Monday, November 4, 2013

The Anti-Haul: Getting rid of stuff I don't need

You know I love me some shopping. I love buying new things, and I often use shopping to reward myself when I've been working a lot, or just when I feel like I deserve something nice (which is pretty much all the time). But lately I've been looking around my apartment thinking that I have a lot of stuff, and it's feeling a little crowded in here. I've been thinking maybe I need to get rid of some stuff before I add anything else to the mix via another shopping spree.

I recently came across a blog called Born Again Minimalist, which has further persuaded me that it's time to rid myself of (at least some of) the crap I've accumlated over the years. B.A.M. is written by a woman who purged herself of half her belongings following her divorce, and subsequent period of time living with her mother. Since then she's been living and writing about the minimalist lifestyle. While I don't see myself becoming a real minimalist (I just don't think it jives with my need to own 20 blushes), reading about someone who is one has inspired me to get rid of some of my old shit(to make room for new shit!)

Seriously though, one of the two main reasons I want to declutter has to do with getting something new. Since I've started this blog, I've accumulated quite a bit of makeup. I want to set up a vanity in my bedroom so that I can properly store everything-and maybe even have a nice place to start filming tutorials as one or two people have suggested I do(literally one or two people, and one of them might have been myself). But I think to do that I'm going to have to get rid of my dresser and just use my closet for all my clothing storage. So I need to minimalize my wardrobe. And I figure while I'm at that, I might as well get rid of other stuff I have that I don't really need.

The other reason I want to declutter is that I know it will feel good. I'm kind of having one of those times in life when I feel like I need a change or something new, but I'm not sure what (I'm on like, my 4th quarter life crisis now). I think that getting rid of stuff will be a good place to start. As much as I'm not a minimalist, I'm not really a hoarder either. I've gotten rid of large volumes of accumulated belongings before, and I know it can a very refreshing experience.

I also want people to know that I'm not just a totally frivilous human being who only thinks about makeup all the time. I think about other things too like, I really enjoy having blonde hair, but I've seen a lot of people with really nice red/auburn shades lately, what should I do? And do I want to buy a pair of neon running shoes like everyone else at the gym, or should I just stick to black Nikes? And after all that, if there's still time I might wonder if all of that is a giant waste of time and money and I'm totally buying into the propaganda of consumerism and maybe I should shave my head and go live in a tent in a Northern Ontario and learn to fish with my bare hands and eat tree bark? Then I land somewhere in the middle and pack up a few boxes of stuff to take to Value Village, and resolve to at least wait until my next pay day before buying any $30 eyeliner.

I'm going to share with you some of the stuff I got rid of. Even though I'm probably not going to start living off the land any time too soon, I do totally think that we can get mentally bogged down by our possesions. One of the best lessons I've learned is how to let go of stuff. It feels really good, you should try it.

Here's where I started in my decluttering process:
My Desk
Ok, shut your front door and don't even pretend like you've never had a situation like this in your own home. Sorting through all this was a difficult task, because a lot of stuff in the drawers had felt important to me at one point-lots of old birthday cards, some with particular emotional attachment. But I managed to do a pretty good job of cleaning out all the excess stuff(that pair of pink feather false lashes stayed though).

Then I moved onto my bookshelf:

 This was hard too, because I like owning a lot of books. But there's really so many here that I'm never going to read again. I packed up most of my chick-lit guilty pleasures and a bunch of my old text books. I made room on the shelf for the magazine stack in the corner there. At the same time I realized that little end table the magazines were under hadn't been used for anything in years, so I got rid of that too.

My closet-the space I most need to minimalize, wasn't difficult really. Mostly because, shocking though it may be, I'm not too much of a clothes horse to begin with(wtf is a clothes horse anyway? You know what I mean though). I like to look nice, but I generally can't be bothered to have a lot of variation in my wardrobe. I'm the type of person to buy three pairs of the same jeans if I find ones I like. So I don't really have that much excess clothing. But I did manage to get rid of a few things, including a $160 pair of Guess jeans that never quite fit right but I held onto because of that price, and a backless sideless dress I bought for Vegas but never wore. The biggest purge was my shoe collection. I had a lot of shoes that I've worn once or twice and would never wear again that just had to go.

Just a few of the shoes that got cut from the team. I was sad about the flip flops. I really love them, but they cut my feet up really badly. The one time I wore them I got really day drunk & didn't notice until I looked at my feet the next day. Make sure you wear appropriate foot wear for day drinking! Be smart!
 I've still got a way to go. I haven't even begun on my front closet, where I keep the sewing machine I've never used and THREE different newspapers from the day after Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics(I'm probably going to keep those actually). But I think I'm off to a pretty good start with decluttering my apartment. I'm really resisting the urge to reward myself with a trip to the mall.

Thanks for reading. I hope you don't mind me drifting from my usual subject material. I'll be back on more materialistic pursuits soon, I promise. Or if you don't hear from me at all, come look for me in the woods. I'll teach you how to fish.

1 comment:

  1. Well, if you decide you do want to live in the woods in Northern Ontario and eat bark, well you know where to find me...although I don't eat bark, I'm sure I know someone who does. BONUS - I live right over the bridge from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where you can visit the Wal-Mart or Walgreens and get make up you can't get here :)