My decluttering journey: Part 1 Inferno

My decluttering journey: Part 1 Inferno

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This is my most embarrassing blog post yet: my decluttering journey. 

Living alone for a year has taught me a lot of things. Some I learned to love, others I still hate. 

blog post My decluttering journey part 1: inferno self-love after ruins

Speaking of hate, number one on my list is keeping my apartment tidy.

I work from home and spend 10 hours a day (maybe more) in front of the computer. I manage two blogs, social media accounts, and writing gigs here and there.

Lastly, I have two wildly energetic dogs that love their playtime. 

So, I mentioned in my September blog that decluttering is one of the most important life lessons I learned in my 30’s

Why am a bringing this up again, 4 months later? Because I’m not done yet.

Why is it taking so long?

Hiring a housekeeper to help me out is off the table.

Believe me, I tried so hard to do it as fast as I could before the new year. 

But with so many things to accomplish, I didn’t have enough time (and the energy) to take my decluttering journey seriously. 

What makes my decluttering journey difficult?

1. The sentimental value

Iza and I have acquired so much stuff over the years of living together. Now that she’s in Canada, I am lost. 

She has a million pairs of jeans, t-shirts, and long sleeve shirts. More than half of our closet is filled with her clothes. 

Cherrie Ann Balictar and Francess Iza Astejada  Self-love after ruins
Iza and I at Jamba Juice

It’s hard when you’re trying to declutter stuff that isn’t yours.

So, we agreed that I leave everything as is, but throw away those that are faded or have holes in it. 

For now, I use them as rags for potty training.

My stuff is a different story. 

Sentimental value. That is what made this journey so difficult. 

They mirror things from my past. Things I still want to be reminded of.

I love shopping for school supplies. 

The smell of books. 

And I love to dress up, wear makeup, and put my high heels on. 

Then there’s my transition. 

I started working from home. 

I don’t see myself wearing high heels around the house anymore.

Or wear makeup. 

Still, my love for these things remains in me.

Marie Kondo said her method isn’t minimalism. Instead, it’s about letting go of things that don’t SPARK JOY into your life anymore. And I agree. However, I don’t want to limit myself by remembering only the joys of my life. I want to remember it all. My pains, my fears, and my sorrows. Why? Because my misfortunes are my strengths, too. It’s the balance of nature.

My yin and yang.

But, for the sake of starting over this 2020, I’d like to keep my decluttering journey very seriously.

Because less stuff means less worries.

2. I hate cleaning

There, I said it. 

I mean, I like me a clean house. But the act of cleaning is a different story. 

Sweeping the floor gives a lot of stress on my back. 

My hands gets super dry from bleach and dishwashing liquid. 

Lastly, I hate the routine

I hate the thought of doing it over and over just because I have to. 

It’s a responsibility. Something that I don’t have the heart and patience to accept. 

But, you do what you gotta do, right?

blog post My decluttering journey part 1: inferno self-love after ruins

3. It’s time-consuming

No matter how early I get up in the morning, I always end up getting started with work at around 10 or 11. The villain? Chores. Things I do on the daily are:

  • Wash the dishes
  • Cook
  • Feed my dogs
  • Clean the floor
  • Dusting
  • Water my plants

The list goes on. 

And when it’s about time to start working, I’m already exhausted. 

Plus, I need to take quick breaks for doggie playtime.

Otherwise, they will bug me all-day which ruins my productivity.

4. Decluttering doesn’t give me a sense of purpose

Every Saturday, my mornings are spent doing the laundry.

Next, I do batch cooking for me and my dogs. 

I defrost the fridge once a month.

Do some general cleaning in the bathroom, and in the living room. 

I tell you, writing this alone is already exhausting. 

It’s excruciating for me because I always find purpose in everything I do. 

I don’t see it in doing chores. 

Writing does. 

But hey, I’m writing this, so does that mean I’m already getting a sense of fulfillment in my decluttering journey?

See the irony?

So, what’s my status? Still in part 1, using Dante’s La Divina Commedia as reference.

blog post My decluttering journey part 1: inferno self-love after ruins

Part 1: Inferno

Mid-September of 2019 when I said, “enough”. I better get moving or else this apartment will look like a haunted house with an old lady living with two dogs. 

Well, that’s kind of vibe I have sometimes. 

But the apartment is desperate for a makeover.

Not because it’s a responsibility, but I want to do it for my mental health. I write for a living. And I need to be surrounded by creativity to function well. Without it, I turn to Netflix, or worse, memes.

Note: Part 1 of my decluttering journey involves “letting go”. No redecorating involved. Yet. Here are the things I was able to get rid of.

The kitchen

  • Pots and pans
  • Mugs
  • Expired spices
  • Empty jars
  • Plastic containers
  • Empty bottles

The bedroom 

  • Makeup (expired)
  • Facial cleansers (expired)
  • Bar soaps (expired)
  • Accessories (never worn in years)
  • Shirts (never worn in 2 years)
  • Shorts (with holes and overwashed)
  • Bras (overwashed and loose)
  • Panties (torn, overwashed, and loose)
  • Pillows (reused them as pet beds, and after a few washes threw away)
  • Bath towels (old, torn, and overwashed)
  • Dresses (worn and haven’t worn in years)
  • Clothes that don’t fit anymore
  • HIgh-heeled shoes
  • Bags
  • Makeup
  • Accessories

 School stuff

  • School projects
  • Pens
  • Papers
  • An old laptop
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Erasers
  • Stamps
  • Folders

My extra storage space 

  • Previous roommates stuff (clothes, shoes, comforter, pillows, they’re not coming back to get these anyway)
  • Laptop (old and not working)
  • Printer (old and beyond repair)
  • 3 Desk fans (old, and beyond repair) 

I’m excited to transition to the next phase and share my progress with you.

How about you? Is decluttering part of your journey this year? How’s it going?

What’s your biggest struggle? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments. Take care.


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Cherrie Ann Balictar

Cherrie Ann Balictar is a Content Writer/WordPress Developer. She is the founder of The Greatest Digital Creatives and co-founder of Self-love After Ruins. A frustrated singer and lipstick junkie, Cherrie shares a one-bedroom apartment with the love of her life (Iza) and is currently helping fellow writers and bloggers create well-researched content marketing strategies and professional-looking WordPress websites.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Caroline

    This is awesome!! The first step is actually doing it, and you made a TON of progress! You should give yourself a pat on the back! I also reallllly struggle with mundane and routine tasks, so I can totally relate to your feelings throughout this post. Doing “chores” makes me feel as though the life is being sucked out of me.

    Something I have started doing lately is setting a little kitchen timer for the task I am doing – you can do anything for 15 minutes! I also do tasks that I hate while doing something I enjoy at the same time (like playing a show i like or listening to a podcast). It’s good to reward yourself for doing things that are hard for you.

    Good post!! Keep it up!

  2. Kenzi Green

    I’m a modern minimalist and my journey started in college when I was living in a tiny dorm and realized how much pure crap and extra clothes I had that never got touched!

    I don’t “like” cleaning per se but when my house is cluttered or really dirty I actually can’t focus on my work so my house stays pretty tidy most of the time except for the occasional pile of laundry.. it’s my least favorite thing to do!
    I’ve gotten rid of BAGS of items and clothes, it’s really helped me live a more fulfilling life.

    I totally understand wanting to remember everything, one way to deal with sentimental items is take photos of them vs actually keeping them, it might be helpful for you to try 🙂

    ~ Kenzi

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Thank you, Kenzi. This is very helpful. Will definitely try it.

  3. Ashley

    My biggest issue with decluttering is sentimental value. It drives my significant other crazy because he is the complete opposite. I’ve been getting better about it but wow is it hard.

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Thank you, Ashley. Yeah, the sentimental value is really the one that holds us back.

  4. Starr

    I finally decluttered my home last year and it made a HUGE difference in my life! I clean less and I don’t feel like my place is a always a mess now! It’s a hard thing to do, but so worth it! Good luck in your decluttering journey!

    1. Cherrie Ann Balictar

      Hello, Starr. Yasss. Looking forward to finishing my journey this year. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

  5. Allei

    Awww….Thank you this is helpful and Hope you have fun …goodlick with decluttering😝

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