Day 16

Today was a busy day, but we were able to gather our 16 items. Nothing really exciting made it to the pile, but we managed to purge more things. It’s amazing how many things you can find with a challenge like this. Our book shelves are down to favorites now, so we’re having to look in stored boxes & closets to see what we can let go of. It’s nice to see some space on the shelves. I mentioned to Chris that I’d like to paint the floor downstairs, now that I can actually see it.

photo(103)Chris’ items: Clothing, books, yet another keyboard & mouse, magazines & a tool box.
Ophelia’s items: clothing, pillows, 2 Moroccan lamps, a ‘fancy’ purse for date nights.
All items donated to Value Village, where they now know us by name. 🙂


Day 15 – The Hump

It really doesn’t matter that we are halfway through the month.  We will be giving more in the next 5 days than the previous 15 combined.  We are running out of easy give-aways.  Yes we are giving away bathroom products.  Old shoes and climbing pants.  Ophelia bravely parted with her framed Charlotte’s Web cover (she loves that thing.)  We are still digging out redundant and old electronic items.  We probably have 5 keyboards, so one has to go.


Day 14 – Magazines

Today we dipped into all those magazines we’ve been meaning to read.  3 years later…  Then we have all those IPod and IPad chargers and USB connectors that made up our mass pile of electronic stuff.  Chris has two nice scarves.  Only Chris never wears scarves and frankly, Seattle isn’t the Windy City.  Not.  Needed.  Ophelia has lots of belts.  These stuck around for over 12 years.  Good bye!  photo(100)

Day 13 – The Basement

It’s gotten easier.  Maybe it’s because we’ve been giving items away for two weeks now.  We’ve each given things away which had meaning to us.  Things we’ve become attached to.  Yet, if you asked us if we felt we made any mistakes or if we regret giving items away we would say no.  We spent the weekend gathering many days worth of items.  We needed to take some of the pressure off of finding items each day.  At this point in the challenge we are digging deep.  The bookshelves are rapidly emptying out.  Once they do it will be much more difficult.

The challenge has transformed the mood and emotion of our basement.  It’s where we stored all our extra stuff.  The stuff that clogged corridors and sat in piles to be dealt with at a later date.  Now there is space to walk.  We can see all four walls.  The piles are fewer and fewer.  That anxious feeling in our guts is slowly dissolving.  It’s not a space to be avoided.  It is becoming part of our living space.


Stuff we gave away:

More books on running, climbing, scrambling, philosophy, Alaska, Nepal, plant identification, Julius Caesar, Ayurveda, Ram Dass, poetry, dating, etc, etc.

Clothes we don’t need. Old cassette deck adapters.  Old and obsolete ipod found on the ground (still working!) one rainy day.

Day 12

Crunch time. At day 12, there’s not a whole lot that you won’t consider purging to make your daily item goal. Today, I purged 2 pillows that I’d been keeping to make covers for (sewing machine required and well,….), a bunch of books, a bamboo bowl, 5lb weights, some totally adorable Gustav Klimt cardboard tiles and several pairs of goal jeans (I’ve got a new goal now.) Honestly, I had very little anxiety about purging this pile (Well, maybe a little with the Klimt tiles….) I’m realizing more and more that it’s just ‘stuff’.

Chris is still downsizing his bookshelf.

Weights & climbing books gifted to a neighbor via BUY NOTHING PROJECT
All other items donated to Value Village.

Day 11

Now that we’re in the double digits, we’re feeling the heat. Every day feels like an overhaul of items that we own. What will make the cut? What do we maybe like, but don’t need or use? How far are we willing to go to create an uncluttered space? Apparently, quite far.

My items for today include: 2 posters, books, clothing, a scarf, a shelf organizer (I may regret that one), dominoes and a stack of cards.

Chris is purging a lot of books for this challenge, so his lot is mostly that.

photo(97)Books donated to Seattle Public Library
All other items donated to Goodwill

Day 10

It’s getting a little easier for me to purge my books now. After the first few piles, we’ve created an empty space on the shelf and I’m amused by the void. I almost want to see how far I can push myself with books alone, as I have an deep love for owning books and usually hate to let them go. I remember when I first moved to Seattle from Toronto 8 years ago, I drove all the way to Buffalo just to be able to ship 24 boxes of books here, to avoid having to part with them. It was my “thing” but I think it’s becoming less so now. A few years ago, I picked up a book by Brooks Palmer called Clutterbusting, where he has a chapter on purging books. It’s a simple 3 question list, that you refer to, that makes the whole process easier.

There are still many books that I will keep (she says confidently on Day 10), a lot of which are my go-to trauma books and spiritual favorites. But I do see purging quite a few more before the end of the month. Stay tuned.


Ophelia’s items: Books donated to Value Village today, with the exception of an abuse documentary and Post-postpartum depression book, gifted to a therapist friend.

Chris’ items: More books on masculinity, a herb dictionary and Roman history.