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.
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.
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?
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
- Feed my dogs
- Clean the floor
- 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.
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.
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.
- Pots and pans
- Expired spices
- Empty jars
- Plastic containers
- Empty bottles
- 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
- School projects
- An old laptop
- Whiteboard markers
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.