What's on the way out

Photo journal of the things I've sent out the door this year (2013 and into 2014 and now 2015) in an effort to declutter
Some tops and old tracksuit bottoms - gone to clothes donation bank

Small vases from Ikea

Each number on this 'giant calculator' is a small wooden book with e.g. 1 ball, 1 banana in the No. 1 book, 2 balls, 2 bananas in the No. 2 book etc. Much-loved by my nieces and nephews when they were younger. My boss mentioned in the summer how much her five-year-old enjoyed playing with some English kids they met and had been wandering around ever since reciting "one, two, three, four" so I thought it might be nice to pass this on to someone who would enjoy it. This was one of those spur of the moment Book People purchases years ago that turned out to be great value for money. Hard to let go but no point in it just sitting around here unused.
Small winter beanie baby-type thing. I genuinely cannot remember who gave this to me, it was probably my younger sister but I actually think it was from a work kris kindle years ago. Either way, I don't feel any connection or sentimentality for this, so out it goes.
Melted candles
I was getting a mug out of the cupboard a few days ago and knocked over the cocoa. In my attempt to grab the cocoa, I knocked this mug out of the cupboard and it smashed on the floor. Would so much rather have spent ten minutes sweeping up cocoa! I really liked this mug, especially the shape of the handle.

Two pictures of the same thing? Surely that's overkill. Well, not really, I just wanted to try and get a good shot of the colours, the other thing I loved about this mug. It wasn't an expensive mug, just one that I saw in a supermarket years ago and thought looked bright and cheerful. I was going through a bit of a phase of wanting bright and cheerful things and also wanting to start picking up random things here and there to start building up my kitchen properly, I suppose. I've briefly toyed with the idea of putting this into a 'crafts' box, thinking one day I might smash it up some more and use the bits in a mosaic but I think I'd just rather have the memory of a nice mug so out it goes.
Christmas 2005, I think, was when I got this book. My brother got me a Magic Bullet so that I could make smoothies with it and either he or my sister gave me this book. I think it was her because he had told her what he was getting for me. I have looked at this book maybe once or twice and I don't remember ever actually following a recipe from it. More than eight years is a long time to keep a book you don't need or use but any kind of cookbook is always particularly difficult to part from, especially when it was a present. So when the girl I share an office with was talking about getting a smoothie maker I shared my experiences with her and the next day had the bright idea of giving her this book. Give her a chance to improve her English and might help her decide if she really wants one or not. And I've gotten something else out the door. Eleventy billion more things to go!
I've been holding on to these shoes since before I moved here, thinking I would bring them to be repaired. Plain Clarks brown workshoes and they were (are!) so comfy. Having taken a few pairs to be repaired over the last few years, I know that these are way beyond repair and with a heavy heart I have just thrown them in the bin. I have definitely learned my lesson of making sure to look after my stuff and get it repaired/renewed before it needs to be! 

Another pair of brown work shoes, suede this time. I think they were from Evans - tiny bit too wide but very comfy too, with a similar size heel to the brown leather ones above. Although the soles of these weren't too bad, and could possibly have been replaced, the insides, as you can see, were well worn down - and this was after I had taken out the two pairs of insoles I had added over the years. The right one was also damaged at the back of the heel and although that might also have been reparable, I need to just detach myself a bit from stuff and so these have also gone in the bin. I haven't even had a pair of brown trousers that fit me for about eight years!

Navy work shoes -  Clarks again, worn till they were falling apart. I was actually hanging on to these to take them apart sometime, just to see what the component parts of the shoes look like. But who am I kidding? I have enough 'projects' already lined up to last me a lifetime. If I didn't do this within a couple of weeks of thinking of it, I never will. 

A small basket, that was originally part of a gift-set of bath salts and that kind of thing. I love this and have used it in multiple ways over the years (I was still living in my parents house when I got this, I think around 16 or 17, so it's more than 20 years old). I noticed when I was clearing some stuff out of it today, that there's a lot of the dusty-looking stuff at the bottom of it that usually turns out to be moth eggs. So into the bin it went. Along with the lighter that wasn't working anyway and the plastic covering for my pinking shears.
I've never been a big fan of wearing nail varnish and this is obviously leftover from some attempt to 'fit in and be normal'. I had several of those in my twenties. Most of those bottles and tubes are more or less full but I'd estimate more than ten years since I've even thought about using them. So out they go. The tin (originally a present of shortbread from London) stays though - that'll be useful for something or other.

A Lladro figurine and a Swarovski crystal that opens up to hold two photos - both of these were my Mum's and I've held on to them and loved having them for years. Over the last year or two, though, I've somehow lost that sentimental part of me that was clinging to these two. Not really sure what it is but I just didn't feel like I needed to have these things anymore. Of course, I couldn't think about just getting rid of them either so they've been hanging around for a few months waiting for something to happen. When my sister was visiting a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that she might like to have them and she seemed pleased to get them so it's all good. She gets to have something of sentimental value and I'll be able to "visit" them if I ever miss them too much. 
Just another shot of the Lladro figurine from a slightly different angle - it was an incredibly difficult piece to get a good photo of. Lladro stuff really is beautiful though - if I didn't hate dusting to much this is one thing I could imagine collecting.
I bought this magazine for my sister a few years ago when she mentioned that she was starting to scrapbook. I happened to see it in France and since she lived there one summer, I thought it'd be fun to send her a French magazine. I promptly put it away somewhere safe and couldn't find it when I was making up her christmas box that year and only came across it recently. Coincidentally my French niece mentioned to me just a couple of weeks after I saw it again that she has started scrapbooking. So I've posted this off to her, along with some small pictures that I cut out of boxes of cards I've bought over the years that have been sitting in my crafts cupboard waiting for me to do something creative with. I spoke to her the other day - don't think she was too impressed with the cardboard cutouts but she seemed to like the magazine and it going to use it as part of a school project on hobbies next week.

Washing clothes that I dragged out of the wardrobe when I first started trying to hot wash everything because of having gotten moths, i.e. at least a year and a half ago. I had a large rubbish bag full and realised that there was very little of it that I had truly missed during that time so I just took the plunge and as soon as they were washed and dried, folded things to bring to the clothes donation bank. On the right are lots of plain t-shirts in lots of different colours and I still have at least as many again. In the middle are some long-sleeve t-shrits. They cost a pang as they were good Marks & Spencer ones but I always used to complain because they were too short and could only wear them underneath other tops so it was better to pass them on. Next are a couple of tops and tracksuit bottoms. In front a towel, a chanille-type jumper, a fancy purple t-shirt with sparkly neckline which I have used recently but don't actually like much anymore, a polo-neck and a couple of vest tops as well as a souvenir t-shirt that I bought once in Paris. 
This is the t-shirt I got in Paris. I wore it a good few times in the year or so after I bought it but don't remember having worn it for years.
I bought this art set years ago and it has seen plenty of use by various visiting kids. The fact that it looks like a "briefcase", along with a carry handle always went down well. I've nearly gotten rid of it a couple of times and then every time I opened it up, it just looked so great, I couldn't bring myself to. However, it is an awkward shape and mostly gathers too much dust. So I've emptied everything out of it, stored the pencils, markers, pastel oils, water colours and crayons in Tupperware and put those containers in a box that already holds paints. So, same amount of storage (one canvas box) but more in it.
This is the inside of the case. The scissors was lost years ago, as was one of the paintbrushes, the rubber and pencil parer. The little bottle of glue is well dried out so I'm not hanging on to that.
And just for good measure - here's the back of it. I brought this straight down to the big bin this morning and am glad I did as otherwise it could have hung around for another few weeks.
Two books that I always meant to read but haven't managed to do more than glance through in nearly seven years. A friend asked me about something last week that I looked up in one of these and then I just decided to loan him the books and asked him to move them on to somewhere else when he was finished and not to give them back. If I really want to read them and have the time to do so some day then it'll be easy enough to borrow a new set.
The next few photos are the stuff I sold at flea market. Anything not sold went to charity clothes bank or give box.
Various candles, candle holders and incense cones. 
Russian tea set - bought at a local kids stall outside their house a few years before I left Ireland and never, ever used or even set out to display as something decorative.  Bought for €1.50, sold for €1.00 :-)
Novelty ice-cube trays that I got at a present years ago, only used once or twice and then only because I wanted to know I had used them at least once before getting rid of them. I'm adopting Marie Kondo's attitude to passing on presents, though. Ended up selling them for €1 to my friend's sons. The white thing is a Tupperware elephant magnet photo frame. Never used. The wooden things underneath it are two Ikea soap dishes - used for a while but hated them, they always seemed to be soapy/dirty. Beside orange ice-cube tray are two small wooden animals that were in a lucky dip bag from the fair trade shop. I did have them on a shelf but had no particular attachment to them. The two lights came back home with me. Beside them is a cheapie luggage scales, which I sold.
Two laptop cameras, neither of which I ever managed to get fully working (and I got this laptop with an integrated camera not long after so they've just been in a drawer for nearly three years). The Tchibo one was sold for €1 and the other one went to the Give Box.
Shoes that are too small. I wore these once, very briefly at my sister's wedding when I couldn't take the heels anymore. I want to check with my niece if she'd like to have them, I think she's nearly the right size now. So for now, these aren't actually gone but they will be soon.
Bags. The grey backpack came home with me. The rest went to the Give Box. It was very, very hard to leave the creamy coloured one on top there. And I still feel like I should have kept it. But I am fairly certain I would never have used it again - even though I'm not much bothered by fashion and appearance, a 40-year-old woman carrying a mini-backpack a la the late 90s would just look sillier than even I care to look.
Bags spread out on the table later in the day in an attempt to attract more interest. Cream mini-backpack that had a bus ticket from 2001 in it, obviously the last time I used it! Green canvas bag - only bought a year ago but the strap was just that bit too short and what I thought would be the perfect bag just wasn't. Multi-coloured mini-backpack - bought when they were in fashion but honestly, I don't know if I ever used it. Small brown suede handbag - loved this and used it quite a bit but the strap is just a bit too short. Same goes for the small straw handbag in front of it and the black leather bag to the left. The small black Adida bumbag was, I think, a freebie some time or other - I don't remember ever using it. The small black one in front of that is one my friend was getting rid of - thought it was funny that she was getting rid of the same kind of mini-backpack I was, though. The brown (fake) leather and red Mr. Strong purses were well used but it's the eurozone now, so no need to a dozen different purses with different currencies. The dark sparkly one is a bag I got for a wedding the year before I left Ireland and I think I used it at a black tie event two years ago and that's it. Slightly damaged and it only cost about €4 in Penney's so it's all good. The boxy black one is one I used a few times going out but not very often - again, the shoulder strap it came with was just a bit too short. I ended up giving that to my friend. And finally the purple leather, green suede and white cloth bags - all from when I was a kid. The green suede was my first ever handbag (about age seven or eight maybe?) - I still love it but it's really not suitable for use as anything but a child's plaything at this stage. The purple is another from my childhood although I think it might have been an older sister's cast-off. And the white bag was a present from my parents from Tenerife, I believe. Or maybe I bought it there myself. I know my next sister up and I had the same bag, which is what makes me think it was a present. Oh, there's also a small brown leather purse from Tenerife there somewhere, too - the kind you could thread onto a belt. I really wish I had passed these on to some of my nieces when they were younger - it was hard to let go of these.
Two glass chopping board - one with lovely herbs on it, the other (underneath) just plain glass. Haven't used them since I came to Germany so it seemed the right thing to let them go although I know as I was cleaning the herbs one and then spent the day looking at it, I really, really wanted to change my mind and take it back home with me.
The next few photos are a few different ones of the clothes I got rid of. Didn't have time for proper photos where I'd be able to see the individual piles but at least I'll have an idea from these of what's gone.
Vero Moda top, circa 1997. Originally white with navy stripes and dyed black at some stage, now faded to grey. Loved this top and wore it a lot. But it was time for it to go.

Two more Vero Moda tops, around the same time, one olive green, one navy. Also worn a lot.

Various vest tops. Red one from Evans on top which was getting a bit too wide and a bit too short. Mostly coloured ones from M&S Mode. Couple of white ones with nice scalloped edges that haven't fit for years, as well as a nice olive green one and a black one which, honestly, never fit properly. Not to mention the Ralph Lauren blue one, which also never fit but I bought at TK Maxx anyway because I was so excited to buy something from a DESIGNER. Ha. Sold that at the flea market for 50c.

Long sleeved t-shirts - mostly from M&S Mode or C&A basics.

Pink linen shirt from Penney's circa 2004, originally white, dyed pink (have another just like it and a black one, too so got rid of one at least). Orange top I bought in Marks & Spencer in 2007 for a wedding. T-shirt with sparkly bits from C&A a few years ago. Black trousers bought, again for a wedding but then worn for work for a year or so, 2009 or 2010, I think. 

Couple of work shirts I haven't worn for years. And a pair of trousers that I realised when someone held them up to look at them, that the moths had been at. So they actually just got thrown in the bin. 

Red jumper that was on the discount rack at M&S Mode (for a couple of euro, I think) so I just grabbed it but it never really sat right so I never wore it. Maybe once. Wine coloured stretchy trousers which were very comfy but too tight to wear in public. There's a pair of grey tracksuit bottoms from Penney's in there somewhere, too.  The green t-shirt is one I absolutely loved. Loved the colour, loved the cut, loved the way it felt wearing it. Hated every single photo I ever saw of myself in it so decided it should go. Beside that is a pile of polo necks. 

Nightdress bought in Dunnes, I think, in 2009. Wore it once. Loved the look but it was really uncomfortable with no give at all. Most unsuitable for sleeping in.

Short-sleeved t-shirts. Including one that was a present from my dad and stepmother from America (the one on top). It was pink, I dyed it yellow but it was hopelessly shrunk and somehow this time round I had no difficulty letting it go. The Harry Potter one was a freebie I don't remember getting or ever having worn. The rest are just standard plain t-shirts in lots of different colours, including about five red ones I've almost never worn. No need to keep basic t-shirts for when I lose weight!
And nearly forgot. I didn't get a photo of the baskets on the right here. Set of three that I got years ago and have used for various different purposes. Most recently for storing winter clothes (the two smaller ones) and handbags (the large one). Still love them but felt like I was just finding excuses/things to use them for so that I wouldn't have to get rid of them rather than actually having a use for them, if you know what I mean. So, again, a wrench, especially after spending the day looking at them at the market. But, gone is gone and hopefully they'll have found a good home.

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