Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolution #1: Stay Organized So I Don't Have the Urge to Buy Things

I figured I'd elaborate on each resolution so that, if over the course of the year I fall off track, I can come back here and remind myself of the overwrought and phony glow of hope the New Year brings and try to recapture it.

So. Resolution numero uno.

Stay Organized So I Don't Have the Urge to Buy Things

My apartment is a mess. It always has been. I was a messy child, a messy teenager, a messy college student, and as it turns out, a messy adult.

I came across this article just last night actually, and Kaplan's experience is so familiar to me, it's eery.

Magazines: Yep. I started collected Teen People from the very first issue. I thought it might be a keepsake some day. I bought every issue in its first two years of publication and refused to throw them away until well after my 2006 college "graduation". Eventually Teen People turned into Seventeen, Rolling Stone, Cosmo.

Now, it's not gossip rags that I hang on to, it's cooking magazines. Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Whole Living, Clean Eating - the list could go on. For a long time I didn't want to throw them away because of the recipes.

I've come up with a temporary solution. For now, I've gone through each and every magazine, spanning the last 3 years. I've ripped out every recipe that I think I'd like to make some day, and I plan to organize them into files (chicken, shrimp, steak, appetizer, cocktail, etc.). At the very least I've gotten rid of the bulk of each magazine, and kept what I consider to be the most important part. At some point down the road I'll have to challenge myself to actually utilize the recipes, but for now, I'm just happy to be slightly more organized.

Clothes: "It was easy for me to mistake my closet for a scrapbook, to treat old clothes like souvenirs of where, when and who I was when I got them." THIS. This quote is perfect. Really. But I've started to purge. It isn't always easy to say goodbye to the past, but I know logically it's a little ridiculous to have an emotional attachment to a skirt.

Books: Well, look. I went to a liberal arts school and ALL books are sacred. That being said, I've gone through my shelves and selected around 30 books that I either disliked or have no intention of ever reading, and those will go to the local library system.

Beyond that, I’m decluttering, decluttering, decluttering. Eric and I would like to move this summer, and I don’t want the 4 or 5 boxes of random, half-empty, half-used, forgotten, crap.

Actually, as simple and trite as it sounds, I’d really like to live more “intentionally.” I want to own only things that matter. Whether it’s art, keepsakes, clothes, cleaning supplies, notebooks, whatever. I have this terrible habit when I’m in Target or the mall or the grocery store. I tend to buy things not because they add value to my life, but because I think they might help me create the picture of the life I want. I can’t tell you how many Ikea boxes, Old Navy blouses, throw pillows and kitchen utensils I own right now that go unused. When my house is a mess, or my closet is in disarray, I tend to think that this “one more thing” will REALLY help me out in achieving that picture perfect Pinterest lifestyle.

But we all know it won’t. A clean, organized, intentionally built home is a all I need. I know that. When my apartment is at its cleanest, I’m calmer, a little happier, far less stressed, and I honestly tend to buy less.

So the decluttering and deep cleaning will continue. I know it will be an on-going challenge, but I’m up for it.

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