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287th day

Today, a rainy Tuesday, December 12th, I threw away an old toy monkey – one of those wind-up ones – which doesn’t work anymore. I can’t even remember when I got it. I think it was in my 30s.

Yesterday, I threw away N’s old text books.

On 10th Dec, I threw away her old files and school notes.

On 9th Dec, I threw away Santa.

elep, bell, santa, toy

From 6th to 8th Dec, I threw away a porcelain girl bell, a silver elephant case and a paper toy (wrapped in plastic). All these were sentimental knick knacks I had kept for years.

On 5th Dec, I threw away a torch I kept for so long, with batteries inside, that the batteries had oozed liquid.

On 4th Dec, I threw away a key chain that lights up. I had bought for it for my girls but they didn’t want it.

From 30 Nov to 3rd Dec, I threw away more mementoes from the past – a sports medal I won when I was a copywriter, 2 McDonald’s badges because they were my client and a glass commemorating the anniversary of my old school.

ad medal, IJcup, Mcd badge x2

On 29th Nov, I threw away a rattan pouch.

On 28th Nov, I threw away 5 stones. It’s a game made up of 5 triangle shaped  ‘stones’, encased in fabric, usually filled with beans. I played with 5 stones when I was a kid but this set was given to me in my 40s.

On 27th Nov, I threw away a phone charger that didn’t work well.

On 26th Nov, I threw away a handmade soap. It was a gift but I didn’t like the scent.

On 25th Nov, I recycled these lovely Chinese notepaper which I’d been saving since I bought them in my 20s. I’m getting ruthless. Very few things mean anything anymore.

chinese notepaper

On 24th Nov, I recycled an old blue shirt which was used so often, it’s out of shape now.

On 23rd Nov, I recycled the kids’ red winter hat passed down from older cousins.

On 22nd and 21st Nov, I recycled 2 pink children’s winter hats.

On 20th and 19th Nov, I recycled 2 cute kids’ ear muffs.

ear muffs

From 15th to 18th Nov,  I recycled 4 DVDs- Feeling Minnesota with Keanu Reaves, the Tailor of Panama, Sex and Lucia, and Three coins in the Fountain.

From 12th to 14th Nov, I recycled 3 more DVDs- Oscar and Lucinda, Harold and Maude, and American Yakuza.

In the last 1 month, I’ve had to deal with much unpleasantness. I’ve been trying to avoid taking sleeping pills but I needed them to deal with legal and housing matters. On the other hand, I managed to take a holiday with the children so that was the silver lining in my storm cloud.

robot

My mantra, to get from one day to the next, is Be a robot.

 

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Culling shoes

I’ve put a reindeer as the main picture because it’ll be the only pretty thing in today’s blog. Also, Christmas is coming and I love Christmas.

In the past few weeks, I’ve cleaned up my shoe closet. Today, I’m recycling a pair of green sandals I bought for my kids which they didn’t like.

2slippers

Yesterday I threw away the gold slippers you see next to the green sandals.

From 1st to 8th November, I threw away 8 old sneakers. Only 1 was mine. The rest from my kids. Not showing any photos of worn sneakers.

On 31st Oct, I recycled a pair of hardly used sandals. Again, it’s one of those I bought which they didn’t like.

From 28th to 30th October, I recycled these three pairs of sandals which I think look good. But they obviously disagree.

3pairs copy

From 25th to 27th October, I threw away 2 pairs of my kids’ shoes and 1 pair nobody claimed was theirs. Very mysterious.

On 24th Oct, I threw away an old pair of heels that’s so old the nail was poking through.

oldpair

I also recycled 3 pairs of hotel slippers still in good condition. Since they’re identical, I’ll count them as one. So that can be counted for tomorrow November 11th.

I’m wondering if I should have a countdown. As of today, I’d have thrown 255 things. But countdown to what? 365? 500? 1000 is a nice round number but all it says is I’d have thrown away 1000 things. Or maybe it’s the mood I’m in. We’re having the inter-monsoon season now. Rainy days and Fridays always gets me down…

 

237th day or my 25th Wedding Anniversary

I was married 25 years ago today.

The stress is getting to me. My cognitive functions – memory, alertness, mental acuity – are impaired. Last Friday, I booked an air ticket when I should’ve known better.

Then on Saturday I blanked out at the end of choir practice. One minute the conductor was signalling a member to start the closing prayer. The next moment the prayer had ended. I must have lost 5- 10 minutes (approximate time the prayer usually lasts). I was quite confused. On Sunday, I left a bag at an exhibition I went to.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Frequent low level headaches. For the past 2 years, I’ve been in a perpetual jet-lag.

From 25th September to today 23rd October, (29 days), I gave away DVDs and a CD. Sorry for the long list. If I don’t mention anything next to the item, it simply means I should’ve given it away years ago.

September 25th Mon – A Good Year. I never really liked Russel Crowe anyway.

210th day, September 26th – Y tu Mama Tambian with Gael Garcia Bernal.

September 27th – House of Sand and Fog. Good show but not something I’d want to watch again.

September 28th –Wives and Daughters – given to me by a friend. Never watched it.

September 29th – Recipe For A Perfect Christmas. Ordered from Amazon because I like Christine Baranski. However even she couldn’t save the poor story. I couldn’t even finish it.

September 30th – No reservations. I watched it because I like stories with food. This is not a good story.

October 1st Sun – Step Up. Given to me. Didn’t watch it.

October 2nd – The Bad Mother’s Handbook. Just the title put me away from watching it.

3

October 3rd – Thumbsucker. Ordered from Amazon because I love Keanu. Unfortunately the synopsis and cover looked so bad I didn’t want to ruin my impression of him. Didn’t watch it.

October 4th – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Given to me by a friend. Don’t like Nicolas Cage because he has a perpetual sad drunk look.

 

October 5th – Serendipity. One of my favourite rom coms. I have another copy.

October 6th – Romancing the Stone. Ordered it from Amazon because I felt nostalgic. But after receiving it, I felt its ‘datedness’.

October 7th – Charlie’s Angels. Given to me.

4

October 8th – Twister. Already watched it. Not something I’d watch again.

October 9th – 881. A locally made movie. I thought it would inspire me when I was writing a screenplay. I didn’t finish watching it.

October 10th – Crying ladies. A Filipino made movie. Small budget but pretty good. But not something I’d watch again.

October 11th – Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts. Given to me. Not interested in watching.

October 12th – New Girl in Town with Renee Zellweger. Her voice annoys me. Is it just me?

October 13th – Modern family box set. I like the series but I certainly wouldn’t want to watch it again. I didn’t buy it.

October 14th – Another season of Modern family. What a waste of money.

October 15th – Big Bang Theory box set. I like BB but I don’t rewatch TV series.

October 16th – Enya CD bought decades ago when I was into Enya.

7

October 17th – Something’s Gotta Give. I’m glad I watched it. Keanu’s lovely! But I wouldn’t watch it again because he didn’t get the girl! Seriously? Jack Nicolson over Keanu?

October 18th – Knocked up. Given to me. Sigh.

October 19th – You’ve got Mail. Love Tom Hanks but not crazy about Meg Ryan. She seems a bit smug.

October 20th – 17 Again. Nice rom com but I’m quite ruthless in my culling.

October 21st – 2 Weeks Notice. No chemistry between Sandra Bullock (whom I love) and Hugh Grant (not fond of playboy types).

October 22nd – Calendar Girls. Nice British movie. Not something I’d watch again.

October 23rd – PS I love you. The irony. I saved this for today. I’ve never watched it though. I can just imagine crying throughout the movie. Nope.

8

 

 

 

How it works

Some of you may wonder- do I actually throw 1 thing a day? No, that would be too time consuming. I usually gather a bunch then I blog. There are always things to be recycled (old clothes) or thrown (expired stuff) and I come across them almost daily. I take a photo of them, then throw them or put the recyclables in a bag. I bring the bags to Salvation Army when I can find someone to help me.

A few weeks ago, I decided to cull my bookshelf. I recycled 25 books:

Thur 31st Aug – Geronimo Stilton’s The Mona Mousa Code. I remember buying this for No.3 at a small indie bookshop. She was about 8 then, lively and excited about getting a new book. She’s always tired these days 😦

Fri 1 Sept – Kids Encyclopaedia, Music and Art. My sister gave me a 2nd hand set (10?) of kids’ encyclopaedias. No. 3 only allowed me to recycle 3. Even though she doesn’t read them now, I think she’s sentimental over them.

Sat 2 Sept – Kids Encyclopaedia, Everyday Life

Sun 3 Sept – Kids Encyclopaedia, The World We Live In

Mon 4 Sept – Snoopy’s Guide to Writing. An old, dear friend gave this to me. I don’t think I finished reading it. I didn’t find it funny. It just made me sad.

Tue 5 Sept – Singapore Siu Dai

Wed 6 Sept – Writing a Novel and Getting Published. There was a time when I bought books like these as I was starting to write a novel. But I never got down to reading them. There was always something else more interesting or more urgent I needed to do. Haha the novel is still a work in progress.

16

 

Thur 7 Sept – Dialogue

Fri 8 Sept – Writing the Novel – Plot to Print

Sat 9 Sept – John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. I have another copy.

Sun 10 Sept – Mister Pip. Award winning but I doubt I’d read it again.

Mon 11 Sept – To Kill a Mockingbird. I have 2 more copies. Each of my 3 kids studied it.

Tue 12 Sept – Evolutionary Illustrations of Chinese Characters

Wed 13 Sept – 6 Weddings and 2 Funerals

Thur 14 Sept – The Business of Writing for Children

TODAY! Fri 15 Sept – 5 Plays from 3rd Stage

Tomorrow, Sat 16 Sept would be the 200th day. I can easily get rid of another 200 things! Seeing my book shelf getting neater actually makes me feel better. I  will recycle Pulp fiction screenplay. I have another one.

13

Sun 17 Sept – Frommers Vancouver and Victoria. I bought a lot of guide books about Vancouver when I went there about 15 years ago!

Mon 18 Sept – Lonely Planet Vancouver and British Columbia

Tue 19 Sept – Malaysia and Singapore handbook

Wed 20 Sept – Lonely planet best in travel 2012

Thur 21 Sept – Prayer for Living Year C

Fri 22 Sept – Dictionary of Differences

Sat 23 Sept – Ritual is Theatre, Theatre is Ritual

Sun 24 Sept – When Heart meets Spirit

I’m sorry if today’s blog is boring. I don’t know how to save it (and not publish it) so I can make it more interesting when I am not so tired. The last few days have been intense. I just came back from a lawyer’s meeting. I just want to space out.

 

183rd day

Today I gave away a packet of bark -looking herbs that came from a Chinese New Year hamper. I have absolutely no idea what it is. I can only assume it’s meant for cooking.

Yesterday I recycled a book I never read- What every kid wished their parent knew. I flipped through it before I tossed it in the bag. Firstly, it’s meant for little kids which mine aren’t anymore so it’s a bit late. Secondly, it’s filled with cliches.

On Monday 28th August, I tossed another book Time’s Creative Analysis which belonged to No.1 daughter. Which brings me to whether it’s cheating if I throw out someone else’s things. But I figure, this process is to help me heal, so whatever makes me feel better is ok. I write the rules!

On Sunday, I threw away a photo keychain I bought from Daiso, a $2 shop. I actually bought 2 of these, one of which I gave to one of my daughters. Can’t remember who. I thought (still think) it’s pretty nifty- You insert a photo of your loved one and it’s supposed to light up. The problem is I need to unscrew it to insert one of those tiny batteries. I’d need to find a photo small enough, find the right screw driver, buy the right battery… it’s just too much work.

photokeyring
I finally figured out how to decrease the size of my photos!

On Saturday 26th August, I threw away expired unopened dried mushroom (from the same hamper I got the bark from).

The day before that, I threw away white Ikea sofa covers which were washed so often, they’re torn.

On Thursday, I threw away No. 3’s shorts which were hardly used but stained from bleach.

stained shorts

On Wednesday, I threw out 2 bags of Primary 6 books saved by No. 1 for her sisters. There must be at least 40 text books, assessment books, test papers etc but I’m using 1 day for all this. Don’t say I’m cheating.

On Tuesday, I threw out a plastic skipping rope.

On Monday, I threw out No. 1’s messenger bag which she handed down to No. 3. I never knew what a messenger bag was until she asked for one.

On Sunday, I recycled a lovely letter opener I received from a friend. I never used it because I just rip my letters open with my hands!

On 19th August Saturday, my pre-molar dropped out. After I finished a Milo cereal bar, I used my tongue to get rid of the bits stuck in between my teeth. After some prodding, my tooth fell out! Ok, it was a crown but still, the whole tooth, not just the crown fell out, leaving a gaping hole in my gums. There wasn’t any blood or pain. I think it’s just rotted through and through.

tooth
I threw it away so I guess you can count it.

The day before, I threw away expired shampoo.

On Thur, the 170th day, I threw away cotton shorts for sleeping but I don’t use it because I need long pants.

On Wednesday, I threw away a Mom t-shirt. Can’t remember who bought it for me. It’s still in good condition because I hardly wear it. I didn’t find it very funny because it was true.

mom tshirt

From 13th – 15th August, I threw away expired face cleanser, a paper fan, a small tray for knick knacks I never used. I’m not a knick-knacks kind of person.

On 11-12th August, I threw away 2 tins of seasoning. One was hardly used. The other was unused.

expired beef + pork seasoning

On Thursday 10th August, I threw away expired cinnamon.

On Wednesday, Singapore’s National day, I threw away a favourite blouse- it’s a khaki sleeveless top that drapes nicely on me. I bought it in my 20s. When I first bought it, I used it for special occasions. When the seams frayed and holes appeared, I used it at home. But now, I think it’s time it got to rest.

broken fav tshirt

On Tuesday, I threw out expired horseradish

On Monday, I threw out expired truffle pesto I bought in Italy in 2013 which was so precious I was saving it for a special occasion. Sigh.

On the 5th and 6th of August I recycled 2 prom dress which my niece passed down to my girls. The dresses are lovely but my girls are bigger and their taste is not so ‘flamboyant’.

prom dress2

157 things I’ve thrown

Today I recycled a dress I bought about 15 years ago. My in-laws (soon to be ex) are very traditional. We have to wear ‘auspicious’ colours like red, pink or orange for Chinese New Year, weddings or birthdays. I don’t like these colours. Over the years, I’ve had to buy pink, red and orange clothes just for these occasions. Over the next year, I will be throwing them away!! Looking forward to wearing clothes I like 🙂

Yesterday I threw out a red blouse.

On Wednesday, I threw out a pink cardigan.

On Tuesday, I threw out a sexy white top with a front flap which opens tantalisingly when the wind blows. I bought this even before I bought my red dress, about 20 years ago. Those were the days when I wore slinky, low cut stuff.

On Monday 31st July, I threw away my last piece of silky lingerie.

lingerie

Wearing lingerie is all about wanting to feel sexy. I can’t see myself wanting to feel sexy again.

On Sunday, I threw away a lavender blouse. The cut really fitted me nicely but it’s one of those low cut clothes I can’t bear to wear anymore.

On Saturday, I threw away old Hello kitty pyjamas. In the last 4 years, I’ve been wearing track pants to sleep. Cotton pjs are not warm enough.

On Friday, the 150th day, I went through a couple of boxes in the attic and found the Green curtains meant for J’s room. She changed her mind after less than 1 year of use. But they were too good to throw.

On Thursday, I threw away expired, clumpy aloe vera.

On Wednesday, I recycled a nice stationery kit given to J when she attended a US uni talk.

On Tuesday, I recycled a handbag holder. You know one of those things you clip on a table in a restaurant and hang your handbag underneath? Firstly, I don’t carry handbags anymore. Secondly, it had a picture of a couple. I remember getting it instead of cake at a wedding. These days, no one gives little boxes of fruit cake at weddings anymore. I’ve received ‘creative’ gifts from coasters to key chains. But not cake 😦

handbag holder

On Monday 24th July, I threw away a lipstick that melted! I’ve only had it for a year.

On 23rd and 22nd July, I recycled 2 notebooks. I’ve been saving them because I’m a writer. I write a lot. But when N put some of her lovely unused notebooks in the recycling bag (a few were given to her by me), I saved her notebooks for myself. So I gave up 2 of mine (so plain in comparison).

On 21st  July,  I decided to give away an unused pack of New Jersey playing cards. I had bought it when I went to visit my brother. I thought it would make a nice souvenir for my kids but none of them wanted it. These days, kids prefer online games.

Speaking of actual physical toys, on Thursday, I recycled a brand new packet of pick-up sticks. I had saved it from one of the kids who got it from school and wanted to throw it away. Why did I bother?

cards, pick up sticks

On 18th and 19th July, I threw out 2 body shop lotions- 1 vanilla, 1 green apple. They were given to me by my sis who didn’t like them. I tried to use them even though I wasn’t crazy about their scent. I hate waste. But after a few months, I felt life was too short to use lotion I don’t like.

From 15th to 17th July, I threw away more expired medicine – Cortisone, Telfast and Zyrtec.

So far, I’ve thrown 157 things. I haven’t regretted anything I’ve thrown. Yet.

136th day

It’s a rainy day. My desk faces the outdoors and I’m one of the lucky few in Singapore who has a home with a lovely, greenery view. But not for long because I need to sell the house to move on.

Today I threw away old cheap paint brushes. Those that come free when you buy paint set for kids. I found them in my art box. I have an art box where I keep all my painting stuff.

In that same box, I found hardened glue which I threw yesterday.

On Wednesday, I gave away an unopened Glee board game. My sister gave it to my kids years ago, not knowing they don’t like Glee enough to want to relive it! Sorry sis.

On Tuesday, I gave away another unopened board game which my sis also gave. I felt  bad when they didn’t even bother to open it but I guess kids these days prefer online games. Still, it looks better when you give away things still in their original packaging.

On Monday 10th July, I threw away these old art templates. Someone gave them to the kids when they were kids and I just kept them because I thought they were cool.

arttemplates

On Sunday, I gave away unused postcards. I don’t send postcards anymore.

On Saturday, I threw out 2 pieces of spoilt but barely used correction tape. Teach me not to buy this brand anymore.

From 4th to 7th July I recycled 4 books – Saving fish from drowning, Following the wrong god home, Natural flights of the human mind and A suitable boy.

 

The elephant in the room

So. The reason why there’s such a big gap in between my posts is because I don’t have access to my computer on weekends and public holidays. There is an elephant in the study where my computer is. It goes to work on weekdays.

Today, the 125th day, I gave away one of my favourite blouses. It was cobalt blue, a soft knitted piece. The reason why I decided to give it away was because it was a bit low cut for me. In the last year, I have a problem wearing anything that’s more than 3 inches below my neck.

Yesterday I gave away a pair of syrup brown corduroy pants, hardly used. It was too tight for me.

On 1st July Sat, I threw away lip balm that’s probably expired because it was making my lips itchy.

On 30th June, I threw away an old coral lipstick. I have this tendency to not throw things until they’re finally used up or totally broken. I’ve had this lipstick for about 5 years and it’s only half used but it’s starting to make my lips itch so I figure it’s about time to get rid of it.

Speaking of using things till their broken, on Thur, Wed and Tue, I threw away 3 pairs of shoes.

3 pairs of shoes

The heel of a lovely new pair of black shoes keeps getting unglued. I’m fed up of glueing it back. I wore my blue uniqlo shoes till the soles cracked and there are holes in the front. The light blue shoes are so old, it discoloured.

From 22nd to 26th June, I recycled 5 t-shirts.

From Sat 17th June to 21st June, I recycled 5 Nora Roberts/JD Robb novels. I used to love her books, always waiting for the next to be out. But in the last few years, I don’t know, romance seems more like fantasy. Unreal. Still I’ve kept a few of my favourites. In case I start believing in romance again.

For 11th to 16th June, I recycled 6 Janet Evanovich books. Same reasons as above.

On 10th June, I recycled a quirky orange handbag which I bought in my 30s. I kept it for so long because it was still in good condition. I gave it away because I realised I’m not the same person anymore.

orangebag

On the 9th of June I threw out a box of dried paint. I took up water colours in my early 40s. I should have guessed paints dry up.

100th day

Today I threw out Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I bought this maybe a decade ago for my husband. I wanted him to realise how men and women think differently. He never read it. Today is also my birthday.

Yesterday I gave away a book of Nigerian folk tales. There was a time in my mid 20s to mid 40s that I collected children’s books. I bought this in one of the 2nd hand bookshops in London. I love those shops! Could spend hours in them.

On the 6th, I gave away Agikuya folk tales. Living in Asia, African stories seem exotic. Sad to say, there was always something else I wanted to read so I never got round to read it.

On the 5th, I gave away a book about St Theresa of Avila. I feel bad doing this but I doubt I’d read it so might as well pass it to someone who will.

From 4th – 1st June, I gave away Unearthly, An abundance of Katherines, The inlet and A lick of Frost. I like young adult fiction though I’m no longer a young adult. I guess it lets me dream.

On Wed 31st May, I gave away a bridesmaid dress that I wore in my 20s. It’s a lovely violet dress in Thai silk. I kept thinking there’ll be another chance to wear it but it’s way too tight for me now!

From 30th to 23rd May, I threw away old winter clothes- a kids’ jacket, a low cut jumper, a stripy jumper, kids thermal, thermal pants, a pair of leather gloves that must have shrunk because I can’t put my hands in them anymore, a pair of washed out gloves and 1 single glove.

wedding dinner

On 22nd May I gave away the green dress I bought for my wedding more than 2 decades ago. It was very expensive and I looked very sophisticated in it. I had saved it hoping I would be slim enough to wear it again but alas, this is not going to happen.

On the 21st, I gave away an unused leather backpack my husband bought for me decades ago which I never used because the empty bag itself is too heavy.

On 19th and 20th, I threw away 2 half used miniature perfume. I have this thing about using something up before I discard it. But I took so long, these 2 bottles were literally decaying before my eyes.

On 18th May, I threw away colourful plastic hair clips. I bought them in my early 40s because they made me look young. Now at 55, I think they make me look demented.

 

 

78th day

Today, I threw away a jewelled hair clip which I used to use for formal functions. I normally didn’t have time (nor interest) to do much to my hair so it came really handy! Just clipping my hair at the back suddenly made me look a bit more glamourous. I bought it maybe 10 years ago. I haven’t used it in ages mainly because I haven’t gone out to such such functions in ages. Then the other day I noticed it looked tired. I could see the in-between parts were yellowing.

Yesterday I threw away an old thermal top. I bought this probably 1 -2 decades ago before Uniqlo existed! It’s woollen, heavy duty and still usable though a bit itchy. I was saving it in case we went on a winter holiday. There’s never enough thermals for all of us on a winter holiday. But I realise the kids will never wear it. And honestly, with Heat tech weighing 1/10th of this China made thermal, I don’t want to wear it too.

On 15th May, I threw away a yellow oriental pouch. I think I’ve only used it once but oriental design isn’t quite my style. By the way, when I say “throw away”, this includes recycling/donation to the poor.

oriental pouch
Oriental pouch

On 14th May, I threw away the fur trim of my kid’s winter jacket which I had already given away!

On 13th May, I got rid of another pair of old glasses.

The strange thing is all this minimising/throwing away is actually helping. A few nights ago, when I couldn’t sleep, I started thinking about what I could throw away. I visualised different parts of my house, the boxes in my attic to see what could be gotten rid of and the process was calming. I fell asleep thinking about it. Much better than counting sheep.