My mom decided she wanted my crappy Target bookshelf from the spare bedroom *shrug*
2. I’m giving away my bookshelf and donating most of my books.
I used to have TWO of these towering bookshelves crammed full of books, most of them two deep.
Wanna know a secret? I don’t really read that much!!
Why do we keep books?
When I moved into my current place, it took my SEVEN trips just for my books. Luckily I lived in the same city. But I had my books shoved into every nook and cranny, all the way up to the ceiling in my car. My bumper was scraping the pavement. Seven trips. Never mind unloading and bringing them in. And to be honest, back then I even thought it was a pain in the ass. Why am I doing this?
I think I liked to have them because they made me appear smart and knowledgable. “Don’t trust people who don’t own books,” is a saying I hear a lot. I used to work in a library. I wanted to show off my collection.
Donate : 33 book, coloring books and 3 art pads. Also donating my dragon puppet.
Keep: 4 favorites, 5 non-fiction that I’m constantly using, 6 art pads and 4 coloring books.
Here was my spare bedroom yesterday-
And today. For now I’m keeping the books stacked on the floor. I’m too stinking tired to figure out what to do with them today.
I have had a VERY BUSY weekend. This is going to be another long-winded post because I am exhausted, I have severe Decision Fatigue and I’ve been going non-stop for the last two days (hey, when you’re feeling it, go for it!)…..
No I changed my mind I’ll just make a couple of posts today.
I think I’ll kind of number each “section” so we don’t get overwhelmed.
1. I went through my art supplies.
I’ve been putting these off. Art supplies are a touchy subject for me. Long story short, when I was in high school, early 20s, I was going to become a professional artist. I had scholarships to a school and I was going to work for an awesome studio and illustrate all the awesome animated movies that come out.
Then life got in the way, I wasn’t able to go to art school for personal reasons, I drew a bit for commissions, but was working three jobs at once and going to regular university school full time and was in an abusive relationship. Then I stopped drawing full stop. (That was the short verson!)
Anyway, I had a lot of art supplies, all still good, sitting in drawers being useless. This minimalism journey has really changed my mindset.
I used to be, “I can’t get rid of these! What if I need these some day?”
My mindset now is always “What if someone else could use these and love them?”
I’ve started considering others when I’m going through my stuff.
I guess it wasn’t too bad. It had been much worse.
I started with the Sharpies:
I got a piece of paper and checked that every single one worked well. The iffy ones were thrown away. I kept one of each of the fine tip and a big fat black one. The rest I donated. (I made sure that I made a note for them that all of them worked and these would be great for artists)
Next up was the pencils. Dear god, the pencils! With a few exceptions, these were all Derwent and Prismacolor:
I donated ALL of these but one Derwent Studio set and a few miscellaneous graphite, charcoal and white. I did the same thing as with the markers and put a note with them. I think an artist would be jazzed to have them. Most of them hadn’t even been sharpened and had brand new tips on them.
Next up the paint and junk box:
Most of the brushes I kept, and I kept the Faber-Castell pastels, black and white paint, varnish and the little pallet.
This is what I kept. EVERYTHING now fits in my artbin container.
I think I’m going to say this a million times. And that’s ok.
Unless you already lived minimally, the journey to minimalism isNOT EASY.
I underlined and bolded not easy for a reason. If I could make it size 150 font I would.
This process is hard, tiring, sucks, sometimes I want to give up, but really it’s worth it to me. I know I’ve been posting a lot but I’ve been on a roll. When you’re on a roll, go with it!
One of my prior posts I talked about getting rid of the roll top desk in the spare bedroom. Here is where it used to be.
Of course I had stuff in the roll top desk that I had previously sorted through but I decided to sort through it again. It’s gotta go somewhere.
Here’s what I decided to get rid of:
(Bonus, doll armoire)
I think I could have done better than this. Most of the stuff I just scotched into the closet. Getting rid of the desk (and the chair!) was a tough decision for me! I still have a long way to go, but I know I’ll go back to the other items.
I moved the chair and little table over from the other side of the room.
Now it looks like this:
As a reminder, here’s what that area looked like in March this year. (Also note how much stuff is on the bookshelf. Eventually I would like to get rid of the towering bookshelf)
And here’s my end result today.
(Bonus!! The middle of the room is nice and empty!)
Do you ever find old photos of yourself and think “who is that?”
What about selfies you took?
My minimalism has started to go toward the “electronic” portion and I’m starting to clear out all of my ancient (for technology) photos! Old abandoned blogs, photobuckets, memory cards, email archives, you name it. I’ve been finding some interesting things….
I stumbled across these. Most of these are about 10 years old. What do you think these selfies say about my 23 year old self? I’ve never been one to force a smile, and I’ve always hated my body. But this is a person who was hiding behind make up, hair dye, and FILTERS.
OMG THE FILTERS!
Some of the photos had filters and then they were filtered AGAIN. Just in case too much of me might show.
This is a person who, when I look back, I was kinda cute. I’m definitely not a hideous person. Why did she (10 years ago me) feel so ugly and such a need to hide herself from the world? Even hide everything that may have been going on around her?
Part of why the minimalism process can be so hard is you find old things that remind you of who you used to be. It can bring all those memories back, whether they’re painful, joyous, awkward, etc. Sometimes you’re just not ready for what you may find, hidden under the layers of stuff (yes, even digital stuff is stuff). Sometimes it can bring a lot of things to the surface that really needs some soul searching that people just aren’t ready for.
Part of my minimalism journey has included some self acceptance that I didn’t even think could happen!
I’m going to delete these old photos of 10 years ago me. That me doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t plan on showing a filtered person to myself or the world.
(Me tonight, tired from a long week, no makeup, no dye, no filter. But still a little fuzzy because my iPad is a bit dirty 🙂
My curio cabinet was so loaded with stuff and so heavy that it was starting to pull the L-brackets out of the studs in the wall. I kept hearing it creaking. One night, as my tiny little dog was sitting right in front of it, I heard the thing pop as it pulled even farther from the wall. Luckily, it didn’t crash onto my pet and didn’t cause too much damage to the wall.
It did make me accept the fact that I have TOO MANY tchotchkes, too many gewgaws, too many knick-knacks, too much decorative crap!
I can get rid of clothing, furniture, crafts, why cant I get rid of these tiny decorative useless things??
I started by emptying out the curio cabinet, taking it away from the wall and yanking its feet off. It should be safer if it’s flat on the floor.
I made a pile of the decorative things and found what I absolutely did want to keep and put it back in.
Here’s the rest which didn’t make the cut:
Some of these things are “heirlooms,” things that belonged to my grandmother and great-grandmother, but they’re not really old or meaningful, and to be honest, I didn’t actually LIKE them that much, other than the family connection. Then I decided to yank the Chinese brass off the wall in the bathroom. And put the foul ball I caught at a pro game I went to a few years ago.
Then I went through my closet and filled a bag with clothes. Might as well put the hangers in too. The Harry Potters are going. A humidifier, two vases, a mirror, a unicorn glass thing, another wall decor, a Betsey Johnson purse, and other misc.
I’ve been reading Fumio Sasaki’s “Goodbye Things” (downloaded for free of course, I no longer buy books) and he said that if you think about getting rid of something 5 times, you should just “discard” it. I don’t discard items if I can help it but boy do I donate. I’m enjoying reading his story. He has a gentleness and a vulnerability that I like, and I’m liking some of his points.
He has a list of “55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things.”
My three favorite tips are:
#8. There isn’t a single item you will regret throwing away. This for me has been true.
#14. Take photos of the items that are tough to part with. I’ve been doing that with this blog each time I make a new donate pile and it has been very helpful!
And #16. Our things are like roommates, except we pay their rent. DING! I LOVE this way of thinking!
I think this will also be donated. I’ve thought about donating this FAR more than 5 times. Growing up I always wanted a roll-top desk. I imagined sitting quietly journaling, thinking deep thoughts. I sit on my butt at a desk all day long, the last thing I wanna do is be doing it at home. And I’m usually at the dining room table if I want to write anyway.
As you can see, it also needs to be completely sanded down and painted or stained. Yuck.
So goodbye roll-top desk, I’m not paying your rent anymore.
I finally got a project done that I’ve been slacking on for a long time. I bought this trunk in October/November as a housewarming gift for my mother.
I got it at Salvation Army for a whopping $40.
And it was UUUGGLLYY.
It used to be a travel trunk (possibly covered in fabric or leather). The lock had broken off, the handles were missing, someone had painted it pink, then white, then green and green again and it was severely abused. And OLD.
I really wish I had gotten a photo of the inside because it was just as bad, but lined with digesting hideous fabric and just randomly nailed in.
AND it smelled.
I spent about two hours each day sanding it by hand for about three weeks. I got green dust EVERYWHERE. I worked on the trunk in the garage with the door closed. I changed my clothes and took a shower right away. Why is there green dust in the kitchen sink? On the fireplace? Really, on the couch?
And then the weather got bad. So it sat in my garage taking up a whole lotta space.
However, the weathers been good, so this happened.
I kept a little of the green just as a reminder of what it used to look like.
The side handles came off of an old coffee table that was actually one of my parents’ wedding presents. I got the large front handle from a thrift store for 50 cents.
The wood really had so much character, I didn’t want to sand it to make it “perfect.” Usually I’m so nit picky and perfectionist with everything, this time I decided to keep its history.
The inside was awesome too! All the slats on the bottom!
I delivered the trunk to my mom as a belated present and I’m so happy I got such a large area of my garage back.
It’s been over a month since I’ve posted (wow, that went fast).
This is going to be a rambling post.
There’s been a lot going on this month, and I’ve been busy. I wish I could say it’s been a good busy, but unfortunately it has not and me feeling “down” is an understatement.
I did fail my “No TV” month. I slipped into TV watching again after 9 days. On a positive, while I didn’t meet my goal, I did go 9 days without watching, which is an accomplishment in of itself!
My mom got sick and ended up spending some time in the hospital. I spent a couple nights there with her which is always exhausting. After many tests, she’s actually pretty healthy and was able to get her medication adjusted.
I had an “incident” with a coworker where I had to file a grievance. This was stressful, as I always worry I’m overreacting when people touch me (any touching period makes me uncomfortable) but he took it too far. It was really a shame because I actually like him, but I tolerated his touchiness for months, kept asking him to stop and it just escalated. On the positive note, he didn’t lose his job (I didn’t want him to, I just wanted him to keep his hands to himself) and he doesn’t seem to have hard feelings.
I tried SO badly to get BTS tickets (they’ll be in LA in September) and was totally ready to get a flight there or drive (driving wouldnt be too bad) but darn it! Tickets sold out SO quickly for all four shows! I wasn’t willing to fly south or east so, I’ll just have to hope for next time. The positive about this is, I’m excited about their album coming out tomorrow! (And I might get lucky and be able to see a different kpop group- there’ve been WAY more KPOP groups coming to the US which I’m pleased as punch about).
I was also thinking of flying to LA in September anyway, just so I can take a mini vacation. I honestly can’t remember the last time I took a vacation. I’ve also considered maybe Northern California or Oregon and getting away from humans for a little bit. I can’t decide between bigger city or nature. I’ve also decided next year I’m going to go to England just because I’ve always wanted to go. Also a positive, I’ve finally got myself to a place where I CAN plan vacations.
I’ve been backsliding on my “no-shopping” and “low-shopping” AGAIN. I have so many ideals and hopes for me that aren’t even minimalism related (life-goals) and I just can’t even get myself started and I just don’t know WHY. I feel like I’m constantly alone, a nuisance and stagnant. But tomorrow is another day.
It could always get better.
(I try to end all negatives with a positive!)
(Another positive, my dogs, my car, my home and my new neighbor have been darn ok!)
It’s officially been a week since I started a No TV” month. This… Is the longest I’ve gone in my ENTIRE LIFE without television. How pathetic is that? What does this say about our society?
I did, on Friday however hear about Isao Takahata’s passing. I had three people ask me if I had The Tale of Princess Kaguya as they had never seen it. So I did break my NO TV rule that night. We all watched the beautiful movie and cried. Then they went home and I shut the TV off.
I did manage to get a lot done. I’ve cleaned my fireplace. My garage is empty. I’ve donated my things. I’ve taken the dogs for walks. I got my fat lazy rear end on the bike. I’ve read a bit. My house is immaculate. I didn’t even watch K-Pop videos!
I’m bored to tears.
I’m actually not quite sure what I’m hoping to accomplish or learn from going a month without watching television. Part of me just wants to prove to myself that I can. Most of me is hoping that I’ll crack and maybe find some creativity or hidden spark. Maybe I’ll discover my purpose. Appreciate new things.