Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Carrying stuff and letting it go

Recently, as I moved into my new room, I figured I couldn't put up with so much junk being out in the open without a "home" to reside in. The plan is to free up as much space as possible, and have clear surfaces in the bedroom, so I can relax and enjoy white space. Since I have an unused room, I have decided to turn it into my official attic room and dumped all the stuff overflow up there. I have donated a lot of things over the years but I still own a lot. I can tell you that boxing and carrying all that stuff upstairs made me want to reconsider owning so much.

I felt the same when I moved into my new house almost two years ago. We had so much to carry, it was more difficult than heavy lifting for two hours at the gym! That goes to show that actually carrying your things, feeling their weight, might help decide if they are worth owning.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Minimalism and idle time?

Hi guys,

I haven't posted in such a long time! Today I would like to talk about how my search for minimalism (and somewhat of a higher purpose) is going a few years on.

I came to the realization that --at least for me-- minimalism was another way to prep for the future. Less stuff means less to carry when you move. Lighter means freer. But what struck me the most is this: I started ice-skating last year and have been going at least 6-10 hours a week all winter. Not once did I think of minimalism. I was feeling fine on all fronts, my fatigue levels were down, my energy levels were up, and all things considered, life was good. Not once did I have an urge to purge my closet or worry about what things I had in the house.

Then came summer... DUN DUN DUN! I haven't found a sport that I love as much as ice skating, so for the time being, although I make do with other physical activity, I am waiting for the rink to reopen. It turns out that 10 hours a week is a lot of time to kill when you don't have a passion to pursue, and without realizing it, I have started looking up information about minimalism again.

So my question is this: is minimalism the way to happiness, or is it the other way around? Or are we just day-dreaming because we have some idle time to kill?

Let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

minimalism: the idea of one

I was reading this interesting page just the other day about minimalist closets and paring down your clothes. And I really love the fact that when you try to own less stuff, you should "embrace the idea of one". To sum up what the article said, it's all about owning, only one coat, only one pair of black shoes, only one black belt, etc.

Then I figured... If this applies to items of closing, why not apply it to clothing containers? That is how I ended up posting a comment on that page, which I will paste below:

The idea of one can also apply to a closet or wardrobe. I know a lot of people who need more than a regular (dorm size or Ikea size) closet for clothes, but if you decide that 'one' should be all that you need, then you have to work with only that space, and anything that won't fit in there shouldn't have to fit in your life.

What do you think of applying the idea of ONE to containers/furniture?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Year, Fresh Start

I haven't posted in so long, we are now in 2013, so I would like to wish you all a happy new year!

Every new year is like being born a little, it's a new opportunity to start fresh and improve oneself. This year, I have several things in mind. First of all,
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's the little things

Living with less isn't about how many things you own or how big or small your home is. Living with less is about being more mindful of what truly matters. It is about enjoying the little things, so that when you look back on your life, you think "ahh, those were the times" or "I wish time would have stopped then".
This is the beginning of my third year as an expat, second in the same country, and I am already looking back thinking that last year was golden, when really I also had to face difficult times. But I guess all the lovely memories make it worthwhile.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Minimalist halloween costume?

It's that time of year again: Halloween, the time when pumpkin carving and costume parties happen all around town.

For me, buying a costume is usually synonymous with wasted space in my closet right after the party. Last year I tried to make a costume with clothes I already had in my closet and ended up with a goth-like theme. All black, with lace and dark make up. It was pretty convincing.

This year however, I was bored of the same old thing so after thinking a lot and finding nothing great in my closet, I decided to give in and buy a costume. Of course, it's nothing huge with a lot of plastic plates, masks or hats. It a simple flapper dress with small accessories.

The main conundrums for me when shopping for a costume are: will I be able to wear it again in my everyday life? Will I enjoy using it again as a costume next year? Won't I get bored of the costume and want to choose a different one next time? Etc etc. The only consolation (on top of having fun at the party, of course!) is that once folded the dress is so small that it's not really taking any space at all.

The year before, I tried to do the same and not use anything too big. I ended up buying a few accessories and impersonating Lady Gaga. It was kind of easy: red cocktail dress, blonde wig, fake mic, viking helmet, etc. Weirdness was good enough with the blonde wig. Then I moved overseas and threw it away, and now I am so, so sad I did, because I would've sure wanted to put on that helmet and stuff again! I still have the dress of course, but no accessories. The stuff I found here to recreate it wasn't that great, that's why I ended up buying a different costume altogether.

Bottom line: even though I might want to minimize as much as possible, maybe getting rid of things too quickly isn't such a great idea!

What are you doing for Halloween? Any simple costume ideas? Share in the comments!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I think one of the most drastic ways to get rid of extra junk is to downsize the place where you put it. When I first moved to Belgium, the apartment was rather small compared to my US house, and there were NO CLOSETS! That meant that I had to figure out how to fit everything I owned into this apartment, and of course I wanted it to be clean and not full of junk all the time.

That is how I started to look at what I had and to get rid of some stuff that I didn't want or need anymore.

Of course, the point is not to get rid of stuff for the sake of getting rid of stuff. However, if that stuff is more of a burden than anything else, then maybe it is time to let it go.

Now that I am tackling my closet to have more of a simple, minimalist wardrobe, I am thinking that no matter how much I count and sort my clothes, until I have nowhere to put extra stuff, the clutter will still most likely crawl back in.

The other problem with downsizing however, is that if you downsize, say, your closet, and you therefore have less stuff in it, it'll still look full from being smaller. So the question is: do you want to own less stuff, or simply to have a nice-looking, organized closet?

I also realized this: if you stopped worrying about emptying your closet and actually started living your life, maybe the stress that comes with clutter would just disappear!

So good luck organizing, but most importantly, happy living!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Minimalist Fashion?

I think the first thing people tend to tackle as minimalists is probably their wardrobe. I guess it's kind of easy to get a feeling of accomplishment after sorting your clothes, and at the same time it's a relief not to have to schlep around so much stuff. Unlike other items in the house, I think that clothes are the one thing that is more noticeable in terms of accomplishment for minimalists. I, myself, have been tackling my wardrobe these days - I already gave away over 2 bags of clothes. I am left with some things that I need to go through but it's not as much of an emergency as before, because I got rid of the things that I knew for sure that I didn't want or need any more. The rest is stuff that I still wear nearly 10 years on, but I am thinking of getting different clothes now, as I am not the same person I was when I was in college - yes, I know I keep clothes a long time.

The back-to-school season usually goes together with a new wardrobe for most girls... If you guys are like me, you probably went shopping for new back-to-school outfits every year until the end of college!

So my question is: how do you address this push and pull between wanting less and wanting something different. Wanting less and wanting more at the same time. Wanting to be your professional self as well as your casual self.

This song by Whitney Houston says "I'm every woman", well how can you be every woman when you are trying to go for less clothes but your tastes are a bit fickle and change with the seasons?

What I try to do is go for timeless pieces and wonder how I could dress it up or down to make each piece very versatile, but sometimes I will admit that I do get bored and wish I had different things.

How do you go about it? Let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Simplify your kitchen with Tenugui!

A while ago, I posted about how you can declutter your bag wardrobe with Furoshiki. Well, in the same vein, you can declutter your kitchen cloths and such with Tenugui.
... Read more »

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Milestones 2

Just a few days ago, I wrote a post about a number of milestones in my life, as this blog got 500 page views.

Today, I just got to a new one: this blog passed the 1000 page view mark. This is very nice because I used to hate blogging, thinking I had nothing interesting to say, but since I have kept at it since August, I have had the opportunity to see the blog grow.
... Read more »