Clearing clutter

January’s theme is clutter, the physical kind. This is definitely the easiest I can relate to, because it’s something I can see.

I first noticed how easy it was to accumulate stuff when I moved to California for grad school, way back in 2008. I arrived with one or two pieces of luggage (I forget now). Technically I only had one small room to fill with stuff, because I didn’t buy anything for the shared living spaces. When I left, though, my friend and I ended up filling her van to the brim with all the things I’d accumulated. My stuff didn’t fit in one, or two, pieces of luggage. I had to ship several boxes back.

My second “oh no” moment was probably… I dunno, late last year? See, in October of 2014, I finally moved from a flatshare to a one bedroom apartment. When I first arrived, I didn’t have much. I had to buy a lot of furniture and homewares. I think I was just chilling on the couch one afternoon when I realised that I now had a lot of stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I have a problem (yet). I’ve actually been donating my clothes to donation bins for the past few years, because I do get iffy if I see my closet overflowing with things I don’t want to wear. And I still have a lot of storage space. But I noticed that I could easily get to that hoarder stage, if left unchecked, especially with additional said storage space.

Anyway, one of my tangible clutter goals this year (by tangible, I mean not just like… “have less stuff”) is to make all my clothes and other knick-knacks fit in the built-in wardrobe. I’ve decided that this year is New Bigger Bed Year, and that means the standing wardrobe and desk in the bedroom will have to go. (I actually think I don’t have long to go — I just need to rearrange my things better.)

What I’ve done:
Picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (This was last year.) I didn’t do the one-big-purge thing that she recommends, but I’ve become a lot more brutal when it comes to deciding what items stay, and what goes. I’ve done a few rounds of purges since then, and I think that style works best for me.

Reorganised my cupboards. I realised that the “I have nothing to wear” dilemma while standing in front of a closet full of clothes doesn’t only apply to clothes, it also applies to food. While clearing out my kitchen cupboards I found a lot of food that I could still use. I’ve now resolved that with the exception of vegetables and other perishables (e.g. eggs, milk) I actually have enough food to last me a while.

Tried to sell my books. I signed up for StudentVIP, an Australian student website, to try to sell some of my books. I’ve come to the conclusion that no, I will not be taking up Python or ASP.NET again. So far I’ve sold one textbook for $50! Yay! Here’s hoping I get to offload more of them when the new semester starts. (If I don’t sell them by the middle of this year, I’m just going to donate them.)

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