to properly enjoy it. I’ll put that off until tomorrow and catch you up on some miscellanea.


Remember when I pulled 100 condiments out of my fridge on Day 2 and only put 30 back in? Well, 15 of them have not been touched since that day. Tonight was as good a night as any to bid them adieu.

Top Scotch? What was I thinking? Everyone knows Hershey’s chocolate syrup is the only ice cream topping.


Same thing here. This lot sat in the cupboard for three months silently expiring.

Normally, I don’t count a fridge or cupboard purge in my 100 things, but none of this stuff had been touched since the day I started.

Plus, I’m running out of things to get rid of. That’s right! I’m running out of things to get rid of – even I can’t believe I just wrote that!

Sure, there are still a few boxes and bins in the garage and Squirrel’s office to go through, but I’m elated to say that the bulk of the work in the house is…drum roll please…finished.

I was forced to go out to the garage tonight because the house purge left me hanging with only 50 things.

Fortunately, Squirrel still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Check out this bucket of bolts he had stashed away in a cupboard.

I especially appreciate the sawdust. Wish I could count it.

But wait! There’s a silver lining.

I can recycle the hundreds of screws and bolts I found at Habitat For Humanity’s Restores. They accept new and used building materials, appliances and home décor items. As with anything, call first to see what they’re currently accepting before you make a trip out there.

I love it when I find a good home for our things.

According to Squirrel our roller blades from 1998 are also in the garage. I doubt anyone will be  lining up for these vintage babies but, if I find them, I promise to take a picture of me rollerblading.

Now that’s got to be worth something!

What I Tossed Today: condiments, supplements, toys, towels, pottery, coffee mugs, muffin tin, the perfect pancake (frying pan), nuts and bolts


12 thoughts on “Day 82: The Nuts and Bolts Of Decluttering

  1. Hi ‘Mum of 3’ here. I’ve got to say your blog is just the best! It has turned ‘everyday’ scenarios into pure comedy gold.
    For example – shortly after your post talking about tape dispensers I had a minor operation on my foot. This meant my Pack a Rat had to do the weekly shop. Oh how I laughed when he proudly handed me his newly acquired ‘treasure’ from the supermarket – A tape dispenser! A flipping tape dispenser! Can you believe it!
    If that wasn’t bad enough I had decluttered a digital photo frame (been on display 4 years, never shown a single photo, gathered lots of dust) from our newly uncluttered sideboard I took its cardboard box from the drawer (where it had been kept, empty, gathering dust, for 4 years ) I thought it would be ideal to sell or donate, unused , boxed – ideal!
    I got distracted (kids probably ‘murdering’ each other with nerf / lego / paper guns – Oh yes my eldest makes machine guns using paper and tape, that pops out paper missiles – PASS ME THE TAPE DISPENSER SOMEONE!)
    Anyway – digital photo frame, empty box, Ebay – No. All my plans ruined.
    How? By my lovely husband putting the empty box into the recycling bin. This, don’t forget, was the same man who kept every cardboard box to everything.
    Yes I know he’s still ‘learning’ to declutter but he took the digital photo frame OUT of the box in order to throw the box away!!!! Aaarrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh I despair!

    I applaud you for keeping your sanity through your decluttering marathon. The blog on ’causes of hoarding’ was fabulous, I think you are really hitting a nerve and through your endeavours are helping alot of other people understand why they have so much clutter. The ‘sentimental’ declutter questions were totally exhausting, by the time I’d finished asking myself the questions I’d be frazzled and have no energy to answer the most important question ‘Do I want to keep this or not’ Once you understand the thought process and the reasons behind your behaviour it all gets so much easier.
    Right I’m off to declutter some more things – item no 1. tape dispenser…………………………….

    • “I applaud you for keeping your sanity through your decluttering marathon.”

      I have kept my sanity only by reading comments like this. Your descriptions of your decluttering adventures have me rolling. Even Squirrel got a laugh out of your Pack A Rat husband recycling the cardboard box. Although I’m not sure he has a leg to stand on. I tried to sell a table hockey game the kids had ignored for a year. When he heard me on the phone giving the buyer our address he nixed the sale and took the kids downstairs to play it. Arghhhhhh!
      And, I am so grateful to readers like you bearing witness to my struggles. Prior to this blog I had to face the clutter solo. It was horrible. I had to laugh and cry all alone!

  2. WOOHOO! I’m SO glad to hear Restore takes screws, nuts, & bolts! I’ve Craig’s List-ed some of them when we give away random building materials. Otherwise, they sit in the toolbox because I feel too much green guilt to chuck them in the trash! Are you going to be doing before & after shots of the whole house when you’re done? I CAN’T WAIT and am SO excited for you and your family!

    • I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who suffers from green guilt. I was thinking of having my brother in law come and take some photos of the house when I’m finished. He’s a ‘real’ photographer. The shots taken with my iPhone are starting to annoy me – I can only imagine how all of you feel about them. Thanks so much for your support. It’s sounds so corny, but I’ll say it anyway – my dream of a minimalist home is starting to come true!!!

  3. While I’ve finally figured out condiments, vitamins are a boondoggle in our house too. I think it’s something about projecting good health by owning a lot of vitamins. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not taking them every day though. One small victory: I just finished a bottle of iron supplements from when I was pregnant with my youngest. Three and a half years ago. Baby steps, I say.

    I hope you are planning on taking photos of your clear spaces when you are finished! Is it weird that I am excited for you to finish? 🙂

    • It’s so not weird that you’re excited for me. I’m excited too! And I’m even more excited that all of you are excited for me! I really should try to type and breathe at the same time.
      Good for you for finishing the iron (in 3 1/2 years too!). My friend is studying to become a holistic nutritionist and she just gave me a bunch of recommendations for my son. She really stressed baby steps. Otherwise, I’ll set us both up for failure. Funny how I can apply that mindset to my decluttering but nothing else in my life.
      I am so looking forward to taking after photos but I’ll probably leave it up to someone with a camera. I’ve been taking all my ‘photos’ with my phone. : )

  4. “I was forced to go out to the garage tonight because the house purge left me hanging with only 50 things.”

    Eeeee! Look at you go!

    I never remember to take supplements, either. I see myself in the mirror and think “Hmm, is the evening primrose oil helping my skin?” and only later remember that it never leaves the cupboard.

    H for H’s Restores is so cool! Glad you can help them out.

    Hope you find the roller blades, for entirely selfish reasons.

    • Eeeee! Look at you go!

      I’m pretty sure that’s what Squirrel and the kids will be saying when I strap on the roller blades too! I just found them. Actually it was your post on photoshopping that inspired me to promise a picture.
      I recently had to send a picture of myself to someone wanting to blog about me. It was so traumatic. Squirrel photoshopped my shiny forehead (and my worry lines too, I suspect) and I liked how I looked so much better. Then I decided that was silly and had my neighbour come and take some ‘real’ photos. Eeeewwww! Out of a hundred, I decided three were passable. Then I spent the rest of the day wondering how I got so old.
      Later Squirrel took a random photo of me to show me how great the iCloud works. I made a weird face and actually looked better than when I was trying.
      I’ve decided to only have my picture taken doing silly things. It makes me look much younger. Hence the roller blades. Will post it soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

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