My Minimalist Challenge : Watch Me Declutter!

Welcome to my minimalist challenge!

In 2015 I challenged myself to go through my things and get rid of anything that wasn’t bringing any meaning to my life. This was after my initial purge in 2014 where I got rid of half my things.

I had thought that I didn’t need to downsize anymore and that I used everything regularly. But, I was still unhappy with the amount of stuff weighing me down and I decided to go through my things again. This time on camera.

Every two weeks, I decluttered an area of my living space. So if watching other people declutter their things in motivating to you, you’re in the right place!

Here are the areas that I decluttered:

  • Bookshelf
  • Files
  • Dishes
  • Clothes
  • Linen
  • Shoes
  • Chest
  • Bathroom cabinet
  • Boxes and bags
  • Desk
  • Pictures
  • Bookmarks
  • General

Bookshelf

My bookshelf was pretty cluttered. I wouldn’t have even called it a bookshelf at that point. It was more like a vertical junk drawer. Anything that didn’t have a spot to call it’s own, went straight for the bookshelf to be crammed with all the other homeless items.

I never liked how it looked because it was so unorganized and it was the dedicated place to throw things in. It started to ‘irk’ me every day. Since my apartment is tiny, I would constantly see it. I would be constantly reminded that the bookshelf is not serving its purpose. That I have work to do.

So, I decided I was going to tackle it first. It was a major challenge because of how much stuff was in it, and I couldn’t finish it, but I did make the headway. It’s starting to looking a little spacious!

Files

My file crib/cabinet thing. I’m actually not sure what this is, but I’ve had it for a long time. It used to be a crib or cage for my baby dolls or stuffed animals. Then somewhere down the line, I had so many papers that I need a file cabinet and my mother wouldn’t get me one. So, as the lazy DIYer that I am, I make shifted one out of this object. Reduce, reuse and recycle, right?

Before I moved to my apartment, I already had conducted a paper purge. I found that I kept every single homework, classroom assignment and class notes since 5th grade. 5th grade! It had been more than 9 years since I’ve been in 5th grade. I recycled mountains of paperwork. And, I made a dent. At this point, all my paperwork is in the crib, chest or in various places (mail tends to float everywhere).

My goal for this challenge is to have all my papers fit into an accordion folder. Let’s see if I can do it!

I then went through my files AGAIN!

Dishes

When I went through my dishes, my footage was accidently deleted! So, here is a short post on what my plan for dishes was back then. And how I went through them.

So lately I have been spending a ridiculous amount of time washing dishes. And, it’s not just me. My fiance and brother have been pitching in too, but it seems to never be not overflowing. I see a few patterns and problems that may be causing this and they are:

1. Everyone keeps reaching for a new dish.
This is what you’re supposed to do right? Well, when all the bowls and plates are dirty, we start reaching for the food storage containers then for the good china until every single dish has been dirtied.

2. We have a small drying pad.
Due to counter space, we can’t do anything about this. I have been making everyone take rotating turns in which all we have to do is wash enough dishes to fill the drying pad. It helps the boys think it’s not much work and they are participating without any fits. But, while one load is drying, people are dirtying more dishes.

We have taken the time in the past to cover all the counters with towels and wash every single dish and have them all dry at once. But, it’s too much of a hassle to keep doing that every week. So, last night, I came up with an idea. A simple solution.

We have so many dishes to wash because we have too many dishes. (tweet this) The solution is this simple! The dishes keep piling up because when we see that all the plates are dirtied, we reach for a piece of good china because we’re too lazy to wash out a plate. So, I have some ideas for this. And, these ideas will be included into my minimalist 2015 challenge.

  • I need to return dishes and food storage containers back to my mother.
  • I need to store my food storage containers away from the main cabinet.
  • I need to set a “DO NOT TOUCH GOOD CHINA” rule.

We will continue to take turns washing dishes and hopefully dishes will be less overwhelming afterwards.

Clothes


Ahh, clothes. This seems to be everyone’s favorite topic in the minimalism community. Capsule wardrobes, versatile pieces, and folding techniques are all the rage. For clothes, I went through my fiance’s (now husband) and my clothes. Then later, I went through my clothes again!

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that this task is done. His clothes were so overwhelming that it was invading places where clothing didn’t belong. I begged him to give in and go through it. I think he finally caved when a big pile of clothes on the floor was in his way, and I told him it has to stay because there is absolutely nowhere else I can put them.

He had 46 t-shirts on top of 20-something nice shirts/polos. And, I knew he had two the same peach-colored shirt, but I promise, I almost lost it when I found the third one. A third peach-colored shirt. The exact brand, the exact size, and exact everything. Three.

He left for a week to go visit his family, and I took that time to take out all his clothes and categorized them on the floor. The numbers were too high. When he came home, he had a big visual. I’ve learned that he is a visual guy. You have to illustrate and demonstrate your point to him in order for him to see the picture. So, we went through them one by one. He got rid of a lot, and it feels fantastic. I’m actually quite impressed with the volume he gave up.

One thing we didn’t do was go through his summer box. Which we still need to do. But, for right now it’s fine. Everything fits into his closet. And, that’s all I ever wanted.

This time, I’m going through my clothes. I got rid of a lot which surprised me because last year, I got rid of about 80% of my wardrobe, and I haven’t bought anything new! I actually thought that I was at the bare minimum with my clothes. Since it was just enough to fill up three baskets (I don’t have/ want a dresser) and to hang a few pieces up on a closet rod, I thought my amount was good.

But, again I was not wearing a lot of the clothes. And, in this video, I still struggled with getting rid of them even when I know I don’t wear them. They’re the ‘just in case’ items. Just in case I suddenly become really girly and start wearing skirts for fun. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. And, if it does, I can have fun shopping for the pieces that bring me a lot of joy. I don’t feel that I am done yet. My goal is to have all my clothes fit into a backpack.

Linen

Now it’s onto my linen ‘closet,’ which is just a large tote bag. My apartment doesn’t have the privilege of having a linen closet, and I’m actually glad over that fact because then, we would have another closet to fill up.

Shoes

Not much was taken away, but progress is being made. I remember, about 2 years ago, when I had every shoe I owned since 4th grade. And, they all still fit! I’m not sure what that says about my feet, but I couldn’t possibly wear all of them.

Chest

This chest used to be clothes-storage. Then it became book and clothes storage. Then is turned into a file cabinet, a bookshelf and a closet. And, everything was out of sight, so naturally I forgot about it.

Bathroom cabinet

Boxes and bags

I received this portfolio bag on my first day of college. It had all the supplies I would need for my design classes. I used some of it, but most of it was left untouched and unopened. I was actually scared to look in here because I wasn’t sure what I would find (my worst thought was spiders).

Desk

Pictures

Bookmarks

General

I got inspired by some blogs to quickly get rid of 50 things. Although I didn’t make it to 50, I still got rid of stuff!! My life is slowly dwindling down and becoming freer.

Going back through areas that you have already gone through is great practice when you are becoming a minimalist. There are many items that need a second decision on because you like them or you “may need them.”


That was it for my minimalist challenge of 2015!

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