Just A Bit Of A Personal Ramble

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I’ve been writing quite often about minimalism, the need to declutter, and my own attempt at saving my sanity in a world seemingly filled with chaos.  This post is just me putting my thoughts in words and trying to understand what drives me in this…what drives you in this.

Today, although a day full of laughter, was also a day filled with much stress and anxiety over situations which I have little control. I noticed that my way of dealing with such matters, is to clean. To clean and declutter. But something odd happened today that made me stop and have a word with myself. I realised that the chaos in my environment is creating chaos in my mind (and that works the other way also!). I also realised that I am also mindlessly scrolling through online shops (& badly tempting myself to break my shopping ban) as a tool to escape my stress. To just…not think.

None of these is a good habit.

Window shopping online, though mind-numbing, is a horrible habit. I found all manner of lovely items that I never knew I needed, but am now fantasising about. Not the best idea for me at the moment. Because for some reason, when I am really anxious about something, those new baubles feel so….necessary. More necessary than that pile of bills waiting for payment. And how twisted is that?! Of course, I do have enough self-control to fight the urge to make those purchases. It’s the fact that I’m even considering it, that truly disturbs me. What is my problem?! Why am I so distressed that all logical reasoning seems to have left me? Uncool.

Cleaning. Cleaning isn’t a bad thing. Of course not. Except when everyone around me gets very nervous because I am cleaning with such vigour (? Is that the proper word?) that the people around me are trying to find out what’s wrong. Crazy cleaning. Yea, that’s it. Crazy cleaning. That’s not OK.

Declutter rampage. I understand that I am running the declutter challenge. Today, I was so… overwhelmed, that I truthfully had the feeling that I could happily live with about 10% of the stuff. I don’t actually have so much, so that’s actually quite a small amount. Most of my clutter is paperwork, bills, more papers, printouts, instruction manuals (all things which must be kept for what, 10 years?) random ‘what-if’ items (like empty plastic boxes that I will never use as food containers), photos from everywhere & everyone, expired sauce mixes that I don’t like but feel wasteful to toss out, and sentimental items. These are the items which are consistently moved from place to place, but never find a proper place where they are organised and away.  I took the time to sit and think about why I was reacting this way. I considered many possible options. 1 of them being that there is an actual term for people who just purge their items obsessively. I think the term is anti-hoarding, but I cannot remember. There is a whole thing with it, although it is not so common because minimalism is good, but hoarding is really bad. (OK, I am not saying that minimalism is a behavioural problem. I’m saying that people who purge everything including their bed, is beginning to be seen as a problem.) This is not my situation though because our place is a ‘work in progress’…let’s say that. And then the thought came to me. OMG now I understand why I’m so strange about this sometimes. I have spent so much of my life living like a nomad. One in which I could fit all of my possessions in 2 large luggages, that just being in a normal home with average stuff (like dishes, spices, pictures, open cabinets, paperwork & exactly 5 nic nacs) overwhelms me completely.  It isn’t my environment that’s causing a problem. It’s me.

Once I had finally completed my self-analysis, the stress and anxiety had left me. Presumably to go find someone more fun to annoy. But now I am really thinking about these things. Although I may have discovered the reason for my clutter craziness, it doesn’t mean that it will stop bothering me. True, I have to be able to compromise and not force my husband to live in a stark environment. But I also have to get things organised (and yes, continue some decluttering) so that I can put myself in a happy mind.

I will surely be over-analysing the purchase-purge cycle that so many of us find ourselves in. I have already been considering this quite a bit because I am on the shopping ban for many months now and have spent a large amount of that time analysing the purchasing decisions I make. This came up today because of the time spent on the net dreaming about items of clothing I would feel fabulous in.

So I guess for you this means: More strange analytical blog posts upcoming.

Do you do this?

-Mliae


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February Declutter: Update

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Hello all 🙂

I just wanted to share a quick update on how my February declutter is going. Things are progressing quite nicely. Although I must confess that it seems so odd that I really can’t yet notice the difference that I was hoping to see. Except the bookshelf. My bookshelf makes me smile now!  I have a few theories on why this is. These last few weeks, I have been focusing on random objects. Products that have been used or expired, items that I notice and think to myself ‘I can do without that’, a plate or cup that has been chipped…. So I think that when taking one random item from somewhere and ridding myself of it, it is barely noticed. (This should be a big thing to consider when making future purchases. Is it important enough that I will actually notice if I no longer have it?) When I decluttered my books, I took away everything from the shelves and only replaced the items which I enjoyed, was excited to read or which have a function. Now it looks completely different! I think I need to repeat this process in another area for the upcoming 10 days of this month.

There is one are of the place that’s showing some big spaces. It seems that those electric cuts we had, managed to break some of our small appliances in the kitchen. So, we said goodbye to our coffee machine and microwave. Happily, we do have a press to keep the morning java monsters happy. 😉 In some way, I don’t so much miss the microwave though. Yes, really. I find myself wondering if we really do need to purchase a new one. It makes things easier and faster, of course. But…as we don’t eat ready meals (you know, the ones in the plastic boxes that require a micro), really everything we eat can be heated in the oven. Or that’s how it seems anyway.  *As I sit here thinking to myself….’am I missing something? There has to be something that we like that can only be made in the micro.’….’am I REALLY writing this?? People are going to think I’ve lost it!’*  So, there is that. And in a small space, missing something the size of a micro and coffee machine, well, that does show a big difference.

I am listing below some of the brave people who have joined me in this decluttering challenge (because EVERYTHING is better when you do it with friends!) I’m hoping they will let us know how it’s going and maybe even drop a link if they’ve posted updates too!

Janet’s Writing Blog

Unexpected in Common Hours

365 Days of New

Ghost MNC

Saguren

Chasing Rockwell

Leggy Peggy

Through My Lens

Elle Knowles

How is your February decluttering? Would you like to join us?! 😀

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay


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Sooo…Magazines.

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This month, I set a challenge for myself to do a bit of a clean-out. Magazines (leafs) are being found in crazy numbers here. This seems to be difficult for me to put in the bin, so I thought a small rant might be OK.

I used to love reading magazines. I would thirst for it. People would send me the leafs from overseas. I wanted to read about the newest fashion. Try the newest recipes. Contort myself according to the most lust-worthy exercises. Read about the glam travel destinations and see if I could get there myself. But then….. oh then…. the marketing came.

Now I understand that any publication (yours truly included) must pay the bills. But there was a tipping point. A point where 80% of the publication was advertisement. This happened quite trickily. For awhile, the fashion ads were incorporated into the newest fashion trends. We all knew it was advertisement, but loved looking at the photos nonetheless. However now, its just ad after ad after ad. Why should I pay 10€ to look at commercials? I can see them for free every where I go. As a matter of fact, I cannot get away from them!

So it seems to me that alas, magazines have had their heyday also and are now a thing of the past. So sad….

Is it just me?

-Mliae

* Feature photo sourced via Pixabay


January Declutter Challenge Is Complete! Shall We Continue It?

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Good day, my peoples!

Firstly, the *feature photo is NOT of my home. This was a pic I sourced from Pixabay. (although at times, I have felt that this is my life)*

January is over and my January declutter challenge is past its conclusion date. This declutter challenge really got me motivated. I would actually like to continue the challenge on a month-by-month basis. Although I would really like to challenge myself and you, for all of 2019, that’s a big ask. I prefer having declutter buddies throughout this process as it somehow makes it so much easier. So, I think I will continue this challenge for February and I do hope you will continue with me!

For my last half of the January declutter, I purged 1 item a day (at least!). I realized early on in this challenge that paper clutter is my biggest problem. Bills (ooohhh…the bills!), Magazines (which I successfully managed to purge. Yay for me!) and books. I have always had a weakness for books. Everyone knows this, so I receive even more books. Occasionally, I get gifts of whatever some people manage to find at the used book shop for basically free. The problem with this is; Although people know I like to read, they have no idea what I like to read. I feel full of guilt to rid myself of gifts, so I keep them. I keep them all. This creates some spacial issues. (Also created the RBRC) Speaking the truth, I hate romance novels. I’m not a big vampyr fan, and research written in the 70’s is out of date many times over. So, I purged. This was my focus for the last 2 weeks. Purging my books and only my books. I gave away +2 full bags of books, then created 1 shelf for my ‘to-reads’ (Especially for the RBRC) and then I can pass these along (& hopefully the dictionary also!).

Looking at my shelves now feel so nice. A relief almost. It started me thinking about things. It’s strange how we spend so much time wanting items, but then when our homes are ‘full’ all we want to do is to clean it. How much time and energy of our lives do we actually invest into our possessions?  In my mind, it is quite much. This should be something we take into consideration when making future purchasing decisions. Because that book costs far more than the 10 cents someone paid for it. I was surprised to find that I had been dragging these books around with me for years. Why? How much of my mental and physical energy have I wasted on some junk that I won’t ever read? How much space has it taken in my small home? How much extra electric have I paid for these items to be there? (This is a big one when sorting the refrigerator) How many times have I dusted these useless items?

Now on to more important matters…. How was your January declutter challenge?

365 Days of New posted about her success with the January declutter Challenge and she has photos!

Janet’s Writing Blog posted about her success this month and drops a big hint that tells me maybe she continues with me?? 😀 😀

I am pinging some of the awesome people who joined in with not only this declutter challenge, but varying degrees of eliminating the junk, and I cannot wait to hear how it went!

Unexpected in Common Hours

Ghost MNC

Leggy Peggy

Saguren

Through My Lens

Elle Knowles

Time in our lives is valuable. I hardly think that there is anyone out there who actually enjoys cleaning. So isn’t it time we surround ourselves only with the people, items and activities which we enjoy and let everything else go?

Let’s keep this decluttering train rolling! Who’s with me for February?

-Mliae

*Feature photo sourced via Pixabay

Goodbye Junk. Hello Summer. Save $10 when you book online at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

January Declutter Challenge

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Hello all 🙂

First off, no, this is not my home. I sourced the feature photo via Pixabay. However, sometimes this is how it feels when you’re drowning in clutter. (Or when you initially combine households or add flatmates) We’ve ALL been there!

As I mentioned in my Happy New Year post, I have set forth a 31 day challenge for those who wish to join me, to discard one item every day for the month of January. Discard meaning: Give away, donate, sell, use up or toss. At the end of the month, you have successfully rid yourself of 31 items and at 1 item per day, hopefully no-one has gone into  a state of shock.

I actually love this challenge! I have been keeping a record of what I am able to discard daily. Sometimes it has been nothing more than an empty jar of daycream. However, since I only need 1 jar and not 3, this jar will not be replaced and therefore counts 😉 For the first half of this month I have managed to toss 2 chipped coffee mugs and several chipped/cracked plates plus 3 random salad bowl that go with nothing and usually find themselves being used for plants. I forced myself to go into the depths of my wardrobe (depths meaning: I love this, but it’s 3 sizes off what I wear and there’s no need to hang onto it in case I lose weight) and donated several beloved pieces for a Red Cross initiative. This wasn’t exactly easy. However, I think I have found my surprise nemesis. Books and magazines. It has come to my attention that I collect magazines. I never knew I collected them, but judging from the piles of years out of date publications – I’m a hoarder. Yikes! I pulled them out from every corner I had just managed to stuff them after reading. I flipped through them all to make sure I had indeed read it (yes – all of them), tore out any wow-me recipes and begrudgingly put them in the bin. There were a lot. And I am still finding them! As for the next half of this month, well, I will be doing that day-by-day.

As for the wonderful people who decided to join me, I’m linking to you and asking you: How’s it going?

Janet

365 Days of New

Ray

Unexpected in Common Hours

I would really love for anyone else who feels inspired to join us in the challenge, to join in! There are no requirements like reblogging or even posting about it yourself. Just 1 thing a day on the journey to a cleaner, simpler, happier lifestyle.

How are you controlling your clutter?

-Mliae
*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Product Review: Ozeri Serafino Hand Blown Glasses

 

Hello there 🙂

I purchased these glasses last month and I love them so much that I really wanted to write a review for them. Why? Well because I hate clutter and I know that you do too!  I always try to make good purchasing decisions and deciding to buy these was a very good decision. Whenever I buy a product, I try to find the best options that will serve as a multi-functional item. Multi-functional items drastically reduce the need for multiple items, and therefore, drastically reduce the clutter. Kind of like buying a dress that can be worn for work, drinks with friends and to a birthday party…instead of buying that party dress that sits in your wardrobe for all other occasions.

So this is what happened. Many of you know me well enough to know that I have minimalistic tendencies. Well, once I got married and we combined all of our belongings, it became overwhelming. It was hard enough dealing with my ‘stuff’. Now our stuff was too much for my taste. Dishes were broken in the move (& chipped during daily use) and we didn’t have a complete set of anything. Just random plates, salad bowls, glasses and coffee cups.  So, I went online and started searching for cohesive sets for our kitchen items so that we could begin the process of turning ‘mine’ and ‘his’ into ‘ours’.

It took quite awhile to find what I was looking for. I am selective to the point that I annoy my friends. My husband is also, but he left me to find what I liked. So here were my must-have’s:

  • Must be multi-functional
  • Must be unique
  • Must be a good material (glass, stone, clay or copper)
  • Must be high-quality (hand crafted and/or from a highly reputable company)
  • Must be an item that I’m proud to display (We have an open cabinet plan in the kitchen)
  • Must be cohesive
  • Must be able to withstand temperature variance
  • Hopefully dishwasher safe.

As you might well imagine, the search did take awhile. And these beautiful glasses came along at just the right moment. The words hand blown and all glass are what really got my attention. After much deliberation, I purchased a pack of 2 – 12 oz glasses. They came straight to our door and we started testing them out immediately.

Speaking the truth, my husband was not as excited about them as I was. He liked the design, but he wasn’t sure about the actual multi-functionality of them. Until, that is, he had his first cup of hot coffee.

IMG_0068

It was at this moment that he decided these might be his new best friend. The glass doesn’t even get warm to the touch! But the coffee inside was boiling. He was sold. If it keeps colds, cold and hots, hot – without affecting the outer glass, it was good! We immediately ordered 4 additional 12 oz glasses. We also began cleaning out our mismatched glasses and mugs from the move. Which felt soooo good! We had our first set.  And now our ‘cup shelf’ looks like it should. No clutter, no random items, just a tidy display of glasses which we can use for everything. 🙂

We are collecting these now. We would like to get a set of the smaller size in the future, so that we have some for entertaining. And that will maintain the cohesive look in the shelf.  Not to mention, these are a great conversation piece – especially when we mention that it’s all handblown glass.

So that’s how that happened.

This is a relatively small company, which sells on amazon. I know that small hand craft companies do have a struggle in today’s Walmart society, so I really wanted to share about this with you. There is a direct follow link at the bottom of the post if you would like to check them out.

 

ozeri glasses

They have 12 oz and 8 oz glasses, as well as different designs, which can be found by clicking here to visit the store.

What do you look for when you buy new drinking glasses?

-Mliae

Reader Write-In!

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I am so excited. I mean, really. You know when you have those moments where you wonder if anyone actually reads your blog…or cares? Well, maybe you don’t. But I definitely do.  Anyway, I was having one of those moments when I checked my email and Da-dah-da! – email from one of my readers whom I just adore.

This lady has been very active and has participated in many elements/competitions/giveaways. It feels fantastic when people participate!

Imagine my joy when I realized that she heard me when I was talking about ‘minimalism’ – basically cleaning it up, making things easier, and organizing like a crazed person. She took my suggestions to heart and actually put them into practice!

She told me that I could publish this letter that she sent to me. And it is a pleasure to do so!

DEAR MLIAE,

I was highly impacted from the beginning of your articles on minimalism. I just couldn’t get around to following through with the motions of working on my own closet! I actually have 2 closets that are equally cram packed and when I took this picture there was a full load of my clothes in the washing machine!

Can you imagine the trouble I had getting an outfit together in this mess!

g closet b4

I was so impressed by your putting your outfits in an easy to grab fashion!
Also I had things hanging there that I had NOT worn in years but just couldn’t let go of them.

There were things I had been looking for all summer that I found when I cleaned this out. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Below I took a picture of all the empty hangers that were left over once I trudged through the ridiculous amount of clothes I never use!

It was amazing!

This past weekend I packed for a full trip in minutes because everything was in outfits and nothing was lost under the piles of clothes I had I am embarrassed to say just thrown up in my closet

g hangars

Can you see how much I took out?

This was before I had put it in order.

Every time I look in my closet which is obviously at least once daily; I am thankful for you!

 

g after

I have my things orderly, in outfits , where I can easily :

Pack for a weekend,

Grab an outfit for whatever weather happens to be coming along, and feel good about what I have picked out.

Pocket books are some accessories are in the boxes; scarves are tucked into the tops.

THANK YOU MLIAE!!

I am so happy about this letter, I have been smiling for days! I have to thank her (THANK YOU!) for letting me know about all of this, and thank her for reading, participating and just being a super cool person!

Happy! Happy!

-Mliae