OK now I’m really IRRITATED

I just finished my post about purging about 30 dog toys when I felt cold and realized I had a bag of dog toys I put “away for a rainy day” in the closet.  I think I shouted a few expletives, sat down and ate some lunch so I would calm down….

A trash bag stuffed full of dog toys

I mean, I am literally ashamed and embarrassed right now. My last post (that I literally wrote an hour ago), I was so chuffed and proud of myself because I thought that I had sorted through them all.  I was shocked that I had 57 toys in the house! Then I realize “WTF, there’s another TRASH BAG FULL??”

I can’t do this anymore, all this spending and shopping. It’s really not like the dogs care, they don’t sit in their kennels at night and wonder “oh! It’s been X months since I’ve seen big floppy monkey, I wonder when mom will bring him out of the trash bag full of toys that she has shoved in the closet?”

The SECOND huge piles of dog toys that I needed to sort through. Lula’s giving me an “Are you serious, woman??”
Donate pile. 9 in total.
The trash pile. I did decide to move the big monkey into donate pile. 11 in total.
The keepsies. 4 in total.

So really truly.  This is obviously an issue I need to work on

In total, including last post I: 

  • Donated 21 toys
  • Threw away 26 toys
  • Kept 34 toys

Grand total 81. My dogs. PETS had 81 toys. There are children in the world who have no toys. There are people in the world who don’t have and can’t afford 81 things.
Never again.


Purging the dog toys

I have two pugs. They are awesome. Their toys AREN’T.

The Pugs. And their hippo pillow. I count this as a toy.

Because dear god, do two little dogs need that much?

(Warning, photo-heavy post)

I’ve posted about minimalism and pets before.  This… Is a CONSTANT struggle for me (hey! At least I can acknowledge it. That’s the first step to recovery!) 

I buy dog toys. I BUY DOG TOYS!


Lots of them!!!!!


Not conducive to a minimalist lifestyle. Oh sure, I point fingers and say that other people buy them and bring them over (which they DO). But I  (ME, Krissy, writer of this post and the keeper of the blog) buy dog toys. Guilty, guilty, GUILTY!

So after posting about my “new” dining room table and seeing the hoard of dog toys (and cringing at the mess) I decided today was the day to purge.

Toys in the second bedroom that we rarely go into
A giant caterpillar (see guitar for reference. This is a BIG caterpillar)- also in the room we rarely use
Toys shoved on their dog bed in the living room
Secret “stash” holiday toys sneakily hidden in the ottoman
Toys strewn across the floor. This is ok though.
Shhh. I also have brand new toys hidden in my closet for when I feel they need new toys.
So I piled them all up in a big pile Kon-mari style.

Big pile. Little pug.

57 in total.  The pile made me sick to my stomach. It seemed to overwhelm Ellie as she stood over them.

Donate! 11 in total!

All the ones that were in good shape that the girls never played with went into a donate pile. I’m going to washed these and take them to the Humane Society.  A lot of times they’ll send newly adopted animals home with a toy. Mine also have a yearly yard sale (more like warehouse sale, they have so much stuff) and people buy toys.  They also have programs here for pets for Homeless and often they’ll provide a bag of food and a toy for homeless person with a dog.  
Trash pile! 16 in total.

I poured over these.  They’re were pretty trashed. I have a hard time justifying throwing away toys, and while most of these look in good shape, their were parts coming off, the grunt parts inside I couldn’t wash (and I won’t let them play with dirty toys) and I just didn’t feel they were safe anymore. Some of these were VERY loved.  But it was time for them to go.

By this point both girls were getting stressed out. They know that when things go in trash bags, they’re going away forever.  Little Ellie in particular (hates when I get rid of her things).

The remainder. These are the keepers.

I ended up breaking into the closet stash and giving the girls two new ones (to make myself feel better).

Purchasing things to save your sanity

Sometimes, you have to buy things.
About 6 years ago,I picked up this dining room table (and chairs) for um.. I think $45 at a garage sale (I’m so cheap). It was painted badly when I bought it, and then painted badly again (with spray paint. Psh!) after I bought it.

Then after a while, my pug Talula decided that the table legs were her favorite place to dig for buried treasure (kibble she dropped under and on the legs). Ellie then caught onto the game and decided to help (and scratch up the table too).

I had to put furniture mover things on the feet as I had to move the dining room table EVERY DAY to pick up kibble because there was no stopping Lula.

After 6-ish years of this, it got to the point where the legs were so trashed and covered in dog smudge I couldn’t even keep it clean anymore. I thought about painting the legs again but figured, why bother? I spent 15 minutes EVERY DAY moving this thing and cleaning the bottom of a table and I was FRUSTRATED.  Yes, I tried training my bratty pugs, they’d play Find The Kibble game while I was in the shower, when I wasn’t home and every time my back was turned.  So, after about 5 minutes of mulling it over I decided to buy a different stinking table. (I can’t get rid of the chairs, they’re too cool looking)

(In case you were thinking, “well why have it in the first place? It’s not very minimalist.” We use it every day for eating, as a desk and for family conversation.)

And lo! I found one. For $10. You read that right, see the sticker? 10 DOLLARS on sale (I think I mentioned how stinking cheap I am?). I was also feeling generous and donated an extra $5 to the thrift store (all extra money goes toward domestic violence victims). 

Look at the legs! Where you gonna spit your kibble NOW??? So I spent $15, the dude at the store helped me load and I brought it home. 

Little Miss Hates Change Lula pretty much figured out right away that her Seek-the-Kibble game was over and done for and pouted for about half an hour under the “new” table. LOL try to ignore the mess of dog toys, I’m still working in minimalising their mass of toys)

(I do plan on refinishing this when the weather clears up si it will at least match the chairs a bit.   I have already found a new home for the old table, they will be using it as an outdoor table.

Long story short (too late?), I bought something “new” to save my sanity.

Donate 2018 #2

Here is my second donate pile of this year. I actually added more than what is pictured here.  About 10 books and other miscellaneous.  I keep hoping I get to a point where I am truly at Maintenance, but I keep finding more things I’m willing to part with.  Maybe soon.

On a positive note, I’ve been keeping up on my NOT buying things.  I keep thinking of making posts of Things I Didn’t Buy.  I did however, purchase some Korean face wash and toner.  But that’s been something I’ve been using every day so far.

The items that seem to bug me the most are gewgaws and tchotchkes.  Decorative stuff that just sits and collects dust.  I seem to use the blazes out of clothes/shoes (to the point that when I don’t want them anymore they’re so trashed or threadbare I can’t donate them, which is actually a GOOD thing).  Beauty products I’m very careful about buying and don’t purchase unless I KNOW I will like it and use it. So the latter two I haven’t felt to bad as most of the time when I’m purchasing, it’s to replace existing items. 

Pictured here: shoes, pots and pans, funky wall art that other people tried to pass on to me, holiday plates I never liked, Christmas/Halloween/Easter decor, about 100 antique/vintage ornaments that I didn’t think we’re cute, the remaining of my CDs, (not pictured here, books and misc)…

and my Pocket Dragon collection.  My grandmother loved buying me these, and while they’re cute, they’ve been sitting in a box for the last 10 years (and I had a lot of them. About 50, all in their tins). I did keep one though, the smallest and my favorite.  She’s sitting on display in the curio cabinet.  I hope someone see these at the thrift store and loves them as much as I did when I was young.

I got rid of my yearbooks

I know, some people will probably be shocked. I got rid of them! I didn’t donate them, I didn’t scan them. I put them in the recycle bin. Gone.

As I’m going through my Minimalism Journey (so important, it’s capitalized), the one box I kept shifting around was the one with my yearbooks. I kept putting it off and putting it off. I finally just decided one night, it was time. Here’s why:

-I hated high school. I admit it. It wasn’t the best years of my life (not the worst either) but high school (and middle school) just wasn’t that great.  I went each day just trying to get through the day, so I could hurry up and graduate and move on with my life.   Subpar education, overcrowding (I had 750 students just in MY graduating class!).  I didn’t belong to any clubs, sports, or extracurricular activities (except for band *shrug* and art. I got rid of my silly artwork long ago) If you asked me to name even half of the people in my class, I couldn’t do it.  I thought “Why would I keep other people’s memories?”

-The yearbooks were a source of contention EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  My mother insisted I have one. For EACH YEAR. And let me tell you, these things, at 295+ pages were EXPENSIVE. My mom was raising me alone. I wasn’t interested in the yearbook. And each year when I would ask her politely to save her money, it would start a fight. I told her, I had my few friends and stuck with them.  I didn’t know all 2800 kids in my school, who would sign it? Each year I’d come home after Yearbook Day (when they’d hand them out) and she’d be waiting eagerly by the door, she’d automatically open it to look at the signatures and find none. I’d leave as soon as they handed them out.  Another fight.  My memories of yearbooks were of my mother yelling at me. They were just a reminder to me that I disappointed her because I just wasn’t a social butterfly as she had hoped.

-They were flipping HUGE. I checked them, the high school ones… 295+ pages EACH.  I had one for each year of middle school. My diploma came in some fancy thick flip folder. The box all of these items were in weighed 63 pounds. I’m not kidding.  I have moved countless times, and every time I grumbled as soon as I got to the Yearbook Box. It was heavy, it was big and a pain.

Look at them! (That rolled up thing on the top was a massively long 8th grade class photo. I remember they had to edit a bunch of kids in the picture because they were using gang signs. Fond memories!)

-I never looked at them.  In the 15 years (cough. I’m aging myself) since I’ve graduated, I think I’ve looked at them 3 times. Because someone who’s name I recognized had been arrested and I thought maybe I had gone to school with them and I wanted to put a name to a face. I was usually right.  Honestly, using yearbooks as a reminder who has beaten their wife, committed grand larceny and has been selling drugs- these memories, does not equal joy.

-I didn’t bother to ask my school if they wanted mine as I know they keep an archive of all years. I thought about asking my mom if she wanted them as she insisted on buying them but then thought it would just start another fight. 

Now I’m not at all suggesting to anyone to get rid of theirs if they don’t want to. I’m just providing my reasons. I cut out my pictures and those of my friends and recycle recycle recycle.

And I got rid of a 63 pound physical and mental burden. Felt good.

Donate Donate Donate 2018

Every time you thank you may be done with purging and getting rid of all the unnecessary things in life… You are WRONG.  This was my first donate pile of the year.  I’ve already taken it to the thrift store and already, I have another pile getting bigger in the garage. 

Believe it or not, 2017 was a good year for me.  I didn’t buy little miscellaneous things (I did buy a new car and replace my old truck that was falling apart and didn’t fit my lifestyle.  I don’t think that counts though).  No. I’m just really compelled to get rid of things.  I can’t really explain this feeling, why I feel the need to just clean out my life from stuff.  But it’s there and I’m going to keep at it.  I keep feeling like “something” amazing might happen and the old me is dying. The one who emotionally and painfully clung on to things and people who did nothing for me.

Pictured here are: a lamp, an umbrella stand, bedding, a bag of clothes and shoes, old toys that have wandered into my house after my mother moved (they were mine that I left when I moved out 15 years ago- and for good reason), and a laundry hamper full of books.

And my beautiful pug Ellie. She won’t be donated.
Minimalism is a constant.  You need to work at it everyday. Because believe me, things trickle in here and there.

I’m planning a post about my yearbooks.  And I will share when I’m ready to donate the other pile.

Minimalism and pets

I know I haven’t written much abut my pets yet.  I have two pugs. I think they’re fantastic.  However, with pets comes lots of stuff.   Not too copacetic when it comes to a minimalist lifestyle. Both of my girls have different needs, different preferences, are different sizes (even if they are the same breed) and fight over EVERYTHING so my house is like Noah’s Ark, all things must come in twos. Want to know what my dogs “own?”

My pugs have: 

  • A play tent 
  • Two beds
  • Two outdoor beds
  • A giant caterpillar toy
  • Countless chewies
  • Two types of shampoo (one for allergies and one regular dog shampoo) 
  • De-shedder brush
  • De-shedder glove
  • Two toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Ellie’s medication (for ears, skin, wrinkles)
  • Lula’s medication (for nose)
  • Two massagers (I’m not kidding)
  • Their own set of towels for baths 
  • Blankets for the couch
  • Blankets for their chair
  • Blanket for my car
  • Two harnesses
  • Two leashes
  • Their own water bottle for walks
  • A doody bin/doody bags
  • Two kennels
  • Kennel pads 
  • Kennel blankets 
  • Their own laundry detergent 
  • Water and food bowls 
  • Food tray
  • Food container
  • 40+ toys

Etc. etc. etc. Does all this stuff bug me sometimes? YES.  Do I want to get rid of it all sometimes? YES.  Do I get sick of cleaning it? YOU BETCHA.

So how do you manage when you’re working towards your minimalism goals and your pets have all these “things?” 

(Disclaimer- I DO NOT CONDONE “DECLUTTERING” A PET FOR A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE. This is not something I will discuss not is it or will it ever be an option for me)

Figure out necessities- If your pets are anything like mine, they’re pretty spoiled.  You go to the store and see something cute…you imagine the goofy look on their face when you bring home the cute thing.  Admit it.  You love making your pet “smile.”  So do I.  Pet stores are dangerous places.  I’m guilty of playing with all the toys and imagining if Lula or Ellie would like them.  However, when you have 40+ toys, can they possibly play with them all?  

A trip to the dog park, or a nice long massage (or if you have a water-baby pet, a bath), a ride in the car, can bring just as many pet smiles as the cute thing.  

Do they need all the accessories?  Do they need the extra beds? Extra anything? Are they actually using them? Playing with them? If not, get rid of them.

If we’re talking about things like medication, items pertaining to health and longevity.  Keep them.

Try not buying them new things for a while (again, we’re talking non-necessities here).  Do the pets even notice? Probably not.

If you MUST buy them a toy, something I have found that helps (if you have the appropriate type of pet) is to bring the pet to the store with you and let them pick it out themselves. Not kidding.  The toys my dogs picked out themselves always seem to be favorites and are kept for longer periods of time (years in some cases).

Request that nothing is bought or gifted for them- my family and friends are very guilty of buying things for my pets (or just bringing stuff over because THEIR pets don’t like them and aren’t using them).  I get it.  It’s fun to see the pet smiles and makes you feel good when the pet plays with the thing. However, it’s not very conducive to a minimalist lifestyle.  I have recently requested to friends and family that my dogs don’t need toys, food,  beds, nothing.  I have asked them that if they must buy something or get rid of something to donate it to the local shelter.  They’ll appreciate it more.

Again, my girls love a visit from family, a rub on the head or a walk far more than a thing.

For those of you with family like mine who will buy and bring the thing anyway, just politely thank them and accept it.  Either replace the existing item with another or donate the gift to a shelter later.

Purge purge purge- Particularly with toys, I try to purge as often as I can.  If it were up to Ellie, I’d keep EVERY TOY EVER, as she behaves as if they are all her favorites.  Some toys really are favorites.  Those get washed and mended.  

Some toys get played with once and then are quickly forgotten.  If they are in good shape, donate them. 

Others get so tatty that it’s time for them to go.  If there are holes, yanked out squeakers, stuffing ripped out,  they’re dirty and you can’t wash them, the rope is like string now, or they’re broken and possibly dangerous for the pet, throw them away. 

If I end up having a new toy come in, I TRY to have two go out.

Ellie has a hoarding problem.

Accept that if you have pets, they’re going to have stuff- Sometimes minimalism can only go so far. Some things I have accepted. Do I need a blanket for my car? If I want to keep the upholstery clean, I do.   Are they using the outdoor beds? Every day for HOURS.   Does Ellie need her own detergent?  If I don’t want to have to spend $$$ at the vet to get her allergies under control again.   Find the right amount of stuff for you and your pets.  Sometimes as with all aspects of minimalism, compromise is inevitable.  

Donate donate donate 3

I am truly almost at the “end” of my donate journey. By end, I mean, after this trip I will be mostly at a “maintenance” period.  

I have gotten rid of most of the large items I no longer want.  Part of this journey has actually been about getting rid of particle board furniture and either replacing it…or not.  Right now I have one particle board item left in my house. A small DVD case. Once I find the right tiny bookshelf that will be donated too.

Included in this photo is:

A folding plastic table, two particle board closet organizers (previously used as a dresser), a bag full of clothes, two small bags with craft fabric scraps, two pairs of shoes, 7 purses, art supplies, holiday items and…countless other tiny things. 
Getting there!

Donate donate donate 2

With the exclusion of very few purchases (of items I will use, or am replacing other broken items), I am still diligently working toward my minimalism goals.

These are the things that are being donated next.  Another plant trellis, small table, vanity stool, old typewriter (I still have two!), a bag full of stationery, and a bag full of Tupperware and cutlery.  Not shown are a plant stand, four large plant pots (that were given to my mum) and a carpet shampooer that I had borrowed for three years but has been returned.

So that’s at least 50 items gone (I try not to count because it just overwhelms me).

I still have four areas of my house that are bad, my bedroom closet, the office and closet, and the garage.  

Just keep going!

Donate Donate Donate

I am slowly but surely working toward my minimalism goals.  It’s tough. I admit it.  Yes, I buy things (not only that I thrift!) but… I’ve actually been feeling guilty now each time I purchase things, because it’s a setback from my goals.I really have been planning a more in depth post (or posts) about minimalism and my goals.  I don’t really feel that many of the posts we see about minimalism are entirely realistic and almost get to the point of extremism. Not at all what I am.  
Anyway, this is my recent haul that’s going out to be donated.  There is a local thrift store by me where all the proceeds go to battered women and victims of domestic violence.  They even have beds and safe places for local women and children and strictly hire unemployed , work release, and at risk youth.  This place is great. 

The last four years (yes years, slowly but surely) I have donated about four to five truckloads about this size (some bigger).

TV stand, drawers, two cookie jars, 15 books, a crock pot, a lamp, art supply box, mail sorters, crafting drawers, about 2500 pieces of scrapbook paper, endless crafting supplies, 26 articles of clothing, 2 picture frames, DVD cases and paper inserts, Christmas items, about 20 small kids toys and various other small knick knacks I can’t remember.  All getting out of my house.  

Lula is inspecting and I think she approves that all these things need to go.

(She’s not going though! The pug stays!)