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Letting Go Challenge: Week 29 and 30

Weeks 27 & 28 (2)


I fell behind again.  Again.

The past few weeks has seen me fall behind on a LOT of things. Seems like everything, although I know that it’s not  necessarily true. With this posting, I’ll be one week behind (as of Sunday), but it’s better than being three.  So there’s that.

One of the things I’ve been confronted by is my sheer lack of focus. The past month in particular has been tough. I’d have all these goals and ideas and what-have-you only to be distracted by–what was that shiny thing? Oh my god!

Kinda like that Doctor Who episode “SIlence in the Library” when Donna’s transported out of the library, and finds herself in a life that passes by instantaneously. She’s talking to Dr. Moon: “You said ‘River’ and now we’re feeding ducks.”  Her saying she will bring her children to the park brings her to the park without any of the actual journey.

That’s what my life feels like right now. Only more tedious. Like I’ve lost the time, don’t know where it’s at, but have nothing to show for it.  I just find myself having done this or that and managing to skip over what I was supposed to be doing for that better life thing.

And here I am. Starting over. But not really starting over. I’m still 47 things lighter, even if it took me 2 weeks to do it.

It’s a little bit better than a start, at any rate.



  • 1. Bubba cup (cracked–I loooved that cup)
  • 2. Fancy schmancy Christmas ornament
  • 3. Mason jar without lid
  • 4. NyQuil Cold and Flu: Exp date 2013
  • 5. Salon pas (didn’t work for me…held onto because…maybe they would work magically one day? I have no idea)
  • 6. Famotidine Exp 2014
  • 7., 8. White disks something-or-others (maybe floor protectors?)  x 2
  • 9-14  Coffee cups X 6
  • 15. Clear lax for the dog — exp date 2014
  • 16. Bottle of pills so old and faded I have no idea what it even is
  • 17. Christmas candle
  • 18. Ibuprofen — Can’t use it now with my every day Nsaid–finding it a new home
  • 19. Plastic cup
  • 20. Styrofoam cup
  • 21. Hair clip (not necessary since I chopped my hair off)
  • 22. Rusty spoon
  • 23. Pink stuffing paper (??)
  • 24.-27.. Four un-mated lids from the garage
  • 28. Sock–lonely and hanging out in the garage
  • 29. Bag of “silverbells gem mix” (??)
  • 30., 31.  Empty DVD case x 2
  • 32. Movie: Face Off
  • 33. Movie: Analyze That
  • 34–37, Four plates
  • 38., 39.  Christmas stockings x 2
  • 40. Hurricane instructions from 2006
  • 41. Book: Non-Profits for Dummies
  • 42. Movie: Bad Boys II
  • 43. Movie: Hide and Seek
  • 44. “Sherry” shaped glass
  • 45. Book: Walt Whitman “Laws of Creators” — ruined in the rain
  • 46. Notebook with writing–Also ruined in the rain
  • 47. Decorative metal pot-type thing

Letting Go Challenge: Weeks Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four



Weeks 23 and 24


  • 5 Pairs of Pants
  • 1 Pair of Shoes
  • 21 shirts
  • 1 Vest jacket
  • 1 Pair of socks
  • 1 Blu Ray Set plastic cover
  • 1 Bell
  • 1 (very old) hand sanitizer
  • 1 Benadryl spray (out of date by 5 years)
  • 8 medicine bottles
  • 1 pack of hairbands
  • 1 cut up credit card

Forty-three things.

I missed a week. After 22 weeks of continuous clearing out, I missed a week. Sooner or later, I always drop the ball. Usually when that happens, I get discouraged and distracted and months later wonder how I went from doing whatever it was every day to having gone months without doing it.

Not this time. I missed a week. One week.

Tom Robbins said, “Stay committed to your decisions but stay flexible in your approach.”

So here I am, picking up where I left off.  I don’t know if I’ll have 42 items this week–I’m writing this in between gathering stuff, doing chores, etc.–but I will have only missed one week.

Not too shabby for a gal with the attention span of a Mexican jumping bean on meth.

This week I discovered a COLOSSAL waste of money. I had bought 2 sets of Breaking Bad deeply discounted with the intention of selling it. It never happened. I just couldn’t do it. I ended up giving it away to a friend who’s as appreciative of the series as I am. Maybe not such a huge waste of money after all. But still a “holy shit” moment. As

I also realized as I was gathering items–specifically the med bottles–that I’ve gotten rid of  a lot that I haven’t documented. I’ve had a lot of med bottles. Small boxes, and things like that.

But I get it honest. This week, my dad texted me a picture of his doctor’s record that showed him bringing me into the doctor. In 1974. Apparently, my mom is going through stuff at her place, too.

I’m in the process of reducing two bookshelves to one; I don’t know if I’ll have it finished this month, but it’s closer. I discovered that by getting rid of a Wii box in the entertainment center, I could move my movies there, clearing out almost a full shelf. The reference books that I have no intention of getting rid of (mostly writing books and some lit books from college), I’m moving to the office now that I have room on the shelves in that room.

I had high heels on it previously. I have NO idea why I thought putting them on office shelves was a good idea, but I got rid of them a long time ago.

There is no horse to get back on. There is just this: my getting rid of things, simplifying my life. Sometimes life gets in the way of those plans.

But sometimes it doesn’t.


Letting Go Challenge: Week Twenty-Two



  • 1. Sharps box
  • 2. Shampoo Bottle
  • 3. Conditioner Bottle
  • 4. Plastic dish that no lid would fit
  • 5. Snowman Christmas ornament
  • 6., 7. Two pairs of shoes
  • 8. Bird cage with candleholder
  • 9. Stuffed puppy
  • 10. Xmen Origins — Wolverine (never opened)
  • 11. E-cig battery was D.O.A.
  • 12. Wii box
  • 13. Glass chess set
  • 14. Book: When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin
  • 15. Basket
  • 16., 17., 18., 19.  More nail files
  • 20.  Cat stuff: Pro-Pet Cat Relief hydrocortisone spray
  • 21. . Knee highs
  • 22.  Eyeshadow spongey-thing
  • 23. Antibiotic Ointment (expired in 2011)

A couple of things happened this week:

  1. I realized that I buy a hell of a lot of duplicates. A HELL of a lot. The Xmen movie–which is far from my favorite–I have both on DVD and BluRay.  I’m currently reading An Orgy of George by George Carlin, which contains Brain Droppings, Napalm and Silly Putty, and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops. No reason to hold on to the original Pork Chop book, eh?
  2. After my house was broken into, I swore I’d keep all the serial numbers for my electronics and things. I found out the hard way what happens when you don’t. But instead of writing them down and filing them away, I had kept the boxes. Like the Wii, for example. I’ve officially started a “Serial Number” file.
  3. Because I was getting rid of the Wii box, which was inexplicably stored in the entertainment center, I had room to move my movies over, freeing up space on the bookcase. My goal is to get both bookcases to one so I can get rid of the one that’s broken. I’m not close, but I’m a good foot and a half closer.
  4. I realized what a hard time I have taking/sending things back when they aren’t what I ordered or they’re defective. The e-cig I’d ordered off Ebay. I know I could have gotten my money back, but I just didn’t do it. Now, it’s been too long. I just don’t do it. I should. I don’t. I’ll deal with that later.
  5. The only reason I included a picture of a Q-tip box (cause it’s kind of silly, right?) is that it’s a milestone. It’s the first time that I can remember throwing a box out right after using the last one.
  6. I am really, really, really enjoying this. There is something so satisfying about seeing a space–amidst the clutter–that remains unoccupied. There is something so satisfying about seeing the pictures of all the things I’ve gotten rid of.  It seems as though everything can go wrong during a week; I may not succeed at anything else that week, but getting rid of 21 things WILL happen. There is something very satisfying about seeing “holes” becoming wider–opening up space. There is something very satisfying about being able to find what I’m looking for because I know that a) I have it and b) where I’m keeping it.

Would I like to be done with it?  I’d like to have made more progress, I guess, but I don’t want to be done with it. Maybe it’ll never be done. Decluttering has turned out to be a far richer experience than I would have ever guessed.

So much so that starting in March, I’ll be doing a financial simplification. I haven’t quite come up with a catchy title yet, but I’m committing to the first week of every month. I want to see what I can do to tidy up my finances.

This should prove interesting.







Letting Go Challenge: Week 17

 Untitled design (1)


  • 1. Glass pane*
  • 2. Rubber seal for something-or-other*
  • 3. Potpourri wire apple
  • 4. Cat tunnel
  • 5. Shirt
  • 6., 7. Two Glasses cases
  • 8. A bag of box tops for schools
  • 9. Broken hair clip
  • 10., 11., 12., 13., 14., 15., 15., 17. Medicine bottles
  • 18.  Wrench-thingamajig  for Misfit shine
  • 19., 20., 21. Three make up brushes
  • 22. A zipper pouch

**the rubber gasket and glass I have no idea where they’re from. I found it while dusting the top of the bookcase. Weirdness.


I’m changing up filing method a bit. Because it’s near the end of January now and tax season will be upon me, I’m taking blocks of paper and filing it into four categories: Pets, Medical, Money, and Other. I’m able to get through larger stacks of paper that way, and I can specifically file the EOB’s and office visit and prescription receipts that I’ll need for taxes without getting bogged down in filing every little thing.

Getting bogged down is something I’m really, really good at.

I’ve changed my goal from pieces filed to time spent, and it seems to be working out. Set the timer, grab a stack, and go.



There were a couple of definite wins this week:

I’m noting obvious gaps–places where I used to have stuff, but it’s all found new homes. That’s a really good feeling.

I set a room priority and am starting with the garage. I’m trying to make room for a filtration system I received for Christmas and have yet to have installed. I just have so much stuff that it makes it difficult to actually see the water tank.  I cleared out two boxes from the garage, a  box of notebooks that have gone into a bin in the office for later organization, and a box of dishes I inherited from my grandmother. I put the dishes in a new box (sans garage-dwelling roaches) in the kitchen for later organization.

Again, avoiding the bog-down.

It kinda feels like moving in.  It certainly looks that way.




Letting Go Challenge: Week Thirteen


  • 1. Halloween head dress
  • 2. Feather boa
  • 3. 4. 5. 6.  Towels
  • 7. Misfit box
  • 8. Coffee Cup
  • 9. 10.  Bras
  • 11. 12. Nail polish
  • 13. Book–Intiution: Awakening Your Inner Guide by Judee Gee
  • 14. Beads
  • 15. Dog bowl
  • 16. Phone book
  • 17. 18. 19. 20. Magazines
  • 21. Dead pen

The Halloween headdress is an observation of my impulse spending.  I had to buy Halloween candy for work, so I went to the drug store, and viola, they had minimal Halloween costumes for buy one get one 50% off. How could I resist?

Never mind that I’d have saved money by not buying it. Nevermind that I wore it (and the boa) for a total of five minutes–MAX–while the kids came trick-or-treating at work.

Never mind.  It was BOGO 50% off !

Plus it lights up and has ribbons and stuff.


I’m not sure how Intuition came into my book collection. Perhaps it was a Barnes & Noble discount, perhaps it was a gift.

I try to read 10-15 minutes every morning–to learn new things, personal growth type things.

I used to enjoy reading metaphysical stuff.  I started it and immediately felt resistance to reading it. But I trudged on, wanting to read every book I have before getting new ones.

Normally, when I dislike a book, I can say exactly why: the writing, the plot, the themes that narcissistic men who stalk women is sexy (ahem, Fifty Shades), but this one I can’t say.  Perhaps if my inner guide were awakened, I could better pin-point  it.

I managed to skim through it, really trying to read parts of it but finding myself skipping ahead, time and time again.

So. Yeah. Didn’t like it.

But it served a purpose: it reminded me that I had fallen into “playing” at meditation. I set aside time every morning, set the timer, and sat.  The dog’s butt was a distraction (my dog’s butt speaks in “Scratch Me NOWNOWNOWNOW!”) , the constant to-do list in my head a constant distraction.

I was doing but not really doing, therefore playing at it.

So I’m a bit more focused now.  That’s a good thing,


47 things filed. Some trash, others organized in sub-folders, such as Medical (hanging folder), smaller folders: Lab Work, EOBs, etc.


Going into my fourth month (wow!), I realized that it’s time to up my game again.  So I’ve done two things:

  1. Committed to completely clearing out one shelf, one drawer, one something every week.
  2. Started a new challenge to run in tangent with this one: Getting Healthy.

This week, I’ve managed to clear out my entire shoe-portion of my closet.  So yay. All of my shoes, with the exception of one, are paired. I’ve managed to lose one of the shoes that I wear most often and have determined that it has NOT been brought outside by the dog, although whether it’s been digested is still a mystery.

Not a bad way to end 2015, quite frankly.





Letting Go Challenge: Week Eleven

  • 1. Hat box
  • 2. and 3. Old bottles of lotion
  • 4. Old deoderant
  • 5. “Katrina” dress
  • 6. Undershirt
  • 7. Green pair of pants
  • 8. Blue pair of pants
  • 9.  and 10.  Two broken hair clips
  • 11. Old lipstick
  • 12. Old mascara
  • 13. Old foundation
  • 14. Enbrel information box
  • 15. Shake and Bake
  • 16. Old pressed powder
  • 17. Foot spray
  • 18. Nail polish
  • 19. Glue sticks
  • 20. Lipstick case
  • 21. Dead pen

Filed: 28 things, some trashed (why I held onto old grocery receipts I will never know), some actually filed. Still working on the medical file.

So apparently I forgot to take a picture before throwing the old stuff away and putting away the clothes in my “to donate” box.

A shame. I wanted to, in a few months, put all the pictures together to see all of the stuff–in one sitting–that I had cleared out of my house.

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, we picked through mud and dead fish to salvage what we could. Living right off the river, I had discovered there was a lot of both mud and dead fish.


I can remember dunking my few clothes in bins of bleach water to get all of the dead fishyness out of them.  One of the things that had survived was a black t-shirt, sleeveless dress that I loved.  The bleach had given it red spots, so it looked like a really bad tie-dye job.

I loved it even more.

It’s been ten years since the hurricane, and, during that time it had managed to grow holes where the red spots were.

Ten years, and the red-bleached out spot became an ever-growing hole…right on the ass of the dress.

Still loved it. Still held onto it. Still slept in it, wore it around the house (sometimes even with a t-shirt covering the hole, but not all the time.

So….it was pretty much past time to get rid of it.

The filing is coming along–I’m still taking out stacks of paper in chunks and working through the chunks rather than fully entering the office itself.

The most interesting thing about the filing is that I’m filing stuff pretty much as soon as I get it (at least during the week that I get it) so, although the headway isn’t exactly grand, I’m at least not adding to the stacks to be dealt with later.

So there’s that.


Letting Go Challenge: Week Ten

One of the best questions I’ve ever been asked is, “Where are your hands and feet?”

It sounds silly, really, but it’s one of the most profound things I’ve ever been asked.

I say I want to do this and that, meet this person and that. Accomplish this and that.

But when I ask myself where my hands and feet are, sometimes they’re not actually doing what I want to do or moving toward where I want to be.

So I can correct. No need for punishment or judgment, just a simple correction: put my hands and feet to work doing what I want to do.

But sometimes I am doing what I want to, as evidenced by my hands and feet. Here it is, ten weeks, and I’m still getting rid of junk.

Some of the things I’ve accomplished in the process:

  1. I have a gap on my bookshelf.  Considering I didn’t want to even think about my books ten weeks ago, I’m a bit impressed with myself.
Not a thigh gap--far more exciting
Not a thigh gap–far more exciting.

2. My closet is way, way more organized (not quite finished, but I still have many things to get rid of.)

3. I’ve started an organized medical file for taxes.

4. I’ve gotten rid of pizza coupons that have been on my fridge since April of 2014. Really. 

Some things that have started happening (perhaps side-effects, but then again, I don’t like assigning causality):

  1. I pick things up more often.  I have a tendency to leave coffee cups wherever I had coffee last. I can say with confidence (and yes, a little bit of joy) that the only coffee cup currently on my table–or scattered about the house–is the one I’m drinking from right now.

2.   I’ve discovered I really like giving things away.  While organizing a drawer, I came across several pairs of gloves–things I’ve never bought myself and yet somehow came to own. That very day at work someone was complaining about being very cold, so I found an opportunity to give them to someone I knew could use them.  It’s not altruism so much as it is laziness–I still have this ingrained thing in me that I really don’t want to throw things away unless I have to, and yet I still really, really don’t want to give it to Goodwill.  So I give away what I can to people I know, and by taking it, they’re doing me a favor. I only have 1/4 a box of stuff to go to Goodwill. Some of the stuff I could probably sell–movies and stuff, things in good condition.  I could use the money, but that’s not how I want to make money.  That idea of not being “how” I make money isn’t something I really can  explain. It just feels wrong.

3. I’m reading more. I’m in a race to read all the books I have (and want to read) before buying any more.  Oh, I’m also reading fewer books at a time, which does in fact streamline the process. I’m currently reading Eric Butterworth’s Spiritual Economics for 10 minutes in the morning, and currently, Bernie Sanders’s Outsider in the White House in the evening.

4. I’m adding another challenge–a gratitude challenge. Find one (different) thing every day that I’m grateful for, for a total of 7 a week.  It’s as much about establishing a practice as it is to grow.

So anyway, the stuff:

  • 1. Post-it pad
  • 2. Water balloons
  • 3. Angel candle holder
  • 4. Love and Peace lunchbox
  • 5. Small black bag
  • 6. Red shirt
  • 7. Orange shirt
  • 8. Camera box
  • 9. 2014 calendar
  • 10. Broken dust pan
  • 11. Movie: Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • 12. Movie: Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • 13. Movie: Hannibal Lector Two Pack
  • 14. Movie: An Officer and a Gentleman
  • 15. Make Up bag
  • 16.  and 17. Nail Polishes
  • 18. Mascara
  • 19. Clearasil
  • 20. Lipstick
  • 21. Eye pencil

The make up stuff might very well be from when I  was i my early 20’s. Some of it looks decidedly goth-y.

I actually filed/shredded 75 things this week, far above my requisite 21. Considering I had 15 separate things (and counting)  on Enbrel, I’m not sure it’s much of an accomplishment.

But it’s something.