It began about a year ago. I was constantly frustrated with how easily my room could get messy. I never knew where to put my articles of clothing and something was always lost. I remember thinking, “Oh, it’s fine, you’re going for the organized mess look”—but no, it was just a mess. While scrolling through “self-improvement” posts on Pinterest, I came across ‘feng shui’. Feng shui is a Chinese practice where an environment is configured to harmonize the spiritual forces that inhabit it. Harmonization is said to lead to healthy energy flow. Speed up to today, I’ve become insightful on the positive effects of decluttering, feng shui and minimalism.
Here’s a few benefits:
Promotes the things we value and removes all other distractions
Rids oneself of holding onto memories through (material) things
It goes against the ‘wanting more desire’ that society supports
After being able to maintain a tidy and orderly room, I noticed a couple of things.
Everything I have has a spot and reason for being in my environment
I’ve become more creative with items in my closet; this has led to me sewing and re-working clothes I have as well!
The purchases I make now are purposeful (it’s not a duplicate of something I already have)
My room is a sanctuary; there’s physically less things taking up room and collecting dust
Now, let me take you on (thorough) journey of how I got started!
I took everything out of my closet and drawers –– literally everything. Next, I organized my clothing in piles by type and colour on my bed and floor. Pile by pile, I picked up an item, recalled the last time I wore it and remembered how I felt while wearing it. If I hadn’t worn the item in the last 9 months, or if I didn’t particularly like the item, it went in the donation pile. With the clothing that took up the most room, which I found were sweaters and pants, I went with the ’10 maximum rule’:
Ten sweaters (includes hoodies, turtlenecks, zip-ups, etc.)
Ten jackets → I kept six
Ten jeans → I narrowed it to six
Ten leggings (causal, not athletic) → I have six
Ten joggers → I reduced to eight
I realize this may still seem like a lot of items in my closet and shelves but after each pile was done, I downsized my closet by 75%! There’s still always room for improvement. Still, when I see a clothing item I haven’t worn in a while, I put it in my donation bin. I didn’t end up counting my tops, because I’ve donated the majority of them. I did, however, choose to hang them because they don’t take up a ton of room and for me, it’s easier to look through on the bottom rail. Lastly, I don’t have many pajamas, so they’re on the smaller shelf at the top. Underneath that, I have my ten athletic leggings and five shorts.
The wire unit with shelves contains my shorts, tops, underwear, socks and bras. Again, I kept what I wore the most often, loved wearing, and wasn’t worn out. Finally, the very top shelf has my heels, clothes I’m trying to sell, purses and baseball caps.
Link to my in-closet wire unit is here!
My vanity can easily get cluttered due to its single big drawer and a bunch of counter space. Again, everything in the drawer and on top of my desk went on my bed to be organized. I wanted the makeup items I use every day to be on the counter –– these are divided amongst a clear makeup organizer and a brush holder from Home Sense. Inside of these, I stick to ‘one of each’, so one foundation, primer, contour brush, etc. Unfortunately, the larger items I use daily that don’t fit in the organizer are placed on the corner of my desk. What I have there is my setting spray, moisturizer, perfume, toner, and eye make-up remover.
The makeup items I use somewhat often are in the drawer. This includes anything that takes up space, but still used often, such as eyelash boxes, eyeshadow palettes, and creams. Overall, I ended up giving or throwing away old makeup brushes, lipsticks I’ve worn once, eyeshadow pallets, tons of Bath and Body Works creams and sprays, and face masks and oils.
Despite not having a lot of storage, these drawers and the single cabinet became filled with papers, old textbooks, folders, cue cards and more. For the final time, I took everything out in order to sort. The paperwork I kept included my phone contract, art pieces I love, journals and books I have the intention of reading within the next couple of months. These went into the cabinet. The drawers contain old pictures of family, a container for laundry change, sunglasses, a lint roller, extra phone chargers, locks and sewing necessities.
Interested in the desk? Click this!
For me, these have been big steps. When I went through everything in my room, I kept switching back between feeling guilty for accumulating so many things, shameful for realizing everything I bought out of ‘want’ (this was constantly), and hopeful for completely flipping how I live. Looking back, I continuously held on to items from family and friends due to memory association, and accumulated clothing for ten or more years. Why did I have a youth size nine tennis outfit hanging in my closet when I was in grade twelve? At some point, I’d love to challenge myself to declutter and downsize more. This is just the beginning!
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