Thursday, September 14, 2017

One Week Decluttering Challenge - The Minimal Lifestyle

I need to have a serious decluttering session and what better way to do it than a challenge! So here is my take on the "7 days" challenge - 7 days of decluttering to be a bit more closer to a minimalist lifestyle.
(If you know me personally, you know I need to do this challenge because my room is a complete disaster even after doing somewhat of a decluttering session)

NOTE TO READERS: This post was written when I was in India, hence the room I refer to is my bedroom back at home!

Today is Day 1 and as I'm writing this, I'm sitting on a chair, typing with my laptop on my desk. My desk is a complete mess. I recently posted my "How to declutter like a pro" article on this blog you can read it by clicking the link below:
I did follow my own guide. In fact, the guide was written off of my decluttering session. However, I noticed that the amount of decluttering I did, did not satisfy my goal. I avoided decluttering because I was bored of doing it those two days and I think I'm finally ready to do an actual massive declutter. I have to reduce all the items I own by a lot because I can't fit everything into my suitcase (I'm going back to the USA to attend university if you didn't know) and also because I don't want my dorm room to look cluttered and flooded with all the junk. I will take a picture right now of the current situation (a.k.a mess) in my bedroom.

Cringe-worthy, right? I agree! You would think I would be ahead of my game if I put up decluttering guides. Truth is, I'm not perfect and sometimes my laziness kicks in hard. I abandon a task completely and don't come back to it for ages. 

I'm going to conquer this 7 Day Challenge and I'm inspired by two reasons:
1 - I really need to narrow down what I am going to take with me and what has to either be passed on to my younger brother (like drawing tools and stuff like that) or thrown away/donated.
2 - I wouldn't want all this writing to go to waste because I bailed on Day 2. I like to be efficient and not completing this challenge would be the complete opposite of that.

Note that the "After" pictures may or may not look very different from the "Before" pictures above (I don't know yet because I'm literally writing this on Day 1). I'm assuming that there won't be a massive change because a lot of my things will either be kept so my brother can use them (e.g. art materials for his future school projects) or will be sentimental items that I can't take with me but I wouldn't want to throw them out. Some items will also still be present and not packed away into my suitcase because there's still time (a little more than a month) for me to go away so I won't pack everything just yet. Maybe I'll pack the things I know I definitely will not need till I get to my dorm room.

Here's my 5 Day schedule (you may skip to any particular day if you are more interested in that section of my room if you are looking forward to decluttering that same area in your room too):

Day 1: Mainly my nightstand and other small drawers/cabinets 
Day 2: Wardrobe part 1
Day 3: Wardrobe part 2
Day 4: Study desk part 1
Day 5: Study desk part 2
Day 6: Bookshelf (+ Laptop just for fun)

I tried to alternate heavy and light decluttering throughout the week so I don't get overwhelmed/exhausted/bored by the entire process to ensure I declutter thoroughly.

Let's begin!

Day 1: Nightstand

Since it's been a while since I did an intense cleaning up in my room, I think today I will start off with a small section of my room as you saw in the schedule above. My night stand is very small and I recently threw away a lot of old nail polishes when I was doing some light decluttering. However, I think I do need to revisit the situation and maybe make space for other items, that are on my desk, that don't belong there (like my lotions and sprays).

So the session was pretty fast and I'm glad it was because I started at around 7 pm or 8 pm. Here's how much I threw away:

I ended up only decluttering my nightstand and not the other drawers so I think I'll just do those when I do my study desk. A lot of the stuff in my nightstand remained because my mom keeps nail polishes she uses in my nightstand too and there are also other things we both use that will probably stay there even after I move out. I'm still pretty happy with the progress and how much I threw out because it was way more than how much I threw out during my recent, failed attempt. I had some expired things, some items I hadn't used in ages and knew I wouldn't like some fake nail sets and adhesive stickers for the same. The problem I have when decluttering is trying to throw away items that have been gifted to me. I know that I won't use that item now but I also know that they've spent money on it. I feel guilty, but there's no use in keeping it because I 100% don't want it otherwise.

I also put all my art supplies from other cabinets into one cabinet (I will not be taking them with me but I have kept them for my younger brother).

Today was kind of like the trailer for this whole challenge and it hardly took any time. Tomorrow is the real deal. Decluttering my wardrobe and then my study desk is going to be a real challenge.

Day 2: Wardrobe Part 1

So as I'm writing this, it is already 5:40 pm and I'm afraid I won't have enough time to declutter my wardrobe thoroughly. The reason being, I also have to write a blog article and a few other tasks for the day. I'm pretty sure I can't film a YouTube video now (which was supposed to be today's priority).
Anyways, I'm gonna have some snacks and then get on with the decluttering.

My goals are to:
A) pack away clothes I won't wear till I get to the US (I know it isn't technically decluttering, but it's still organization and I also want to implement that into this challenge).
B) Separate my wardrobe into two sections: one for clothes I will give away just a few days before I leave and one for clothes I will wear now and also want to take with me.
C) Identify things I want to give away or discard right now like old accessories, etc
D) See a difference, personally, when I compare the before and after.

I am pretty proud of today's work. I was able to successfully manage to do A, B, and D to some extent. I still have 2 compartments of my wardrobe to sort out, which I'll do tomorrow.
This is what has been removed, permanently from my wardrobe:

The bag doesn't seem too big even after using my phone as a reference but there are a lot of clothes packed into that bag. Plus, I had already removed and given away a lot of clothes a few months ago so imagine the picture above × 2 or maybe even × 2.5.
I had a lot of packaging and cardboard and all that from accessories and from socks, etc which I discarded. I just piled all my socks and then stuffed them into the corners of my suitcase (packing hack, by the way). I still kept a lot of my clothes for the sole reason that I may or may not have time to shop once I get to my campus and it'll take some time for me to settle in my dorm too. I don't want to have to stress over things like not having enough clothes on top of all the other things I'm going to be sorting out there.
My wardrobe definitely looks way emptier than it was before but I'm still a little concerned if everything will fit in two suitcases. I'm hoping that the rest of the days in this week will help me believe that I don't have way too much left after cleaning out everything.

Day 3: Wardrobe Part 2

Today my main goals are to accomplish yesterday's incomplete goals and my focus is the top shelf of my wardrobe (it contains accessories, makeup, maybe some toiletries, and some miscellaneous items). Again, a lot the stuff will stay in my wardrobe because I'll give most of my accessories to my mom and she doesn't have space in her wardrobe (lol) so it'll stay in my wardrobe.
If I finish decluttering my wardrobe early, I might (might!) do a bit of tomorrow's task.

As expected, not much was taken out to be discarded since I decluttered about 80%-90% of my wardrobe yesterday itself. However, I did manage to remove more items than I expected to. I was basically expecting none of my jewellery/accessories to be discarded as my mom would use all of it but suprisingly I had a good amount of accessories discarded.

I let go of a lot of necklaces and earrings that I wouldn't have let go if my goal was not to make sure all my stuff fits into two suitcases so I'm glad I didn't keep anything for "sentimental purposes". Trust me when I say that before I kept everything for "sentimental purposes". Most of the time it wasn't even close to sentimental but I gave myself that excuse every single time.

Mission Nearly empty wardrobe: Completed
(just clothes I'll need for about a month's time and clothes I'll throw away just before going are kept)

Day 4: Study Desk Part 1

Those who notice that I've given myself two days for a desk and think that it is weird, kindly refer to the "disgusting ___" collage above. My desk has a lot of storage and is bigger than the average desk. I need two days. Okay...maybe I want two days, but whatever!

I've successfully managed to distance myself from my art supplies (I love my art supplies and I'm a big time art supplies hoarder). Most of it has been kept, neatly, in the storage cabinet below my desk for my younger brother to use for school projects. I will only be taking a few paint brushes and perhaps one small watercolors set. I've thrown away some files that are old, a lot of miscellaneous items including things like old pens, rulers that were in unusable condition (don't ask how, I have no clue), etc.
I have filled my trashcan completely (to the point of overflowing). I have also gotten rid of a lot of the bottles that were lined up on that one shelf. Everything is so miscellaneous it's hard to describe what kind of stuff I threw out!

Day 5: Study Desk Part 2

(I decided to skip the before part because there wasn't much to say)
There was a trunk-like case below my desk which was previously a case for the keyboard I have (we don't put it in the case anymore). It had a lot of art supplies, some random electronics I don't use, etc. I threw out 2 small boxes worth of stuff including an old microscope set I got when I was way younger (total scam, something was wrong with the microscope so it never worked properly), some decoration kits and so on. I also gave a lot away to my cousin who has come to visit me.

Day 6: Bookshelf

My bookshelf looks extremely messy and I have way too many files and notebooks in it. I hope to segregate the 4 sections of my bookshelf like this:
1 (Top shelf) - Files and notebooks I want to keep
2 - Dictionaries and notebooks for my brother + one or two pairs of heels
3 - Reading books (combined). I will decide which books I will take with me the last minute if there is any space in my suitcases.
4 (Bottom Cabinet) - Rest of my sandals/heels

I was successful in doing exactly as I stated in my goals above and segregated my bookshelf according to that. I still have around 3 miscellaneous items that I am very confused about whether to keep or not. #Dilemma

I also have two camera bags in my bookshelf currently but that is again because there is nowhere else to keep it safe, I guess. My tripod will most likely reside in my wardrobe.

I threw away a lot of CDs (eBook versions of my high school textbooks), some vintage greeting cards with an unknown origin (why did I even consider keeping those in the first place?!), a lot of very old books and dictionaries, and two pair of sandals. I gave a pair of boots to my cousin because I had a total of two pairs of boots and I don't have enough space in my suitcases to fit too many shoes.

Overall, it felt pretty great to declutter my room and finally being able to actually see the furniture in my room for once. Unfortunately, I did this very last minute and just forgot to transfer all the pictures of my room from my camera to my USB drive once I was done decluttering and only realized now (after moving to USA). My camera is back at home and so I can't show you guys the wonderful room transformation that occurred after I finished decluttering it.
Hopefully, if my dorm room gets cluttered I can make a post when I declutter that! Just kidding, guys please do not hope that!

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