Toss Ten -- the list

talley_sue_nycSeptember 25, 2010

OK, years ago I ran across a decluttering "meme" called Toss Ten.

The idea is that each day, you eliminate ten things.

The way I decided to interpret it is that each day, you get to define what a "thing" is. On tough days, you can say "each individual pencil counts as one." On days when you're raring to go, you can say, "this pile of pencils counts as one."

Also, "toss" means: out of your house. Trash, recycle, regift, donate, Freecycle, whatever. Out. Gone. NOT stashed somewhere else. The idea is not to bog the discussion down w/ rhetoric about recycling, and landfills, etc.

So, that's my new goal. I'm going to Toss Ten every single day.

The tough part is going to be donating stuff, bcs I can't really take it somewhere each day. So I'm going to allow myself to count those each day, as long as they LEAVE on the weekend.

And I'm going to come to this thread and tell you what they are.

Today's Toss Ten:

-leftover box from the mini dehumidifier

-pile of junk mail

-outgrown suit of DS's

-outgrown black jeans of DS's

-old bridesmaid dress of mine

-Ants in the Pants game

-stack of outgrown uniform shirts of DS's

-bunch of books to give to DS's school

-wooden cutlery divider scavenged from work

-Dick Blick art catalog

Wanna play?

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Would love to, as soon as I get home. Am staying with my DD and a new grandbaby. Does it count if I threw away probably 100 plastic WalMart sacks at my daughter's house!? LOL

Will let you know how I'm fareing with this when I get home.
Sounds like a good plan to me.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:39PM
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I remember the Toss Ten strategy and this is why you are my Organizing Hero! I have been doing my scaled down version ever since the first introduction.

Between Freecycle and various donations, I have been tossing. Of late I have been evaluating purchases so I will have a net loss in the toss strategy.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:37PM
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i'll play too. Decluttering a cabinet shelf today to make room for teapots and new teacups (gift), I found 5 good condition cook books that I do not want and will donate to library book sale tomorrow, now that I have seen your toss ten post I will add paperbacks to make my quota for today.

thanks for the idea

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:41PM
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OK, today's list:

1. -DS's outgrown suit
2. -DS's outgrown black jeans
3. -Mr. Mouth game
4. -"V is for Vendetta" graphic novel
5. -"Twenties Girl" bySophie Kinsella
6. -"Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold
7. -bowlful of pistachios
8. -"The Bad Guys Won!" by jeff Pearlman
9. -green T-shirt that accidentally snuck into our laundry (took it downstairs to the laundry-room shelf for its owner to claim)

  1. -random blue picture frame, unused, that was hiding among the cookbooks
    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 11:03PM
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I had a Jewish friend, who told me in her religion/culture the number Nine is very powerful. So you could play "Toss Nine" and make it a habit. Tossing includes recycling, gifting, and just plain throwing in the garbage. I'm off to play Toss Nine.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 8:01AM
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OK, I'm going to try it. After reading this I threw out three pens and a magic marker while sitting here. Only six more things to go. LOL Honestly, I really hope I can stick with this.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:21AM
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I think I got 10 after I read this yesterday.

4 coke lids
2 cardboard boxes
pile of junk mail (I've been gone for a few days)
phone book
2 plastic bottles

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 12:51PM
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I donated two shoeboxes and two Fiestaware boxes to my ds's teacher. I didn't make it further than that other than to discard several pages of classwork that my kids brought home. Maybe tomorrow, I will get further. Today I mop the kitchen floor.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 3:30PM
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I'm going to stick with ten.

Today's list:
1. handwriting notebook
2. toothbrushes from the little bathroom
3. toothbrushes from the big bathroom
4. two steno notebooks
5. 3/4-full box of coin envelopes
6-20. books (14 in all)

I suppose I could have saved some of those for tomorrow, but that doesn't really help. My goal is to be steady, with things going out each day.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 11:07PM
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OK, except I think I would have eaten the pistachios for breakfast...

As a variation, for awhile I was keeping a "diary" with just 2 columns--stuff in and stuff out. Did not have to keep it every day, but you have to do it often enough so you don't conveniently forget. I have fallen off the wagon on it and think I should get back on. It is a lot like keeping a spending record where you write down every expenditure, so you can see why it is easy to fall off!

It is so telling--you make a trip to Wal-Mart or Target or the department store (or all 3) and wow, if you write everything down ( and exclude use-uppables, like food, shampoo, paper towels), you can really tell what is going on. So it's a variation on the OP in that, to make headway or stay even if you're happy where you are, then you can't toss 10 but bring in 12!

Another thing for folks who have trouble breaking with things is to make a "target 10 list". I have done that sometimes to good effect. You write down a number of things that you have been thinking about getting rid of. You know, the contemplation phase!

The variation of just putting them in a box is a delay tactic but can still be good if you are prone to tossing frenzies that you later regret, since the idea is to make good choices, keep what is truly useful or pleasurable, or if you just need some distance to help let go. So talley__ sue__nyc you are putting the bar higher, or trying to allow for a goal for "serious runners," which is a good option, especially since you offer the "out" of counting one pencil! I think that makes it fun and also practical.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:59AM
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You're right Frankie, can't make any headway if more is coming in than going out. I have a friend who had no clutter. Really, none. She said she had a rule that nothing came in unless something else went out.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:42PM
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In theory you can look at it as it is most logical to focus on one in/one out as like in/like out--clothes are the best example, or dishes, in the sense that one thinks of one's clothes closet, or kitchen storage, as fixed, so each addition needs to shove something out. But it doesn't have to be that rigid--someone might determine to have a large wardrobe but only one set of towels and sheets, no sporting goods, whatever, and so commandeer other spaces; or collect Christmas decorations stored in the closet and have a minimalist wardrobe.

So that gives a more generic value to talley_sue_nyc 's approach, that if you keep moving stuff out, even in random patterns, maybe it won't always help a particular shelf or closet right away, but somehow "stuff" will be reduced, and you'll have a better chance of being uncluttered in the long run. If overall I have more uncluttered spaces, that helps me deal with specific projects or areas that need work, or suggests new ways to enjoy a space, or to enjoy free time.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 2:22PM
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"You're right Frankie, can't make any headway if more is coming in than going out. I have a friend who had no clutter. Really, none. She said she had a rule that nothing came in unless something else went out."

That's us at this point in our lives.

Really makes you think about a purchase when you know something at home has got to go....

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 4:13PM
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I just tossed three pairs of outgrown kids shoes and picked three pairs to donate. I went to the playroom and collected three of those junk toys that are half broken. Then I went through some of my flower bulb tags and tossed them since I have the bulbs in the ground and it will either grow or not next year.

Tomorrow I may tackle newspapers for recycling.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:09PM
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Frankie, I love your "in and out list"; I think that needs to go on my Strategies Shortlist (along with Toss Ten; Do a Dozen; and Innoculate a Petrie Dish).

Here's today's list:

1. crank pencil sharpener (it has weirdly angled grinders, and messes up the lead so it breaks too easily)
2. bag of catnip
3. 5 pieces of candy
4. "Last Man on the Mountain" book
5-7. 3 science-fair boards
8. square tissue paper & the oversize envelope they were in
9. 2 papers from DS's school

  1. 1 logic-puzzle book

Frankie is right that this strategy is all about simply reducing clutter overall. I'm jumping all over the place (today's list came from: the bookshelves in my room; the drawer of the buffet; the top of my dresser; and the corner by the piano). I haven't emptied an "entire" anything. I haven't cleared off a shelf, or emptied a drawer.

On the other hand, the corner by the piano looks a lot better! And my bookcase is getting noticeably closer to having a single layer, instead of books w/ stuff sitting on front of them.

But it's also about a long, subtle retraining of attitude.

In the very beginning, I just pick the stuff that's obvious, or easy. But as I go along, I find myself each night having to look a little harder to find No. 9 and No. 10.

This strategy is also about momentum, and motivation and encouragement. It's a bit like the Weight Watchers program that restricts salt alot, so that you lose water weight right away. This seems like cheating--and it is, sort of. But what happens is that there seems to be instant progress. And so people are encouraged to keep trying, and to come back. And by the third week, when they start to ease ketchup, etc., back into your diet, the *real* weight loss is starting to kick in, so the progress seems steady. It's very motivating, and very rewarding.

So that's part of what I'm trying to do as well--to encourage myself into sticking with the decluttering concept.

And, there is something to be said for simply calming the visual noise in my house.

Thanks for the company, everybody!

(Oh, and I didn't eat the pistachios, bcs they'd been sitting out in a dampish clime for several days, and they were too soft to be enjoyable.)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:11PM
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I didn't get much done

A bag of bulbs planted (it's been on the counter for almost a year)
Tossed a battery operated hair trimmer

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:41PM
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I got up at 4:00am and cleaned out a laundry room drawer--pitching about 30 items and organizing what was left. I had the courage to pitch some things that I couldn't identify (like parts to ??) and others that I didn't know I had. I hope I don't go back and retrieve items before garbage time.

Okay, now back to bed for awhile.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 5:47AM
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So far I'm sticking to it. Of course it's only been three days. LOL 90% of the contents in the garage belong to my husband. On Monday I went out there and threw something away. I told my husband if he would throw something away I would pick a second one. Well guess what, we cleaned one side of the garage. Threw lots away. Two more days/sides to go. Judy

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 10:28AM
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I'll play. What a super motivating thread! I know I'll only be able to keep it up for my few days off, but at least that's better than nothing.

Here's mine for today:

1) 3 winter coats we've outgrown
2) 1 issue of BHG from 2006
3) 5 curtain sheers
4) Old sheets
5) DD's school papers/drawings from 2007
6) 3 pairs of DH's pants
7) Box of ~ 20 paperback books
8) Empty amazon boxes sitting on the porch for the past 2 weeks
9) Strange bits of toy parts to toddler toys (DD is a pre-teen now)

  1. Several issues of my professional journals that are now all online
    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 11:10PM
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jkayd, 90% of the contents in the garage belong to my husband. Just had to comment as the reverse is true about my garage. DH doesn't know a hammer from a saw nor where they are stored.

Since these are large items, I'm going to take double credit; I Freecycled:
PC monitor
12 Gardening books
27" TV
VHS player
Tony Little Gazelle

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:19AM
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I didn't toss anything yesterday. I went to the mall and hit the end of season clearances. Dillards had 70% off of dh's favorite shirts and 40% off of that so I bought ten work shirts. Can't beat $6 and $7 shirts. Dh wants to rotate his work shirts every two years or so. It's his job to get rid of his old stuff. And he probably will here in the next couple of weeks.

I also bought dd a few things for next year. I'll pack them away. The old stuff will be tossed or donated when we do her laundry.

All was not a loss. I did manage to unpack a box of decorations from when we moved. I put out seven decorative items. I convinced the kids to ride their bikes to school today so I walked the dog there and back and will do it again this afternoon which gives me two miles of walking.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:55PM
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OK, I missed the 29th & 30th.

I have an excuse; I folded 8 loads of laundry.

But on the 29th, I tossed:

1-3. Three things that I wrote on an envelope (to keep track of them to post here), but I can't find the envelope (DD says, "maybe you tossed it--would it count?")

So, here' s a list for the 29th:

4-10. kids' books

And being tossed today in honor the 30th:
1-5. adult books
6. an old issue of Hallmark magazine
7. Staples receipt on the piano
8. Duane Reade receipt on the end table
9. film-canister lid on the piano

  1. The books "Potato" and "Night"

And for today, Oct. 1:
1-37. A bunch of papers, envelopes leftover after filing bills, catalogs, etc., from the pile of papers in the bedroom.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 12:30AM
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marti8a, I think you got a lot done by planting those bulbs! I think that counts as "out of the house"!

jkayd_il5--your DH is playing too? Yay! And congrats on the garage.
(I find that happens with "Do a Dozen." I'll say, "just fold 12 items of clothes, then you can stop" and before I know it, the whole basket is done.

Thanks for playing along w/ me, everyone!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 12:34AM
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I'll play too.
Today I tossed...
1. outdated barrette
2. some no longer fragrant sachets
3. expired OTC medicines
4. a pair of glasses
5. beautiful candlestick (that reminded me of past hurt feelings)
6. charger for old cell phone
7. expired inhaler
8. four pkgs shoelaces
9. a few mystery keys

  1. blue crocheted doily
    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 4:50PM
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Today I tossed:

1. annoying belt that's also wearing out
2. years-old box of ice cream cones--nobody eats them
3. years-old gingerbread cookie mix--I'm never going to make it.
4. hand-held battery-powered fan that doesn't work
5. tiny cheap-o pedometer that doesn't work
6. plastic jellybean dispenser
7. remainder of a role of post-it-note tape
8. a second cheapo pedometer
9. an elastic toddler belt

  1. a plastic bag of scallop shells (took that one to church)
    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 11:41PM
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Alrighty, ladies, I'll play too! Inspired by this thread, this morning while gazing into my pathetic laundry room/office I made a decision to dejunk. I cleared two bags and a good sized box, all filled to the brim with PAPER (receipts, kindergarten art work. EOB [wow I hate these], a $20 check, a brand new black satin beaded evening bag I bought for my daughter for Homecoming LAST YEAR, letters from my daughter at college, the list goes on and on). Besides the $20, I also found a CD-ROm of Boy Scout information that is rather important.

Most of this is in the trash. I realized that one bag contains stuff that was hurriedly swept off of my husband's desk about a year or so ago, he will want to see this and more importantly (at least to him, anyway), shred it.

So that's three things (more or less, I've at least shifted the responsibility for my husband's stuff onto him). Let me find seven more....

1. A flyer on a symposium at a girls high school that we did not attend (the science symposium that is) yesterday.

2. Two worthless binder pockets that can't even hold a full sheet of paper.

3. A half carved bar of Zote soap that my Cub Scout son (who's artwork I found in the papers) carved a pink duckie out of, then got bored carving soap. I can't really use the remaining soap or the duckie, so out they go.

4. Two dated post-it notes.

5. A coupon for $50 off a pair of glasses that has been sitting here. We never ever use this optical shop.

6. A white lanyard that really will never be used again.

7. A lovely blue plastic blue measuring scoop that came in a jumbo Sams Club box of Cheer laundry soap.... but I can not find Cheer in powder form any more, so why am I keeping this?

Thank you for the support and encouragement to overcome my inability to make a decision and act on it.

I need to live my life, not archive it!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 10:18AM
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Church rummage sale next weekend, so some of these are not officially tossed yet but are in boxes for the sale:
On 10/2:

--6 throw pillows--I have been changing over completely to washable removable covers.
--1 electric mug warmer
--1 music CD
--1 state travel book
--2 torn maps
--1 weight lifting book

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Helped dd clean bedroom this morning. I picked up a huge bag of trash and filled two sacks with outgrown clothes.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Day 8 and still going strong. I can't list what I have throw away because it's not really Toss Ten but more like Toss Thirty. I have cleaned drawers, bookcases, took two bags of clothes to an individual, filled another for Goodwill. I have a chair in my bedroom where I read and watch TV. Behind the chair I had stacked magazines and books. This morning I took everything out, vacuumed, threw away the magazines, am going to offer friends the books. I feel so good about cleaning the clutter. Thanks Tally Sue, I really needed this. Judy

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:48AM
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Today I joined you by tossing 15 old software discs from my old computer (1998-2008). Then I had second thoughts. Can I do this or can someone pick them out of the trash and use them? DO I CARE? Is there even any use for these?

The second thing is those old square floppy discs - some of them have personal info on them (genealogy & favorites list, eg). What do I do to destroy these? You can see I'm not a very trusting person when it comes to personal info. The drawer has more stuff, but I better leave it till later. I'd appreciate your answers.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 6:52PM
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I tossed a lot today but the big ticket items (as far as reclaimed space is concerned) were resume writing, job interviewing skills, and cover letter writing books--37 in all. These were from my executive consulting job.

I contacted a large church in my area that sponsors weekly job search workshops. I thought that perhaps they could create a lending library for their participants. They responded that they would love to have them.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 8:36PM
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Yesterday I tossed at least 10 paper items, notes, receipts, etc.

Today I tossed a bunch of boxes (didn't count)
a collection of plastic bottles
a Rubbermaid container

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:41PM
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Yesterday I tossed three old glass ceiling fan shades, a pair of black shoes, an old worthless sweater that the crew-neck collar had been cut out of (teenagers!), and a lot of small pieces of papers like receipts, a large cardboard box holding a new Vera Bradley tote, and a couple of magazines.

It may not be a perfect 10, but I'm not striving for perfection. I simply want to keep the momentum going but not overwhelm myself with expectations that I cannot reach.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:27AM
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old software discs from my old computer...old square floppy discs.

Doubtless anyone rooting through trash will care, but if it bothers you - take them out in the garage, get a hammer and a nail and pound a few holes through them.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 9:47AM
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a large cardboard box holding a new Vera Bradley tote

but you kept the tote, right? lol

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 11:10AM
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Of course! It's too adorable to toss! I could live in a world covered in Vera Bradley.

Yesterday I tossed lots of those junkly little things that are really to stupid to list (receipts, clothing tags, post-it notes to myself, plastic button bags) that cluttered up my bathroom countertop. I'm sure it was at least ten and now my countertop is clean for the first time in months. Made a decision to get rid of a Chiccos shirt I no longer care for. Got rid of a basket that I cannot use, though it is a nice basket. However, I am debating about whether I should give away a Vera Bradley cell phone case that is so bulky it doesn't make sense to use in a small purse (like those I carry). So I gave it to my teenage daughter. She can give it away if she can't use it. That's all for today!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:40AM
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Wow! Fantastic idea. So today was the first day and it wasn't too hard.

1. Recycling
2. 3 old sweaters
3. 2 t-shirts
4. old magazines
5. moldy fruit in the fridge
6. old baking pan
7. ripped socks
8. cardboard boxes from packing
9. jeans that don't fit anymore

  1. 2 trash bags

not bad for my first attempt!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 11:27AM
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i do hope you're recycling or donating and not just tossing...

i'm doing a biggie donating about 150 paperbacks to the local library...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 11:56AM
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I've got a new motivation now! We're having our house appraised for a mortgage refi next next Monday. I've got a lot of work to do. Today's list:

1. Two plastic boxes that held my very old hand mixers-nice boxes but rather impractical so I tossed them.
2. Old make-up, lotions, toiletry items
3. Two t-shirts that are still usable, but we have too many-donated
4. Broken office equipment
5. A nice pair of pink and orange ladies flip flops-donated
6. My friend's copy of Eat, Pray Love that I borrowed two months ago
7. An old pacifier (egads-what was I thinking?)
8. Various cardboard boxes to recycling from jewelry sized to shipping size
9. A cute plastic 3 x 5 index card holder shaped like an envelope-donate

  1. The ratty J Jill bag that I emptied that contained most of this junk which had been sitting in my closet for months quietly waiting for action.

My bathroom is far cleaner now (at least my side!), but we still have a long way to go. Thanks for your support and for "listening."


    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 3:06PM
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I've been busy, but not doing a lot of tossing right now. I finally bagged up all of the newspapers I had saved ...two paper bags worth... and took them over to the school and dropped them in the recycle bin.

I have gotten good at throwing away junk mail as it comes in. At least I don't have it lying around.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 4:46PM
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I'm not tossing. I take it to the local Goodwill store on the way to work :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 4:53AM
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I'm sure the "Toss Ten" term is for alliteration value and posters are Freecycling, donating, or whatever it takes to redistribute items that warrant being saved from the trash.

I'm blowing and going. I'm afraid if I list them then I will have a record of what I've tossed then regret it! LOL

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 10:23AM
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Lot's of papers sorted and tossed yesterday, plus a broken rubber ducky key ring. Not as much as I would have like, but I did a lot of "putting things where they belong" as well.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 9:34AM
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1. seven more magazines
2. four magic markers that were partially dried
3. cloissonne collector thimble
4. an old electric weed-eater (we took out the lawn months ago!)
5. some shirts that DH will never fit into again, and a couple that he just doesnâÂÂt wear
(Why is it so much easier to get rid of his too-tight clothing than mine?)
6. a piggy bank that heldâ¦
7. a couple hundred wheat pennies (gave to a relative)

Well, I didnâÂÂt get to ten, but at least I got rid of some stuff today.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Sorry to have dropped out! (I did spend an entire evening folding 6 loads of laundry. . . .

Thanks for keeping the spirit going.

(LOL, mustangs, for your "don't make me list them" spirit, and Judy for your "it's too many, I can't keep track"--I may borrow that from time to time, just because it gets tiring to keep the list going. So, I might do some highlights now and then)

also: animalnut, those 7 magazine can count individually, remember, so you're actually ahead! (Of course, you're also allowed to define them as a single item, if you think that'll motivate you more.)

Anyway, today is an at-home straightening-up sort of day. So I'll probably make up for it numerically.

I also know that I hit a bit of a wall; many of the easy things were gone, and I was looking at things that took a bit more nerve or steel in my spine to toss.

So, I chickened out. Anyway, you guys are all inspiring me, so here I go again!

So far today:

-DS's worn-out swim trunks
-a penguin stocking cap w/ a ding on the nose (so it looks funny) and some stains
-some stupid pieces of paper; I don't even remember what they were.
-a clock I bought to go in the bathroom

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 12:40PM
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I'm seeing some lessons about clutter, and discarding, etc., in so many of your examples. To make this fast, I'm not going to ID the member, but you know who you are!

-broken office equipment: Why do we do this? I do it to. It's busted--throw it out? Do we sit around and hope it'll heal? Is it that we can't bring ourselves to admit that this expensive item is now garbage? Does it seem too substantial?

-the plastic cup from the detergent: Me too with stuff like that. I think it's that it was so very handy, and then we didn't want to admit we can't find Cheer in powder form. And then we sort of stop thinking about it.

-that Chicco shirt and my clock: Purchases made w/ good intent that turn out not to be to our taste, or aren't useful.

("we can't admit" . . . a refusal to give up on hope? Maybe we need more confidence that the future will bring us good things--better office equipment, or a well-designed scoop in the new detergent?)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 12:45PM
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From my original post

Also, "toss" means: out of your house. Trash, recycle, regift, donate, Freecycle, whatever. Out. Gone. NOT stashed somewhere else. The idea is not to bog the discussion down w/ rhetoric about recycling, and landfills, etc.

So, let's not bother with that. I'm sure everyone here is responsible enough to figure out where each unwanted item ought to properly end up. If we're going to discuss those issues, let's move that to a different thread.

I also find that once someone starts talking to me about whether these things still have any value (i.e., they start lecturing me that I should donate or recycle them), it actually slows me down and de-motivates me.

Those things are ALREADY being disposed of properly; to be asked to stop and dwell on that just short-circuits the mental processes.

(though I will admit that many of these things I'm tossing go straight into the garbage--because they are garbage. And I think, "why didn't I throw these out a while ago?" I guess it's because I never really looked at them before.)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 12:47PM
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I'm noticing that a lot of these things we're tossing are sort of the result of inertia, or of simply not keeping up with time.

(clothes kids have outgrown, toys they don't use anymore)

So, it's good we're getting them out finally--this isn't failure, or irresponsibility. This is "systems working *as they should*."

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 12:48PM
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OK, I'm up to about 47 or so. (seriously, I have no idea, but it's a big list)

Some highlights:
-a bolt of fabric I once had a plan for but am not really ever going to do anything with

-a bunch of freebies from work, all of them unused. (tote bags, umbrellas, etc.)

-a bunch of decorative storage boxes. I haven't actually used them. I suppose a year or more from now I might actually find myself buying them all over again, but oh well . . . at least I won't have to store them in the meanwhile.

-a ton of shoes that are really worn out. I have hard-to-fit feet, so I tend to hold onto the shoes that do fit, even if they are too worn out.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 9:00PM
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Tossed today:
* 6 no-longer-favorite eye shadows
* handful of lipsticks not liked enough to finish with a brush
* 2 DH's underwear that I wouldn't wear if I were male (yes, behind his back)
* rinsed and discarded a huge, almost-empty liquid laundry detergent jug -- such space I gained!

Small steps, but I'm determined to keep going.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:51AM
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Rule interpretation--does consolidation count?

I consolidated:
3 jars of jam into one
4 moisturizers
2 cans of paint
2 same size, different shape pasta

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 8:16AM
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Rule interpretation--does consolidation count?

Assuming you discarded the empties, you tossed 2 jam jars, 2 lids for the jam jars, 3 moisturizer bottles, 3 nozzles or lids for the moisturizers, one empty paint can, one paint can lid, and one empty pasta box = THIRTEEN ITEMS!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Yep, what lazygardens says. (though I wouldn't count lids, not in any scenario)

In fact, Cup and I both did the "put something away, so you can toss the box it was in; count the box" (hers was a Vera Bradley tote; mine was shoes or something).

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 3:05PM
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I don't want to hijack this thread, but just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration! I have a big clean out project going right now, and I am trying to get through that harder stuff Talley Sue was talking about earlier. In my case, I feel so much lighter after dealing with this stuff, that if I were counting, I'd count it as 2 - once for the stuff and once for the emotional weight I was free of!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 4:05PM
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I haven't been here in a while - Talley Sue you've given me a good reason to come by more often! I am going to join you. This is a GREAT idea!


1. Pile of kids books that none of mine want (about 20 books)
2. Pile of adult books I don't want (6 books)
3. 3 Bags of newspaper to the recycling bin
4. BIG bag of cans & bottles to the recycling bin
5. Almost empty conditioner bottle - it's out of the shower!
6. Face scrub I tried but didn't like
7. Almost empty tube of shower gel (don't like it anyway!)
8. Pair of high-waist Mom shorts that make me look like a soccer mom
9. WAY worn out pair of tennis shoes

  1. Snap-Hooks that looked great "as seen on TV" but don't actually work.
    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 6:56PM
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OK cupofkindness, you made me do it. My Vera Bradley tote box was upstairs in a closet. Several days ago I looked at it and then closed the closet door. Well yesterday I cleaned out my pantry and have many kitchen things for Goodwill. I didn't have enough boxes to put them in so went and got the Vera Bradley box. But-t-t it is a nice box. LOL The VB box was sitting on an empty mattress topper box so it goes too. Why do we save boxes?? Judy

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 8:25PM
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LOL I do not havce time to read all the way through this right now but had to comment on this comment from frankie_in_zone_7 said."It is so telling--you make a trip to Wal-Mart or Target or the department store (or all 3) and wow, if you write everything down ( and exclude use-uppables, like food, shampoo, paper towels), you can really tell what is going on. So it's a variation on the OP in that, to make headway or stay even if you're happy where you are, then you can't toss 10 but bring in 12!"

My biggest purchase in Walmart is cat food and cat litter. There is no way I am going to keep track of that one in a book.Hehehehe

Gotta get back to work. Great thread Tally Sue.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:55PM
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Someone brought this thread to us at the Smaller Homes forum, where we always are conscious of space issues in our homes. So tossing is an ever-present activity if we want to stay comfy in our smaller spaces.

Today before I read this thread, I began tossing
1. Four cocktail glasses....we never used them anyway.
2. Four heavy bottomed water glasses, which DH seems to always drop on the granite floor, and which become a hazard to my diabetic issue.
3. Junk mail
4. Last year's yellow pages for my home town
5. Envelopes w/ flaps stuck down and no longer useful
6. Empty CD cases
7. Scratched music CDs that are too too dirty
8. Combined doggy treats into 1 jar, tossed the empty.
9. Used the 2 tick collars and tossed the box and packaging.

  1. Tossed the empty huge liquid detergent bottle.
  2. 3 pair DH briefs that were losing elasticity in the baggy briefs around here please.

There was more, and will be much more, but some things require meditation before disposing of. Great thread, BTW.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:32PM
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Oh boy, I had a great day; I toss 4 X Ten. I even Freecycled: Highchair (I checked with DGD first to see if she was a big girl now)
4 AC filters
27 books

**Update on the 37 resume writing/interview skills/cover letter books that I donated to a church sponsored weekly networking workshop: Based on a phone conversation, the facilitator has asked me to be a consultant to the group. I will observe tomorrow night to see what the agenda is and what I can contribute.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 11:36PM
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This is a great idea. I'm going with a Toss 7, because 7 is a meaningful number to me.

I started last night with my nightstand drawer, and I'm committed to tossing 7 items a day. :)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:47AM
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moccasinlanding, welcome to the thread!

And hey, no cheating--you tossed 11!! ;-)


I'm off to find my 10 items.
(I don't think all the used tissues from my cold will count, will they? If they did, I'd be WAY ahead!)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 7:45PM
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even though Ive purged so much stuff over the last few years this topic has inspired me to "dig deeper" :)

I havent kept track of a few things I purged this week but today I pulled about 30 balls of good quality yarn out of the cupboard that I was never going to use and I'm donating them to an animal shelter that has someone who knits up blankets for the animals. They're not technically out of the house yet but I've boxed them already and Monday they are heading to the post office!

I feel good about it and Im counting it as 30 LOL. I also tossed some other things like bags they were in and half finished knitting projects I found as well.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 3:59AM
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I've been following this thread with joy in my heart.

I'm a modified version of a FLYbaby. I have some daily schedules and chores. I swish and swipe; I keep the kitchen sink clean. I'm always at least thinking of decluttering. Still, I need "help!"

We're trying to fix up the old place. It can be a mess. Thankfully I'm no longer a shopper; "things" don't interest me except for the few furniture pieces I'm seaching for.

This thread has been an extra boost to my motivation. I've haven't gotten rid of 10 items every day, but I have sent more things out the door than before...and some days I toss more than 10 items.

This week's focus has been in my sewing/craft/ladies' parlour room. It's a small (12x12) room with two windows, two closets, and beautiful morning light. It was also becoming a "catch-all" since I don't have chairs in there right now. I've not been sewing/crafting/or visiting in there, it was easy to "set it in here for now".

My goal is to consolidate the sewing/crafting items to where I can remove the old put-it-together-yourself white storage pantry. I think having an antique chest-on-chest, and two closets, each nearly 5-ft wide and fitted from floor to ceiling with adjustible shelves, should be enough "crafting" storage for anyone.

I've "shared" at least 1/3 of my beads and beading supplies with another crafter.

I FreeCycled an excellent, 1970s sewing machine and cabinet to a lady who has time and space to sew...but no machine.

I've sent snippets and scraps on to better homes, and now I'm down to the "big" decisions. I need to "declutter" one more working but not-overly-valuable sewing machine, and let go of one box of fabrics. Oh...and those two stacks of 1980s shoes, still in the boxes and no longer fit...and never will...? I think they need to boogie on down the highway! LOL Thanks to you, today is the day!

I had several boxes on the 2x4 work table filled with items I'm mailing to people. I got two of them finished and sealed last night. They go out in the mail Monday. Hopefully I'll have all of them ready by then.

Thanks to you people; it's starting to look like my "Ladies Parlour" again. I plan on furnishing the room with two small wing chairs, a tea table with lamp, a tall bookcase, along with the sewing cabinet, and a folding sewing table, (stays in the closet when not in use). It will look "roomy" and "airy." Conductive to creative thinking.

The room is big enough a twin bed can be added if we have a guest that does not want to stay downstairs. DH can bring up the bed in no time, and I don't have to work around it in my "it's not a bedroom" craft room.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 1:20PM
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I'm still TOSSING.

Yesterday I freecycled:
5 vases
8 softball helmets
vacuum cleaner
ironing board

I tossed 6 other items.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 7:27AM
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I forgot to report-Monday I tossed 18 pairs of new and nearly new underwear. The collection was like rings on a tree in that it told a story i.e. going from sexy, lacy, size small to medium size bikini, to large granny panties. Okay, a little too much information!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:23PM
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You've inspired me-again! I backslid from the last time we did this - thanks, Talley Sue for prodding us. One of the things that's helping me is a rule I made up that I can never go down to the basement without bringing up anything I can grab to get rid of. So this is what I got out of the house in the last week:

china platter
large vase
log cabin tin
old gift
1962 World Book Encyclopedia (26 volumes plus index)
computer discs & floppies
garden hose
tea kettle
oriental rug (I must admit I stalled around on this, but decided I just couldn't deal with selling, so I donated)
large tray
plastic box
2 kerchiefs
Hallowe'en decorations (7)
straw filter for pool (didn't work)
Easter decoration
electric can-opener/knife sharpener
2 really old folders
blanket(one of those "gifts" that charities send you for contributing - wish they wouldn't do that)
4 new calenders (how many can I use, anyway?)

I now look around the house through different eyes. Everything is now fair game, so watch out, DH, your stuff is also moving out! Actually he doesn't care what I do, especially with things he hasn't seen for years.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 6:05PM
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I've been playing along this week, but haven't gotten a chance to post my results. Not sure if I can sustain this with 10 items *every* day -- but it's a good organizing tool!

Saturday -- mailed out three sets of three home made jams along with sachets from my garden to friends who enjoy my crafty efforts.

Sunday -- Took 7 empty paint cans, and 4 dubious garden sprays found in the basement to the hazardous dump-off place.

Monday --- bagged up 10 items -- shirts still in good shape, belts I've never used, some pants I'll never fit again -- and dropped them off at the clothing recycling bin.

Tuesday -- took at good 20 battles, cans and boxes to the recycling dumpster.

Wednesday -- threw out a dozen blueberry and raspberry containers I had thought to use to sort little craft pieces, but were ending up just taking up space.

Thursday -- posted a bag of fabric on Freecycle and said good-bye to several dozen pieces. Used up some fleece piecess and old, stained towels to make quick doggie beds, and dropped them off at the pet shelter.

Friday -- Took nearly 30 political yard signs collected by my neighbors to the recycling center.

I'm out of town this weekend, but I start out Monday morning by taking sseveral dozen Christmas items to the consignment sale shop -- whicch will leave me with only 97 million more to get rid of! (That's a long story in itself!)

I'm still bringing more into my new house than I take out, but it's kind of a nice feeling to know I'm pruning some stuff as well.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 10:09AM
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Started cleaning the garage ... dunno how much I tossed, but if the contents were hardened, if it was a part for a car no longer on the premises, etc. it's either in the freecycle box or the trash can.

Amazing how much more room I have.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 11:35AM
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Thanks for the inspiration Talley Sue. I'm sticking to your rules because they are so flexible: counting each item individually if need be to make 10 works for me!

My house & garden are have been neglected for so long that I'm going to try and apply your Ten method to some other areas that need daily attention:
Toss Ten
Put away Ten
Clean Ten

I'm telling myself it's possible as long as I keep the rules flexible the way you intended. So washing one load of laundry could count as Cleaned 10 (at least, but I won't list each piece) and putting it away could count the same way. If I get up early and do these, I won't run out of time at the end of the day(s) and have such a pile up. By Gosh, I may even develop good habits.

Also, Talley Sue, regarding your comments about us NOT judging each other for HOW items are tossed: I just read that if we start judging and evaluating our performance WHILE we are performing, it will stop us dead in our tracks. It has something to do with our brains not being able to perform/evaluate at the same time. I think that is what gets me in trouble in the first place! My instinct says "toss", my head starts second guessing, progress stops and clutter results.

This may be the way to my goals of having a neater, cleaner, clutter-free house & garden.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 7:25AM
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Results of my 1st attempt:
Old jar candle
Ineffective tile spray
Thank you note received last summer
2 Junk Mail
5 duplicate copies

+1-7 Dishes
Smooth Stove top
Litter box

Put Away:
+1-4 Unloaded Dishwasher
+5-8 Folded Dryer Load
Coat & scarf
box cutter

The hardest was the Tosses! Hmmmm... I think this can force me out of my All or Nothing Mindset and into taking little bites on a regular basis.

I like the idea of 3,650 less pieces of clutter in my house a year from now.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 8:13PM
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I like the idea of 3,650 less pieces of clutter in my house a year from now. That really puts this in a different light. Thanks!

But...I'm having to calculate a net toss as I am bringing stuff into the house. Granted, the purchases are more calculated than before.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 9:37PM
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I read this thread this morning and thought about doing it. Then I read lov2garden's post that said "I like the idea of 3,650 less pieces of clutter in my house a year from now" and I knew I HAD to do this, so begin I did...
And I'm going to do it everyday for a year...though some days will be more than 10. So today was living room/entry room...

I got rid of the following:
*6 ac adapters that I have kept putting back thinking someday I'd figure out what they went to.
*a bunch of clutter paper, just stuff that I was saving because someone might ask me about it.
*a reduce, reuse, recycle project that my son made a while back and was just taking up space.
*3 or four pairs of shoes
*pampered chef mandolin gifted to a friend.
*10 issues of various magazines gifted to my mom who will recycle them after she reads them.
*a bunch of miscellaneous cardboard boxes from things that I bought and thought for some reason I might use the box.
*4 or 5 telephone books (really, why did I have so many?)
*1 broken window blind

I know there was a bunch of other stuff, but these are the big things. I'm going to post everyday from now through the night before thanksgiving about the items I am getting rid of each day. (Tuesdays are hard for me because I'm only home about an hour that night, so I may miss those, but I'll do 15 items the following two nights to "make up" for it. So it's like 170 items gone before that day. That's going to make a HUGE difference in my house.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 11:11PM
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Talley Sue are you still doing the Toss Ten? I didn't see any recent postings from you. I think this is an excellent idea and I am going to join in, at least until all my excess "baggage" is gone. That will be years from now!

I finished cleaning out our garage and it is the first time since we owned a house that we are able to actually park a car in there. I'm talking about 40 years of marriage here. It feels so good to have at least one car that will not have snow on it this winter.

I'm not going to count stuff that goes out to the garbage...that would be too easy. I am going to count only the stuff that I put in a box that will be going to our Big Brothers/Sisters Consignment shop. The boxes as they fill will go into the trunk of my car and will be dropped off as the trunk fills or if I am down that way.

Having cleaned out the garage, I feel so good and am now starting on the house. I actually came to this forum for hints on how to organize the stuff I am keeping. We have moved from a very large house down to one that is only 1000 square feet but with deaths in our family we accumulated others belongings as well. As we age, I can see us having to move to something even smaller in the future and I want to make it easier for me while I still have the health to do it.

I'm off now to get started but have to do some outside work first before the snow comes. Then it's down to my basement to find 10 things.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Oh & dh? He got rid of 2 shirts. :(

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 1:51PM
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This thread is great! I am so looking forwarding to starting this. My DH will be hunting this weekend, so I will start my toss ten this evening!! We just finished a small kitchen remodel, so we have tons of stuff just sitting around, and I have about had it!! I honestly don't know how just two people who don't have any kids can accumulate so much stuff!!

I'll start with these:
*light fixture boxes
*glasses that we don't use anymore
*phonebooks from the past 10 years
*3-4 pair of shoes (maybe more!)
*clothes that I don't wear
*clothes that DH doesn't wear

That's all I can think of for now. Can't wait to get started this evening!!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 1:59PM
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I haven't been posting my Toss 10 but I've been doing it and I can see a difference. Mostly it's been catalogs and magazines and the odd cleaning product or cosmetic item that never lived up to its promises.

Wish I could say I've Cleaned 10 and Put Away 10 each day too but I keep running out of time! The +10 Cleaned and Put Aways daily have been washing and putting away dishes but I'd like to expand beyond that.

Oh, bite at a time. Meanwhile, the Toss 10 is becoming a habit. Yayyyy!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 12:41AM
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I'm working on the garage ... with some "Toss 10" and some "put away 10 things where they belong" I've been making steady progress.

Saturday is the a charity collection day, so the bench outside the house is getting piled with the usable stuff.

at least 10 pieces of fleece outerwear
lighting fixtures we removed recently
small electric appliances the kids used in college and left

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:17AM
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I'm now turning this into a habit (beginning to be aware of what I actually need), but this is so SLOW! The other day I threw out 20 things from the basement, and, other than the lid to the 1950's diaper pail, the rest would have fit in a plastic food bag. I've got to aim for the big stuff first - more satisfying.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:26PM
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plow_in -
We refer to it as "cubage". Reclaiming several cubic feet of space at once is a good feeling.

I'm opening boxes that have been sitting there for a couple of years and deciding if they can be tossed, consolidated with similar objects, or put in a smaller container.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 8:28AM
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I'm sorry to say that I've sort of fallen off the wagon.

I'm restarting, though--I think I hit a sort of wall. Lots of easy stuff was gone, and I felt like I needed more steel to tackle some of the rest.

But you guys are inspiring! I'll try to check back in here more often to catch some of the energy.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 9:52PM
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I just discovered this thread about the toss ten game and I want to play! I need to get back in the habit of regular decluttering. I have been tossing and giving away lots of little things this past week but I didn't keep count. When my new vacuum cleaner arrived DH took the old one out to the curb. I didn't feel it was reliable enough to donate but it disappeared from the curb within an hour. Efficient recycling! Next DH took out an old TV we have not turned on for months, and then a computer desk, with the same result. I'm looking around for the next item to make a trip to the curb where the garbage men will haul it away - that is, if no on picks it up before hand!
I need to get back in the habit of eliminating and simplifying. Lately there have been more things coming in than going out. Not good in a house I still find much too cluttered despite past purges.
Tomorrow I am going to clean out the medicine cabinet and maybe a drawer or two.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 9:23PM
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9 partial cans of paint and one huge bag of dog chews gone to craigslist freebies. :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 6:03PM
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