Monday, December 10, 2012

It's been a while since my last post. The past several months have been rather hectic, and sadly, my quest for an empty space went a bit off-track. I have not reverted to my cluttered state, though. I still manage to pick up the things that lie about and put them in their proper places or throw them out. However, I have not had the time to sort through my belongings for another purging session. I also think I will be busy with the holidays, and the incoming presents are going to be a mini-challenge. And so I come to yet another dilemma: what to do with the gifts that I have no intentions of keeping. My mind tells me to give them to charity or to someone who will have better use for them or who will better appreciate them. And then the sentimental girl in me thinks twice. Presents from people who are very dear to me are harder to let go of. I think about the hard-earned money they used to get me a present and the time they took to do so. Although I have given away many, I did so with a heavy heart. I do realize that it's only in that very moment that you make that critical decision that it hurts. But once the item is gone, you don't even miss it. Being in that moment, however, is the hardest to bear. I must find the courage to finally make it.

In my last few posts, I joined a challenge to get rid of 366 items, and obviously stopped at nowhere near 366. I got busy. It's no excuse, but it did divert my focus. I may have to reset some of my targets. That December goal of having no things on the floor, I believe, is still doable, but I will need to work on it double time. With the holidays coming up, I'm not so sure if I will achieve it by December 31st.'s worth a try.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I seem to have gotten stuck. After all that chucking, I've run out of things to throw out. Not that I don't have any more things. I still got lots of those! I just don't know what else I can throw out. I seem to need whatever's left, although many are things I just need to start using up. Photo paper. Note cards. Note pads. Envelopes. Post Its. Books (well, these I need to read). Make up. Blank DVDs. The list goes on. I hope this stagnancy does not last long. That is not to say, however, that I haven't made any progress. I have a much clearer space, although I believe I can still get rid of more. So on goes the decluttering process.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

To give myself a bit of a boost, I've joined a Declutter Challenge to purge 366 items in 2012. Although I'm way too late in the game, I think I am able to catch up. I had mentioned earlier in my blog that I've gotten rid of 3 bags full of my stuff. Too bad I didn't count how many items were it in, but I'll put it at 66 (though I think there were more). That gives me 300 more things to give away starting today.

Item 1: Unused notebooks
Item 2: Unused sketchbooks

Monday, Sept 24:

Item 3: A pair of shoes
Item 4: CD spool (It's a container where you stack CDs without jewel cases)
Item 5: A bunch of pencils

Tuesday, Sept 25:

Item 6: A small black leather bag

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Now why is it so difficult to let things go? They're just things. Objects. Actually, I do know the answer(s) to that. I paid good money for it, it has sentimental value, someone important to me gave it to me....etc etc. In spite of having all the answers, I, personally, still have difficulty getting rid of things. It doesn't matter that I'm giving it to charity and I know I am helping out other people in the process. The bottom line is, these objects are so hard to let go of. I have given away quite a lot of stuff already, so it's not like I have an attachment to things. There are just some things that are more hard to part with. For me, though, the hardest things to give away are things that important people in my life give me. I'm fine with donating or throwing out things I've spent good money on. In fact, I've done it. I've just given away my film SLR camera and a good collection of CDs. Sometimes I feel that these CDs will be of value someday, but I just try to psych myself into thinking, "so what?"

In spite of all the things I've gotten rid of, I still have quite a bit of clutter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hoarder and I don't have a lot of things to begin with. Like I mentioned in my first post, everything I own is in my tiny room. I'm not exactly aiming for minimalism, but I'd like to have a somewhat clear area and have no objects on the floor. And I'm nowhere close to that. *sad face*

What I've been having trouble with for quite some time is parting with paper products. This includes stationery, fancy paper, fancy envelopes, note cards, and even paper scraps. As for the scraps of paper that I keep, I only do so because I don't feel right throwing away paper that is still useable. And this has mainly to do with the environment. I try to reuse as much as I can, even if I just want to throw them all out. I'm not sure if I have the wrong attitude about this because, well, it IS paper, and I don't think it's wise to be throwing it out. So this is one of the things I'm struggling with, and sometimes I just need someone to tell me that it's okay to throw it out, and not just saying it for the sake of getting me to throw them out, but because it's the honest truth.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Didn't do much decluttering today. But I finally sent three small bags on its way to charity. I feel I've hit a minor slump. Or maybe I'm just tired. In spite of the things I threw out, though, I feel like nothing has changed. My room still looks like it's full of stuff. What am I doing wrong?

I know these things don't happen overnight and I did set a December deadline. So I should take it a day at a time.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I just threw out a small box of stuff that I've been keeping on a top shelf for years. I couldn't imagine what I was thinking keeping all those useless stuff. They were mostly paper and documents -- school records, employment certificates and memos. My gosh! But it felt goooooood! Being able to just chuck 'em in one swift decision felt so liberating. Like with each chuck to the trash bin was a load off my back. It just makes me want to chuck more. This cleaning business is habit-forming. The more I throw out, the more I want to look for things to get rid of.

Just recently, I've been reading posts by minimalists who embrace the idea of having a certain number of items, having one piece of furniture and living off a backpack. I don't think that's the life for me. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I love my things. Not to the extent of being a slave to them, but I would like to have just enough things to enjoy my life. I do not want to have just the bare essentials. I want a little extra. But not too much that they overpower me. I don't believe it's the number of items that I should keep or rules that I have to follow, but being happy in the space that I'm in, without having the unnecessary things: things that don't function or that do not add any value or enjoyment to my life. But the one thing I am truly aiming for that I've picked up from the minimalist lifestyle is to have no things on the floor. Right now I have tons of things lying on the floor. My boxes of shoes, which I have no other place for, and a few bins and storage containers. As I've said, I have a tiny room and have most of my belongings with me.

So today, my plan is to scan a few more photos and articles that I've found in that top shelf I cleared out earlier, then chuck 'em. "Chuck" has become my favorite word in recent days! Can't wait to start today's decluttering session. But first, my morning cup of coffee.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm making slow progress in my road to fewer stuff. But slow progress is better than no progress. Today I delved into what's left of my photo albums. Instead of scanning the photos and throwing them away, I decided to remove them from the albums and keep them in a box. There are still some photos I cannot just throw away, even after I've scanned them. I can probably get to that later on, but for now, they stay in a box.

I actually haven't thrown any of my stuff away. They're all stored in bags ready to be taken to charity. I would have liked to be able to sell some of my things, but selling just isn't my forte. And I can't hold a garage sale or yard sale because I don't have a garage or a yard. The easiest way to get rid of things (for me) is to just give them away. So off they go.

I hope today will be a better day in my purging project.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I don't know where to start. That's what everybody says when they have just so much to say but can't begin to say it.

I have too many things. Although I have always kept my room tidy and fairly neat, I have always had too many things. I collect CDs; I used to have mounds of stuffed animals, shoes, clothes; tons of knick knacks; souvenirs from my travels, concert tickets, events I go to, items from my school days, get the picture. I would say though, that I have always managed to keep my things within the confines of my room. I live at home. Where I come from, it isn't unusual to live at home (yes, with your parents) even after you've reached adulthood and beyond. So I have my room, where I insist on keeping everything I own. I refuse to contribute to the clutter outside of my space.

I would not say that the idea of minimalism is new to me. Somehow, in spite of all the material things I possess, I have always been drawn to the concept of having an empty space. I can probably attribute this to my not having much space my entire life. However, I have never had an empty space. And now, more than ever, it is something I aspire for.

I am not ready for total minimalism. I prefer to be a semi-minimalist. I do love the things that I have, but I am also willing to part with items that have absolutely no contribution to my space or life, other than dust. I am not aiming for an empty space with just a bed and a desk. I love my television, my DVD player, my Mac, my printer, my ipod, my shoes and my CDs. I just want to have as little as possible, but not take away my joys. Again, I say, I don't wish to embrace the whole minimalist lifestyle, but I have nothing but high respect for those who practice it.

And so begins my adventure. (I call all my endeavors "adventures" -- boring or not.) My journey to an empty-as-it can-be space began about a week ago, when I decided that I just don't want to be surrounded by so many things that I haven't even touched in years. That's the conscious part. See, I've been decluttering my space for years. But I think that it is only now that I have consciously decided that I do want to get rid of most of my stuff. At one point in my life, I decided that I didn't need the hundreds of CDs I had and started trimming down. Ten years down the road, I wanted my CDs back. This fear has always haunted me, but when it does, I keep telling myself, "it doesn't and shouldn't matter." These things are replaceable. If I want to listen to that old Mary J. Blige album, there's always YouTube. I haven't ripped all my CDs to iTunes because I like keeping the physical CDs with me. But just yesterday, I resolved: I would go through my list of CDs and ask each one, "If I lost all my iTunes data, would I desperately want to have you back?"If the answer is "no", then out it goes. Let's see if I can pull this off. I digress. So these past few weeks, I've been throwing things out. Then there are things that I'm really iffy about. These are the proverbial sentimental stuff. I need to learn to detach more.

I have two bags full of stuff heading for charity now. Yet it still doesn't seem like I've reduced the amount of stuff in my room. I wonder why that is. Perhaps it's because I still have a lot of things on the floor; things I don't know where else to put but on the floor. These include shoes (though in boxes), subwoofers, and just things.

So this is my progress so far. I have a target date in mind, but no target resolution. I would like to be done with all this by December 2012. But I have yet to decide if I want all unnecessary things thrown out by December, or just all things off the floor by December, all just fewer things in general by December. I have yet to make up my mind.