Posted in Money Matters, Purging

Wait! I’m Spending Money!

I think I’m going about this all wrong. When I started this journey, I had a vision, but what I didn’t have was a plan. I literally decided one day that I was going to do this and belly-flopped into it. I just started pulling shit out of my closets and drawers and packing up stuff that I thought was done with.

Uhh, dumbass, you needed that!!!

I miss my sofa. And my coffee table. And my computer stand. Yes, I got rid of all of those things! That was over a year ago. In their place, I decided to “downsize” and buy smaller, more streamlined pieces. You know what I ended up replacing them with? A glorified futon, a fire engine red, metal coffee table, and one of those lap thingies that you rest your laptop on. All from Ikea. All still sitting in their original packaging. One year later.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Oh, that’s right. I wasn’t thinking. I tend to be an act first, think later person in just about every aspect of my life. Once again, mindfulness is essential in adapting to a minimalist lifestyle. See, I got so caught up, listening to all these minimalist gurus who raved about how ridding your life of “things” make for a happier, more productive “you”. But that ain’t me!!! I like having “things” because not only are some of them necessary, but they actually do make me a happier, more productive me.

So, now, I find myself replacing the things I got rid of because I took the “less is more” mantra to the extreme. Living light doesn’t mean getting ride of every damn thing. It simply means getting rid of the things you know you don’t need or no longer use. Stop trying to be like Minnie Minimalist who can survive with two plates, a fork, one pot, and a wine glass. And for goodness sake, don’t get rid of your sofa if all you do is lay around and watch TV or read books. Am I buying a new sofa? Hell no! I’m stuck with this futon indefinitely. I don’t do a lot of entertaining, but after a long day, it would be nice to chill somewhere besides my bed without having to contort my body just to fit into it.

Lesson learned…

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Posted in Life, Musings, Purging

It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye…

So, I was thinking to myself; Self, how can I live lighter and still keep the things around me that make me smile yet not junk up the place?

Make them functional and purposeful!

I love owls (except when the bastards are attacking eagle nests with the little eaglets in them!). I love their big, bug eyes, their majestic plumage, and those damned hooked beaks. But what I don’t love is a house full of owl shit that just sits collecting dust.

So, instead of dedicating a shelf or wall full of crazy owl tchotchkes, I decided to cutify my kitchen with some owl salt and pepper shakers and a scrubber dish (I really needed this because I was just sitting my used SOS pad on the edge of the sink, and it was gross!)

And looky, looky! I also found some owl candles! Okay, so, technically I could’ve done without these, but they were marked down to $2.00 after Christmas last year, and I always lose power during a really bad storm, so there! Shut.it.

My point is that you don’t have to give up the things you love and bring you joy if you can find functional, purposeful uses for them. Now, if I could only make art with all these useless lipsticks I have…

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Posted in less is more, Purging

Relax! Relate! Release!

Confession: The most difficult thing for me in this journey is letting go. Not because I spent money on it but because I live too much in the “What-ifs”.

“What if I need that later on?”

“What if I lose the other three that I have?”

“What if I actually lose those twenty pounds?”

“What if I go on Let’s Make A Deal, and Wayne asks me if I have a Samsung Razr in my bag?”

This is the shit that legit goes through my mind!

Baby steps, boo. Baby steps…

After months of putting things off, I finally forced myself to clean out my closets. I keep all my pants in one closet and everything else in another one. Anyway, when I pulled out my jeans, I discovered that I owned twelve pair. Twelve! My exact jean size, btw… Why do I own twelve pairs of jeans yet only wear three to four regularly? I don’t even wear jeans like that! I’m a leggings and sweats kinda girl (Elastic waists, anyone?)

So, in the end, I kept four pairs of jeans:

  • Denim culottes: I wanted a pair of cool, edgy denims. Don’t judge; you don’t know me like that 😛
  • Dark rinse, straight-leg: My “sophisticated” jeans to pair with heels or booties
  • Medium rinse, boyfriend cut: My comfy-fit jeans
  • Medium rinse, ripped, boyfriend cut: The jeans you pay a few bucks for to look hip when you could’ve just bought a pair of regular jeans and made your own fancy-schmancy rips and tears. (We’ll talk about smart spending in another post…)

Shall I tell you about my 8 black shirts? Nah…

Posted in Purging

Letting Go Of Old Habits #1: Online Shopping

One of my greatest joys in life is…shopping. Online shopping to be exact. I am a huge proponent of supporting small businesses, specifically businesses owned and operated by people of color. And this is where I go buckwild and lose my damn mind. Bath and body products. Makeup. Original artwork. My three biggest shopping vices. Do I really need another shower gel or custom lipstick or hand-drawn print? YES, I do! I’m supporting my sisters while keeping my dollars out of the hands of “big, bad business”.

Chile, bye…

In 2017 alone, I’ve spent over $1,000.00 in small business products and services, and looking back on everything I’ve acquired, I regret about $850.00 of those purchases. Not because they were bad products but because they were strictly impulse buys that I can live without.

I bought an “organic” skincare regimen because I was all gung-ho about embracing my crunchy side and using products that did not contain harsh chemicals. Well, guess what? I ended up throwing them out. One, I have extremely oily, acne-prone skin that currently only responds to chemicals, namely benzoyl peroxide. And two, I didn’t even bother reading the ingredients, and I cannot put anything on my skin containing sunscreen. And three, because they didn’t contain any viable preservatives, there was a “use by” date. Nah, son… There are sustainable preservatives, and I caution you to read beauty labels because the industry is crazy unregulated. Seventy-five dollars down the drain…

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A literal representation of how I feel once the buyer’s high wears off

I had art prints that were collecting dust because I’ve never taken the time to buy frames for them. And to make matters worse, I spilled something on them, so now I can’t hang them. Another $150.00 in the garbage…

I could itemize every wasted purchase, but my blood pressure is high enough already. Being the natural tightwad that I am, looking back on these impulse buys goes against my own principles! I want to seriously kick my own ass right now, but I’m awake now (in more ways than one).

I still love my small businesses, and I’m not saying that I’ll never make another purchase again. But what I am saying is I won’t be so quick to click because I want to throw my financial support behind it or simply because I’m in a “buying mood”.

Posted in Purging

Digital De-Cluttering

If you’re like me, anything that becomes a massive undertaking becomes hella overwhelming! I literally shut down when confronted with a huge project.

My solution? Start small. And for me, that starts with my emails. I have a total of six email accounts (DO NOT JUDGE ME!) that serve six very unique purposes, which is not up for discussion at this time 😛

To make my six inboxes more manageable, I do a clean sweep daily. I find it very cathartic, actually. What I don’t like is when I make an online purchase, or donation, or inquiry, and suddenly, I’m on everybody’s damn mailing list!

Declutter #1

I’ve also deleted a couple of social media apps from my phone: Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter are now a fond memory. No, I haven’t deleted my accounts, but not having the apps on my phone frees up so much of my time and energy. Have you ever literally been stressed out from visiting a site like Pinterest? It’s not only visually overwhelming but a constant reminder of the things you want but don’t need. Ugh :/

By ridding myself of these unsolicited messages, my Brady Bunch of accounts can all be properly managed. Yes, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy all have a place and serve a purpose.

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