Tag Archives: simplify

Living Simply Edition #7

 

My closet simplified 10/7/15

My closet simplified
10/7/15

My closet floor is clear again and the bag of clothes in my room is gone.  I went through all the clothes I kept and in the end I only kept 2 items of sentimental value.  Everything else is ready to be donated.

In addition, I bought a shirt from the Lobster Fest and decided to get rid of a shirt before it could be added to my drawer.  I ended up donating 2 more shirts from my drawer.  They didn’t add inspiration and I didn’t enjoy them anymore.

To my astonishment my office is clean as well.  The book I’ve been listening to is “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  There are so many tips I’ve gleaned from it.  I think this is one of those books that I’ll be listening too periodically when I get stuck in a rut and I’m not sure what next to work on.  I started cleaning out my purse after work every day.  My purse is usually filled with receipts and bits of things and just a lot of junk.  So for the last few days after work, I’ve been following a routine – put away whatever I’ve brought in from the car, empty my purse, put everything back in its place (inside the purse) and usually I’ll have little bits – receipts to file, trash, stuff to add to my calendar, mail, etc.  It takes about 15 minutes to take care of.  Then I put my purse in its place for the night.  I clear off my desk.  I spend 15-30 minutes clearing it off and eventually I’d like to work on that drawer of stuff that I have (as mentioned in this previous post).  I really should just go through the items at one time and get it over with but I haven’t found the time to do that.  Maybe I’ll be able to get to it this weekend.

~Melanie

 

Living Simply Edition #6

I was listening to a book about tidying and de-cluterring earlier today.  And I got to thinking about a time in my life when my space was completely clean.  I remember when I was a kid I used to get into these frenzies where I would go through my entire room and clear out everything I didn’t want any more.  Things would go in the trash or in a box I titled “memories” and stored in the family storage.  My room would be so clean and everything would be in its place.  I would lie down and just relish the feeling that came at that point.  I’ve been calling it “freeing” but that really doesn’t describe it.  It’s freeing only because I wouldn’t have to do it anymore.  The physical clutter wasn’t cluttering my mental energy and I could devote time, energy, and space to things I loved and enjoyed and wanted.  I heard the word GRACE mentioned and that is the word I’m loving right now.  I’m not sure if I mean living in grace or living with grace or having the feeling of grace.  I’ll ponder that some more.  But GRACE is definitely the word of the moment. I want GRACE.

Anyway, those thoughts got me thinking about my current life and when in the more recent past have I felt this grace.  I thought about a few weeks ago when my drawers and closets were half full.  My floorspace clear.  It was wonderful.  But then we brought in a few boxes that were in the garage and I went through those boxes.  While I got rid of a lot of things from those boxes and that cleared my life and was very freeing (don’t get me wrong), the clothes I didn’t get rid of are now in a big bag next to my drawers and in a pile of clothes on the closet floor.  I realized today that I’ve been avoiding those parts of my room.  It’s been on a to do list to go through them but I haven’t done it.  Partly because of time and partly (probably more so) because I am feeling anxiety about it.  I really just need to go through them all once and for all.

 

~Melanie

 

Living Simply Edition #5

Not a whole lot of getting rid of stuff on my part this week.  But the hubby was able to drop off the bags and boxes that I’ve been filling to wherever it is he drops them off at.  So all those things I’ve been decluttering are officially out of the house!

The good news is – he also started going through his stuff and getting rid of obsolete items too.

I’m not sure why we kept all this stuff for so long but it is freeing to finally get rid of it.

Melanie

 

 

Living Simply Edition #4

So last edition, I still needed to go through the box on the left marked Hawaiian Clothes and the shoes.  I also needed to try on the clothes I kept from the right side.

More boxes!

More boxes!

Since then I went through the boxes but didn’t have a chance to try on the clothes. I was able to donate most of the clothes in the box on the left and a few of the shoes.  I kept a few things that I was a little sentimental about.  Right now I’ve got a huge trash bag of clothes and my closet floor is covered with clothes that I need to go through.  I am irritated with it.  The clothes lay everywhere.  This may be a good thing since I’ll be inclined to donate more.

Another thing I’m trying to do is work through my boxes of files and papers.  When we moved from up north to LA I put everything in my desk into a few boxes.  I didn’t unpack everything.  any papers that were lying around waiting for me to deal with also went into boxes.  I know I went through some of it but I still have 2-3 boxes of files that I’m sure could be gone through and gotten rid of.  I did the same when we moved over the summer.  I still have 1 more pending box.  It’s not a big box.  It’s the size of a box containing 100 manila file folders.  My right bottom drawer contains the pending stuff that I accumulate during the week that I need to review or take care of on the weekend. Usually it’s personal stuff.  So, over the last few Saturdays I’ve been spending an hour or so emptying (or trying to) the drawer.  I’ve had to create files or add appointments on the family calendar.  Whatever I need to do to get it out of that drawer.  It’s like my inbox.  Anyway, last Saturday I finally emptied it enough to fit the file folder size box into it.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to it this weekend but I feel like I’m making slow progress.  After that manila file folder I know I’ve got 4 bankers boxes worth of papers in my quilty closet to go through.

I haven’t forgotten about going through the books.  They’re still on my list of things to go through.  I haven’t forgotten and I’m not procrastinating.  I just have other stuff on my plate. ;0

~here’s to a week of decluttering, living simply and planning for a better tomorrow.

It may be slow progress but any progress is better than none.. or worse, buying something else.

 

Melanie

 

 

Living Simply Edition #3

Previously called “Clearing my life of things” … and then “Decluttering”.. I’ve switched my Thursday post to “Living Simply”.  I like it.  We’ll see if I keep it. 🙂

Over the weekend, the hubby brought in a few more boxes for me to go through.

More boxes!

More boxes! 

And was I in for a treat!  It was a mix of stuff.  All of the items were packed in the spring of 2013 and kept in storage for a year.  When we moved back to LA in 2014, I guess these got relegated to some spot in the garage and forgotten about.  I never meant for it to be stored for so long so it was like reuniting with long lost friends.  I got rid of everything I didn’t like which amounted to half of the items.  The ones that I still liked – I set them aside to try on.  I remember putting them in this box before we went up north because I felt like I wouldn’t use them up north or really need them while there.  So if they still fit and look nice I’ll want to keep some of them.  The trash bag in the back contained DDs stuff.  We were able to get rid of a lot of her stuff as well.

It was easy to get rid of the ugly stuff and the stuff I knew I would never wear again.  But there were a bunch of things that brought back memories and I couldn’t throw them out.  I didn’t.  There are now two big trash bags filled with clothes in my bedroom.  I saved them to try on later.  That’s what I’ll be doing this weekend.  I can’t keep them all – I don’t have the space.  So I’m prepping myself to be strong and let some things go.  Really a lot of it go.  I don’t know how it’s going to go.  I may get rid of half and stuff the other half in my drawers and my closet.  And then I’ll have to go through my closet and drawers again and whittle those items down again.  It’s like I’m constantly bargaining with myself which items are worth keeping.  I’m taking stock as to the value of each item.  Right now, the questions I ask each item – do you fit, do I like you, will I wear you again?  If after I get through this I still have way too much I will have to ask myself other questions.  I’m not yet sure what those questions would be but I’m guessing at that point it would be something about whether the item adds value.  I’ll keep you posted.

I only went through the big public storage box on the right and the bag of stuff behind that.  Those two things contained a lot of clothes.  The stuff marked Hawaiian Clothes were really old clothes from pre-baby days and the oldest baby is now 14!  Sometimes I bring them out to reminisce how little I was. ;0  I believe there are actually Hawaiian Clothes from when I used to dance hula as a teenager too.  I went through the shoeboxes and got rid of a couple of shoes.  I could probably get rid of more.  And the box the shoes are on top of do not contain my stuff.  They actually belong to a cousin of ours who visited from Italy and left it here.  (Beth, if you are reading this, I’m talking to you!)  I think my MIL will be meeting up with her in the Philippines come December so I’m sure they will make arrangements for these somehow.  So this weekend I’ll be going through the Hawaiian clothes box and the two bags in my bedroom. That’s the plan for now.

~Melanie

 

 

DeCluttering #2 – Shoes!

Soaking my feet 9/8/15

Soaking my feet
9/8/15

This week seems to be all about my feet.  From tripping earlier this week, to gingerly walking, and now decluttering my shoe collection.  To be honest, it wasn’t planned at all.  Really – who plans to trip and hurt themselves?  But really – I actually went through my shoes and bagged up the ones I’m getting rid of over the weekend.  I feel like I’ve got more somewhere and I’m not sure where.  But I don’t think so.  From what I remember I moved two large boxes of shoes from the old house to here.  I got rid of at least half of them.  If they looked old-fashioned then I got rid of it.  If I hadn’t used them within 2 years, I got rid of it.

It was surprisingly easy to get rid of these shoes.  The hard ones are those items that are not ugly, are not worn out, but I haven’t used for whatever reason.  On Saturday night, I went out with some girl friends and used a really cute pair that I loved when I bought them.  I’d only used them once before.  They were really high and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to wear them for very long.  I do not wear high heels as much as I used to.  Anyway, I hated the shoes after an hour or so of wearing them.  So I decided that I would get rid of them.  One of my girl friend’s daughters actually asked to take them off my hands.

So I created my own criteria to buying shoes – a checklist of sorts to go through before I get new shoes.

  1. They need to be really comfortable.
  2. They need to be cute.
  3. They need to work with more than one outfit.
  4. I cannot have something similar in my closet already.
  5. I have to get rid of one of the current shoes.  Which one will it be?
  6. I do not need it just cuz they’re on sale.

I’ve heard that getting rid of stuff is freeing and gives one clarity in our lives.  So far, I am starting to see this become my reality.  It was hard to start.  I couldn’t imagine cutting my clothes to half of what it was.  Funny thing is as I find more boxes to unpack, most of the clothes in the boxes do not get unpacked into my drawers or my closet.  Most of them go into another box to be donated away.  And if it is an item that brings back memories or I find hard to give away, if it isn’t something I would wear now, I have a bin in my closet for those items that mean something to me.  Right now that bin is half empty and I’m okay with it as it is.  I can’t even write the thought of one day donating those things away without me cringing.  I’ll just have to deal with that when that day comes.

I started with the easy items and it is getting easier as each week goes by.  The hubby has noticed and has even started talking about clearing some of his stuff as well.  I hope he does.  I hope the kids take notice and clear their stuff as well.  But I can’t worry about that.  I’ve got enough of my own stuff for now.

I’m not sure what’s next.  I am thinking about tackling the restroom which has a bunch of hair stuff that the girl and I do not use.  Or maybe tackling my bookshelves.  The bookshelf is a little overwhelming.  I have a hard time getting rid of books.  But maybe I’ll start by getting rid of my old school books.  Space is a premium right now and I don’t need my old econ books anymore. 🙂

I hope you find inspiration in me clearing out my life.  I’m not sure what to call it.  I think decluttering isn’t right because nothing is cluttered.  Since we’ve moved, things are being put away, out of the way, hidden away.  So decluttering isn’t really the right word.  I’ve been saying clearing out my life but that sounds so spiritual.  And I’m not sure that’s what I want to portray either.  I’m simplifying my life but I’m not becoming a minimalist.  At least, not yet. ;0

Well, it’s time to get some quilting done now that my foot is better.

~Melanie

 

 

Clearing my life of things…

Living Room  9/2/2015

Living Room – Bailey will go here when I find time to move it in. 
9/2/2015

I don’t know why but since I’ve come back to the blog the caption on my pictures align to the left.  I can’t figure out how to get it to align in the center.  If you know… please let me know.

While looking for a new place to live, someone made a comment that we had a lot of stuff so we needed to find a place as big as our old place.  This struck a chord in me.  How much of this stuff do we need?  How much of it do we move from house to house because we haven’t taken the time to go through and get rid of it?  That’s when I decided that the next time we move, we’re moving with less.  I thought of getting rid of things during the move and if I found things that I could get rid of, I did so.  However, getting rid of stuff can be an emotional thing so I moved the hard stuff.  I was already a mental mess during the moving process that the thought of adding another emotional rollercoaster like getting rid of baggage was unthinkable.  So I’m doing it now, slowly, for sure – but a process I’m committed to.

I decided to start with the easy stuff like clothing. I donated the items that don’t fit, the ones that fit but I never wear because I don’t like how I feel in them, and the ones that I wear but hate wearing.  I even got rid of the free t-shirts we get and used to keep just cuz it’s free.  You get the idea.  I have a lot of room in my drawers and closet now.  I think the next thing to get rid of are my shoes that are way too old.  They are just out of fashion and I’ll never (really I shouldn’t ever) wear them again.

I thought I’d get rid of something every day but that’s just too much of a commitment.  As I unpack stuff I’ve been throwing things away.  But now I’m at a standstill, the boxes are in the garage hidden away.  It’s difficult to go in there and unpack stuff because I’m not sure where I want to put things.  I guess I just have to do it.

I’ve decided to track what I’ve thrown away when.  Not so much to see how I feel when I throw it away but to make sure I’m throwing things away regularly.  I think that it will be easy for me to throw away things I’m not attached to.  But once those are all gone, what will I throw away?  I don’t know but if I track myself doing it – then I’ll feel accountable to really do it.  Just like counting the fabric that comes in and out of my stash.  🙂   btw, I’m not throwing away fabric, or quilty stuff in general, or craft stuff, or scrapbooking stuff… If anything, I would by a house just to keep all of those things if I could.  And if a great deal on a sewing machine happens along, well – I’ll happily find a home for it.  🙂

Join me on my journey of simplifying my life from all the junk I have accumulated.

~Melanie