Press “Start” and “Go”

I’ve been away from my blog this past two months and I have missed it dearly.  After a hectic two months (which really isn’t any excuse) I am now settling down in my new house, new life and getting routines sorted out.  The other day I went back to the gym after a few weeks of absence due to my sprained ankle and was immediately commented by one of the regulars there about my absence, “It’s hard to get back in pace once you stop exercise.”  I smiled and nodded in response, “Yes it definitely is.  I will now be coming back again regularly.”

It has been hard to get back into pace and fighting the “lazy me” is no easy job.  Sometimes you fall behind your goals but as long as you keep working on it and pushing forth, it will be better than just giving up and never continuing on with your goal.  For me, saying these thoughts and promises to oneself and out loud gives me an incentive to keep my promise.  I feel it an obligation to keep my word.

The same applies for everything.

So here’s my word.  I’ve pressed “Start” and now I am in “Go”.  Tomorrow morning I am going to run.  Next week I am going to Amsterdam so keep watch.  I’m excited, I can’t remember the last time I was there. It must have been over ten years ago!!

What state are you in now? Are you ready to press “Start” and “Go”?


A closet too big

I want to write about so many things, but I cannot do it all in one night so today I thought I’d write about a little revelation I had today. It has to do with clothes. Yes, girls never have enough clothes, shoes bags and accessories.  We love our little fashion items and do not hesitate to buy more even though we have closets full of similar stuff at home.   Then we run out of space and need more.

Today I went to pick up a suit I had made.   On the way out,  I passed by some stores and spotted several nice dresses.  Thinking to myself that I am always wearing the same style of clothes, a dark skirt and a shirt,  I thought to myself that I should get something different.  (I suppose that’s the excuse I give myself.)

I went in and tried on dresses, pants and shoes.  I eventually bought myself a dress and a jacket. Yes, I now have something new for this holiday season. I am happy.

Upon returning home, as I always do when I get something new, I decided to take out something old from my closet and put it in the bag for donation.   As I started going through my closet, an idea struck me.

I will rearrange my closet into outfits so that it is easier and faster for me in the morning.

(I do this before going to run, but I have never done it for my entire closet.  Some of you might have already thought of this, but this is a new thing for me. How do you organize your closet?)

No longer would I sort my clothes according to type and colour:  Pants, shirts, t-shirts, etc… white, black… Arranging my closet this way resulted in me always grabbing any old shirt and a skirt that matched.   I dressed almost the same week after week.  I wore what was convenient.   Black skirt and a shirt.   My weekend clothes would be jeans and a t-shirt.   How boring.  I started getting bored of myself.

The revelation that came to me through all this was not about putting clothes into outfits, but that I had so much clothing, just work clothes alone, I had enough outfits to last me five weeks!

This means that for five weeks (with five working days each) I would not repeat a dress, a suit, a skirt, a shirt, a cardigan, a scarf nor a belt.  I even had shirts to spare.

For someone who always felt like she did not have enough clothes, especially work clothes, this is a HUGE revelation. For the first time I realize do have enough work clothes.  I can dress everyday without repeating my clothes and best of all, I can wear and utilize my more expensive clothing.  My nicer clothes had previously been saved for “special” days but those do not come that often so I might as well just take them out and enjoy them before they get old!

Weekend clothes?  I could go many months without repeating. Different styles too. Not just jeans and a t-shirt. It’s crazy. I have too much clothing.

After today, I think I will continue to arrange my closet by outfits.  This way I know what clothes I need and what needs to be donated.  I hope it works!  (This has also literally put a stop to any excuse I have to keep on shopping.)

This holiday season, why don’t you go through your closet and see how much you have? (You might be surprised!) Take out old clothes that haven’t been touched or don’t fit anywhere and donate them to those less fortunate.  Happy Holidays everyone!

A decade of memories……or junk?

After a decade of living in this apartment, I am moving house.  It feels surreal as I go through my belongings and throw away things I’ve kept for far longer than I should have.  Moving is good.  It keeps one energized and stimulated eventhough it’s so tiring you forget where your days went.  Moving gives us an opportunity to go through our things and throw away the “excesses” and things that are no longer functioning.

Moving this time I’ve learnt that I am a great hoarder of plastic bags, paper bags and now canvas bags.  You name it. I have every kind of bag you could possibly want.  I’ve got the tiniest paper bags to the biggest plastic bag you’ve ever seen. I got bags from different countries, continents and different designs.  Different versions from the same shop even.  Wow, I wonder if I am saving them to have a museum of shopping bags?

I am not going to collect them anymore though.   I’ve learnt my lesson.

I bought some large black garbage bags this time and they are wonderful.  As Alex says, once you throw things inside them, you never see it again so it doesn’t tempt you to take it out and mourn over it.  I’ve used about half a dozen so far.

I filled up one entirely with my bag collection. Others with magazines, letters, bills.  I realize I’ve killed many trees in my lifetime. I hope some of this trash gets recycled.  Others I fill with cassette tapes.  That’s right..Cassette tapes and vdos.  Ten years ago, we still used them to listen to music. Now everything is on mp3 and mp4.  Movies on DVD.  I don’t even have a cassette tape player anymore and my vdo machine hasn’t been used in years.  Instead I just have an ipod filled with over a thousand songs.  I love it.

After all this, my tip to everyone is to at least once a year, buy some large black garbage bags and go through your drawers, shelves, coffee tables and closets.  Throw out things you have not touched in at least a year.  As one my readers recommend, put them into a box, label them with a date and if you don’t find yourself needing anything from it after a certain period of time, throw it away!

Don’t keep everything just for memory sake like I do! The memory is in your head…if you keep everything, you won’t be able to find it when the need arises.  Happy cleaning!

De-Clutter and De-Stress!

Earlier today I read an article in the New York times entitled “Organize This” and in my attempt to organize all my accumulated treasures and some not so treasures, I found the article extremely interesting.  It tells of a how a certain Barbara Reich whizzes into a doorman apartment, clears, throws and organizes away piles of belongings of the rich and wealthy.  Three hours later she is $450 richer and has more than a dozen garbage bags.  I think its awesome.  It’s an awesome job for Barbara, and it’s awesome to have a house organized and de-cluttered.

Clutter equals stress and by helping people organize their things, she helps them reduce stress.  Of course if you can afford her $150 rate, go for it.  For the rest of us, who are not so well off, I guess we just have to do the de-cluttering ourselves and relieve ourselves of unecessary things.  I’ve been trying to de-clutter my apartment for weeks, months and years but to no avail. 

I buy boxes to store my things, then they get stored so well, I never open them again.  Some boxes I have not opened in years, but when I do, I can’t seem to throw anything out.  They have memories.  I have my things from college neatly stored in lovely containers and my box of colored pencils and markers still in order since the fourth grade.  I still use them occasionally.  It’s been over two decades since I was in the fourth grade.  I store things too well.

After reading the article, today I was able to de-clutter a few of my belongings.  I just grabbed them, put them in a large bag and took them out before I could stop my myself from mourning over its lost and thinking how wasteful it is to throw away things in perfectly good condition. 

It felt good.  It felt good to declutter and get some space back into my life.  Some more breathing space.  I can’t believe why I kept that movie ticket for so long or that broken gadget.  I know I’d never use it again but it just never got thrown out.  It just sat there neatly in a corner.

So if you have time this weekend, de-clutter, throw out things you don’t need, donate and de-stress.  Having a clean and ordering place is certainly less stress!   It’s a great way to start the year!