Posted in less is more, Purging

Ten Things: Coat Closet

Do you say “foy-ay” or “foy-er”? I say the latter, but po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe…

Y’all! I can’t believe I actually followed through on a decluttering project. Not only did I find ten things to purge, I found 13!!! Thirteen!!! So, without further ado, here are my thirteen things in pictures.

Not the cat! Although, sometimes… I bought this wrap from Urban Outfitters back in 2006 (I remember all of my purchases vividly) and probably wore it five times since. It was cute but not my style but I paid a lotta fucking money for it so yeah; it collected dust in my closet for over a decade. Deuces!
It’s lizard scarf! I bought the yellow and blue pieces off Etsy a few years ago. They were cute for a minute, but again, not my style or color. The bucket hat is an early 2000s relic that gave me perpetual helmet head. Sayonara to all three…
Just two pairs of ugly gloves that should’ve never been in my life to begin with. I don’t even remember buying the colorful pair and the black ones are Isotoners that my old boss gave me one Christmas. I think she got them from the sale bin at Macy’s…
I just wore this Gap coat two weeks ago, but I have a similar one in black, faux fur hood and all. I’m sure it will bring happiness and warmth to someone in need 🙂
I’m 5’1 and cropped anything makes me look like a stuffed pastry with my ample assets. But, as usual, I see something on a statuesque model and have to have it. Can I get my money back?
Another had to have purchase from 2003. I was so pressed for this rain trench, but it was rigid and uncomfortable af! But it was from the Gap, and I paid $38 for it at the time, so I hung on to it. Wore it ONCE! One time!
I loved the idea of this aubergine wool coat with the turtleneck collar, but it didn’t love my body. It was too tight in the bust, so it bunched out awkwardly. But eggplant is such a lovely color… I’ll buy a lipstick or nail polish next time…
My co-worker gave me a lovely 4-ft Christmas tree that sits in planter-like container. It’s much nicer than the 3-foot one I bought from Target two years ago. I don’t need two Christmas trees. Merry Adios!
It’s a torn bag. I don’t think any justification is needed.
I didn’t like this rug when I bought it but I needed to cover up some stains in my foyer, so it served its purpose — until my cats decided to use it as their personal scratching post. Assholes…

So, there you have it! Project Ten, Round 1, is complete. And all of my donate-able items are going to The Vietnam Veterans of America.

I’ll be back next week with the kitchen.

Posted in less is more, Purging

Project Ten Things

Confession: I never considered “decluttering” a conscious part of my minimalism journey because I’m really so sick of seeing this word. I was adamant that I wasn’t going to declutter anything. I convinced myself that if I didn’t need it, then I’d just get rid of it, but I wouldn’t turn decluttering into a “project”.

Fast forward to now: I’m starting a decluttering project. Why now? Because I found myself just shifting things around putting them in their proper place with intentions of using them at “some point”, but six months later, they’re still laying around in their proper places, collecting dust and making me itch because I know now that I have zero intentions of ever using them again.

So, this brings me to Project Ten Things. Inspired by this article, by taking one room at a time and just getting rid of ten things per room, to begin, I would feel far more accomplished than trying to tackle my entire apartment (about 675 sq ft) at once.

I have 5.5 rooms (my foyer is the .5) and 4 closets, and as I look around as I type out this post, I already see at least five things that I can immediately get rid of. I already feel accomplished! Over the next six weeks, I’ll present a room, including the closets, along with ten things that I’m getting rid of. I’m actually looking forward to this.

See you next week when I tackle the coat closet and foyer! Pray for me…

Posted in less is more, Money Matters

C.R.E.A.M.

C(ash) R(ules) E(verything) A(round) M(e)

Although having a minimalist mindset, for me, isn’t so much about spending less as it is about living with less, I find myself seriously evaluating where all my money goes. I, mean, I have worked in banking for the last twenty-three and a half years, so I check my bank account damn near every day. While I see the money trickling in yet pouring out, I haven’t been mindful (There’s that word again!) of where the moolah is actually going. I’ve always been focused on is my balance correct and not so much on “Why the fuck did I just buy that?!”

Well, that’s changing, and I know the above statement may be somewhat controversial, but let’s face it: You need money! Specifically, you need cash to obtain freedom — freedom from debt, freedom from worry about not having enough money, freedom from everything that suppresses you from not having enough money!!!

What’s so upsetting for me right now is that I’ve always maintained the belief that I don’t have “enough money” to pay down my debt. I challenged my own mindset by pulling my last three bank statements and highlighting every purchase that wasn’t a necessity (rent, utilities, food, insurance…) and the numbers were staggering! Mind-blowing is more like it. After I crunched the numbers, I realized that I could’ve cut the balance on a debt-consolidation loan I have by half. HALF!!!!

Y’all!!!!!! I wish I could kick my own ass! But I’ve allowed myself five minutes of anger and sorrow, and now, it’s time to get to work. I have never been as serious about getting out of debt than I am at this moment. I’ll be fifty in three years, and I want to enter the next phase of my life debt-free. I don’t want to be paying frivolous bills on shit that I probably will no longer own.

That’s another thing! I’m paying debt today for shit I no longer own! If that ain’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is…

My plan? Track my spending for thirty days, and I mean, log every cent that I’ve spent, along with why I felt I needed to make that purchase. At the end of the thirty days, I’ll reassess and determine if the purchase was a necessity or a frivolity. Then I’ll determine if I could’ve done without the frivolous purchase and created other ways to satisfy that need without having to spend money.

Yes, I’m probably overthinking this, but that’s what I do. I’ll follow up next month with my findings.

Posted in less is more, Life, Musings

Goodbye 2017

2017 Wrap Up

 

I’ma keep it real: 2017 was an incredibly shitty year for me. Now, we all endure different levels of shit, and while I have a job and a roof over my head (for which I am grateful every, single day), I am not happy. I’m not happy with this clusterfuck I call a life, and do you know how I self-medicate? I buy shit. Yup, if I’m feeling down or if I’m mad at the world (and there’s plenty to be mad at), Amazon or Gap or my IG feed is a literal click away, and BOOM! “Thank you for your order” never felt so good! “Your order has shipped” was fucking euphoric!

And this is why I have not posted a thing since October. I really thought that adopting this freer, cleaner, leaner lifestyle would be easy. NOT! When you’re raised with a consumerist mindset, that having “things”, quality, expensive things, is the ultimate sign of success then you are destined for failure. Especially when you don’t have a plan. Especially when you think just by getting rid of all of your shit that you’re suddenly a minimalist.

Welcome to The Brown Sugar Minimalist…

I’m ready now. I really am. How so? What makes things different from the first time you decided to “become a minimalist”.

Whereas the first time, there was this need to just purge and live with less and label myself a “minimalist”, this time, the desire to want to live simpler—and save some damn money in the process — is burning a hole in my soul.

Speaking it into existence

2018 will be a new beginning. I’m not saying it’s going to be a piece of cake because like a drug addict, the cravings never truly go away. But the desire, the wanting to do better, to be better, to live better is more powerful. I’ll continue to use this blog to hold myself accountable — and to call myself out.

I’ll be back on the 1st to list my 2018 goals beyond. Happy Holidays and Merry New Year!

 

Posted in less is more, Life, Money Matters

September Wrap-Up: I Did Better Than I Gave Myself Credit For

So, for the month of September, I created some pretty lofty goals for myself. One thing this minimalism journey is constantly teaching me is the art of mindfulness. I see that word used constantly among the more seasoned minimalists, and I always poo-poo’d it with a “Chile, bye”, but now, I freaking get it!

Once you’re mindful and intentional with everything that you do, you’re already halfway there. Trust me, I’m not trying to sound preachy, but it’s true. For me, I’m so used to doing what I want, when I want, and damn whatever else. I don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire month thinking about spending my money before actually spending my money. I have always been of the mindset that it’s my money; I earned it, and I’ll spend it any way I choose. Anybody like that? Enough chit-chat, let’s get to the results!

  • E-book purchases: I have a small disclosure here. I did purchase e-books in September, but I did not spend money on them. I used my Amazon gift card balance, so the books I bought were gifts, not purchases 😛
  • Clothing purchases: Honestly, I thought this would be the biggest struggle for me, yet it wasn’t. I think now that I’ve resolved that I don’t need any new clothes and that I’ll be creating a fall capsule wardrobe, there wasn’t anything I really needed, or wanted, for that matter. I was hella tempted, though. I have not unsubscribed to a few mailing lists of my favorite retailers, and I actually did go to a few websites and added some things to my basket. HOWEVER… I BOUGHT NOTHING!!!!
  • Fast food breakfast: This also was a tough one. I love to cook but not 6:30 a.m. in the morning. Yeah, yeah, do it the night before…But I don’t like reheated breakfast food. Sue me… I love Panera and Chic-Fil-A, which are directly across the street from my office and oh so convenient… I toughed it out and got my ass up to cook a hot breakfast in the morning. The question is, can I continue this? Not gone lie, the answer is probably no. But I will be more mindful of this. Shit, I saved about $50.00 not buying breakfast in the mornings. If that ain’t incentive, I don’t know what is…
  • Grocery shopping: I was fully expecting not to meet this goal, and I did not disappoint myself :/ I am a horrible grocery shopper. I rarely make lists; I don’t comparison shop; I’m an impulse or “good intentions” buyer, knowing damn well, I don’t eat yogurt or squash like that. I’m seriously working on this, and I expect to make significant improvements in the coming weeks. I ended up spending well over $300 in groceries. Admittedly, my breakfast food items slightly contributed to the spike, but not that damn much!

In conclusion, I’m pleased, overall, with this self-imposed challenge. There is room for improvement on all fronts, but I feel good. I hope October’s is just as, if not more, successful.

See y’all next week…