old washcloths and towels [minimalist challenge item #164]

[item] A huge lot of old bath towels and washcloths

[purchase info] Purchased mostly new and discount stores

[time in my possession] From 3 to 10 years

[last used] Today

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store or freecycle

[info] I used some of these today in a painting job.  I’m not getting rid of all of them, just some.  I don’t need this many old towels.  I’ll keep a few for art projects.

hand vacuum [minimalist challenge item #163]

[item] Dirt Devil hand vac

[purchase info] Purchased new at Walmart

[time in my possession] Approximately 3 years

[last used] Rarely used, about once every 3 months

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Thrift store

[info] This is handy to have when I need it, it’s just not often enough to justify keeping it.  For the floors, I use a broom in places where the vacuum won’t reach.  This is just another applicane sucking up electricity.

gracie rockin’ the guitar [daily good photo]

[like… a lot]  Once a month on Thursdays, we go to the nursing home across the street to hang out and sing with the residents.  I love to hear their stories, like Flo who was an incredible artist and painter or Ethel, 99 years old that was a biker chick in her younger days.  Gracie, whom we’ve never met before, joined us last night to sing.  She kept looking behind us because she saw an extra guitar and she kept asking for it.  Finally Steve got up, gave her the guitar and Gracie rocked the house!  She was harmonizing, belting out the hymns with her beautiful voice and playing the guitar like she had been in a band all her life.  Her happiness quickly spread to all of us around her.  I can’t wait until next month to see Gracie again.  I’m thinking we need to find her a guitar, as it’s unusual that we have an extra one.

stainless water bottle [minimalist challenge item #162]

[item] Stainless steel water bottle

[purchase info] Purchased new at a discount store

[time in my possession] Approximately 2.5 years?

[last used] A couple of weeks ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Trash

[info] I love these “green” water bottles, but they are not easy to clean.  The inside started to show spots… rust or what??  I’m not sure, but I didn’t want my kids drinking out of it anymore.  Maybe it’s best to buy the bottles with the large opening, just for cleaning purposes.

mismatched socks [minimalist challenge item #161]

[item] Lots of mismatched socks

[purchase info] Purchased at different times, mostly on sale

[time in my possession] A few months up to years

[last used] Who really knows…

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium, I think

[destination] I’m going to use these as rags for cleaning and dusting.

[info] I really struggle getting rid of these, as I keep thinking the matches will show up.  And not that I’m opposed to wearing mismatched socks, but they need to be the same thickness and texture.  Okay, it’s really time to get rid of some of these.


broken GFCI switch [minimalist challenge item #160]

[item] Broken GFCI plug for a hot tub

[purchase info] Came with the hot tub

[time in my possession] Approximately 10 months

[last used] 5 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Trash

[info] I’m not quite sure why I kept this.  It’s the old, broken plug from my Softub.  I bought a new one so the tub would work, but I guess I had trouble letting go of the old one knowing they cost over $100.  Stupid, I know.

shoe laces [minimalist challenge item #159]

[item] White shoe laces – new

[purchase info] I have no idea where these came from.

[time in my possession] Good question…

[last used] Never, they’re new

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I don’t need these, nor do my kids.  This might seem like a small item to get rid of, but I’m noticing that these small items really add up to a big mess.  I purged a lot of stuff before I started this challenge so these small things make a difference.  :)


a not-so-edible mini challenge

My new mini-challenge… no fast food through the end of the year and no eating out for a month.  (one exception: my friend’s birthday dinner)  It pains me to see all of the paper waste from eating fast food.  Not doing the fast food thing through the end of the year should give me a good idea why I’ve done it in the first place.  It’s convenience, but is it really necessary?  I really dislike cooking, but I will have to cook more now.  As for the not eating out for a month, that’s more due to money.  We ate out almost everyday on vacation, so it’s time to cut back for a bit.

We really don’t eat a lot of fast food anyway, so my kids won’t go into culture shock… at least I don’t think they will.  Fast food is not really healthy either, so this is a good choice to make.  Here’s a few tips I’m using to make this work:

Menu planning.  I will have to plan meals a little better than I have in the past.  I won’t do this everyday, but I will have to do it more often than I do now… which is never.

Get the kids involved.  What do they want?  And my boys need to learn how to cook, although Cole will probably tell me his future wife will cook for him, right before she washes his dishes.  Yes, he really said that.

Travelling and field trips.  These things will have to be planned in advance.  I could bring a cooler and / or pack a picnic.

Wish me luck!  Here we go…

small cookbook [minimalist challenge item #158]

[item] Tennessee Pride cookbook

[purchase info] Free at the grocery store

[time in my possession] Approximately 2 months

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Shannon wants it.

[info] I took this because a nice man at the grocery store gave it to me.  Why?  Because it was easier just to take it, knowing I would not use it, rather than explain why I don’t need it or want it.  I guess I could have said no, but the guy was just doing his job and I would have felt bad.

bracelet [minimalist challenge item #157]

[item] Beaded bracelet

[purchase info] Given to me as a gift

[time in my possession] Approximately 5 months

[last used] 5 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I received this from one of the sweet girls at Casa Hogar Elim.  As much as I want to keep it for sentimental reasons, I’m not going to.  I have memories, photos and the ability to go there and see all the kids on a regular basis.