Friday, January 16, 2015

Getting my shit together

I've been trying to organize myself this year, so far. Not really as a New Year's resolution, but it so happens that with the new year comes a slightly less horrendous, or at least more flexible, schedule for me, and so I am attempting to take advantage of that. One of my main goals is to sort out my apartment. I moved in August, but I didn't find time during the entire fall to completely unpack. I had a friend stay with me for a week in December, and I had to make her sleep on an air mattress in the living room instead of the spare bedroom/office, because that room was completely filled with boxes and bags of crap that I hadn't gone through since moving. I still haven't been able to put away all of that shit, but I did manage to clean off my desk, and now I have a work space that is not my bed or my couch. It's amazing how much more productive that has made me. When I sit at the desk, I actually get work done. It helps that it is in the corner facing the window, so I can't see the heaps of clutter that are still piled on the other side of the room - but I'm chipping away at those. At this rate, by the time I (likely) move out of here in the summer, I'll finally have everything sorted out.

Part of my process of getting my shit together involves ridding myself of shit I don't need and not acquiring additional shit. My biggest mass of hoarded stuff is my collection of (surprise!) makeup, nail polish, and skincare. Though I haven't set any strict goals for myself, I am trying hard to use things up and to discard things that I don't want to use. I just filled up a box with nail polish and makeup and posted an offer on Freecycle. Hopefully someone will take it off of my hands. I have a few nicer things that I just don't use, and I think I am going to try selling them to Glambot. (Anyone have experience selling to that site? I'm curious to hear about it.) I am also trying to use things that have been sitting around for a long time - not just makeup, but things like travel size bottles and packets of shampoo. I think I have enough of those hoarded at this point that I can probably go six months minimum without having to buy any shampoo or conditioner. I have been holding on to them, because they are useful for travel. I used to go overseas to do research, but I haven't done that in a few years. I have no idea when I will have secure enough employment to get research trips funded again, so there's no use keeping that shit around for who knows how many years. I can always buy more small bottles of hair products in the future if I need to (or save some empty bottles and refill them).

I'm also trying not to buy any new makeup for two reasons: to save money, and to use up some of the things I already have (original concepts, I know). I haven't bought anything so far this year, and I don't really foresee doing much makeup shopping for a while, though I am still regularly tempted. (Yesterday Nouveau Cheap posted that my favorite topcoat was on sale for $10, but by the time I saw it, it was sold out. So, yay?) I am still getting Birchboxes, since I paid for a year in advance, so I do occasionally have new little things to play with. But the lack of buying is one of the reasons this blog has been moving a bit away from reviews - though it never was strictly (or even mainly, I think) reviews. The other reason is that I don't have a lot of free time, and so I haven't been posting a lot of anything, obviously. I think I am going to be posting more things like empties and quick reviews of things I have had for a while, instead. I hope those are interesting for other people - I always enjoy them when I see them on other blogs.

If you're in a place where you are also trying to cut down on clutter and stop buying things you don't need and organize your space, there are of course lots of resources out there. It seems like everyone feels like they are failing at this - we can't all be, right? But here are some of the places I've found motivation or commiseration:

The Makeup Talk No-Buy Support Forum: There are lots of interesting conversations going on here from people who feel like they have too much makeup. Reading through these, you'll either feel like you've found your people, or you'll feel some kind of relief because it turns out that many other people actually have way more stuff than you do (I won't say which category I fit in myself). I've had fun in these forums. If you want to make some serious changes, there are lots of challenges and projects people are working on that you can take part in.

When Budget Beauty Starts to Hurt: This is just a short article about how quickly buying cheap makeup can add up (from The Billfold). Don't I know it. (Sorry if I have enabled anyone else's hoarding.)

Unfuck Your Habitat: This fits in the cleaning/organizing category. I totally knew about UFYH before it was cool, guys. And yet I haven't really used it - but I am still recommending it, because I know a lot of people who have found it extremely helpful. They have an app that is supposed to be great, too, and I think I am going to buy it soon and actually give it a go.

The January Cure from Apartment Therapy: I signed up for the mailing list and then immediately fell behind, because my schedule was too erratic (the downside of the "flexible" schedule I mentioned above). But the sequence of tasks is a good one, and I am thinking that I will try to work through them at a much (much, much) slower rate.

So that's just me rambling about my general goals and intentions. I have been doing pretty good so far. It's slow progress, but I am not increasing my hoard, my apartment is slowly coming into order. Today I pulled all the bags of old shoes and winter wear and curtains (?) out of the hall closet. They are still in a pile in the middle of the room, but they are my next mess to tackle. I've also found more time for cooking, which I really couldn't seem to do much of in the fall. That's been really good both for my budget and my health (I love my crock pot).

Anyone else on this same track? Any other resources or links to related stuff you'd like to share?

16 comments:

  1. Wow, this sounds intense! Last time I sort of moved (like in moving back into old apartment, only with more stuff) was over a year ago. And we just unpacked last box before the new year. Truth be told, the cats unpacked it for us by chewing off one side of the said box. They were at it for a while and finally they succeeded. After that box was considered "unpacked", even though it took us a few more days to actually find where to store the contents.
    Bottom line, I hear you on downsizing and decluttering. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, this seem to happen to me a lot. I start work just a couple of weeks after moving, and I have to prepare for work before it starts, so whatever doesn't get done right away doesn't get done at all. Last time I was in a tiny apartment and had boxes right in the middle of my living space for months! At least this time they are hidden in a spare room.

      Delete
    2. And my cat has been no help at all!

      Delete
    3. Lack of cat's help is probably for the best. I had to sweap shreads of cardboard for months on nearly daily basis, lol

      Delete
    4. BTW, speaking of getting rid of stuff - did you think about doing another blog sale? I may be in for a few more nail polishes ;)

      Delete
    5. I just don't think I have the time to post everything and ship it etc. these days. But! Is there anything in particular you are looking for? Colors or brands or whatever? I could definitely see if I have anything you specifically want.

      Delete
    6. And obviously you can just email me if you prefer - you don't have to post that here, unless you want to!

      Delete
    7. I hear you, time is hot commodity - there is never enough :). Truth is I mentioned blog sale mostly because doing one was on my mind a lot lately. However, there are things that always make me happy (like nail polishes, not that I need any more of them, lol). In any case, I'll email you with particulars :)

      Delete
  2. I'm a pretty organized person - definitely not a hoarder - and so my place is always pretty neat and organized. Good luck with getting your place organized! Just take it one step at a time and then the mountain of 'stuff to sort out' will eventually turn into a hill and finally become flat as a pancake ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement! My parents actually have an EXTRA HOUSE full of hoarded crap (it's not quite as bad as it sounds - it's small, and a lot of it is recycling that they collect until they have a truckload to take to the recycling center), so my genes were aways working against me. But I am doing pretty good, I think. I don't have too much of anything I don't need other than beauty junk. One of the problems is that it takes me a while to figure out how to organize and store everything in a new place, and I move so often, that I spend most of my time in disorganized limbo.

      Delete
  3. It almost killed me to sit still and ready that whole thing (not because you were wordy, because I am intensely impatient), but I love it. I have been on a HUGE decluttering youtube kick lately.

    Please tell me you've seen Pinksofoxy's Less Stuff Less Stress series from a few years back. It is so good. She had what appears to be an epiphany about her makeup hoarding tendencies, and totally changed her habits.

    I've also personally curated an awesome playlist of other youtuber's decluttering videos. Most of the ones on youtube are pretty lame (too slow, don't actually get rid of anything, etc). Wanna see? I'm telling you, watching these will make you want to just trash ALL THE THINGS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I am definitely both wordy and rambly, and I think this was one of my least focused posts, so I appreciate anyone who made the effort to get through it! I guess I never got the memo about not writing long paragraphs on the internet.

      I am going to look up Pinksofoxy's series right now, and I would love to see your playlist. I am not good at using YouTube, because I don't have the patience to sort through all the dreck, so a list of things that are actually worthwhile would be very welcome!

      Delete
    2. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjN0znX1uIQcmfhH8RGd-myvFnThhp8On

      I'd recommend watching those at 1.25 or 1.5 times the speed. (With Google Chrome. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it. It'll change you life.)

      Delete
  4. I definitely feel this. My main issue right now is that I have a ton of crap I never use (some beauty, but mostly just other stuff) and getting rid of it is such a process, urrrrgh. Thanks for sharing the links! I've definitely looked at UFYH before but not the others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still haven't got the UFYH app, and my apartment is still a mess. Coincidence?

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...