Declutter Day 365 – The Grande Finale

31 Jul



Reclaim space by decluttering. That was the goal. Simply dispose, donate or recycle one item per day for a year and 365 things that are never used, rarely used, or totally forgotten about will no longer clog up closets, drawers and storage lockers. That’s it. That was the plan. Well, that and the seemingly endless task of blogging once a day. Sounds easy right? One day at a time, no rush, just get rid of something, jot down a few notes, and voila, a blog is born. I wish it were that easy. Decluttering is one thing; writing on a daily basis is a whole other animal. Having said that…


After 365 days, the decluttered items total has reached 1,958, far surpassing the original goal. Mission accomplished! Oh, and the best part, I know where everything is now. Going through every inch of your home on a clutter reduction mission tends to have that effect.

To conclude the decluttering festivities, my JBL-L80 jblSpeakersspeakers have been dropped off at a Return-it recycling centre in Burnaby. Purchased in 1989 at a cost of $1000, these speakers were my second highest expenditure up to that point, trailing only my first three vehicles (and not by much). After 20 years of solid service, one of the speakers stopped working in March of 2009. From that point until today, the speakers served as glorified end tables, one for the telephone, and the other for displaying family photos.

For those of you in need of a continuing daily declutter fix, check out my friend Meghan’s declutterdaily blog. She is closing in on the halfway point of decluttering daily for one year.

As for Daily Declutter, a break of a week or two is in order. What’s next? I’m not exactly sure yet. Check back in a couple of weeks to find out.

Thanks for reading!


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Declutter Day 364 – Trivia Games

30 Jul

The Ultimate Football Trivia Board Game, the Ultimate Baseball Trivia Board Game, and the Ultimate Hockey Trivia Board Game have been cluttering one of our hallway closets for more than a decade. All three were included in a prize package for winning a football pool in 1999. All three are still wrapped in cellophane, never opened, and never played.

The hockey version will stick around for now. It is my triviaGamesfavourite sport after all, and I can at least envision playing it with friends and/or family members. When and where is a big question mark but, for now, someday will have to suffice. As for the baseball and football versions, a shelf in Value Village awaits.

All sports trivia games are intriguing to sports junkies like me, especially when a variety of sports are covered by one game. If only one sport is the focus however, for me, it has to be hockey. These board games are made in the USA so inevitably; college football and baseball questions will be included. College sports have never been my forte. I might watch the NCAA Football championship game but that’s about it. College Baseball is totally off my radar. It’s all about CFL (Canadian Football League) and NFL (National Football League) football for me, and to a lesser extent, Major League Baseball.

And then there was one, remaining declutter day that is…

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Declutter Day 363 – Yamaha Amplifier

29 Jul

Five items to report on today, beginning with a yamahaAmpYamaha stereo amplifier purchased back in 1989. It still works fine, but has been relegated to backup duty since my parents gave me their entire stereo system a few months ago. My original plan was to keep the old amp for future use, which must sound pretty silly coming from me, a supposed expert on decluttering. Here is how my thought process relates to that plan. If and when we move into a bigger home, setting up two stereo systems might be a possibility. You know, one for the living room and one for a spare room, or a downstairs room, or a garage even. Of course this plan is beyond ludicrous, again due to the fact that my decluttering prowess should be second to none after nearly a year of taking action on a daily basis.

The following breakdown of our current music sources set me straight and led to the decision to donate the amplifier to Value Village. Any future home will more than likely have the same options available. To start with, our current stereo system is capable of playing CDs, cassettes, AM/FM radio, and records. My wife also has a separate stand-alone record player with its own speakers. Then there’s the portable satellite radio system (for use at home and in the car), an iPod Shuffle, and a computer that plays CDs, has iTunes, and a set of high performance USB speakers. Finally, there are the many music stations available on television through our digital cable provider. That should be more than enough, don’t you think?

Other related items decluttered today are as follows…

The instruction manual for the amplifier, still around after 22 years, goes with the unit to Value Village.

The stereo system remote control, batteries included, is also going to Value Village.

The 22-year old instruction manual for the Yamaha graphic equalizer, decluttered back in April on day 256, has been recycled.

The 22-year old instruction manual for a Yamaha CD player recycled in 2003 due to skipping problems has been recycled. The demise of the original CD player led to the purchase of the Sony 300-disc capacity CD player decluttered in May on day 300.


Declutter Day 362 – A Bag and Stuff

28 Jul

Believe it or not, in the distant past, this was my overnight bag. Look at duracellBagit now, all worn out, a broken zipper and several scuff marks to show its age. At a hockey tournament sometime in the 80s, every player on my team received one of these Duracell bags. Must have been a sponsorship thing. Anyway, as mentioned, the bag played a prominent role in my travels for a time, but was eventually replaced by something bigger, a suitcase perhaps? No wait. It was a Nike bag, but that has nothing to do with this, or does it? Never mind for now, I’ll come back to it.

Lately (meaning at least a decade, and probably more like 15 years), the Duracell bag has been used a storage container. The contents you ask? Hockey pucks, lots and lots of hockey pucks. In the late 80s/early 90s, I collected pucks, one for each NHL team at the time, and used them as part of my home décor. The pucks were arranged on a ledge in my living room based on current division standings and updated as those standings changed throughout the season. The only exception was the Toronto Maple Leafs. I always left them in last place, regardless of the real standings. People started giving me pucks after that, and not just for new NHL teams. They included amateur teams, foreign teams, and even a few special event pucks from tournaments or all-star games. Okay, enough about the pucks already!

Before veering any further of course, let’s get back to the matter at hand, also known as the declutter item of the day. The pucks are staying for now. I have a plan for them, but that is a story for another day, and probably another blog, because this one is done in three days and my plan requires a bit more time than that.

So, back to the decrepit old bag, and the declutter decision. The previously mentioned poor condition and zipper issue leaves little doubt, this bag is garbage, and will be treated as such. I do need something to carry yesterday’s decluttered CDs in though. Old Duracell will come in handy for that trip to Value Village, and then it’s straight to the trashcan.

Just to provide some closure, the pucks are now in the Nike bag, which was empty and hadn’t been used in years anyway. As far as storage containers go, Nike is a big upgrade over Duracell. The zipper even works!

Wait, one more thing, or ten more things actually. After putting the CDs from yesterday into the Duracell bag, there’s room for more stuff. Rather than waste an opportunity to further declutter my space, another ten unwanted CDs (see below) have been added to the haul.

  1. Kix – Blow My Fuse (1998)
  2. Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want (1999)
  3. Thornley – Come Again (2004)
  4. The Hives – Tyrannosaurus Hives (2004)
  5. The Sundays – Blind (1992)
  6. 311 – Self-titled (1995)
  7. Last Action Hero – Soundtrack (1993)
  8. Enuff Z’nuff – Self-titled (1989)
  9. Images in Vogue – Chronology (2004)
  10. Images in Vogue – Evolution (2006)

Declutter Day 361 – Tough Ten

27 Jul

Five days remain. Decluttering is hard. Writing is even harder.

With 360 days under my belt, you’d think the last few would be a walk in the park right? Not so much. Why? The running total might have something to do with it. I’m simply running out of stuff! Of course that’s a good thing, in a weird, unexplainable, frustrating sort of way. As for the writing, well, even Stephen King gets writer’s block once in a while. It is what it is.

I know what to do. Declutter a few CDs. Donate them to Value Village. Why not? I have hundreds, many of which never make it into the CD player. Let’s make it ten. There, that wasn’t so bad.

The CDs selected for decluttering today are as follows…

1/ Great White – Great White (1984)
2/ Great White – Shot in the Dark (1986)
3/ Great White – Recovery (1987)

Of my five Great White CDs, only two of them, Once Bitten (1987), and Twice Shy (1989) make the odd appearance in the CD player. The three listed above were probably played once each, 20 years ago.

4/ Megadeth – Cryptic Writings (1997)

Two of the three Megadeth albums in my collection are among my all-time favourite CDs. This one turned out to be a regrettable purchase. It happens.

5/ Michael Monroe – Not Fakin’It (1989)

Michael Monroe is best known as the lead singer of Hanoi Rocks. I bought his solo album soon after it came out in 1989. Big mistake.

6/ Lenny Kravitz – 5 (1998)

The only good song on this album can be found on Lenny’s greatest hits album, which is also in my collection. Perfect!

7/ Faith Hill – This Kiss CD Single (1998)

I have no explanation for this. Faith Hill has some good songs; this is not one of them.

8/ The Pursuit of Happiness – Where’s the Bone (1995)

Love Junk is a good Pursuit of Happiness album; Where’s The Bone is a terrible Pursuit of Happiness album. Enough said.

9/ Faith No More – Angle Dust (1992)

Faith No More has a good album, but it isn’t called Angel Dust. What can I say? I bought the wrong one.

10/ Nitro – O.F.R (1989)

This album, like many before it, was purchased because of one good song. I just played it for old times sake a few moments ago and hated every minute of it. Go figure.

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Declutter Day 360 – Electric Trimmer

26 Jul

Out from under the bathroom sink and straight into the Value Village electricTrimmercollection box, the Conair Pivoting Head Trimmer. It was never used much, three or four times at most. That was enough to remind me of the following lesson, learned while briefly using an electric razor as a teenager.

Electric trimmers/razors suck, and there is nothing like a good old-fashioned razor blade.

Seven or eight years have passed since purchasing the Conair and experiencing this revelation for the second time. Hopefully the memory will stick this time and prevent another ill-advised purchase in the future.

Five more days…

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Declutter Day 359 – Registered Mail

25 Jul

During my year of studies (1998/99) at Victoria Motion Picture School, an instructor told us students how to protect script ideas from being stolen by other writers and/or filmmakers. His method was simple. Send the script to yourself by registered mail and leave the package unopened. That’s all you need, proof of the date on which the work was created. The point was to avoid registration costs with the WGC (Writers Guild of Canada), WGA (Writers Guild of America), or a copyright office, something none of us could afford at the time. It sounded like great advice, so I did it…twice. My concepts were safe. Whew!

The envelopes pictured to the right are a direct result of the registered registeredMailmail tip. Both have been cluttering my space for more than 12 years now. The original copy of Bliss, a story about a man’s obsession with a married coworker, is in regular envelope, unopened of course. The manila envelope, also unopened, contains the final version of The Project, a story about members of a film crew robbing a bank while coworkers film a scene about a bank robbery at the same bank. Sound confusing? It was, and it still is, which might explain why the idea has never been stolen.

I never gave the script registration process much thought again until tonight. Ten minutes of Internet research later, it has become apparent that sending those scripts to myself was a waste of time; a waste of money, and more importantly, resulted in a waste of space. Scripts have to be registered with the WGA, WGC, or a copyright office in order to sue for copyright infringement. Thanks for the bogus info VMPS! No wonder you went out of business.

Bliss and The Project were produced and filmed by our class before graduation. The final product is nothing to write home about, or write a blog about. I have them on videotape, somewhere, so the paper versions are dispensable.

Time to warm up the paper shredder…

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Declutter Day 358 – Legends Guide

24 Jul

Is it just me or was yesterday’s declutter description rather lengthy? legendsPriceGuideAnd to think it was a Saturday, which used to be treated like a day off. There was always an item decluttered, but the Saturday blog entry was usually on the brief side, a well-deserved respite from the grind of a long week. A near day off is definitely in order, on a Sunday this time for something different (or because it’s late and I’m tired).

Okay, here goes. A Legends Sports Memorabilia Pricing Guide has been removed from the sports section of my library and recycled. The date in the accompanying picture is difficult to make out so, for the record, this magazine is from September/October 1991. The 1991 issue? What? Why? Remember, this is a pricing guide. The odds of finding a current price inside are pretty much zero. Classic clutter.

One week to go!

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Declutter Day 357 – Arch Boards

23 Jul

There was a time when these arch boards were essential to keeping my workspace organized. That was a long time ago. Okay, two years is not that long in the grand scheme of things, but long enough I say. Time to declutter!

Some of the tasks involved with my production office position on various movies and television shows over the years were tedious and far removed from the glamorous side of the business. The most annoying of those tasks included the use of arch boards.

For each day of filming, the film stock used, pages shot, archBoardscast and crew hours, location information, safety notes, and anything else pertaining to on-set activities had to be tracked. All of this information was entered into a production report the following day, every day, over and over, again and again. The dates, names and numbers may have been different but the actual task never changed. As each show progressed the monotony grew, slowly and steadily. The first time production reports became my responsibility it was interesting, a challenge even, but by my last show in 2009, they had become the bane of my existence. Surely most people can relate. Doing the exact same thing every day gets old, no matter the profession, aside from athletes and artists, damn them.

These time-consuming production reports were all about gathering information from the previous day. The information had to be gathered as soon as possible, meaning first thing in the morning. Everyone was working on the present day except for me. Getting notes from people before they forgot was crucial. Each report was saved as a Word or Excel file but also printed and distributed to certain departments and individuals for easier access to multiple pages/days of information.

One of my arch boards held all the production reports. The other was for call sheets, documents distributed daily to all cast & crew with pertinent information about the following day on set. Call sheets were all about the next day. Because another department (assistant directors) was in charge of generating them, they caused little or no frustration to our department, even though the eventual distribution of the document was up to us.

Both documents were very important, and probably still are to people currently working in film and television. For me though, the documents mean nothing, and neither do these two arch boards. Vamoose! Off they go to Value Village

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Declutter Day 356 – Anthony Robbins

22 Jul

Sorry Tony, your coaching days are over. You’ve been tuned out. Don’t fret, it happens to the best of them. Talk to Mike Keenan, Pat Quinn, Marc Crawford, or any other coach who stayed with the same hockey team for too long. It happens to coaches in other sports too, teachers and bosses as well, and probably parents in some cases. So please do not take this personally, it’s not you, it’s me.

On a positive note, decluttering your RobbinsTapesPersonal Power cassettes could benefit someone else. The individual who buys these cassettes from Value Village might go through a life-changing experience as a result. Best of luck to the both of you.

Your help over the years (the cassettes were purchased in 1995) has been greatly appreciated. A few bad habits were eliminated, even though in my five attempts to get through the entire program that final cassette never did make it into the stereo. Close, but no cigar.

“The past does not equal the future” – Anthony Robbins

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