Two stories for you.
Getting rid of new (old) things
Caroline, my guest blogger of yore, has begun a new daily project for 2017. I might join her for February!
I was inspired by Maria’s year of new things. And I’m doing my own take on it. Every day in 2017, I want to get rid of a new thing (in addition to usual rubbish and recycling). Let me give you a bit of background.
My house is full of crap.
This is due to a combination of several things.
- All the things I do for fun involve stuff: bellydancing, running (whoever said ‘all you need is trainers’ was taking part in a thought experiment), knitting, teaching music to kids, singing in choirs, playing the flute.
- I’m also a massage therapist which comes with its own collection of stuff.
- I don’t like throwing things in the bin as it seems wasteful.
- I have a idea that I can upcycle and reuse everything, but don’t get round to it.
- I’m quite untidy.
- I get given a lot of stuff. The kids I teach tend to give me one of the following three things: chocolates, body lotions and scented candles. If I don’t re-gift them or eat/use them immediately, they stay in my house for ages.
The result of this is that my house is full of crap.
So every day this year, I’m getting rid of one thing. I’ve decided to do it by theme, as that makes it easier to do systematically. I started off with toiletries. The thing about toiletries is that I often get given them by the kids I teach, but don’t really use them very much. It wasn’t until I started doing this challenge that I realised just how much I have.
To start with, it was easy. Body lotions go out of date (I wasn’t aware of this before, but they do!). Due to my aversion to throwing things away, I vaguely thought that I’d use them when my current one gets used up. However, once I actually investigated, most of the out-of-date body lotions smelt like death and a side helping of rot. That made it easier: I’d just empty the putrid cream into a bin, then wash out the bottle and put it in the recycling.
This went on for a couple of weeks. (Yes, a couple of weeks!) I was left with just two body lotions that were in date and didn’t smell awful. They’ll probably last me the rest of the year.
I collected all the unused scented candles I had (seven), and donated the lot to a local lady who collects gift sets, raffle prizes and unused toiletries for the Addenbrooke’s intensive care unit. Seven things in one go!
I also found I have 20 bottles of nail polish. This is something I tend to put on my toes if I fancy it, for bellydance classes and performances. I don’t even get through a bottle a year. That’s more than 20 year’s worth of nail polish, some in colours I don’t particularly like! Due to Maria’s New Things Challengey Group on Facebook [please join us. M], I found out that some women’s refuges take them. I liked the idea of this, so investigated, but it turned out that my local branch only takes them if they are unused with the seal intact. Something to bear in mind for the future, but here I had to rethink.
I skimmed off the ones I do actually like (8 of them) and gave the rest away to a lady on a local gifting site called Life Is A Gift. This person was really happy and excited by the nail polishes. This lead me to thinking, how much stuff is in my house gathering dust, that someone else would appreciate more than me? Surely if that is the case, then it’s better to give it away?
It’s now the 31st January. I’ve shifted 47 things from my house. My house is still full of crap.
Time to step up a notch!
Through reading a bellydance blog I found out about the Minimalism Game. Basically, on the first day of the month you get rid of one thing. One the second, two. On the third, three. This will be my mission in February. Let’s see how I get on.
If I clear all the crap out of my house, there’s always my desk at work…
More new things for Maria
After a year and 23 days, I finally had a day off and did nothing new on 24 January.
- Stayed with my friend Sarah H at her house. She lives in Ashby-de-la-Zouche. New things (besides staying in her house) included getting the train there (to Leicester then Loughborough, both new stations for me and a new train route), visiting a new village (Wymeswold) and wandered round it, having lunch in a new pub (The Windmill Inn in Wymeswold) and being cooked for by Sarah (yum).
- Sarah gave me a tour of Loughborough University! I’ve never been there nor I have I had a personal tour of a university. And we explored Ashby properly – new streets, shops, pubs. I also watched a film on my laptop (when I got home).
- Ate tinned guava.
- Listened to an album released in 2017 (Sohn – Rennen).
- Tried root beer. Until recently, I had always been under the misconception that this was another name for ginger beer.
- Had a decaf espresso. Seems like a double negative but this particular one was very tasty, at least.
- Went to the newly opened Steak and Honour restaurant in Cambridge.
- Started using Todoist. Signed up for a Meet-up event in one of the new groups I joined.
- Made a new stew in my slow cooker (Lamb and Carrot Casserole with Barley).
- Used Todoist at work.
- NOTHING. End of an era (temporarily).
- Ate proper rice pudding and maple syrup peanut butter (not together, both tasty).
- I’m certain I did something today but I didn’t write it down. I will do this retrospectively when I remember what it was!
- Rapped a song at karaoke (not sure if Vanilla Ice counts).
- Roasted a duck. Disaster.
- Signed up for a 10k run. It’s at the beginning of April so might regret this one.
If you read my last post you will know I wanted to try and do the following things each month:
- A new crafty creation (fail)
- A new film at the cinema (A Monster Calls)
- A 2017 album (Sohn)
- A classic album I’ve never listened to (Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street)
- A new recipe (managed several)
- A running-based achievement (hmm signed up for 10k…didn’t involve any actual running, did it?)
- A new place (several in the Ashby area)
In my Facebook group I set a challenge for people to do a new thing at work, so my next post will be all about that!