Minimalist March – Quest of Week Three

It has taken me a lot longer to do each too individually than I thought it would. It’s taken me about three weeks to do my bedroom. This is because usually I’m so tired after I get home from work that by the time I’ve cooked, ate my dinner, washed up and had a bath, had an actual conversation with my parents, it’s normally half nine and I just want to curl up and read a book. Sometimes I can motivate myself to do maybe an hour’s work – but this is usually sorting through paperwork, you know; the type of personal admin you do accumulate over the years.

This week I’ve been trying to list stuff on eBay to try and flog. But I was out Wednesday night with work and last night I got really annoyed with my computer being slow, so I ended up spending the later part of the evening trying to sort it out.

Minimalist March is also running alongside my own personal writing challenge, plus my frugal living (it complements frugal living certainly!).

One thing that I have been hoping to uncover, which I have not found as yet, is something I am now starting to miss, as I’m getting more and more involved in blogging, and would be something very useful for eBay as well; and that’s my camera.

At the moment I use my phone. It’s an iPhone 4S which I think is about a dinosaur now. The camera is passable, certainly; it usually takes great pictures of my vegetables and seedlings and loves to take pictures of Bilbo, but he is very photogenic. However now that I’m reading other blogs and getting more into the serious stuff, I am realising a proper camera is probably a better medium for all this.

Now I do have a camera. I got it for my birthday a couple of years ago. I found the case. I think I found its box as well. But no camera! It’s been missing for a while. I think I tried to get the police involved but they just sneered at me.

Minimalist March - ou est le camera

So where is it?! I found the laptop cover I was looking for while I was still in teacher training. I even found the shoebox with mum’s wedding shoes in. I even found my birth certificate, which I’ve been looking for since god knows when. But no camera.

Look at this mess!

No filter - just to give you an idea of the mess my life is in!
No filter – just to give you an idea of the mess my life is in!

Wish me luck!

Katy x

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Minimalist March, Week 1 Update

As promised, here’s a bit more of a detailed update…

I got back a little later from my trip to York than I had anticipated. We spent an hour and a half in Bettys tearooms, and then went from the city centre to Clifton Moor to the Vangarde. Being a good little declutterer (new word) I withheld from over-spending (plus I had already spent waaay too much on afternoon tea in Bettys). I used a voucher in Next, and we went to Clifton Moor to go to Dunelm specifically, as there was a particular item which I needed for decluttering purposes…

All will be revealed!

My plan for decluttering is as follows:

I am taking it a room at a time. This helps break things down, but I am now realising what a big task it may be, so it may be longer than a month. I am then going for a section of the room itself each, and spending an hour or so each night (or however long I can spare) on that particular part. As I sort through things, anything that I don’t want to keep is either bagged up (clothes) to be sorted into chucking, reusing or selling on, or is taken into the sewing room to be cleaned up and put up on whatever site I’ll use to try to flog it.

My first major attempt at decluttering - before & after, and a bunch of discovered things!
My first major attempt at decluttering – before & after, and a bunch of discovered things!

So here you can see a sneak peek of my bedroom. I’ve gone through all the clutter that surrounded the side of my bed and my drawers. On top of my drawers was a whole bunch of cosmetics and chemicals; I’ve gone through these, but most of them I use if not on a daily basis then a weekly one. There is a bag in the top two pictures on the floor which is to become my ‘Beauty Bin’ bag. Once I tackle my vanity table that will be added to.

The bottom left is the new state of my room. You can see the new addition, as purchased in Dunelm today! A four-tier stack of drawers, all vaguely transparent. They have now been filled up with everything that doesn’t belong in my chest of drawers. It has also provided me with an ideal location for my hairbrushes. The bag on the floor is actually full of clothes taken out of my drawers to be sorted through. Hurrah! I think I am slowly but surely making headway.

The last picture is a glimpse at the amount of books I need to be rid of. As a book hoarder, getting rid of any book is going to be hard. I’m starting with the uni ones: somehow I don’t think I’ll be missing Thinking Syntactically or How to be the Perfect English Teacher any time soon! It might be a bit harder when it comes to my extensive library of fiction, but I do think I need to be brutal.

This will probably take me much longer than a month: with the hours I’m out of the house, and the fact that I do still cling onto a semblance of a “life”, I might struggle with it a wee bit. I’ll see how I get on with photographing things and uploading them to eBay and Facebook pages. I would like to try and get a little bit of money back from all this, but most of all, I would like a bit of space. Sure, giving things up is hard – but I do think a certain amount of freedom is gained from it.

Anyway, I’ve had a lovely Saturday! I hope you have too.

Happy decluttering!

Love, Katy

x

Minimalist March Week 1

Have you ever seen the Nicolas Cage movie, Gone in 60 Seconds? Don’t judge, and don’t diss! It’s one of my favourite movies. If you follow my other blog, A Little Blue Subaru Called Dickie, over at katylallanby.wordpress.com, then you’ll know I’m a wee bit of a petrolhead! Some of my favourite films are Gone in 60, the Fast and the Furious series (RIP Paul Walker, one of my all-time heroes), the recent Aaron Paul (and massively underrated) film Need for Speed, plus anything that has a Gumball Rally/Cannonball Run theme.

But what’s all this got to do with my Minimalist March quest, you ask? Well, I am getting there, in a roundabout way… my undergrad university supervisor always used to say I rambled a bit, often around the point, but never quite getting to the point. Which reminds me! I did pick up my Masters thesis (it’s a dissertation, but thesis sounds oh-so-posh) the other week. I need to make a ‘clever clogs’ post.

In Gone in 60 Seconds, if you’ve never seen the class film (why haven’t you? It’s got Nicolas Cage, a blonde dreadlocked Angelina Jolie, a silent Vinnie Jones, Phoebe’s little brother, and an intriguing barbeque at the end), Nicolas Cage plays the retired car thief whose little brother – Phoebe’s little brother, do keep up – gets into a bit of a sticky situation, failing to “boost” (steal, must be like the lingo) a bunch of cars for the Doctor Who who came before David Tennant. Who was Malekith the bad guy in one of my other all-time favourite movies, Thor the Dark World! I am a Marvel geek, and a serious Loki fangirl. But I digress. So Nic Cage must do the brotherly thing and get his brother out from being apparently crushed in a car crusher in the scrap metal yard. Hmmm. They have is it something like three nights to boost (steal) these cars, and instead of spreading it out over the three nights, Nicolas Cage and his band of merry men (…no, wait, that’s Robin Hood) plus blonde Angie do it in one night, so by the time the cops are alerted to it, the cars are on their container ship to wherever it is they are mysteriously bound. What will happen to the Shelby Mustang (Eleanor) is never stated: who’s getting these cars? Are they going to car heaven? Or car oblivion?

My view on my Minimalist March effort is something similar. I could have updated every day with a theme of ‘on this day I got rid of two coupons in my purse…’ but some days I didn’t declutter at all just going to be dead boring! So instead I’m going to do it in a big chunk on a weekend. Or, as this is looking to be, a series of maybe smaller chunks on a weekend. Saturdays seem to be busy days for me! Last weekend Mamma and I were here, there and everywhere, and this Saturday I am going out with the Sloegin (otherwise known as best friend Amy) since it was her birthday yesterday. We have afternoon tea reservations at Bettys tearooms in York – how very posh! So, as my day is bracketing around that, I intend to come back this afternoon and resume my Minimalist March crusade.

can however tell you what I have done thus far!

My bedroom is a bit of a pit. During the week I don’t get back from work till between 7 and 8, some days. I come home, cook my tea, wash up, then normally fall asleep in front of the TV. Because that is how cool I am. If I have a cup of coffee and get off the recliner settee, I can normally stay awake. If I have a glass or two of wine, I am a goner. I use the dining room table as a dumping ground and I tend to half-fold my work clothes in a heap in my bedroom. It comes as no surprise that I lost my TV remote in my room the other day. Iron Man was on E4 and I thought I’d watch everyone’s favourite playboy millionaire while I decluttered. As things turned out, I couldn’t even do that; so I listened to Classic FM and got in a rage.

I often have rages.

But this was good! Good for decluttering. I have filled up a bag of beauty products that I have been holding onto, presumably in the hope of doing a Beauty Bin blog post like the very lovely Simone Simons does, who is also another one of my all-time heroines. I may actually do a Beauty Bin type post, and then possibly put up a picture of my face, and then we will all realise how any illusions of similarities between myself and the divine Simone Simons are just that: illusions. I also then tackled my drawers. I have filled up another huge bag full of clothes I no longer fit into wear. These will have various possibilities: to sell on eBay, or local Facebook groups; donate to charity (there is a charity collection bag on the table next to me right this second), or to allow my mother to attack with scissors to make ‘rag rugs’, her latest crafting project. I have two big jewellery boxes that can be put on the local Facebook pages. I also have a load of jewellery that I never wear, simply because I wear basically: my Trollbeads necklace, and a watch. Bling bling. Then I have four alarmingly large stacks of books (all university reading list books, compiled over the years from my undergrad, my MA, and my brief flirtation with teacher training), which can all be whacked on the internet to go and gather dust on somebody else’s bookshelves!

So I have made progress. I am pleased with that so far. But that’s the easy part: gathering the stuff up, putting it in bags, and moving it to another part of the house. That’s my version of tidying, and is something of an Allanby family habit. The next bit is also relatively easy: sorting through things, deciding to sell or fling, photographing things to sell, and adding them to my new all-singing all-dancing spreadsheet I’ve made. It’s the actual physical listing which will be the hard part. But I’m determined. I am, I am, I am.

So that’s my Saturday morning update. I seem to be good at blogging first thing on a morning (after I’ve had my coffee – this morning it was a Nescafe Dolce Gusto Vanilla Latte Macchiato and it was nom nom nom! I would definitely recommend) or towards an evening, usually when I’ve had a glass or three of vino, and thus my posts tend to get less and less sensible.

These are the beautiful tulips that have been inspiring me. I have altered the image – they’re not quite as glaringly 70s in real life.

Gorgeous colours! Realistically they are more of a red wine and cream.
Gorgeous colours! Realistically they are more of a red wine and cream.

Stay tuned for the next installment of my Minimalist March, which will be winging its way to a computer screen near you, sometime this evening!

If you too want to declutter, please check out the original blog post, on color-me-frugal.com!

Here it is: http://color-me-frugal.com/10-smart-tips-decluttering-home/

Much love, Katy

x

March 2015: Day 1 of the Minimalist Month

Good morning fellow bloggers! 

It’s a new month. Welcome to March!

March is of course Minimalist Month! This month I’m decluttering my life, making a really conscious effort to get rid of all the junk and unnecessary stuff I have in my life. That sounds more psychological and self-discovery-quest than it is meant to. I am undertaking a purge of material things, like:

  • Clothes that no longer fit, or I no longer like, or haven’t worn for years;
  • Shoes that are uncomfortable, or that I haven’t worn, or are too small;
  • Books that I’ve read that can go to the second hand bookshop;
  • Books that I bought for my PGCE/CELTA and no longer need (that can’t be used at work);
  • DVDS, CDs and games I don’t play or watch or listen to;
  • Old electronics, like personal CD players and broken iPods;
  • Makeup that I’ve held onto because it was expensive or my favourite and I bought in first year of uni;
  • Food! Which means clearing out the pantry and the freezer;
  • And I might even be able to tackle the two containers full of all our old junk!

Today is Day One! I took it quite easy.

For breakfast I usually am a bit of a fussy eater. I’ll go all in with one thing, eat it for two weeks straight, then get bored of it and move onto something else. This is the case with muesli. I know some people call it rabbit food, but I can’t think of anything worse than munching on soggy papery cornflakes! Muesli is ram-packed full of sugar though, and they always seem to chuck massive whole Brazil nuts in and that’s always a surprise when you take a bite. We have so much muesli at home – in containers, boxes, and from a Graze breakfast subscription. I found a recipe in a Nigella book to make ‘breakfast bars’ – using muesli, raisins, whatever else I could find, and some condensed milk. This was when we discovered we had a very cheeky mouse that had eaten through various packs of mixed dried fruit and cous cous and what-have-you in the magic corner. I found some blueberries, thought mmm these might be nice, blueberries are meant to be good for you! So I whacked them in my mix and ruined a bunch of nice breakfast bars with a horrible acidic almost fermented blueberry taste.

The bars have lived in a box in the kitchen for a while now. I have eaten half of them (with Greek yogurt they’re about edible!) but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat the rest.

Day 1 March Minimalist
Day 1 of the Minimalist March Challenge! Granola/breakfast bars that nobody was eating.

 

So there you go – Day One of Minimalist Month: I threw out a culinary experiment that went awry!

Check back tomorrow to see what else I’ll have expunged from my life! And see how many more words I can think of to replace ‘declutter’, ‘get rid of’, ‘chuck out’…

Katy

x

Decluttering – March, the Month of Minimalism

Hello, and a warm welcome to March!

A new month! Picture of our calendar at home (it's a Samoyed calendar - full of lots of dogs that don't actually look that much like Bilbo!)
A new month! Picture of our calendar at home (it’s a Samoyed calendar – full of lots of dogs that don’t actually look that much like Bilbo!)

It’s the beginning of a new month – the best time for a new beginning. And on a Sunday, no less! This is excellent timing: if it had been on a Monday, it would have been dulled by that back-to-work slump, and I’d be tired from a long day at work and a long drive home; probably too tired to even think about making the most of March. But the first is on a Sunday – that’s a whole other story.

I found a wonderful article – and website – on Pinterest yesterday, and it’s inspired me to make something of March. Already I’m tackling a few new things for March: I’m writing now seriously, intending to enter a writing competition; I’m trying out vlogging, to see how that works; not to mention work is hotting up right now!

Here is the article, on color-me-frugal.com:

http://color-me-frugal.com/10-smart-tips-decluttering-home/

Please check it out! It might inspire you, just like it did me.

Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest are all full of ‘instadaily’ and ‘photo a day’ and ‘100 days of happiness’ type things. But this one really piqued my interest. I come from a long family of hoarders: the house we live in at the moment was my great uncle’s house, and he was a legendary hoarder. We three moved here after he passed away, and we moved from a smaller house (2 and a half bed) into a bigger house (4 bed), filled this house, a huge shed that dad turned into his workshop, and a whole shipping container and half of another one with all of our junk. I’ve hoarded things my whole life: clothes, books, sentimental bits and bobs, mementos from old boyfriends and uni days and old school friends and old dreams.

But over the past few years, I’ve started to feel a disinterest in the things that I held on to for so long, out of pure habit. I moved home after university because I didn’t have a decent job: I was working two part-time jobs; then I went from internship to minimum wage job, to-ing and fro-ing a bit without finding my niche. I thought teaching was my end game: I applied and was rejected and reapplied and through sheer desperation got accepted. It meant my life was fragmented, dictated by the thought that in September I’ll be somewhere else. Now that I have a static, permanent job with a sense of longevity, I feel like I’m in a position where I’m in control of my life, rather than the odd chances of life being in charge of me.

This now means that I have the time – and I suppose the long-distance projection of time too – to finally do those things: sell those skirts that don’t fit, those shoes that I’ve never worn, those uni books I’ve not read and don’t need to.

And so, the Minimalist Challenge mentioned in the above article is my new purpose for March! Every day I will do something to declutter – list something on eBay, give something to a friend, sell something on Amazon, throw those old ticket stubs out, doing more and more every day. I’m trying to save for a deposit, too, for a little home of my own: who knows? Through this I might make a little bit more money to go towards that!

So please, check back to see how I’m getting on! And let me know if you want to join me to make March the Minimalist Month!

Love, Katy

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