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10 Nonfiction Books That Read Just Like Fiction!

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Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through one of these Very Special Links, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Just a head's up!

In a world of nonfiction, I am, at heart, a fiction loving girl. I know, I know! But as much as I love fiction, sometimes there are some nonfiction books that are so interesting and absorbing, they read just like fiction. And the crazy part is, nonfiction books are true. No need for a made up plot twist because all of the things in these books actually happened. (Though you have to take into account the bias of the authors, etc. but still. The things in the books happened in real life, the authors just may portray it or explain it a different way, all depending on who’s telling the story) So it’s true what they say that truth is stranger than fiction. Or sometimes more fun! I’ve compiled a list of ten more of my favorite nonfiction reads, from the scary and serious, to the quirky and fun! If you’ve been waiting to dip your toe into the nonfiction pool, then I’m sure there will be something on this list for you. Give it a try, you never know what story from one of these books might affect you and interest you in a certain topic!

(Also, I am adding some trigger warnings before a couple of books that deal with difficult subject matters. While I highly recommend all of these books, if you are sensitive to any of the subject material mentioned, I would advise you to skip that book and read another one of my suggestions instead!)

If you haven’t read my first post about some of my other favorite nonfiction books that you should totally add to your reading list, you can read it here!

Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore

Sourcebooks
This book tells the untold stories of a group of girls from the 1910's and 20's, who worked at various watch dial painting factories, where they had to paint the dials with a glow in the dark paint made with- radium. At the time, radium was thought to be safe and a miracle cure for everything, but by constant exposure (and ingestion through the licking of their paintbrushes to keep the tips pointed for accuracy), the dial painters, who were all mostly young women in the prime and start of their lives, suddenly became stricken with horrible, unknown illnesses and painful death- all due to the deadly nature of radium. This book tells their story, the girls who are just spoken about as a collective of the casualties of the danger of radium, and breaths life and individuality into each and every woman. It also records the fights and lawsuits (that spanned years) that the girls, their families, and lawyers raised against numerous watch dial companies, who did everything in their power to deny these claims (and lie) and let woman after woman suffer and die, just to keep making money. A true story of science, injustice, history, and greedy business, mixed with courtroom drama, this book will engross you from start to finish.

Very Special Link: Buy Radium Girls on Amazon

*Trigger Warning for Mindhunter: Very violent and disturbing topics discussed throughout the book*

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Gallery Books
Don’t read this when you’re house-sitting by yourself. Trust me. I know from experience. A true story by one of the FBI’s first psychological profilers of serial killers, this books the story of John Douglas, from his childhood, his interest in psychology, his career in the FBI, and how his and other's efforts to profile murderers who killed again and again (finally dubbed “serial killers”) and how they helped profile and help track down other serial killers (and hopefully help in the effort to prevent killers from killing. Nature vs. nurture, right?). With portions of the book dedicated to interviews and meetings with well known serial killers like Charles Manson and Ed Kemper, Mindhunter offers a disturbing but intriguing look at serial killers, their minds, and the hard work people at the FBI and law enforcement get into to protect the public and catch some seriously disturbed individuals. (Again, don’t read this when you’re house/dog-sitting and all alone. I learned that the hard way!)

Very Special Link: Buy Mindhunter on Amazon

*Trigger Warning for Boys and Sex: Topics of r*pe and s*xual assault discussed throughout the book*

Boys and Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, P*rn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity by Peggy Orenstein

Harper
If you haven’t read Peggy Orenstein’s fantastic book Girls and Sex, all about girls and the new lifestyle of sex and dating in the digital age, it’s a must read for every parent, and frankly, any person living in this modern technological world (aka right now). Ms. Orenstein is back with the male version of Girls and Sex, where she interviews boys this time, about their feelings about dating, sex, and more, but offers incredible insight into what it’s like for teenage and college age guys in today’s hookup culture. At times incredibly hard to read, but also incredibly important in this day and age, Boys and Sex is one of those books that has some very hard truths and stories to read but is so relevant and essential in this technological world where literally everything is constantly changing every part of our lives and the lives of the new generation too.

Very Special Link: Buy Boys and Sex on Amazon

Check out my review of Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein here!

Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garment Throughout History by Jennifer Wright

Andrews McMeel Publishing
Want to read a fun book about the deadly ways fashion could kill you back in the day, complete with illustrations and fun limericks? Then do I have the book for you! Killer Fashion is the perfect book for the fashionista/history buff who also has a morbid fascination with...well, things that could kill you. It’s a win-win-win! (For us fans of the strange, anyway!) Plus, it’ll give you a good jumping off point to any of these deadly fashions in history that you may want to learn about further! (I always knew scarves were suspicious and should not be trusted.)

Very Special Link: Buy Killer Fashion on Amazon

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want To Come: One Introvert's Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan

Andrews McMeel Publishing
Are you an introvert, like I am? Or are you an extrovert who just doesn’t understand what being an introvert is about? Well, I have the perfect book for all of you! In Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want To Come, Jessica Pan decides to take her introverted ways and see if she can come out of her shell and live like an extroverted person (meaning saying “yes” for a year. Literally my worst nightmare). In a brand new city, she takes improv classes (so awkward), hosts a dinner party with new friends (terror), and even does stand-up comedy (the horror!!). In her book, Jessica writes about the triumphs and the failures of her adventures, and how they brought out new sides of her she didn’t even know she possessed. A truly inspiring tale, says me, an introvert who doesn’t have the courage to do most of the things Jessica did! (Stand-up comedy?? She is literally an introverted superhero! I could never!)

Very Special Link: Buy Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come on Amazon

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen

Workman Publishing Company
Everyone hates taking medicine. But you know who had it way worse than you? Literally everyone before the 20th century! (And some may argue with that claim!) This book gives the history of some very strange, disgusting, odd, and just plain ol’ dangerous “cures” and medicines that doctors and physicians (and just random folks) throughout history have used to try to treat everything from colds to venereal disease. Both terrifying and fascinating, you’ll feel so grateful you live in the modern age and don’t have to be poked with lancets and have leeches stuck to your skin. Taking a pill doesn’t seem so bad compared to iron hot pokers and leeches, am I right?

Very Special Link: Buy Quackery on Amazon

*Trigger Warning: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes deals with subjects around death and trauma*

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

W.W. Norton & Company
Have you ever thought it would be like to work in a crematorium? Me either- until I read this book! You may know Caitlin Doughty from her YouTube channel, Ask a Mortician (which you should totally check out!). In her book/memoir, she talks about her job working at a crematorium, her thoughts and feelings about death (because you experience a lot when you’re incinerating dead bodies for a living), and how it led her to be the mortician she is today (with her own company that specializes in eco-friendly burial options, and personal and honest information for her clients in her own mortuary business). Not only is Caitlin an advocate for destigmatizing death and how we view it in its current funeral practices in Western culture, but she also is so personable and knowledgeable and frankly, funny, you’ll also want her to be your best friend. Read her book and you’ll know why! (Plus, you’ll probably start thinking about death in a more accepting, and less scared way. Which is a good thing overall, I think)

Very Special Link: Buy Smoke Gets In Your Eyes on Amazon

Bonus Caitlin Doughty books that I also highly recommend (also Very Special Links):

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions From Tiny Mortals About Death

Check out Caitlin’s YouTube channel Ask a Mortician, too!

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill

Back Bay Books
Have you ever wanted to time travel and live in another time? Time travel isn’t really a thing (at least not yet, according to some people), but if it was an option and you wanted to live in the Victorian ages and you are a woman, Unmentionable is the perfect (and historically hilarious) guide book for you! From how to be a proper lady, to the garments (under and over) you must wear, and how you must conduct yourself as a wife (most important), mother (next important), and woman (least important), this book will have you ready to time travel and be the oppressed, Victorian woman you know you always were deep down. (I mean, aren’t we all?)

Very Special Link: Buy Unmentionable on Amazon

This Is Gonna Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Medical Resident by Adam Kay 

Little, Brown Spark
Despite being incredibly squeamish about blood and gore, sometimes I just love reading about all things medical. And This Is Gonna Hurt, about a former physician in the U.K., is both fascinating, medically, but also incredibly hilarious and heart-felt. If you want to know what it’s really like to be a doctor, from school to officially saving lives in a hospital, and the toil and the heartbreak it brings upon you (but also the very funny stories. Human beings are incredibly stupid/hilarious), then this is the book for you. One of the best and funniest and deepest memoirs I’ve read and can’t recommend enough! (I even forced my dad to read it and I heard him belly laugh multiple times)

Very Special Link: Buy This Is Gonna Hurt on Amazon

Alphamaniacs: Builders of 26 Wonders of the World by Paul Fleischman and Art by Melissa Sweet

Candlewick Studio
Are you a lover of language? Do words, literature, and books amuse you and fill you with wonder? Then you need to read Alphamaniacs! It highlights 26 (as in how many letters there are in the English alphabet) people who have made their mark on language in all sorts of ways. From coming up with a less complicated alphabet to an even easier universal language (plural! People have come up with multiple universal languages that they thought could replace the complicated English language), history is full of industrious and witty people who love the written word and celebrate it by making it into complicated codes, the world’s smallest books, and more. Who knew that a mere 26 letters could create so much creativity, communication, and community? I didn’t! But I’m all the better now for knowing it!

Very Special Link: Buy Alphamaniacs on Amazon

And these were just some more of my favorite nonfiction books! I know they ranged from the very serious to the very frivolous, but I learned so much from all of them, and I hope you do too! (And that they entertain you, like they did for me, of course!) So if you’re a fiction lover who wants to get into nonfiction, maybe give one of these books a try! You could find your new favorite book right here on this list! (And if so, you’re very welcome!)

What are some of your favorite nonfiction books? Do you lean towards the serious and scary, or more of the fun and quirky? Let me know in the comments, and also what you thought of my suggestions! I’d love to hear from you!

Stay Weird,
Emily

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The Liebster Award!

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
I am so honored (and humbled and privileged and all of the fancy synonyms that one puts into their award acceptance speeches) to be nominated the Liebster Award! Out of all of the awards I’ve been nominated for (I know, I’m quite distinguished), this was one of the popular ones that I had always seen other bloggers be nominated for, but never myself. Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, right? (Which is literally true- I’m not married and I’ve been a bridesmaid four times. Ah well. Either I’ll get married someday or stay single forever. Which I’m cool with because I love cats, so don’t you worry about me!)

But now, my time has come! (Not for marriage, but for this award) Much thanks to my good friend Julie over at Dark Blue Journal for nominating me! If you haven’t heard of Julie and her amazing blog, she writes about sustainability, minimalism, the environment, and so much more! She writes in such a knowledgeable, yet eloquent, but also easy to read way, all at the same time that it’s kind of insane. So if you’re not reading her blog, you should! You’ll learn so much! Plus, she’s opened up her own Etsy store selling sustainable crocheted jewelry and it’s the prettiest eco-friendly accessories you’ll ever see. Check it out at Sattvic Arts!

So now, without further ado, is my Liebster Award blogging tag! I can’t wait to answer Julie’s (always) thoughtful and insightful questions and then nominate some people of my own and ask them my own (not so) thoughtful and insightful questions! Here we go!

If you haven’t read my previous blog post where I was nominated for The Real Neat Blogger Award, you can read it here!


Julie's Questions:


1. What’s your most philosophical take on life? Go crazy with it.

Ooh, this is a tough one! I think my most basic philosophical take on life (since I’m not really religious, more agnostic), is the golden rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. I don’t know if karma is real, but I’d like to think that those who act out of kindness will somehow be rewarded for all of their good and selfless deeds (though it really doesn’t take much to be nice, in all honesty). Hopefully in this life, but if not in this one, maybe the next one (or the next and next after that if you believe in reincarnation. Again, I’m agnostic, I have no idea what’s going to happen after death!), and if not in any of those, maybe their good deeds and the wonderful memories of these people will be remembered in the hearts and minds of the people who knew them throughout the years, and will inspire others to be nice and spread that kindness around without wondering what’s in it for them. (But I seriously hope karma is real because I’d love to see all of the goodhearted people I know just be showered with an abundance of cash.)

2. What’s one good thing about the pandemic in your opinion?
One of the only good things I can come up with about this pandemic (because I can think of a lot of bad things about it!), is that it’s really made me appreciate what I have. Not only my physical things, like essentials, a roof over my head, food, Netflix, etc. But also more simple things, like my family. I’ve always whined and moaned because I’m not where I want to be in life right now (aka still living at home) but I’ve started to take it (“it” meaning being stuck at home because of a worldwide pandemic) as a sign to enjoy where I am in life, even if it’s not exactly where I want to be at the moment. So I’ve started really taking the time to… well, spend time with my family, because this pandemic has reminded me that nothing is forever and the time we have is precious. If I’m going to sit with my family and enjoy a movie, I am going to be present, not on my phone, and make some memories. Since we’re stuck at home, it’s the little things that count, the things that make us laugh, like watching the cats or a silly movie, or just chatting and telling stories, that makes me really appreciate having this time with them. Because right now life is uncertain, and my family, for all of its quirks and annoyances, are always those crazy people I can rely on and take comfort in during these difficult times. (Though I could really use some space from them right now. Love them so much though!)

3. If you can go anywhere right now, where will it be? Why?
London, England. Always London! (Or just England in general!) In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of an Anglophile! (Blame the Harry Potter books for starting it all) I had always wanted to go to London and when I finally went four years ago, it was just a magical experience. I think I really just love the history of the country. It’s so old and history is literally just oozing out of every building. I also love the accents and the fact that it’s such a rainy country (I live in the desert, so, can you really blame me for wanting what I can’t have?). If I had the chance to be in London right now (minus the pandemic!), I would be going to all of the museums, tea shops, parks, country towns, historical sites, and taking all of the tours! It’s a city where there’s so much to see and do, you’ll never get tired of it! (Plus, easy access to the rest of Europe, so England is kind of a wonderful gateway country)

4. If I tell you that you’re perfect the way you are and you should accept yourself, warts and all. What will you say to me?
I’d say shut your mouth! I’m just kidding, Julie! But in all honesty, I’d have a very difficult time believing that. I’ve always suffered from low self-esteem, so hearing that from someone and then trying to accept it, would be so mind-boggling for me. I think if I heard someone like Julie say that to me, knowing that she wouldn’t lie and say that to just be nice, I’d actually have to mull it over and really think: “am I perfect the way I am? Should I accept myself?” It would definitely make me think and I’d probably answer with: “Thank you for saying that. I’m going to make an appointment now with my therapist because this has sent me into a weird mental state that I really can’t make sense of and is making me question everything I’ve ever thought about myself.” Just being honest! (Though I really would love to accept and believe that one day!)

Whew, Julie’s questions were so good! I know my questions can’t be as great as her’s, but I’m definitely going to try to make mine a bit interesting and fun to answer, as best as I can:

My Questions:

1. What is the first fun thing you want to do after the pandemic is over?
2. If you became famous, what would it be for?
3. A genie grants you three wishes (lucky you!)- what are your wishes?
4. What’s one quality you like about yourself and why?


My Nominees:

Camila @ Plaid and Sugar
Anne @ Rooting Branches
Deandra @ The Black Princess Diaries
Payton @ In the Flux
Ash @ ThisDreamsAlive

(As always to the bloggers I've nominated, if you're not into tags, or have already done this tag before, don't feel any pressure to do it! I just nominated you all because I think you're all amazing! Also, to anyone reading this, please check out all of these amazing people's blogs! Trust me, you're going to love them!)

And that was my Liebster Award blog post! It was so much fun to write and very, very thought-provoking! (Thanks for that Julie! I don’t think my questions quite measure up to yours, haha. But I tried! I want that written on my tombstone: “She tried.”) What did you think of Julie’s questions and what did you think of my answers? How would you have answered them? Also, have you ever been nominated for the Liebster Award? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily

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A Bookworm’s Whatever Is The Opposite of a Book Haul - My Minimalism Journey, Part 3

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
You may think that as a bookworm, that I’m also a book collector. And in the past that’s been true. But as I’ve been trying to be more minimalistic and less materialistic, I decided to take a look at an aspect of my life which I love and apply minimalism to it: books!

A Bookworm Waxes and Wanes About Their Love of Books

If you know anything about being a book lover, books are everything. Some people have switched to e-books or audiobooks, which is just fine (whatever keeps you reading! You do you, fellow bookworms!), but for me, there’s nothing like the feeling of opening up a book you’ve never read before, or smelling the pages of a brand new book, or even an old one (so musty and full of memories of the readers that have come before you and have turned those pages and discovered the story just like you are now!). Even seeing the spines of my books line my (multiple, but small) bookshelves brings me joy, knowing that stories I love or have yet to read are all there just waiting for me, to take me on adventures and stories well-known, or untold..

Have I convinced you that I’m an avid book reader yet? If so, then if that last paragraph didn’t convince you, I’m not sure anything will.

But moving on!

To Keep These Books Or Not (THAT Is The Question)

As a bookworm, you may be wondering why I want to start going through my books, to see what I want to keep and what I want to give away. And the answer is simply this: I’m running out of room.

I’m kidding! (But not really!) I really wanted to take that aspect of minimalism that by having less things, makes you appreciate them more, and apply that to my book collection. So I started asking myself those questions that one always asks when you’re thinking about getting rid of stuff (but this time applied it to books):

Is it a favorite book?

Am I ever going to reread it again? (Very important!)

Would I recommend it to someone else and let them borrow it? (But they better effing return it or else! I still remember every single person who hasn’t returned one of my books. Sigh. They know who they are!)

Am I keeping a book out of nostalgia (not because it was good) or because it was a gift (aka because I feel guilty about giving it away)?

My goal for asking all of these questions was to figure out: which books mean the most to me and which ones do I want to keep? And which ones can I say goodbye to?

(Also, please don't think that getting me rid of books makes me anti-book! I still love books, I just don’t want to be an endless collector of ones that I don’t love and don’t ever read. I’d hate to think that I’m keeping books that I don’t read that someone else could be reading and enjoying! Hence why I’m giving them away to people who will hopefully love them better than I do/did! Books are so wonderful you just gotta sometimes share them and give them a new home!)

Also, these questions led me to my favorite part of the decluttering process: going through my books and reading them (or rereading in some cases)!

You may remember that in my first declutter/minimalism journey post (which you can totally read here), I went through my DVD collection and watched a few of the movies I was unsure of, to see if I really wanted to keep them or not. I decided to do the same for some of the books I picked just to make sure I wasn’t giving away a book I really, really enjoyed and then wished I should have kept. In a lot of these cases, I’ve had these books for years and haven’t read them in years. And for most of the books, I’ve only read them once, at different points in my life, and decided that I liked them enough to keep them. But much like my movie collection, where I also bought movies at different points in my life, my tastes and and even life experiences have changed what I liked or what I related to. It was now time to go back through some of my old favorites to see if they were still favorites or if they were just book phases I was going through.

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Deciding What I Want to Keep Vs. What I Want to Give Away, Featuring An Example Or Two

One great example of this is when I was first going through my books and my eyes stumbled upon Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. I remember reading the book years ago and being so affected by it. At the time, I had gone through a couple of break-ups as a young adult, and being young and hurt, Min’s letter to Ed spoke so true to me at the time. It was both painful and eloquent, as only the words of a teenage girl’s can be (as written by the fantastic Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket). For some reason though, when I decided to reread it, I was positive I was going to give it away afterwards. Why? I just figured that my young, love-obsessed teenage self was over all the drama of teenage break-ups and wouldn’t be able to relate. I’m an adult now, after all.

I then went on to reread the book after years of just remembering bits and little parts from the book. But what surprised me the most is how emotional I felt while reading it. I may not be a lovestruck teen anymore, but I felt and remembered how hurt you can be from a first love, that “us against the world” vibe every teenage couple goes through, and how much I could still relate to how much a breakup can turn your world upside down and also how much you can learn from it too. So, surprisingly, I decided to keep it! Even though I may not be that young heartsick Emily that I was when I first read the book, it still had an impact on me when I read it, just a different one now that time has roughened me (I kid. Or do I? I swear my heart is slowly turning to stone).

Another example of the opposite kind is when I reread I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I actually read this book way before The Book Thief was popular (I’m such a book hipster!), and I remembered loving it. I thought it was so deep and different. So when I saw it at a used bookstore, I took that opportunity to pick up a copy. And then didn’t read it for years! Obviously it was time for me to reread it and see how amazing it was.

And it was... okay. Not as great as I remembered. The book had a great sense of humor to it, and was thought-provoking and could be quite poignant at times, but the overall story and then the end completely depleted the story for me, and I left feeling more meh than inspired than I had before. Into the give away pile it goes! (Sorry, Markus!)

A Brief Soliloquy About How Magical I Find Books 

But it really makes me wonder about the power of books: how they can make such an amazing impression on us at one time, and may still years later, but they could also fall flat on a repeated reading. It’s like the magic of the written word only works at one time, or else the magic stays with that book and person forever. Maybe a new way to think about these books should be One Time Books, books that leave an impression on you the first time you read them, at the right exact time, but you can’t relate after you’ve gone through what you went through, and Forever Books, books you read at the perfect time, and still continue to cast a spell on you whenever you read it, no matter how many times you’ve read it. (Can we make this a thing? I feel like I’ve discovered something and that this theory needs to be shared!)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
(Okay, Now Back to Business)

But now onto the books in my collection that I decided to give away! This is only my first sweep (I’m sure there will be many more! I have quite a few books in my collection), but it took me a little bit. I mean, reading books takes a bit more time than watching movies! Most of these books I reread and enjoyed, but decided that I didn’t need to own them. They just weren’t going to be ones I’m going to turn to again and again to read out of comfort or nostalgia or adventure. But I know that I can always reread them via the library, e-books, or even by borrowing them from a friend. But I am grateful to (most of) these books for the adventures, distractions, and good stories and characters that they entertained me with. (Though some of these books were kind of stinkers and I don’t thank them for being sort of time wasters. Ahem. To each their own and they just weren’t my taste. And I will be nice and not point out the titles of the books I didn’t like! I’m very benevolent that way. You’re welcome, authors!)

List of Books I’m Giving Away:

Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson
I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson
Sold by Patricia McCormick
The Minister’s Daughter by Julie Hearn
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook by Rick Barba
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crime of Grindenwald Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
Planet Cat by Sandra Choron, Harry Choron, and Arden Moore
How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
And with that, I now have gotten rid of (or am going to get rid of) 17 books! I didn’t include a couple of advanced readers' copies that I received for free, since you’re not allowed to sell them (just donate!) and I need to find a good place to donate them where they won’t be sold. And who knows, maybe by the time this blog post is published, I’ll have added some more books to my “give away” pile!

For now, I have a solid start for going through my home library! I feel good knowing that I’m getting rid of books and that they’ll hopefully go to homes and owners where they’ll be loved and appreciated (as all books should be! I mean, not all books, but most books are good, with a few exceptions). And going through my books has also made me realize that in order to keep my collection nice and tidy and special, I need to stop my book impulse buying (as fun as it is!). A lot of the books I ended up giving away were the impulse buys I bought on a whim. Sometimes because the cover and description caught my eye, or maybe just because I was bored, had money to spend, and wanted something to read. Now, if I want to read a new book, I can always get it from the library (it’s free, baby!) or borrow it from someone else. And if I end up loving the book and feel like I can’t live without it until it’s in my personal library, then I can buy it! Plus, it’ll save me money and keep those times when I buy books special and a great moment when I can add a new book to my collection. I get so happy just thinking about it! Wheee!

My Tips For Decluttering Your Book Collection:
  1. Decide what books you want to keep by thinking about why you want to keep them. Also, are you ever going to read them again? (The answer should be yes!) Or are they just taking up space and collecting dust? Decide what you want your library to be like (aka filled with books you love and want to read) and then start decluttering!
  2. It’s okay to reread a book if you’re unsure about keeping or getting rid of it. I actually highly recommend it! Your opinion of it may have changed, good or bad, so it’s good to be reminded of the story, the characters, and the writing. You never know, a book you thought was so-so could be much better than you remembered! Or it could be just the opposite and you need to say bye-bye to a book you once thought was awesome but now just falls flat.
  3. Think about what you want to do with the books you don’t want anymore so they don’t pile up and gather dust (again). Consider all the options: donation (thrift stores, charities, your local library, schools, prisons), selling or trading them (online or at your local used bookstore), or even just giving them away to a friend or family member who’s going through a reading slump! A certain book may not be for you, but it could be the perfect book for someone else! (But remind your friend that if they don’t want to keep the books, to pass them along or donate them once they’re done!)
  4. Just because you decluttered your books once doesn’t mean that this is the last and only time you’re going to go through your books! You will most likely go through them several times over the course of your life, because if you’re a bookworm like myself, you’re probably going to acquire lots of books over your lifetime (from gifts, impulse buys, and when you buy a book you think you love but then you change your mind. It happens, trust me, I understand). So don’t be afraid to go through your books every once in a while and give your bookcase(s) a spring cleaning/decluttering!
  5. Beware of impulse buying! Try borrowing books from the library or a friend before you decide to buy a book. Knowing that you love the book and that you want to read it again before you buy it will definitely help keep your collection from getting too cluttered and filled with books you don’t really care for or will ever read again.
Photo by That Weird Girl Life
And this was my first foray into the world of decluttering my book collection! (Well, not really, but the first time I’ve documented it) Trust me, I still have a lot of books in my library (I know that 17 books doesn’t seem like a lot to give away considering how many books that I have left, but it’s still impressive to me!), but now I know that a lot of these books that I have left are still special to me and that I’ll still want to read them again in the future (or let others borrow them. Again, they better give them back! I forgive, but I never forget!). I can’t wait to do another decluttering book rereading session in the future. Basically, it’s just another excuse for me to read, and I’m not mad about that!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever gone through your own library collection and how it went! What books did you give away and why? Did you reread any of the books to determine which ones you wanted to keep? Also, what tips would you give others who wanted to declutter their book collections? Let me know in the comments and what you thought of my post! (Aka my ramblings!)

Stay Weird,
Emily


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August 2020 Wrap-Up!

Photo by Holly Stratton on Unsplash

Oh, August. You monstrous, disgusting, humid hot month. I’m done with you, and thankfully, you’re almost over! I don’t know about you, but August has been a bit of a weird month for me (but what month in 2020 has NOT been a weird month so far??). The weather has been disgusting and hot, plus the monsoon season has (finally) rolled in, so even though we’ve only had two rainstorms, it now is really humid, too. It all makes for a very uncomfortable life, especially when you’re stuck inside and can’t really do anything fun! And there’s really nothing fun to do, inside the house or outside it. So I’m ready for this month to be over with and for September to step up to the plate! (And maybe go down a few degrees! Fingers crossed. And I’m sooo ready for Halloween, of course!) But here’s what happened in August for me, from the good, the bad, and the just plain ol’ odd. I think that was August’s theme: odd. 

If you haven't caught up with what I was up to in June and July, you can read my wrap-up post here!

What I've Been Doing In August

I finally got a new mattress after 15+ years! I know, I know. It’s taken me quite a while to get a new mattress, but I finally got one! And it was about time too. My old one was a twin bed mattress, and the springs were starting to collapse! (You know, they really held up quite well considering I had it for so long) I actually had to avoid certain parts of my bed when I was sleeping or else I’d sink in! Unfortunately, because of the virus, I couldn’t really try out any beds, so I had to go by good reviews and word of mouth, and decided to buy a mattress from Tuft and Needle. It was in my budget and I had heard great things about it. So now I’m the proud owner of a brand new queen size mattress (quite an upgrade from my old one), which is now proudly in my room, on the floor, like a recent college graduate who finally got their own apartment, because now I have to save up for a bed frame. But I’m sleeping better and am so happy with all the new sleeping space! It’s firm, but soft for my aging and strange body. Yay! Something good happened in 2020!

Who knew that getting a new pair of glasses could be so complicated? (Welcome to my life!) All I needed was a new glasses prescription and a new pair of glasses. That’s it. That’s all. It’s been two years since my last visit to the eye doctor, so I knew it was time to finally get a new prescription (and new frames!). When I finally went, I got my prescription but had to order my glasses online, since the eye store was not carrying glasses at the time due to the virus. Great! So I went online and ordered a new pair. But guess what: I had totally forgotten that when you order glasses online, you have to have your pupillary distance (PD), which is measured in millimeters (just FYI). And which my eye doctor did NOT measure me for. Which, after I ordered a really cute pair online, I remembered. Oops. When my glasses finally arrived and I put them on, it felt like my pupils were being pulled to the opposite sides of my head. Turns out, since I didn’t put in my PD, they automatically put in the pupillary distance of 62. I looked at my prescription from two years ago and my PD then was 58! No wonder my new glasses gave me a headache! I promptly returned them and got a refund. I then tried another website (which will remain unnamed, even though they are very nice and were very helpful) that said they could take your PD just by you sending in a picture! Awesome! I wouldn’t have to go into the eye doctor’s and get it measured! I sent in my picture and ordered (another) new pair of glasses. Once they were shipped, I decided to email them and ask them out of curiosity what my PD was. They said it was 68. 68mm! That’s a big jump up from 58 from two years ago! I then got my second new pair of glasses and if I thought my pupils wanted to be pulled out of my head sideways before, well, I never knew eye pain was until I tried on these new glasses! Thankfully, I was able to get a hold of the company and they were so helpful (turned out the 68 was a typo! But tell that to my eyes!) and I was able to return and order a new pair of glasses (after going back to the eye doctor to get my PD probably measured. It’s 58.5mm, by the way). Hopefully in early September my new glasses will be here! But geez, that’s a lot to go through for just being able to see a bit better...

My world has been taken over by Peaky Blinders and now I want to talk in an Irish accent all the time! (Even though only a few characters speak with an Irish accent on the show. It’s just so catching!) “By order of the Peaky Blinders!” I usually don’t like watching TV shows because if I like them, I tend to get sucked in and obsessed. And guess what happened when I watched Peaky Blinders: it happened. I got obsessed. I tried my best not to binge-watch the entire five seasons at once, and I’m pretty proud of myself for usually only watching two episodes at a time (I’m so strong-willed!). But it’s been so all consuming and I am completely invested in this show and its characters. I know there’s a season six coming at some point, so I’m trying to make season five last as long as I can, or else what am I going to do when it ends?? I’ll be lost without it! Plus, the scenes Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy both on screen always make my heart go pitter-patter! Sigh. (Also, can the very last season of the series end with Tommy Shelby opening up his cigarette case and have it for once be empty? Because he always keeps that thing well stocked and he’s gotta run out at least once in the series! He may be the head of the Peaky Blinders and Shelby Company Limited, but he’s still human, guys.) Also, the soundtrack to the show is amazing, and I’m not just saying that because they use a lot of Arctic Monkeys songs. (You know I love me some Alex Turner!)

Netflix/BBC
I went back to my tweendom and reread ALL ten of the Georgia Nicolson books! Plus other books, of course. My minimalism journey has gone in so many different directions. I feel like there are so many things I can declutter, and since I at the time didn’t know what to read, I decided to turn my sights to my own bookshelves! I absolutely loved the Georgia Nicolson books as a tween and rereading them (I have 8 out of the 10 books) was such a lovely and fun trip down memory lane. Sometimes you just have to read an oldie but goodie to cheer yourself up! So now I’ve been going through my books and rereading some, to try and decide if I really want them in my collection. I’ll be doing a blog post all about it, but trust me when I say that my stack of books to give away is growing! I also read Heidi for the first time, which was very sweet (though a little heavy on the God stuff. I feel like a lot of old books were all morality tales and ways to push Christianity on children), and I wish I had read it when I was younger, because I think I would have loved it (and probably would have pretended to be a goat herder and tried to herd our cats we had back then). And I’m currently reading Little Women, also for the very first time! It’s also very sweet, and it puts me in such a good mood, just like the 1994 version of the movie does. I loved the new movie version, and it’s closer to the book, but honestly, you can’t put bangs on Florence Pugh and make us believe she’s 12. I’m sorry, but Kirsten Dunst will always be young Amy to me!

The saga of Margot the cat and her matted fur and how I felt like a terrible cat parent! You know I love my cat. I give you a monthly update about her on this very blog! (Which I hope you enjoy, because I love writing about her and no one shall stop me!) Now, one of the main reasons why I didn’t write a fourth blog post this month was because of Margot and her fur. Now, let me just preface this by saying that I love my cat and that I am a worrier. It’s one of the reasons why I think I will never have children. If I worry this much about my cat, just think how worried I’d be over my children. Margot, if you didn’t know, is a very furry, long haired cat. She’s probably the longest haired cat I’ve ever had! She is literally a floofball and I love her for it. But I noticed that she started developing mats in her fur. I was aghast and horrified! I brush her every night to keep her fur nice and she was developing mats?? Thus began my journey to try to de-mattify her. I bought her a special fur comb. My mom and I tried to comb out the mats, much to Margot’s chagrin (she was quite vocal in her protest). I even used my own bamboo boar bristle brush on her fur, since she loves it so much! Eventually, after much crying and obsessing (me), I took poor Margot to the vet to get her mats shaved off. We still can’t figure out why she got her mats in the first place (the vet thought she wasn’t licking herself there for some reason), so the poor thing came home with some fur missing in some spots. But the very next day we found another mat! After much sobbing and worrying (again, me), my mom and I were able to cut off the mat (Margot still hasn’t forgiven us), and since then, Margot has been mat-free and we’ve been brushing her every chance we get! I even bought her own damn bamboo boar bristle brush. Spoiled brat. I love her so much. (Also, she is now 8 pounds! She was just about 4 pounds when I first brought her home as a kitten. She's doubled in size!!)

The cute culprit of the matted fur. Photo by That Weird Girl Life
I somehow got almost 11,000 page views on my blog in August! What. Is. Life??? I really don’t understand 2020 sometimes. Sometimes I’ll get a page view spike on my little blog, but I really don’t get how my blog gets found and seen! I’ve looked at my Google Analytics (which I still can barely understand because I’m such a good blogger) and I can barely see what drives people to my blog (they certainly don’t stay on it long) and not even a good keyword to figure it out (it just says my most popular keyword is "other." Huh). It makes me wonder what they’re Googling or searching for and then stumble upon my blog! (What a sad surprise for them! I bet they thought it was going to be something helpful) Now, if only those kind of view numbers would stay consistent and my visitors would click on my ads and affiliate links, I think I could probably make this blog profitable! (Ha! In my dreams!)

My blog stats for August 2020. What the what??? Photo by That Weird Girl Life
My hair is getting longer and longer and I’m fighting the urge to chop it all off! Remember how earlier this year I said I was growing out my hair to donate? Well, it’s certainly getting longer! I’m only having my mom trim it every few months and just enough to get the split ends out. It’s now past my shoulders, and the longest it’s ever been! (I’ve always had short hair my entire life. Don’t ask, it’s a long story) I’m simultaneously loving it and also have the sudden urge to chop it all off. Sadly, it’s not long enough for donation yet, so I’m trying to enjoy having semi-longish hair. Even though I've always had short hair I have no idea what to do with it and end up just putting it in a ponytail. Plus it’s hot out and ponytails are the best solutions in summer weather! But I do like brushing my hair and pretending I’m a heroine in some historical romance novel with long flowing locks. I mean, my hair isn’t that long and I have no one I’m pining for and vice versa, but it’s fun to pretend. Quarantine is doing a number on me, guys.

And that was my August! Not very exciting, but it was what it was. I’m surprised I found so much to ramble about! But then again, quarantine has made me very bored and I am desperate for an outlet. My August may have had some lows, but it had some high points too. I’m so happy that I finally have a new mattress, and that my new glasses are (hopefully) coming soon and (hopefully) won’t have anything wrong with them (this time)! And let’s not forget about my random blog views surge! (I bet September is going to be a huge step down in views, haha) How was your August? How are you getting through your boredom and has anything good happened, despite it being 2020? Let me know in the comments, and also if there are any easy ways to style shoulder length hair that even a buffoon like me can do (though I make no promises at succeeding at said hair styles).

Stay Weird,
Emily

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Throwback: The Coolest Fashion Accessories of the 90's/2000's!

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash
We all love a good throwback, don’t we? I know I do! Especially when the world seems crazy and complicated (which again, if you’re reading this in the future, it’s 2020. I hope that explains our current world status). But one of the many things I was thinking about lately, was the fashion back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Remember how it was a much simpler, bright, and shiny time? We loved our plastic (especially see-through plastic) and our colors! So futuristic and so new millennium! (And we loved our glitter! And things shaped like butterflies! Why did we think bug-shaped things were so cute??) And let’s not forget those cute shirts with all of those sassy slogans on them! “Queen of the Universe” written in Star Wars font and other slogans and sayings we thought were so cool and clever (looking back they’re oh so cringey!). And despite our futuristic looks, it was also a total throwback time, when 1960’s fashion reared it’s groovy head and platform shoes and sandals came back into style (thanks, Spice Girls!) and so did tie-die and peace signs. Even flared jeans came back into play, which I have to say was quite dangerous, as it made riding a bike very difficult (I’m not saying I ever got my jeans stuck in the pedals and spokes of my bike multiple times. Ahem).

But you know what was even more fun than the fashion? The accessories! As mentioned above, butterflies reigned supreme and so did peace signs and smiley faces. We stuck those on every piece of jewelry and accessories that we could!! So let’s take a fun look back (because I really need this right now, and maybe you do too) at the very, very cool 90’s/2000’s accessories we all loved and wanted as kids and tweens!

(I’m still jealous of everyone who got to shop at Limited Too all the time as a kid! I literally only went there once and that was because I begged for a gift card from there for my birthday so I could finally have a shirt from Limited Too like all the other girls did. I was able to get one on sale and wore it as often as I could in the hopes that people would think I was cool. Sigh. Memories!)

My everything back in the day. I wanted my entire wardrobe to be from there. Still kind of do, in a way.
If you haven’t read my latest throwback post where I talk about the raddest foods from the 90’s/2000’s, you can read it here!

Water Glitter Bracelets

Was there an official name for these? I don’t know, but I loved them! They could add a bit of colorful pizazz and swishy glitter to any boring outfit and make you look oh so cool. Mine never leaked, but the water would always eventually dry up, and I would be left with plastic bracelets just filled with glitter. Not as cool!

Butterfly Hair Clips


Oh, the butterfly clips! The epitome of 90’s/2000’s fashion! Who did not want to twist their hair into teeny tiny twists and then hold them in place with these sharp little glittery butterfly clips? (Lord help you if you stepped on one! They were right up there with stepping on Legos!) They may have been uncomfortable to wear, but fashion is worth the pain! Or, at least we thought so back then!

Shiny and Glittery Butterfly Hair Clips 


Not at all to be confused with butterfly clips, these special hair clips were in a league of their own (sooo much fancier and grown up!). They were usually silver and shiny  but also could come in other bright colors, and, if course, they all had glitter on them. The fun bit is that they were bigger than regular butterfly clips, and their wings were on spring like things, so the wings moved whenever you did a super cute hair toss (you know you attempted that at least once!)

Plastic Inflatable Bags


Remember how I said that we loved our plastic fashion back in the 90’s/2000’s? It must have been something so futuristic about colorful, almost see-through like plastic (much like the see-through plastic phone and colorful Mac computers!) and wearing them on your back as a backpack or dressing up with one that was a purse. I remember wanting a plastic inflatable CD case with water and glitter in it (of course). Never got one, but that’s just as well. Who has a CD collection anymore?? (Well, I did back in the day. And mine would have looked so cool in one of those CD holders!)

Jelly Shoes

There's that plastic again! And glitter! And together they made jelly shoes! (Also, do these count as a fashion accessory? I’ll just say yes!) The most uncomfortable, blister-inducing shoes and sandals to ever be put on your feet, but dang it if they weren't so cute. Also, who can forget that plastic-y smell and squeak of the shoes as you walked around? Bonus points if yours had glitter in them or if you had multiple pairs of them! (You lucky thing, you!)

Slap Bracelets


Beauty is pain and so was 90's/2000's fashion (as we have learned above). So why not accessorize with something that will literally slap you around the wrist but is also a bracelet?? But it was okay, because that painful plastic was covered with cute, bright patterns and was oh so snazzy and in. Bonus points if you asked your frenemy if they wanted your slap bracelet and you could slap it on their wrist really, really hard. All in the name of friendship! “Want my slap bracelet?” “Sure! Ow!” “Oops! Sorrrrryyyyyyy, bestiiiiieeeee!” (Friendships were so complicated and fraught when we were young!)

Plastic Tattoo Chokers


I don’t know how these came into fashion (and how they came back into fashion now!), but these were. The. Coolest! You could get a black one to wear around your neck, or they had rainbow colored ones too. They even had one for the tops of your arms (very Pamela Anderson) and ones for your fingers too! Maybe it was the taboo nature of wearing something that resembled a tribal tattoo (so risque then!), but if you had one of these, you were a fierce fashionista who also might have had a little bit of a rebel in you. (But it was so sad when these stretched out and broke! Or if they had a charm on them and then the charm fell OFF! So tragique!)

Friendship Necklaces


Were you really best friends if you didn’t give each other a friendship necklace? I mean, how else would anyone know you and your friend were best friends for life?? These were the perfect items to buy at Claire’s and give to your bestie, and came in so many different types of hearts, shapes, colors, and more. They even came in bracelets and keychains! But nothing was worse than seeing your best friend wearing one half of a friendship necklace that you didn’t give them! The horror and heartbreak! Being a 90’s/2000’s kid was so tough!

Mood Rings

Photo Source
Tweenage years can be difficult and tumultuous. That’s why wearing mood rings made it so easy to tell how you were feeling at any given time. Did your ring turn blue, purple, or green? That all meant something! But only if you had your handy dandy mood ring color guide. If you lost that, then you didn’t even know what you felt! (Except you had a really cool ring that changed colors. At least you had that!)

Yin and Yang and Smiley Face Jewelry



Remember how I said that the 1960’s had a comeback in the late 90’s/early 2000’s? Well, what’s more 60’s than a smiley face? Nothing says peace, love, and happiness like a bright yellow face with black features! And for some reason yin and yang, peace signs, and other "alternative" symbols like that were in (probably another nod to the 60's hippie culture!) and were on necklaces, bracelets, earrings, shirts, you know it. Groovy, man! 



Zig Zag-Headbands


Now, headbands have always been around, but what if you had a headband that was plastic, stretchy, and also pulled your hair back in this weird design and made it nearly impossible to get it out of your hair without it getting hopelessly tangled? Obviously some fashion executive thought that in the late 90’s and early 2000's and thought it was the best hair accessory ever and we thought the exact same thing! These were one of the coolest hair accessories that any girl could rock (besides butterfly clips). I totally (attempted to) rocked this look and I probably failed miserably, because looking back, why did we want our hair to look like this??? (I think that is one question we’d have to ask our past selves and we’d still never know)

Mini Backpacks


Okay, these were probably the status symbol of my childhood. I know you might be saying Beanie Babies were, but they was the toy status symbol. Mini backpacks were the fashion accessory status symbol. It was like a step-up into being an adult: not quite a purse, but a small, fashionable backpack to hold all of your important...things. If you had a mini backpack, you had the coolest fashion accessory. And if you had more than one mini backpack, well, I am very jealous of you, and I am currently over the age of 30. I personally only had one mini backpack, but, oh, how I treasured it! It was a plastic (of course) see-through (of course) Tweety Bird (random) mini backpack that I used to hold my watermelon Jolly Ranchers. If I wasn't the epitome of late 90's, early 2000's chic...well, honestly I wasn't, but let's just pretend I was! It would make my whole child/tween/teenhood so much easier to remember that way! And way less awkward to look back on, honestly.

And those were some of my favorite fashion accessories from the 90's and 2000's! Isn't it weird that some of these fashions have come back into actual fashion? My friend's little sister was showing me her mini backpack and I thought, "fashion really is a cycle! I should have saved that Tweety Bird backpack!" (Even though it was plastic and basically fell apart/melted). I've also seen girls rocking the black tattoo chokers too! So strange! Who would have thought 90's fashion and accessories would be in...again??

What were some of your favorite accessories from the 90's/2000's? Did you have a mini backpack? Did you rock those iconic butterfly clips or water glitter bracelets? Let me know in the comments, and if I missed anything else from the 90’s/2000’s! (Should I have included Heelys??) Also, what fashion accessory from 2020 will make a comeback in the future? (Hopefully the entire year will never make a comeback again. 2020 can go back to hell from whence it came!)

Stay Weird,
Emily


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My First Attempt (of Probably Many) at Trying to Declutter My Closet! - My Minimalism Journey, Part 2

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
There’s something I need to tell you. I’m ashamed to admit it, but here it is:

My room usually is clean.

*whispers* But it’s really not.

The fact is, I like everything to look tidy, but when you actually open up all of my dresser drawers and closets, that's where the mess is.

And boy, is it a tornado of papers, trinkets, tchotchkes, jewelry, old electronics, pens, notebooks, and so many other random things that I don’t know what to do with!

And my closet is the worst of all. Actually, let me correct myself. I have two closets. One for my clothes that’s in the hallway (don’t ask, it’s a long story) and another that is in my room where I store all of my, erm, “treasures” that I hope to use one day. (But I haven’t. Even though I keep saying that I’m going to. I’m like Ariel with all of her human stuff. I have sooo many snarfblats and dinglehoppers!) And they are both horrible black holes when it comes to clutter. Everything I want to hide to make my room look “clean,” I put it all in there. And then promptly (and conveniently) forget about it. Which is very bad and all of these mole hills have suddenly made my closets the Mount Everest of decluttering jobs!

So as you can imagine, trying to tackle my closet(s) is probably the one adventure in my minimalism journey that I was looking forward to the least. But I decided to start to tackle it anyway. Maybe not all in one fell swoop, because I am only one person and I feel like doing this all at once would even make Marie Kondo question her existence and her love of tidying up (I feel like my closets could do that to a person).

Have you read my first post about my first attempt at decluttering? If not, you can read it here

Let’s Do This! (Or At Least, Start To)

Here’s what went down. I had already somewhat gone through my clothes (not just in my closet, but in my dresser, as well), because I noticed that some of my most frequently used pieces were um, let’s just say it: falling apart (or had holes where there weren’t supposed to be holes). But then I also noticed when I was going through my hall closet that many moons ago, I had previously gone through my old shirts and had bagged them up to give away! But guess where those bags were: on my closet floor! Oh, Emily. You really mean well.

After I took out my bags of clothes to give away (some that are still wearable to the thrift store, and the ones that were, um falling apart and full of holes, hopefully someplace where they can recycle clothes. I’ll have to look into it!) I started on the arduous journey of going through my closets, both the hallway one (full of clothes and random things) and the one in my bedroom (full of trinkets and doo-dads and god knows what else). Here’s what I found in both:

Things I Found In My Closet(s) and Am Getting Rid Of:

Three dresses. Two of which I wore to weddings, and one that I bought as an impulse buy and never wore. (The peach one with all the little cherries on it!) Also, I'm not much of a dress girl, so I have two that I've saved for special occasions and that should be enough for me now!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Two poster frames and one poster. I decided to give away one of my posters still in the frame, since I think the art print is just lovely and that someone might like it. The other frame had a giant poster of Atonement in it, which you might know is my favorite romantic movie of all time, and I have decided to keep that poster for now. You never know, I could get it professionally framed one day! (Also, the poster can’t be recycled, FYI)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Seven shirts to donate to a thrift store and three old shirts, one pair of pajama pants, an old pair of ripped (like old ripped, not purposely ripped) jeans, and tons of old bras (like warped and not my size anymore. Isn’t it weird that boob size fluctuates? The miracles of womanhood!) that I hope I can donate to a clothing recycling center.

Three decorative metal baskets. All in different sizes and all bought with good intentions but never used, sadly. I just don’t have the room, or really, any idea what to store in them!

An old iPad mini that died plus the new case with keyboard I bought for it just before it died *sob* So I will have to find the time to go to the Apple store so they can recycle my iPad and then I can donate the case. I really, really liked that case, you guys...

Multiple necklaces (including a Ravenclaw clock necklace with a broken chain that maybe some Harry Potter fan can fix or make it there own in some fun DIY way), a bracelet, a keychain, rings, and so other odd little trinkets! (Though I did decide to keep a headband and give it to my niece and I also found a small feather charm and decided to add that in there instead.)

A worn stuffed animal of the Fruit Cockatiel from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. That movie was full of puns, but I really didn’t appreciate that stuffed animal as much as I did it’s punny name. (It’s a bird made out of fruit! A fruit cockatiel! I can’t!)

In case you were wondering, this is what a Fruit Cockatiel from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 looks like. I just had one in stuffed animal form!
Old Halloween decor that I don’t display anymore. I will store it with my other Halloween decor until I can donate it closer to Halloween.

Old antique drawings someone gave me. Very pretty, but I will probably never display them, but hopefully someone else can give them a happy home!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
A Pop Funko figure of Annabelle. You all know that I love me some horror movies and The Conjuring is one of my favorite horror movies ever, and I loved my Annabelle figurine when I first got her, but I’ve sort of lost my love of Pop Funkos, so I think it’s time to say goodbye to Miss Annabelle. Besides, I’d rather have the actual replica of her anyway! (Yes, I know, I have issues...)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
A few old CDs I don’t listen to anymore. Besides, who even listens to CDs anymore? My parents. That’s who!

A book light for reading that I never really used. I mean, I can just turn on my bedside table, right? 

A whole big cardboard pack of Zevia Cream Soda that someone forced upon me and I was too shy to say no thank you (it has literally been sitting in my closet since last December). I am literally too nice aka a pushover. At least I can recycle the box and the (empty) cans!

An old season of Paranormal State that no one will take because it has one disc missing. Le sigh. If I had just found that one missing disc I could have traded it in at a used bookstore for credit! *shakes fist*

A random fake egg. I know. Um, why?

Things I Found In My Closet(s) and Want to Keep and Use:

A voodoo cookie cutter. I can’t believe I forgot about this when I could have been using it this whole time to make cookies of my enemies and then eating them to punish them without them knowing it! I feel so silly!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Two framed pictures that I want to hang up in my room. One is from my aunt who has passed, so seeing that image always reminds me of her (though it is of a harlequin clown and I have to say, my aunt never looked like one of them, thank god. I mean, my family is weird, but we’re not “let’s dress up as French clowns” weird)

A cute plastic plate I bought in Paris for a present for someone, but ended up keeping it myself because I thought it was adorable. I will definitely be using this as a full grown adult!

Cute jewel colored drinking cups I had stored away. I helped out at an estate sale and these were up for grabs, so I just had to get them! And like the plate, I’ll be using them! They’re too pretty not to use!

An old jewelry holder I made years ago when I was feeling artsy. Is it the best thing I’ve ever made? No. But did I paint it and add decorative knobs to it to hang my jewelry from? Yes. And does it technically work and looks somewhat okay? Heck yes! Why didn’t I hang this up before?? My necklaces are currently just hanging on a plastic hanger in my bedroom closet. They deserve better!

decorative hanger shaped like a door knob I need to actually hang up and use. (Should I hang my purse on it? Jewelry? Reusable bags? Face masks? The possibilities are endless!)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
Lots of reusable tote bags that I have now gotten off my closet floor and have hung up all nice and tidy for easy access and use. (I guess I got a bit of that organization in along with the decluttering!)

A cute purse shaped like a book but the strap has fallen away that I’m hoping to repair and then use again! Though I am not a very handy or crafty person, so I will most likely need help repairing it. (My dad is handy and my mom is crafty, and I guess by having me, those things cancelled each other out. They must be so proud).

Something I’m Not Sure If I Want to Keep or Not:

This cute accent shelf. I bought it because I thought it was vintage-looking, but now I wonder if it’s a bit too much and colorful and not really me. So I’m going to sleep on it and decide another time. Hmm. What do you guys think? Yay or nay? (Maybe that fact that I'm questioning whether I want to keep it or not should be the answer to my question!)

Photo by That Weird Girl Life
The Results of This First Sweep of My Black Holes- I Mean, My Closet(s):

Now, I really wish I could give you a before and after shot of my closets, but again, this is just my first attempt at cleaning them. If you saw both pictures, you would probably still wonder which one was the before and which one was the after. I’m going to have to go in for another sweep and then hopefully once I’m done gutting it, I can go on to organizing it!

But in all honesty, it really wasn’t too bad going through my closets. I think it was because I knew I didn’t have to clean out both in one day, and that I was breaking it up into small chunks, which made the process a lot more palatable and fun. I was able to look at the items, determine if I really wanted them or if I was going to use them in the future, and then either put them in a pile to give way or put them in a pile to keep (or you know, that one pile where you have to think about whether or not you want to keep the items or not). Plus, the walk down memory lane and all the head shaking over what I was finding was pretty amusing!

It really made me realize that I had a lot of things in my closet(s) that I had bought with good intentions to use, but never did. Maybe I was waiting for the right time, or when I finally moved out, but it actually made me think, “why am I waiting? Why can’t I use it now?” I guess I was just waiting for the right moment or time to use what I had collected, but what’s the point of having it if I’m never going to use it or display it? And when is the “right” time? Why can’t it be now? I may not be exactly where I want to be in life, but it doesn’t mean I have to live in limbo! So I’ve decided that now is the best time, and the things I’m going to keep are going to be put out on display, either on shelves or (finally) hung up on my wall, and what will stay in my closet will only be seasonal or storage-like things.

I mean, that sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? I like to think so.

My Tips For Going Through Your Closet(s) And Getting Rid of Things:
  1. If you’re going through a certain large area (like, your closet) and you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to focus on just one area, say, your clothes, or trinkets. You’ll feel less stressed and you’ll be able to zero in on what you want to find and declutter.
  2. Have bags or boxes ready to put clothes, trinkets, or whatever else you may find ready once you start decluttering. Then make sure that you know which bags or boxes have what in them and where you want to donate or give them away to! So either label your bags/boxes or keep them in different sections so you don’t get confused (like a section for giving things aways, or a section for things to donate, or even a section for “I-still-don’t-know-if-I-want-to-give-this-away-yet-so-I’m-going-to-sleep-on-it-pile”)
  3. Don’t think that you have to donate everything you’re getting rid of! If you think a friend or a family member might want an article of clothing or something else you’re giving away, ask them, send them a picture, and offer it to them. You never know what a friend might be in need of! (But don’t force them to take it! Tell them to be honest with you and if they don’t want it and no one else you know does, go ahead and donate it! Trust me, there’s someone out there who will make use of what you give away; you just don’t know them personally!)
  4. Look into where to donate certain items. There are tons of places that you can donate clothes and other things, so be sure to have a place (or places) in mind when you’re decluttering. Clothes and household goods can go to thrift stores or charities, very old clothes in bad shape can be recycled (look into places where you can do that in your area!), CDs, DVDs,video games, and books can often be traded in or bought at (extra cash for you!) used book or game stores, and so on. You can even try your hand at selling clothes, jewelry, and other things online on Ebay, ThredUp, Etsy, or at clothing retail exchanges!
  5. And be sure to remember to look into whether certain items can be recycled or not (as a lot of things like DVDs and DVD cases can’t or glossy posters) to reduce what you throw in the trash (and what ends up in landfills!).
I know this definitely probably wasn’t the amazing transformation that you and I were expecting, but I’m so happy with the progress that I made! Though I have to admit, because of all of my closet decluttering, everything that was once in my closet, is now in my room and my room is a hot mess. That’s something that they don’t tell you when you’re trying to go minimal: it’s going to get more cluttered before it gets less cluttered. So watch out for that! (Maybe make that tip #6?)

That was my first attempt at cleaning out my closets! Was it a success? I’d say so! Do I have a lot more to do? Oh yes! There were certain things that I wasn’t able (or well, lost the energy) to do, like going through my Harry Potter Funko collection, plus some storage boxes I have filled with other small knick-knacks, memories, and trinkets. So keep a look out for future blog posts about what other crazy things I’ll find in not just my closets, but my actual room too. (Where does this stuff even come from?? I know a lot of these were impulse buys, but seriously, what was I thinking? Ah, well. One man’s trash and what not!)

What did you think of my adventures of decluttering my closets? Were you amazed at what I found? (And frankly, what I had kept in my closet for so long?) Have you ever decluttered and gone through your closets? What was the strangest thing you found? And also, if you have tips for decluttering and minimalism in general, let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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