Where do I start?

That’s definitely the most difficult question to be answered.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I acknowledged that “things” are causing more misery than happiness in my life. I started to look for a solution to end my misery. Researching on time management and home organization tips hoping that they will give me some insight. However, from what I gathered from all these information is that if you keep de-cluttering and organizing your things and your home, they will somehow get back to you in another way. Clutters would come back to haunt you after being reorganized, and things are just being moved from one spot to another. I might end up having to get more containers or organizers to help de-cluttering my home. THAT essentially is adding more “stuff” to my pile.

I DON’T want that. There’s got to be a better way to solve this.

I figured that in order to have peace in my home, I need to get rid of the things. Not by moving them around in the house, but by getting them out of my house and my sight.

When I learned that minimalism should most probably be the answer to my prayer, I had to decide on the approach that needed to be taken in order to work towards my minimalism life. Should I start with my closet? The kitchen? Toys? The nursery?

It was really overwhelming to find a place to begin with but I know that the longer I waited, the more I felt nauseous over the increasing clutters at home.

I finally started. I chose a spot where I felt the least comfortable with, and I started.

As I was sliding my closet door open, I could already feel the overflowing items in my closet bulging out and got stuck in between the two sliding closet doors. That was not a good sign. I felt sick but I know this was where I had to begin.

Fashion has always been my thing. I love shopping for beautiful clothes and dressing up with cool accessories. I feel that having a well pull-together outfit is a way to show respect for myself and also others. I could easily buy clothes that fit me, as I have quite a tall body build and I essentially could fit into most standard sizing outfit and look good. The downfall of it is that I get tempted to buy all sort of outfit without even thinking properly. All I had in mind when I purchased them was, “They look good and I fit them. Why not?”  It got even worse during sale season. They were cheap and didn’t feel right for me to let go of such a deal. Eventually, my closet space became lesser and lesser. And got to a point that I could not even slide hangers to left and right due to the lack of gap in between.

People tend to say we only wear 20% of what’s in our closet 80% of the time. I could totally relate to it as I was sorting out my closet.

As I was pulling out items out of my closet, different thoughts and questions kept coming into my mind.

“Why on earth did I buy this?”

“Did I even buy this?”

“Ew. I look awful in this dress.”

“I think I have only wore this once or maybe twice…”

“Oh, I love this dress but it got a little hole that probably can’t be mended!”

This is it. These are the 80% of my closet that I don’t normally use in daily outfits.

Then, I decided once and for all, take all these 80% out of my wardrobe, and only keep the rest of the 20% in it. But where should I re-home these unwanted items from my wardrobes? Some people sell them through ebay, consignment stores, garage sales etc. Some would pass them to family and friends who might be willing to take the items. Some would donate them to charity. There are couple of choices that I could make to get rid of these clothings.

At last, I decided to donate them all. It’s really quite time-consuming to re-sell them. You got to take photos, post them online, or bring them to different stores, etc. As I was so desperate to get to minimalism, I chose the easiest route.

Bagging up unwanted clothes in bag after bag made me realize how much unnecessary purchases I have done over the past years. And I have created so much waste in our world. I felt really bad and upset at myself. I suddenly became so cautious about my spending on everything after witnessing how much things I have accumulated at home.

Even though getting rid of a large portion of my wardrobe had made me feel so terrible about my previous spendings, donating them to the people who need them really gave me an instant relief. To be honest, I was actually quite happy that I was able to help someone in that way.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I am working towards minimalism but it doesn’t mean that I don’t love fashion anymore. I learned to appreciate fashion by just looking at them. I learned that we don’t need to own in order to love something. Window shopping has become such enjoyment. I still enjoy shopping with my friends. Choosing beautiful fashion items for them, and occasionally I would buy things after very careful consideration – to differentiate if I need them or do I just want them.

Stay tuned for my next step towards minimalism!

 

 

 

 

 

Why did I choose to pursue minimalism?

Where do I start?

Was it the never-ending house chores?

Was it the constant frustration of having toys scattered on the floor?

Was it the over-flowing closet that made me feel nauseous?

Yes, yes, and yes!  Those are definitely part of the reasons.

Perhaps the initial thought of minimalism started to flow into my mind when I realized that I was spending so much time doing things, and I feel like these “things” are holding me back from spending time with my two young daughters and husband.

I did NOT like that. My daughters were 4 and 1.5 year old, and they were in a very crucial developmental stages where they really needed my constant care and attention. It was also important for me to be able to witness and be part of their childhood. I have decided that I need to do something about it.

I started to research on mothers’ time management skills and home organization tips on the internet. Found quite some helpful articles while browsing on Pinterest. Then, I started to follow people on instagram and facebook who share related content as well.

Being bilingual in English and Chinese, it’s a natural thing to also research related content in Chinese. And I stumbled upon a Chinese translated Japanese book called, 沒有時間才更要學的理家術 (The must-learn home management skills especially when you are running out of time) by 尾崎友吏子 (Yuriko Osaki). 

yuriko osaki book

I was immediately attracted to the book just by reading the cover.

It states,

“A working mother of three’s method to make housework and house budgeting simple.”  

“Help your busy self to create a simple and easy life without being chased after by housework!” 

It was totally what I needed, and I could not stop reading the book once I got it on hand. Indeed, it is very well written. (unfortunately, I haven’t found an English translated version of this book! ) The book turned out not writing about time management or home organization but it was an introduction of minimalism.

The entire book covered the steps and tips to minimalism for every rooms in the house, and then it moves on to meals, lifestyle, budgeting, etc. It was extremely helpful and minimalism was just very attractive and ideal to me at that time, being a semi-hoarder who suffers from dissatisfaction of my life and who even feels sick seeing the clutters I have accumulated in every corner of my home.

I have started to become very interested in the topic of minimalism ever since.

And that’s how I have started my journey to minimalism.

Stay tuned to find out about more about how did I get started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the journey begin…

The purpose of this blog is to record my personal journey from semi-hoarding to minimalism but you are welcome to watch my progress and help me pursue minimalism. Hopefully, my journey will inspire yours to commence.

So your next question would probably be,

what is semi-hoarding?

I considered myself as a semi-hoarder at the beginning of this journey because when you think of a hoarder, typically you would think of a person who is over-obsessively collecting things. They collect everything, every damn thing. They stuff their living space with newspapers, cardboards, tin cans, bottles, old furnitures, old broken electronics, sentimental photo albums, name cards, brochures, flyers etc. You name it, they have it.  I am NOT like that. Absolutely NOT. I don’t collect things just for the sake of collecting.

When I say that I am a semi-hoarder, I really mean that I find it hard to let things go. I like to purchase interesting items and tend to forget about it after awhile. They will end up get hidden in my drawers or closets being untouched. And, I find it hard to let the “just-in-case” items go because I am trying to avoid having to repurchase the same item again in the future when I do really need it. It is pretty unnecessary to repurchase things that you would probably use again when you think of it – well, that is probably the mentality most semi-hoarders have.

I did not realize I was actually a semi-hoarder until I started to feel sick – literally nauseous when I saw my overflowing closet, and the fact that my husband pointed it out for a few times.

Don’t you dare to call me a hoarder!” – that’s my first respond to my husband… inside my head.

I was quite offended by it because hoarders are normally people who we see on TV shows, reality show, or even on the news occasionally with their house filled with rubbish and stuff that they don’t need and leaving no room for normal daily activities (i.e. dining on a sturdy flat table, free space between bed and the bedroom door, a couch or chair to sit and relax – you get the picture) You could literally feel suffocated and the filthiness.

But as I was going through my belonging and stuff that I had on this journey to minimalism, I agreed with my husband. I was almost like a hoarder – not extreme to the extend that we see on TV but enough to categorize myself as a semi-hoarder.

The upcoming blog post will reveal the reason why I chose minimalism.