January purging part 3: 111 things in 1/11

Hello again, and welcome to part 3 of my mission to get rid of 111 things by the end of January–you can read here for part 1 and here for part 2. I know a number of you have jumped in and joined the challenge, so make sure to link up your blog posts to Jenny, the instigator of this madness.

This week was an easy one. My first goal was to sort through my socks. Due to a lack of drawer space, my sock storage situation was happening in this orange bag:

And it was overflowing.

A quick sort culminated in the tossing of many high school socks. Holey high school socks. The ones with the little lambs were the hardest to say goodbye to. I haven’t worn them in years, but the lamb faces were looking very reproachful as I laid them in the trash basket.

Lay? Laid? Lay? Laid? Help! There’s a woman called Aunt Jacquie who lives inside my head, and she is wagging her finger at my lay/laid conundrum. You were an English major, and you should know better! Who let you graduate without this fundamental piece of knowledge?

By the way, Aunt Jacquie is actually my aunt. She has a PhD in English literature, wrote her dissertation on Jane Austen, and has been known to correct my grammar on facebook. However, Aunt Jacquie has also come to form part of my internal grammatical conscience–I call this embodiment “Aunt Jacquie Number 2.” How this happened I’ll never know–no schizophrenic tendencies on my part, no sirree.

But let’s stop talking about the monsters in my head and return to the socks: goodbye little lambs! Maybe you’ll be able to forgive me one day–not only for throwing you away, but also for possibly saying something grammatically incorrect in reference to your final resting place.

The bag of socks was looking much more under control by the time I was through with it.

The tally: 7 pairs in the trash. They were shortly joined by some old underwear. Out with the old, in with the nude! That’s my motto when it comes to gross old underwear.

At this point some resurrected socks from the bottom of the bin found their way onto my feet.

That’s a fun side effect of this purging exercise: rediscovering some awesome stuff that was buried for years, and can now be enjoyed again. Plus, I love having toasty toes.

At this point my sister Erica called me, and we spent the next 70 minutes hanging out on the phone. Not exactly talking . . . just kind of hanging. She was drilling holes and installing some curtain rods in her new digs, and I was absently floating through my own closet, trying things on and asking her advice about what should join my pile of purged items for the week.

J: So Erica, I’m up to 22 things down, 8 to go. I’m thinking of getting rid of this skirt with the red and blue.

E: The red and blue?

J: Yeah, it’s got like a red background and some blue plant-type things on it. It’s that really cheap material, you know, I used to wear it over jeans.

E: It can go.

J: Okay, awesome.

*drilling noises*

J: So I might get rid of my wedding shoes. Slippers. You know.

E: Yeah, I bet those are disgusting.

J: They totally are! I can’t even bend them! They’re stiff with, like, sweat or something.

*more drilling noises*

E: They can go.

J: Okay, so Erica, what about that blue and purple nightshirt thingy from Charlotte Russe? You know, the one that’s kind of clingy, but it’s kind of nice for the summer?

E: Well is it flattering? ‘Cause if not, it can go.

It wasn’t that flattering, so it went.

With her help and emotional support (along with her steady, signature mantra of “it can go”), the pile swelled to its final version.

That includes a lazy Susan we haven’t used for the past 4.5 years, an old computer game, some books, a pair of blister-inducing shoes, and some random paraphenalia.

You can see the red and blue skirt peeking out from underneath the grey miniskirt.

And see what I mean about those wedding slippers? Totally disgusting. Warped with sweat, I tell you.

Next week will be the final installment of the 111 adventure–and it’s not too late to join! I’ve had so much fun reading your thoughts about clutter, de-cluttering, and your advice about what should stay and what should go. You guys are just plain awesome. Possum. Awesome-possum.

Have a great weekend, lovely readers and friends!

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25 Responses to January purging part 3: 111 things in 1/11

  1. Circe says:

    good for you for being so detached from potentially emotional items like wedding shoes. You’re absolutely right, they do look kind of gross, and they aren’t really a momento. You’ve inspired me, now that I know some of the places where all of my old junk is hinding, I’m going to spend next Saturday getting rid of it.

  2. Your conversation with your sister cracked me up and also made me sad that I don’t have a relationship like that with my sister. How awesome to have someone to bounce a good PURGE session around with!

  3. Well done. :-) Especially on throwing out old socks and underwear. :-) Love your mantra about old and nude. :-) Thanks for being a part of this. :-)

  4. Lyndsey says:

    Awww…you tossed the sheep socks? :D I could use that lazy suzan! Oh… I was supposed to read this to get inspired to join in and toss…toss…toss, not collect! :)

  5. longbrakeliving says:

    I’m not sure I’d be able to toss my wedding shoes! Of course, I had worn them before our wedding and have worn them since, but still! I try not to form emotional attachment to things, but it’s soo, soo hard.

  6. I never worry about the lay/laid conundrum, only becaus I know that no one in my near vicinity knows what the proper rule is. I have no relatives with PhD’s, and my lit profs aren’t sticklers for nitty-gritty grammar. Maybe there is a day dawning when lay and laid can be used interchangably and there will be no recourse–like using split infinitives.

    Grammar…the bane of my English major existence.

    And I’ll take that lazy Susan off your hands! It looks handy.

    Thought: who was Susan? And why was she so lazy?

  7. Veronica says:

    Your feet in those socks is just too cute!

  8. Eva says:

    “It can go.” Love it! I’ll be channeling your sister when I tackle my closet this weekend. It’s crazy the things we hang on to, but don’t let the lambs guilt you into slowing down!

  9. I recently got rid of all my novelty socks too. I love them, but they take up way too much space!

  10. Twinky says:

    I do believe LAID is correct (confirmation needed here, Jacquie) since it is the simple past tense of the verb “to lay”. The simple past of the verb “to lie” is “lay”, but apparently no one in the USA knows how to use “to lie” correctly anymore….. a serious pet peeve of mine!! “I’m gonna lay down for a while…” AUUUGGGGHHHH!! I’m gonna LIE down… OR I’m gonna lay myself down… To lay is what you do TO something (including your own body), and to lie is what something is simply doing…

    Farewell little sheep!!

  11. This Italian Family says:

    Way to get rid of so much stuff! I know how hard that can be, but it sounds like you have a really great mindset about it. :)

  12. Wendy says:

    Personally, I am really impressed that when you are gathering things of which to dispose, they are all yours. Every time I try to “downsize” it involves a husband’s things or a son’s things….. that never sets well with the owners.

  13. Joanne says:

    At this point I think my holey socks outnumber my nonholey socks. So until I plan a trip to TJ Maxx or some other such store, getting rid of socks is out of the question. Underwear, though. Now THAT’S an idea!

  14. Good work! Sometimes I get sentimental but I have to remind myself that this is just ‘stuff. I totally got rid of a lazy susan too. But, I bought mine last year in a shopping binge at IKEA. Stupid.

  15. Sarah says:

    woohoo! way to go :)

  16. Jen says:

    You’re so impressive, Jenna. 111 things is a lot to let go of. (Please ignore the lack of attention to grammer. It’s the weekend.)

  17. georgiecakes says:

    I actually de-clutter with every season, so that’s four times a year I do a massive spring cleaning. Out with the old & in with the new. It’s cleansing, refreshing and calming and overall satisfying feeling when your done! Funny, how I read your post today and was introduced to “The Story of Stuff” a website dedicated to educating people about no other than stuff/things. OK, off to fill my belly with stuff, like your Chicken Alfredo recipe – yum!

    • Jenna says:

      What a great idea! I should start doing that every season as well–decluttering is such a wonderful process, and it makes me feel like I just took a shower, if you know what I mean. =)

  18. sophia says:

    Haha, do you know this podcast called the Grammer Girl? She talks about grammar like it’s a religion. Btw, I would love to meet your Aunt Jaquie…she sounds like she’ll have interesting tales to tell!

  19. claire says:

    Lay? Laid? Lay? Laid?… Haha- I was an english major too but I STRUGGLE with this one!

    Loved the conversation with your sis… It makes me wish I had a sister to go along with my stinky little brother!

  20. vesselina says:

    hey that miniskirt on top- that’s not the one we got you on that one visit to VA, is it??? is it???? :P

    • Jenna says:

      No! The one from VA is still safe at home in my closet. =) The miniskirt that went is one from Plato’s Closet from my Delaware days, and it was veeery short. Very. Heh heh.

  21. Pingback: Purge in 1/11: Installment #3 « Overflow

  22. Jacquie Erwin says:

    Twink is right; you used “laid” correctly and I am honored to dwell somewhere in your mind. And by the by, split infinitives are perfectly acceptable (Oxford English dictionary about 10 years confirmed what I always believed), except when writing for old school professors who abhor them. To “lay” used as the intransitive verb to repose is common usage now, and only a tiny fraction of American English speakers both know and use “to lie” correctly. Language changes, paradigms shift, we somehow still live on. I am glad you passed on the lovely silver horse to a little girl. “Lay not up for yourself treasure on earth, but treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there is where your heart will be.” (as best I remember the passage). But often, remember, you can retain a “treasure” physically to better access the treasure it in fact represents–a memory of an experience, a lesson learned, and most of all, love ones. Great work and I need to purge more!

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