Tag Archive | Minimalism

Minimalism & load on my brain ?

I must confess that I have not been actively purging things as much as I wanted to. Laziness in me has taken front seat in everything in life. There are time sensitive and important things that should be taken into account sooner to free off the clutter in my mind. That list gets bigger and bigger occupying my most precious memory in brain that could have been completed with just 30 minutes everyday. But, I choose not to.

You may say, if they are that important you would do it? They are extremely important but I am afraid of going back in my memory lane to discover more faults than looking back fondly on beautiful things and lovely final results. I would go into the cycle of – I wish I could have done this way and numerous wishes that clearly are not possible to go back in time and address them. So, the work piles up and there will be urgency to finish it in jiffy due to lack of time on hand and the same thing repeats again. I will go into cycle of “I wish I had started this work earlier” and on and on.  It happens every single time and I want to break out of this cycle. The determination or importance for important things lack in me. I do not have sense of clarity on what is important, urgent, or that can wait and which cannot. That brings back to the topic of “Minimalism”. I cannot focus on this aspect as my mind is full of clutter, that needed to be done.

I wrote a post about the very similar problem 2.5 years back here and yet, here I am still holding onto it. I am my own obstacle in progressing forward. I know my problem, I know how it can be solved. But, I lack motivation in time and again.  This procrastination and laziness has cost me so much in life and yet no improvements.

Dear readers, how do you go about such situations? If you have been in such situations, what steps have you taken to address this problem?

 

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Cleaninggggg

Yes, I am stuck at cleaning the home forever. I just feel like, there is never ending session of organizing, getting rid of stuff and most importantly cleaning. It is exhausting. You might say – what’s the big deal in cleaning isn’t?

For me, the very thought of cleaning home is daunting. I think of 100 things to clean and want to actually deep clean, then in turn it gets delayed for ever. For instance, if I were to clean kitchen this weekend (which I am right now), I need to organize pantry, clean greasy dishes/bottles/stove tops, microwave inside out, fridge inside out, cabinets – re-organize all the dishes, oven – this is in worse condition, thanks to our previous one’s who lived here, it is so dirty that I have been researching quite a bit as to how to handle that. Stove tops are worse. I just couldn’t get the gunk out with my numerous attempts at washing them. Oh.. the cabinet corners are dirty and I need to find a way to clean them and bring back the shine. To top it all, kitchen floor is mostly white, how do you clean linoleum floor eh? I tried bleach, it got better, but it has to be cleaned very regularly.

I took this as an opportunity, to get rid of most of the duplicate dishes. I could not be happier. I tried finding a place and hopefully, I’ll maintain those things in place. I like the clean and clutter free places, but mine seems to be a long way.  I do not know how and why and all it started.. may be it’s just that I feel, most of my weekends go into organizing, re-organizing, cleaning and cycle repeats that stops me from enjoying the summer time doing something that re-rejuvenates me is missing. This is the only topic that I have lately been talking at work, with strangers, neighbors, family, friends. Guess what, of course they are not interested in hearing the same story on repeat from me? I think, dream, live and basically obsessed with cleaning-organizing-leading-a-clutter-free-life. At times, I feel helpless, exhausted, mentally drained and yet I fail to wrap it up fast enough.

I do not even want to talk about living/bed/ storage room.  I am dreaded to even think about tackling them. The problem with me is, I have no artistic vision, I appreciate the homes that are tastefully decorated but I fail in that area. I panic the moment I see the stuff flowing into the home.

Thankfully, I have addressed the closet area, and put a stop to purchasing clothes all together. So, I have a hope.. some day, one day in the near future, I will have a clutter free, organized clean home.

Dear you, I know your homes must be bigger, and have children, or many people in the home – how do you live a relaxed life? how do you manage your chores? I would be interested in hearing your daily/weekly/monthly maintenance activities to have a clean and organized home.

Temptation to buy new clothes

This website my cousin suggested where we get really good clothes for great pricing. They have been purchasing great stuff and they really look cool in those outfits. I recently vowed to myself that I will not buy anything until I exhaust all my options. There is a strong reason behind my decision.

I am a victim of american consumerism. I have purchased quite a number of clothes, shoes and accessories with or without sale. The problem now I face is – organizing them, or the time it takes to decide what to wear when I have to step out. I tried sorting clothes and shifting 25% to the “Good Will”(a charity based organization) bag and yet I feel overwhelmed. The clothes fill my huge closet space and 3 big suitcases. I have hard time letting go of my clothes.

Despite, having so many clothes and shoes, I get tempted now and then to buy more. Every time, I think of buying more I try to think of hassle that I face everyday and the less space that I have at home to accommodate more. It is a very hard decision to follow through.

I lived a simple life growing up, never had to worry about what to wear and what to organize. We were a family of 4 and I had very few clothes growing up. Simpler times. I feel it’s complicated now more than ever. The biggest problem I am trying to tackle is letting go. I wish I could be more generous. Hopefully, some day I will.

Somewhere, I came across “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.” This is never going to apply for me in this case.

To buy or not to buy a Car?

I announced to my colleagues at work that “I want to buy a car” and “with full down payment”.

They remarked – it is much cheaper to buy a car with monthly payments than buying a car with down payment.

How is it possible? until unless I get the automobile loan for 0%. And unless, it is a recession, there is no possibility of getting that kind of an loan. Can someone tell me, how does this work?

So, I did discuss with my partner about the “thought of owning a car”.  and his immediate response was -“do we need it?” and pointed out to various things that we could do with that money not invested in car.

The flash back-

Before I moved to NYC, I’ve had car. I got the used car on a loan, right out of my college. A mistake for which I really payed high premium (yes all the $$ spent on maintenance)..that was such a bad investment of my time, money, mental energy and swore to never buy an used car. Car was a necessity back then and seems like a luxury now. I do not need a car, It has been almost 5 yrs and it was easy to manage. Kudos to the amazing public transportation system. Besides, it is much easier to not own the car.

I missed the car initially, when I had to make quick trips to near by places for something, or carrying a groceries or going on an impromptu trip. I missed it dearly. Slowly, I got used to enjoying not having to worry about driving, insurance fees, parking difficulties, monthly car payments, fuel expenses, maintenance and urge to travel on impulse. Even though cost of living went skywards that compensated car related expenses, the peace of mind of not having car turned out to be amazing.

Current state of mind

Sometimes, I get carried away with wanting versus not owning a car. Car is a luxury for me, and I am in no excessive of funds to burden my self for buying one. I have been conscious of my wants and needs lately, and having no debt/ loan to pay back is liberating.

As you saw in my earlier posts about my path to minimalism. I have put a hold on impulsive buying and trying every possible way to get rid of unwanted things. Most of the times, it has been a difficult choice and I broke down several times with lot of clutter lying around in the home and feel my precious time goes into organizing stuff. I feel helpless and retard by looking at pile of stuff not knowing what to do with it.

But, not adding to the existing clutter has been great. Also, after so much of fore thought, analysis, taking a stock at my wants and needs, the decision to buy a car, only when I have sufficient funds seems like a best possible outcome for me. I just hope, my confused brain doesn’t waiver and come back to square one. This place is a  reminder for me to think – why I have made this decision in the first place.

What about you people?

Dilemma – On clothes

Being an Indian native (not the native indian), I have different sets of Indian clothes and the unfortunate truth is that, when ever I visit India or if some one from my family visits, I will make sure I get many Indian dresses.

At the rate, I got the stuff..I sent back only some of it. Result is that I have more dresses than I possibly get a chance to wear them here in United States.  It breaks my heart to give away any of these dresses that I brought. I really really love them but I do not wear them as much as I want. Yesterday, while re-organizing my closet, I was sure of some dresses (Indian and Western) that I am not going to wear them. I landed them in three bins – 1. Charity, 2. Trash  3. To India. (Total of 20+ pieces and my closet is slightly lighter.. feels great!)

The problem is, I am not sure if I will be visiting India anytime soon nor I expect any of my family or friends visiting India and take my clothes away. One of the reasons, I try to send my clothes to India is…I will be sure these clothes will help many families and they love it. Yes, they could be our neighbors, financially challenged family members or our maid’s children back home. The dresses are worn only twice or thrice by me and they obviously are in great condition and they do not mind at all.  If I give away these to good will, I am afraid they might toss most of it for no relevance but I am certain when it comes to India. Every piece of the cloth will serve some purpose.

And other clutter I have is – My family who rarely visits me, hope that they might visit often and leave their stuff here as if they will be a regular visitor. The hard fact has been that they never visited in last one year and the clothes lie here. May be a lesson learned to not let them leave any of their belongings. It has been difficult to maintain with lot of my own clutter around.  Or probably it all started as I began considering being a minimalist. Ohh the perspective.. it changes!

The journey towards minimalism has begun (Hopefully..?), I would want to sell/give away/recycle/trash anything that I think will not fit in our Tiny home. It hit me hard when the amount of my precious time goes into maintaining the stuff that I hardly need. But as I said in my earlier posts.. It is indeed very hard to part with things even though they are of no use to us.

I digress.. Now if parting with things was that difficult.  it hurts me every time some one leaves the work place. Even though they are not my friends or the mostly friendly people I deal with.. But with time, I get used to the reality. And I hope my new journey towards minimalism becomes part of my life style soon.

And it is easy if we take one step at a time, than trying to do all at once. It certainly helped me and hope it does in case if you are up for simple living.

De-cluttering Jewelry

For now, I guess I am obsessed with “Minimalism” and trying very hard to get out of the cycle of consumerism at least for a month to begin with. Once I read some where, I cannot find the source now.. they listed some great tips to parting with jewelry that I have been accumulating over past few years.

These tips really helped me to get rid of 17 pairs of ear rings and 2 chains. I think this is a lot. I may have to do another round of de-cluttering session in the future but for now I am happy to get rid of them.

Tips that helped me to part with my possessions:

1. Does it suit my current life style needs?

2. Do I look forward to wearing it?

3. Does it mean anything to me at all? – Yes, there are some gifts that my family or friends gave me. Few that I really like kept it and other’s I parted with.

Jewelry has always created mayhem in my head, I guess I had too many and I still have many. Some day, I hope to come down to very few. In the near future, If I do purchase one pair, I will part with at least one another pair and try to maintain the same count.

First round wasn’t that difficult at all.

What am I going do with it? – I will show them to my friends and if they like it they will pick and rest all will make a way to good-will.

Minimalism – a difficult path

As discussed in my earlier posts of my steps towards embracing minimalist life style – here and here.

I must tell you, it is not easy to keep up with my excessive consumerism. I guess I do not have nothing better to do in life. Most of my time goes into organizing on and on and it never ends ..and I give up to re-start the whole process again. On the pretext of shopping for a friend with a friend will only add a dent in my bank account and “More” stuff will land at my home. I am so tired of this and yet cannot restrict myself from purchasing even though I do not need them.

I have been reading a lot lately about minimalism..Be it online articles, books, brought some kindle version of books to get some tips of letting go of things and not getting more into life, and organizing home, be it kitchen, living or bedroom, closet, bathroom and what not.. It has been 6 months and I think I realized “Less is More Joy”.

Every time I read information related to minimalism or organization, and immediately I would want to spring to action. But, by looking at the enormity of task ahead..it kills my spirit and wonder why I have been accumulating and not organized bothers me and I leave it at that. It is the most difficult path than I thought it would be, especially with my never ending purchases.

I read on some minimalist blog as “One in – One out” strategy, but in my case it has been 5 in and one out *Sigh*!

And some one said-  living with 13 pieces of clothes or 100 possessions – this is not going to work for me.

I live in a tiny home where space is at premium and I learned that the less stuff I have, less time would go into organizing and more time for the activities that I love. It is the clutter at home in turn creates mayhem in my head.  One of my friend said, there is no way out if you just crib. If you need to make change, you must start somewhere and keep doing it until you get there. Complaining never benefited any one.

Beyond all, I am exhausted just thinking about it. On a more positive note – I have lately been trying to donate/trash at least 5 things a day from home. So that would be 150 things less in a month. I hope to continue until I reach my goal of “Satisfaction”.  (I got rid of all expired food, non-expired but not opened food items were donated away.. slowly but steadily)

I think I will have to deal with it one-day-at-a-time, after all slow and steady wins the race. I just need to be more persistent and consistent.

All dear minimalists and organized people out there – how do you deal with this?