Minimalist March – Week Three

Week three has been the biggie! Most specifically, week three Saturday.

Today I’ve come at it running. I woke up at 7, thought that was a bit early for a weekend, dozed until what I thought was half eight (it was 7.45). I had my cup of tea, checked emails, scrolled through Pinterest, and spent about twenty minutes waiting for my computer to finish configuring updates. I got changed, decided to walk the dog, came back, had a perfect boiled egg and soldiers (one soldier did desert the Noble Battalion of my plate – for the gaping jaws of Bilbo! Cheeky sod), and thought, let’s be at it.

I got some good tunes on, and this morning I dragged half my life out and through the blender.

I had three foot-high piles of notes from my entire undergraduate career (and I still feel like there is more somewhere – I know there are a couple of modules missing). They have been stuffed in bags ready for the “Twisted Firestarter” (aka Grandad, who is a bit match-hasty) to try his best to smoke out the village.

Oooh, wasn't I a little clever bee?

Oooh, wasn’t I a little clever bee?

I then went mad with the shredder. As some of you may know, in my brightest heart of hearts, I long to be a writer. I’ve longed to be one since I was thirteen. Maybe younger. Today I’ve just gone through ten years of notes – and filled six huge bags full of shreddings. Brutal! It is all in my head, or not worth featuring in the paperback edition of my collected works.

A little brutal, maybe! But all this shredding won't be wasted.

A little brutal, maybe! But all this shredding won’t be wasted.

Then we moved onto clothes. Not clothes! I am a hoarder, a compulsive purchaser, and a permanent scorner of returns. I have also gone up a size or two since I was 18. And even though I am sure I have donated many things to charity, in either those bags you get posted through the letter box that you leave on your drive and hope the charity (and not some opportunist in the same vein as Bilbo the soldier-thief), or bunged into the clothes bank. So I have been harsh, and brutal, and realistic. I have six huge bags – even bigger than the shreddies! – full of clothes to go in the clothes banks.

I do think that if I had never spent all this money in the first place, I would be loaded!

I have also filled the spare bed with an entire wardrobe of clothes to try and sell on eBay. These are things that are top quality, some of them never worn, that I think might make somebody else happy.

Cheesy, I know!

Finally, I tackled my books. I have a big plastic box, I think designed to go under a bed, and it is full of books to take to the second hand bookshop. These are books I’ve read that I have clung onto, deluding myself I might read them again (James Joyce, I’m looking at you), and books that it’s about time I gave up on.

I feel a lot better for going through all this. There’s a lot of work ahead, especially with sorting through my clothes, ironing them, taking attractive photographs, and listing them all on eBay. There must be about fifty items – I don’t think I have enough hours/energy on a weekend to do it in one slog. It might end up having to be a one-a-day type thing. But I will get it done!

Check back for an update on what progress I’ve made!

How is your Minimalist March coming on?

Katy
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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

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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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