Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tidying Up - Papers

I am in for another round of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up, and tonight, I focused on papers. Bank statements, random print-outs, and crafting information... all of it gone. Well, it is not entirely gone, as I refuse to toss sensitive materials. Those must be shredded.

In addition to papers, I purged magazines and CDs. Most likely, I should have tackled both as an extension of books. The magazines were easy enough to purge. Very few brought me joy, and even fewer had been read in recent months. Goodbye!

While I don't have a massive music collection, it's a daunting task. I started in earnest, immediately pulling and listing 10 CDs to sell. After an hour, I needed a new plan.

A Simple Plan
Shred the purged papers within seven days.
Digitize all of my music by the end of the month.
Keep 10-15 of my favorite CDs for listening in the car.
Sell the rest.

This all-in method of de-cluttering is intense, but it yields great results!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minimalism Tag

I decided to join the party and participate in Hello Cathy's Minimalism tag.

I tag LeaAnnDingbatkilla, and anyone who cares to answer the following questions:
  1. What drew you to minimalism?
  2. How did you start the de-cluttering process?
  3. Have you ever counted all your things? If so, how many things do you own?
  4. What are your tips for dealing with the desire for more?
  5. How do you deal with non-minimalists in your life?
  6. Do you have any guilty pleasures where minimalism doesn't apply?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tidying Up - Books

Before embarking on this segment of the tidying up, I owned enough books to fill three of paper ream boxes. For many book lovers, three boxes is child's play. Once, I owned far more books. Once, I dreamed of owning a large house with a giant library.

Instead, my books often lived a dismal life boxed up and stored in an attic, basement, or who knows where. I moved around the country, and some of my books came with me, but mostly, I saddled family and friends with storing them.

My first serious round of purging books came in 2001 or 2002 -- after reading Karen Kingston's Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui. By the time I moved to Pittsburgh in 2009, I owned roughly eight boxes of books -- down from over 28!

It is still difficult for me to part with a book if it was a gift or if I have fond memories surrounding its purchase. Yet, my books, like every item I own, must be assessed for their ability to spark joy.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Shopping Spree | Thanksgiving 2014 (part 1)

I used to work in retail, so I know the horrors of working Black Friday. My first Black Friday experience was in 2009 -- when opening at 6:00am was sufficient. The following year, we opened an hour earlier.

Because I loathe crowds and waiting in line, I cannot imagine a universe in which I would haul my butt to any retail establishment on Thanksgiving -- or the five days following. However, I did indulge in a bit of online shopping (Black) Friday through (Cyber) Monday.

For the past three months, I have been very strict about:
  1. Using on-hand bath and beauty products (including samples) rather than purchasing new.
  2. Purchasing clothing that: 
    1. is required (undergarments, tights, etc.) 
    2. replaces a worn item
For several months, I used and wore what I had on-hand. I benefitted from a cousin purging her closet, and I made a few carefully-considered purchases -- some of which I returned (shopper's remorse). Thus, I was very selective about my post-Thanksgiving purchases. I bought a few things I needed (replenishment skin care) and a few things I wanted (jewellry).

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tidying Thoughts

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I dedicated roughly four hours to the pursuit of a more tidy home. This was not a series of timed 15-minute bouts of cleaning and decluttering. Rather, I collected every stitch of clothing I own, and I piled it on the guest bed.
A frightening amount of crap.
And then I wanted to vomit! My guess is that I own less than my peers, but I still own a ton of crap!

I am following the principles of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The author gives the reader pre-work, which I did not do. Although, I do think it is worth your time to think about the life you want and what feeds your appetite for reduction. Once that is concrete, it is time to get serious -- gathering the like-kind, purging  the unwanted, and properly storing what remains.

The author states to tidy (aka declutter) in this order:

  1. clothing
  2. books
  3. papers
  4. komono (miscellany)
  5. mementos
As I just tossed empty bath and beauty products from October and November, I am anxious to tidy my bath and beauty products. However those will have to wait until I tidy up my books.