Am I allowed to “waste” things?

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Given my interest in decluttering, today I found myself pondering over a dilemma. At what point is it acceptable to get rid of something which is useful, but which you don’t like? For me, this issue tends to arise particularly around toiletries. At the moment, for example, I’m using some Dove body moisturiser which was given to me as a Christmas present. I don’t particularly like the smell or the texture, but not to the extent that I refuse to use it. More subtly, I don’t enjoy using it. That has a knock-on effect with my moisturising regime, in that it removes an incentive for me. It’s not enough to make me actively procrastinate on moisturising, but if it’s a bit cold when I get out of the bath, or I feel like it’s a bit later than usual, I’m less inclined to bother, and having something unenjoyable to use seems to push me towards skipping it for a day.

Compare that to my current bubble bath, which is marshmallow-scented and which I absolutely love. it becomes a reason to look forward to having a bath. A more accurate comparison might be with my current hand cream. Again, I love the smell of it, so if I’m teetering on the edge of putting cream on, that might just push me over.

Now, body moisturiser is fairly cheap anyway, and this specific one cost me nothing as it’s a present. Therefore, in concrete terms I lose nothing if I throw it away. In opportunity terms, I’ll have to buy a replacement moisturiser sooner, but again, that’s not the kind of expense that’s going to break the bank. If I didn’t like it at all, I could have happily given it to the charity shop unused, and the cost wouldn’t have been an issue in any way. Still, I feel some resistance to throwing it away. Perhaps it’s the waste element. I feel bad that neither I nor anyone else will get any benefit out of the remaining part of the bottle. However, if I take into account the disbenefit to me – the reduction in moisturising regularity – that would seem to outweigh the benefit of using up the rest of the bottle. Environmentally, the unused moisturiser will go in the bin and end up somewhere undesirable. But I suppose that even the used moisturiser gets washed off when I bathe, with the chemicals going down the plughole. So it doesn’t seem to make a big difference to anyone or anything, except in terms of my enjoyment level. Yet I still feel some level of resistance to throwing it out.

I’m sure a professional declutterer would tell me to throw it out if I don’t like it. I suspect an environmentalist would tell me that the damage is already done when the moisturiser is produced, and that I should switch to more eco-friendly products, like soap nuts. I can’t think who would tell me to keep it and use it up, except perhaps an older person with a “waste not want not” attitude carried over from the Second World War and rationing. So how have I internalised this message that I’m giving myself?

It’s an interesting question, and even after writing it all down and giving myself all the logical reasons to get rid, I still feel like “Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow and see how I feel then”. What would you do? Do you know of any uses for half-empty toiletries that I haven’t thought of, and that would mean I could put mine to good use?

Project 333 – going forward

10 tops hanging on the wall

This month, I started tracking what I wear with Project 333 again. I’ve now been doing Project 333 for over a year, and have found it very effective. However, at this point, I’m starting to feel like I don’t need to track my wears anymore. The benefits of Project 333 have become fully embedded in my wardrobe, and when I do go outside of my prescribed items for the season, it’s invariably for a good reason, such as having to dress up for a more formal social occasion, or needing something smarter for an event with the most senior people at work. I’m therefore going to continue with the Project 333 principles, but without tracking what I wear each month. I wouldn’t go back to having a “free-for-all” wardrobe as I have got a lot out of Project 333:

Wardrobe space
Almost everything I can wear for the season is hanging in one wardrobe (Barring outerwear, shoes and scarves). Although logically that can’t save me a huge amount of time, psychologically I feel like I can choose what to wear much more quickly in the morning. I also find it quicker to put away my laundry, as it all goes into one place, and I hang everything instead of folding it.

Clothes maintenance
Following on from above, the new space in the wardrobe and the fact that I hang everything, means that my clothes don’t get wrinkled or squashed together when I put them away. I can be confident that everything I take out of the wardrobe will be ready to wear. This is especially useful for me as I stopped ironing my clothes at least a year ago. I hang them straight to dry, then hang them in the wardrobe, and that’s usually enough. I do have the odd thing that’s the exception, such as formal dresses for weddings, but I wear those so rarely that it’s not an issue.

Clarity
In two senses. First, I can see everything available to wear, and I no longer have the experience of forgetting something because it’s been in the back of the drawer for a while. Second, I can see what I actually wear, and what I keep for theoretical reasons. For example, I had a few formal shirts which I gave to the charity shop. I had kept them for years, in the theory that if I needed to go to a formal meeting at work, I’d want to wear a shirt. However, when that situation does arise (very infrequently), I’m much more likely to wear a more casual top with a jacket to smarten it up. I never picked those shirts, even when the exact hypothetical situation for wearing them came up.

Reality check
When I first started doing Project 333, there were some clothes in my wardrobe which were not actually for me at all. They were for my 20-year-old self, who wore t-shirts with quirky slogans, or my fashion magazine self, who wears tailored jeans with a white shirt and a belt, or my alternate reality self, who wears a party dress more than one a year for the Christmas do. Getting rid of those clothes meant getting rid of my imaginary selves, which was hard at first, as it felt like getting rid of opportunities or possibilities. However, I found that when I let go of those imaginary selves, I let go of the feeling that who I am right now isn’t enough, or isn’t as good as I used to be. Actually, present me still wears a lot of nice clothes, and they are all a lot better suited to what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis.

I definitely got a lot of benefit from Project 333; enough that I’ll continue with the principles and keep the pared-down wardrobe that I’ve developed over the last 13 months. For now, I can trust myself to stick to it without any official rules or tracking. Of course, there’s always the option to go back to that if I find myself slipping. But I enjoy it enough that I expect to carry on without any effort.

Project333 – June 2016 (month 13)

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  • 1 June – work – black smart dress, purple scarf, black shoes
  • 2 June – work – grey skirt, black/pink top, black cardigan, black shoes
  • 3 June – home -black dress, black heavy cardigan
  • 4 June – visiting -black trousers, red shoes, black/red top and red jacket from going out capsule
  • 5 June – visiting – black dress, red shoes
  • 6 June – work – grey check trousers, black vest, black shoes
  • 7 June – work – red/black/white dress, sandals
  • 8 June – home – black dress
  • 9 June – home – black dress, purple cardigan, sandals
  • 10 June – home – black dress, sandals
  • 11 June – home – black dress, red/green top, sandals
  • 12 June – home – purple dress, black sandals
  • 13 June – home – red/white/black dress, black sandals
  • 14 June – home – black floral dress, black slash neck top, black sandals
  • 15 June – home – black dress, black shoes
  • 16 June – travelling – grey check trousers, black top, trainers (to save packing them)
  • 17 June – work -grey skirt, black t-shirt, black cardigan, sandals
  • 18 June – sightseeing – grey check trousers, black top, trainers
  • 19 June – sightseeing – grey check trousers, black vest top, trainers
  • 20 June – work – black/white skirt, black vest top, black cardigan, sandals
  • 21 June – work – grey skirt, black 3/4 sleeve top, sandals
  • 22 June – work -black skirt, red top, sandals
  • 23 June – working from home -black/red skirt, black short-sleeve shirt, sandals
  • 24 June – work -black/red skirt, black short-sleeve shirt, sandals
  • 25 June – sightseeing -grey check trousers, black short-sleeve shirt, trainers
  • 26 June – home -grey check trousers, black short-sleeve shirt, trainers
  • 27 June – work – black skirt, black/pink top, sandals
  • 28 June – work – grey skirt, black 3/4 sleeve top, sandals
  • 29 June – work -grey check trousers, black 3/4 sleeve top, trainers
  • 30 June – work – black/red skirt, vest top, cardigan, trainers

Summary of wears

  • Bottoms – grey check trousers 7black/white skirt 1, black skirt 2, grey/silver trousers , black/red skirt 1, grey skirt 3, black trousers 1
  • Tops – black short-sleeve shirt 4, black/pink top 2, purple top , red top 1, black top 2, pink top , black t-shirt 1, black 3/4 sleeve top 3, red/green top 1, black vest 4, black slash neck top 1
  • Dresses – black casual dress 6, black/red/white dress 2, purple dress 1, black smart dress 2, black floral dress 1
  • Jumpers – purple cardigan 1, red cardigan 2, black heavy cardigan 1, black cardigan 3
  • Shoes – black shoes 4, black sandals 14, red shoes 2, trainers 7
  • Accessories: purple scarf 1
  • Going out capsule: red/black top 1, red jacket 1

I’m still getting on well with Project333. I was away from home for 17 days this month, and found it very easy to choose what to take and to pack enough. However, it did highlight that there are sometimes issues with being able to wash and dry clothes in enough time. I don’t have a drier at home, and so if it’s raining outside and I hang the clothes indoors, it can take a couple of days at least for them to be available to wear again.

 

Project 333 – Year 2 1st quarter – June to August 2016

I completed a full year of Project 333, and didn’t even have to think about continuing. It’s made my life so much easier, even though I didn’t have loads of clothes before. I like being able to see everything I can wear in one go, and to have everything in the wardrobe instead of spread over a couple of drawers as well. I spend less time choosing what to wear, and I also know that almost everything goes with everything else. It’s really simple to pack for travelling as well.

Here is my list of clothes. I’ve marked them as either mainly for work (W), home (H) or both (B).

IMG_5347Dresses

  1. Black suede dress (W)
  2. Purple dress (B)
  3. Red/white/black dress (W)
  4. Black casual dress (H)
  5. Pink summer dress (H)
  6. Black floral dress (W)

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Trousers

  1. Grey check trousers (W)
  2. Silver stripe trousers (B)
  3. Black cords (B)

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Skirts

  1. Grey skirt (W)
  2. Black skirt (W)
  3. White and black flower skirt (B)
  4. black and red flower skirt

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  1. Black vest (B)
  2. Black short-sleeve shirt (B)
  3. Red flower top (B)
  4. Red/green top (B)
  5. Black and pink top (B)
  6. Pink long-sleeve top (B)
  7. Purple long-sleeve top (B)
  8. Black long-sleeve top (B)
  9. Black t-shirt (B)
  10. Black glitter top (H)
  11. Black slash neck top (B – not pictured)

IMG_5349Jumpers

  1. Black cardigan (B)
  2. Red cardigan (B)
  3. Purple cardigan (B)
  4. Black heavy cardigan (H)

Outerwear

  1. Coat (B)
  2. Black shoes (B)
  3. Black sandals (B)
  4. Red shoes (B)
  5. Purple/green scarf (B)

Project333 – May 2016 (month 12)

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  • 1 May – home – black sweatpants, black/pink top, black heavy cardigan
  • 2 May- home – black sweatpants, black/pink top, black heavy cardigan
  • 3 May- work – black/white/red dress, black cardigan, black shoes
  • 4 May – work – black/white skirt, purple top, black shoes
  • 5 May – work – grey check trousers, black shirt, black shoes
  • 6 May – working from home – black casual dress, purple cardigan, black shoes
  • 7 May – home – black skirt, red top, black shoes
  • 8 May – home – black dress, purple cardigan, black shoes
  • 9 May – work – black skirt, black/pink top, black shoes
  • 10 May – work – grey check trousers, black shirt, black shoes
  • 11 May – work – black/white skirt, black t-shirt, black shoes
  • 12 May – work – black/white skirt, black vest, black sandals
  • 13 May – home – black casual dress, black jumper
  • 14 May – home – black casual dress / grey/silver trousers, black top, black shoes
  • 15 May- home -black casual dress/ grey/silver trousers, black top, black shoes
  • 16 May – work – red/black/white dress, sandals, red cardigan
  • 17 May – work – black skirt, purple top, black shoes
  • 18 May – work – grey check trousers, black shirt, black shoes
  • 19 May – work – black skirt, red top, red cardigan, red shoes
  • 20 May – home/out -black dress, purple scarf, black shoes
  • 21 May – home – purple dress, black shoes
  • 22 May – home – black dress, red/green top, black shoes
  • 23 May – work – black/white skirt, black t-shirt, red cardigan, red shoes
  • 24 May – work – grey check trousers, black shirt, black shoes, black cardigan
  • 25 May – work – grey check trousers, pink top, black shoes
  • 26 May – work – black/white skirt, black 3/4 top, black shoes
  • 27 May – off work – grey check trousers, black chenille jumper, black shoes
  • 28 May – home -purple dress
  • 29 May – home – black dress, purple cardigan, black sandals
  • 30 May – home – black dress, black chenille jumper
  • 31 May – work – grey skirt, pink top, black shoes

Summary of wears

  • Bottoms – grey check trousers 6black/white skirt 5, black skirt 4, grey/silver trousers 2, black sweatpants 2, grey skirt 1
  • Tops – black short-sleeve shirt 4, black/pink top 3, purple top 2, red top 2, black top 2, pink top 2, black t-shirt 2, black 3/4 sleeve top 1, red/green top 1, black vest 1
  • Dresses – black casual dress 8, black/red/white dress 2, purple dress 2, black smart dress 1
  • Jumpers – black chenille jumper 3, purple cardigan 3, red cardigan 3, black heavy cardigan 2, black cardigan 2
  • Shoes – black shoes 21, black sandals 3, red shoes 2
  • Accessories: purple scarf 1

 

Simplify – Weekly Wishes w/c 30/05/16

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Last week’s wishes – 23/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 6 miles. 0% completed. 
  2. Samaritans: attend mentor session 6/6. 100% completed. Done on Fri. 
  3. Knitting: finish knitting project started on 21 May. 50% completed. Finished knitting and need to complete sewing details. 
  4. Email: write one email. 0% completed. 
  5. Languages: bring Duolingo Esperanto tree up to date.100% completed. Done on Weds-Sun.

Healthy habits

  1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 2, Tues x 2, Weds x 3, Thurs, Fri x 2, Sun. 
  2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
  3. Complete a long and steady run. X
  4. Go for a bike ride. Fri. 
  5. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
  6. Do 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique affirmations. X
  7. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. X
  8. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  9. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Fri, Sun
  10. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri
  11. Do 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. X
  12. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Fri, Sat. 
  13. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  14. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Mon, Tues, Weds
  15. Do super brain yoga. X
  16. Have a sugar-free day. Fri, Sat. 
  17. Complete mindfulness journal. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri
  18. Do something for future me. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  19. Come up with ideas (based on this post). X
  20. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 

Weekly wishes for 30/05/16

  1. Run: run 3 times and run 6.5 miles.
  2. Social: go to a party with my husband.
  3. Family: visit my family for a birthday lunch.
  4. Email: write 3 emails.
  5. Knitting: finish sewing details on knitting project.

Simplify – Weekly Wishes w/c 23/05/16

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Last week’s wishes – 16/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 5.5 miles. 50% completed. Ran on Mon (5.5 miles). 
  2. Letters: reply to two emails and two letters. 0% completed.
  3. Samaritans: attend mentor session 5/6.100% completed. Done on Sun
  4. Social: go for a meal with my language group on Fri.100% completed. 
  5. Whole15: keep eating Whole15 Mon-Thurs. 100% completed. Done on Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs. 
  6. Bike: cycle somewhere once.0% completed.

Healthy habits

  1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 2, Tues x 3, Weds x 3, Thurs x 2, Fri, Sat, Sun
  2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
  3. Complete a long and steady run. Mon
  4. Go for a bike ride. X
  5. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
  6. Do 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique affirmations. X
  7. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. X
  8. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  9. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Mon, Tues
  10. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri
  11. Do 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. X
  12. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
  13. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sun
  14. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Fri
  15. Do super brain yoga. X
  16. Have a sugar-free day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
  17. Complete mindfulness journal. X
  18. Do something for future me. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  19. Come up with ideas (based on this post). X
  20. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Weekly wishes for 23/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 6 miles.
  2. Samaritans: attend mentor session 6/6.
  3. Knitting: finish knitting project started on 21 May.
  4. Email: write one email.
  5. Languages: bring Duolingo Esperanto tree up to date.