Friday, January 16, 2015

Killing time, waiting to be called out

The purging has continued and, happily, it's starting to become more noticeable.  My closet isn't necessarily much emptier but its (mostly) filled with items I like to wear.  There will be a bit more culling done but its gotten to the point where I'm not sure which of the remaining items can go so I've re-hung everything with the hangers facing the opposite way (this is sometimes referred to as Oprah's hanger trick).  After about 2 months, anything that is still left hanging in that direction will be sent to the thrift store.

There isn't much excitement going on so I thought I'd add a picture of what I'm wearing today while bumming around the house waiting for a call from Scheduling (ignore my house shoes/slippers!).  What I've realized is that the clothes I tend to reach for most are black, grey, white, blue or denim and that my sense of style is pretty casual although I try not to end up looking sloppy.  The fleece blazer/swing coat here is a departure from that colour scheme because of the orange stripe but I really like it because its comfy and more put-together than a hoody.  It's been great for travelling and I can even wear it at the office so we'll see if I start pulling it out of the closet more often.  I think this outfit is pretty typical for me on a day off.  If I was headed into the world I'd grab my black tote bag and black boots (if snow didn't force me into giant Sorels).

Outfit cost:
Jeans* $8
Fleece blazer* $7
Tshirt $6
Belt free (from work uniform, provided by employer)

*purchased secondhand

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Decluttering with no noticeable effect

I've been really trying to cut back on the amount of possessions that I own in order to declutter my house and prepare for downsizing later in the spring.  The irony of the situation is that, even after hauling an extra bag of trash to the curb and taking 3 boxes of clutter/duplicates/stuff I never use and a giant garbage bag of clothing to the thrift store, it's unlikely anyone would notice a difference at my house.  *I* barely notice a difference and I've been the one sorting through everything!!  I was really good at hiding my excess items or keeping them in rooms that are currently unused.  It was a case of out of sight, out of mind and unfortunately, even now that those items are permanently gone...they weren't really stressing me out to begin with.

It's a bit discouraging because I'm missing out on that feeling of relief one gets after clearing their space but I know that I'm still doing the right thing.  Not only will I have less to move when I find my next home but eventually, as my decluttering continues, I will notice a tidier, less-stressed lifestyle emerging as my home routine becomes easier.  I still have a long way to go; my wardrobe, vertical surfaces and paper monster all still need to be tamed.

My wardrobe is probably the most frustrating.  I've been trying to lose weight for awhile now and as soon as I start to fit into my old clothes, I fall off the bandwagon due to some personal drama in my life (yay for emotional eating!!) and get stuck wearing the "fat clothes" I've been trying to eliminate.  I've more or less given up on fitting into some of these items and have gotten rid of most of the clothing that doesn't fit.  The rest is on a 2 month pardon.  Most of the remaining, smaller-sized clothing is actually Spring/Summer clothing so by the time its due to be hauled out of storage, I really should have lost that weight.  At the moment, between the items hanging in my closet and the clothing in my dresser, I have over 56 items that are more or less seasonally-appropriate (I counted 56 but still have items in my crew bag and laundry to do...this will bump the number even higher).  This number doesn't include outerwear, activewear, socks/undies/PJs, shoes/boots or accessories.  This seems incredibly excessive to me although I know I only own a fraction of what most people have in their wardrobe.  I'm re-hanging all the items in my closet with the hanger facing backwards...that'll help me see what actually gets used and the unworn items will get donated after 2 months.

I'm really excited to whittle this down to a capsule wardrobe as I think it'll help me develop my personal sense of style.  I have a few outfits that I LOVE, I want to get to the point where everything in my wardrobe is something I love and feel great in.  I promise to keep you updated. ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shortly after my last post, someone totalled my car...

And things got super hectic. :(

I knew that Betty would need to be replaced but thought I would be able to take my time shopping for my next vehicle.  When the giant pickup truck decided to turn left *into* the driver's side of my vehicle, I was left more than a little shaken.  Seriously, when I looked out my side window, all I saw was his grill.  I had to crawl over the passenger seat and use that door to get out of my car.  Betty was a write-off and my search for a replacement became frantic.  After I replaced her (with Betch, a 2010 Toyota Rav4) I spirited a friend away to Dublin for a much needed vacation.

Unfortunately, I have felt like I haven't been able to catch up since then...I had certification training at work, have been trying to fly extra hours/work shifts at the office to put some money aside for savings, had a minor mental breakdown (not ready to talk more about that yet) and spent wasted a lot of time online, hiding away from the real world by substituting it with social media.  I always felt super busy but didn't always seem to be accomplishing a lot (and certainly couldn't seem to keep on top of simple household tasks).

Remember how I had mentioned my priorities were shifting?  Well, it seems there's been another change too.  I hesitate to call myself a minimalist because I'm so far from their ideal but I definitely feel myself drifting towards minimalism.  I've spent much of my downtime so far in 2015 (ha, I realize that's only been a few days) going through the contents of my home and purging what isn't necessary.  I should clarify that this isn't a easy or quick experience.  My closet, for example, only seems to lose one or two things at a time but that can still add up.  My frugal, non-consumerist side has helped as well as hindered at various points of this process.  My linen closet was tricky because other than being faded/stained, my towels are actually in decent shape.  Frugal Kristyn says "Don't throw then out, they're still good!!" and Minimalist Kristyn says "But do you really LOVE these stained towels?  Get some pretty new ones!!".  Compromise Kristyn is hoping fabric dye will cover up the stains and give the old towels a fresh new look.

I've definitely decided to sell the townhouse I've called home for 3.5 years now.  I love my home. :( The layout is great for me, there's more than enough space, I'm close to all the amenities in my small town...but the stress of cutting grass/shovelling snow/cleaning the more than abundant space is too much.  My neighbours have always been kind enough to help with some of the exterior work but that's not their responsibility and makes me feel guilty.  I'm in the process of finishing up some upgrades/reno's and am hoping to list my home in the spring.  I'll likely look for a condo.  I used to be adamantly against condo ownership but I can see why, for someone single in my line of work, its almost the only reasonable choice.

2015 will be about attempting to simplify my possessions (less stuff = less stuff to waste time cleaning/maintaining) and in turn, simplify my life.  The standard resolutions of being healthier, learning new skills and travelling will all apply too but right now, I'm just trying to weed out what's just cluttering my life and my mind.  I'm hoping to use this blog as an online journal of sorts but I'm only planning to post once a week and spend more time living offline. :)

Happy New Year!  Let's make 2015 great!