496 things – Amberley’s clothes


Michael started a capsule wardrobe a while back.  I resisted at first.  I’m not a shopper, but I love a good deal.  I buy clothes that ‘will do’ because they are cheap.  About 6 weeks ago, I cleared out my closet and put all my ‘meh’ clothes in a suitcase downstairs.  I haven’t missed a single piece.  I’m not down to 30 pieces of clothing (yet) but I wear everything in my closet.


This is the first time since we have been married that we can actually see wall in our closet! I on the other hand am a notorious shopper and I am sure had an unhealthy relationship with shopping… but we can talk about that in a few days when I get rid of more clothes.



496 things – more kitchen day 18



When you can say that you are returning to the kitchen to get more stuff, there is a problem. Although, I think our kitchen in particular had far too much stuff! This stuff gets in the way from really enjoying the stuff we love. After clearing our pantry, kitchen stuff and then cleaning, we had a great idea. We would break out the china and have a fancy dinner party. That fancy dinner party was all because we could finally get to the china and wanted to celebrate this de-cluttering milestone.



Why have beautiful things sitting in boxes? We are going to use the China.  I found studio pictures of the kids that were waiting in boxes for… when?  I framed them and put them up on the wall.  If we aren’t going to use it, and we aren’t going to display it – then why keep it?  We are getting rid of stuff, but we are gaining focus.



496 things – Jude’s broken toys



The kids have been watching us minimize, and on Saturday Jude asked if he could get rid of some more toys he doesn’t play with anymore.  He chose 17 plastic toys.  So many plastic toys fill my basement. Most are junk from The Dollar Store.  It’s stuff they don’t really want and it just breaks after 2 day.  Here is a literal picture of the Dollar Store toys my kids have busted in the past year:



I couldn’t care less if toys come from The Dollar Store, Toys R Us or the very toy shop Santa pumps out millions of copy right infringement toys from each year. Jude still has my lego and it’s going strong! The issue comes in when we just buy and buy and consume and consume because we want more. Then we train our kids to always want more. In the middle of four currents sits 20 million square miles of plastic garbage… in our ocean. This is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I am pretty sure that most climate control ideas are ridiculous and won’t work. BUT what we can do is control our trash and consumption habits. If we teach our kids that less is more, we might be able to make a difference. PS. I am not team Greta.


496 things -day 16 – cest un kitchen pantry



As previously mentioned, I am not tidy.  I am messy.  But, the pantry is one area I try to keep reasonable.  I had it organized by function (baking with baking, cans with cans…).  Michael came in and “re-organized” it.  By size.  That’s right.  By size.  So, by the time we started purging it looked like this:


We took 16 things out of there, including:

  • A juicer
  • Cheese cloth
  • a ton of plastic bags
  • Tupperware lids that have no container


Organizing by size works in many different forums. In school pictures do they go by type of kid? No, you can’t say, hyper kids in the back and calm kids in the front. You organize by size. Inside a Russian nesting doll what make the most sense? Size. These are two highly effective pieces of history and society. I encourage you to organize your pantries properly, by size!

496 Things – Day 15 Cloth Bags


I have a love – hate relationship with cloth shopping bags. I love the idea! Reduce, re-use, recycle, just like Captain Planet would have wanted. But the amount of these bags that are given away because we think they are clever and good promo has gone a bit too far. Every conference, trade show and random event I have attended gave me one of these with 6 other things I don’t want to go along with the 1 thing I did want. My advice, keep two and give the rest to Greta.


I am not going to make fun of Greta.  She is a child trying to make the world a better place.  That being said …




496 Things – Day 14 The Junk Drawer



It is Thanksgiving long weekend. Much to be thankful for.  I am thankful that we started this challenge.  It has been hard but freeing. Some of the clutter has been useful, some meaningful and some is just junk.  Today we cleared 14 things from our junk drawer… You know the drawer where everything just accumulates?  14 things, none important.  All garbage.


On thanksgiving, I am thankful for this challenge. It is helping focus on what matters most. People. The people I care about, the memories and adventures that are to come. Often, things trap failures, unfinished projects and good ideas that never came to fruition. When those reminders go away, there is a chance to remember the good and create a better future. I don’t know what that has to do with the junk drawer, but I am thankful that it all went in the garbage.


496 Things – Day 13 Baby Clothes



Ida found the dress she was dedicated in and tried to take it for her dollies.  I said no.  She said it was her dress, and I said “no.  Your baby clothes are mine”.   I’m not sure why I kept their little clothes or why its so hard to get rid of them.  But it is.  I kept a few things … the sleepers they wore home from the hospital, some little shoes… but 13 pieces are gone.


I would love to pretend like I don’t care about this and make a sarcastic comment… but… I have pulled Jude’s new born Air Jordan outfit out of the give away pile many many times!



496 Things – Day 12 -Things to put things in



I am not an organized person.  I am more of a shove it in there and slam the drawer kind of a girl.  But – I want to be all Marie Kondo, zen, neat and tidy, pretty closet person.  So I buy things to organize my things.  These containers inevitably get filled with junk and my actual stuff gets shoved into drawers.  Better plan?  Get rid of the stuff.



Just today I was looking at the stack of storage containers and thinking “I wonder what we could put in those.” I had to have a come to Jesus moment with myself. I think I got saved because I didn’t put anything in them, instead they went in a pile to go to someone else.



496 Things – Day 11 – Michael’s Randoms



Here is where getting rid of things gets a little more difficult. Things I like and I don’t see how it’s hurting anyone for it to exist in the closet. What if I need the memories that come with it?… wait, never mind. Here is the list.

3 Baseball posters… if you are a dude you had sports posters! They were tacked to the wall and were awesome. The problem is, I can guarantee they aren’t going up in my adult house next to my fancy adult things (because Amberley says so).

1 Record player – this was given to me by my friends Levi and Stefani, I love it. But since we moved it hasn’t worked right. So I am passing it on to someone who can do the work needed to make it awesome again. Good memories!

2 Drum brackets… for my 12 piece drum kit? Nope, Rush isn’t cool.

1 Baseball – I don’t like the Blue Jays and their autographs are dumb too.

3 Wayne Gretzky things – I named my first car ‘Lil Wayne Gretzky’, 100 points if you know what that car was.

1 Watch – I have a few, I am only keeping two. This one was kinda special because it came from kind people at the church. I am going to pass the kindness along. That way it is still useful.


When I met Michael his apartment was wall-to-wall memorabilia (mostly Stryper). He loves to have his stuff displayed.  I know this one was hard for him.  But at the same time … there will not be ugly posters hanging in my living room.


If you want any of it let me know, you have 3 days.

  • two drum hardware brackets
  • Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Dave Justice posters
  • Wayne Gretzky oilers book, action figure

496 Things – day 10 – the specials



This has nothing to do with the ska band.


The Specials was a ska band?  I only listen to the OC Supertones.

Anyways, these are some of my treasures.

  1. Old photo albums.  I went through these old albums and took out the 1/2 dozen pictures I actually wanted and threw the rest away.
  2. A year book.  Michael and I each had one.  I kept mine, since it actually had signatures and well wishes in it.
  3. A glass used as a centre piece at our wedding.  There was no alcohol, but we used the fancy glasses for candles.
  4. An audio recording of our wedding …. why did we ever have this?


Let me interpret this list of “special things” for you all.

  1. These were those super puffy albums that looked like they were part creepy doll and part text book.
  2. This pretty sums up our Bible College journey together 20191007_215337
  3. Pentecostals aren’t allowed to talk about alcohol…
  4. Wow! Also our wedding video was over dubbed with piano music… now we have a complete set!