30-Day Challenge – Week 2

Here’s my weekly report on my 30-day minimalism challenge! So far, so good except that I did skip one day.

Day 8 – Clear out your junk drawer
Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, my junk drawer/junk corner is in my bedroom. We have two small spaces (right next to each other in our bedroom – as seen below) that are constantly messy. No matter how often I clean those spaces, within weeks they are full of junk. This time however, I was more than determined to keep these spaces clean. The first is a builtin bookshelf. There aren’t that many books, so I usually have different things on there. I removed everything from all the shelves, dusted the shelves off and then threw quite a few things away. I’ve decided to put our underwear/boxer boxes on the bookshelves, as well as my boyfriend’s jeans and sweaters (lack of space anywhere else). It looks pretty neat so that’s fine. We also had two huge shoe boxes full of junk, and was able to downsize it to one shoe box with just essential things (phone chargers, small cables, race medals etc). My boyfriend also had a huge pile of paper from his first year at university (7 years ago!). Hop, that went to the paper container leaving a nice space for some reading books I have.

The second messy space is on our dresser. Because it is flat and easy access we usually throw quite a lot of things on there – papers, letters, photos, cooking books, beauty box, watches and so forth. I’ve moved all of my cooking books downstairs, put all of our photos and postcards in a transparent book, took a good look at all the papers and letters and put them in their relevant folders, cleaned out my beauty box. Now our dresser looks much neater and clean.

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I’ve removed quite a lot of things, had a full trash to throw out and a full bag of papers sent off to the paper container. This was definitely very successful. More successful than previous times. I think the problem that I sometimes have is I want to keep too many things. However, decisions need to be made. If you are not going to use these seven year old university papers just throw them away. It’s basically the same with clothes too. If you know you’re not going to wear that top, or these pants, give them away! Don’t keep things that you know you are not going to use and best if you haven’t used them in months, throw it away!

Day 9 – Evaluate your last five purchase
This was a little tough as I’m suppose to evaluate five non-essential purchases. I believe that when I purchase something I always think before buying it. I usually hardly make impulse purchases. I always think before I buy something. Sometimes I have a certain thing that I’d like to buy. I go to the shop, look at the product and most of the time I realise that I don’t need it. So I don’t buy it. Therefore, for this challenge I’ve decided to evaluate my last five purchases and explain why I bought them.

1. Candles
Who doesn’t love a little romance? I love having candles lit up in the house, especially in our living room where we spent most of our time. I have quite a few candle holders, and on winter nights I love lighting them up. It makes our room cosier and romantic too. As soon as I see that we’re about to run out of candles, I buy a little stock.

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2. Cushions
I think having a few small cushions on our bed makes it more comfortable and more homey too. We have plenty of cushions in our living room and thought it would be nice to have a few on our bed too. Right now we only have two, but I’m planning on buying the same pattern as the one bellow in a more pinkish color so that it gives our white room a dash of colour.

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3. Scratch Map
I’ve always loved the idea of having a big map at home and pinning all of the places I have been too. When our friends told us about this scratch map they bought a few months ago, I thought it was a genius idea. I hadn’t gotten around to buying one yet, but took the opportunity last week when I went to The Hague. I had done a little research before hand, and it was cheaper to buy in store rather than online. Once I bought it, the following weekend I bought a frame too. I scratched the countries my boyfriend and I have been together and then framed the whole thing. Well, I’ve got quite some travelling to do as our map looks ridiculously empty. But hey, we’re young and have plenty of time to go on vacations and weekends away.

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4. Champagne Glasses
Can you believe this, we’re French and don’t even own any champagne glasses? Very embarrassing. So as one of my boyfriend’s birthday present, I bought six champagne glasses. Flutes to be more precise and not coupes. I’m not a fan of coupes and prefer drinking my champagne in a real flute. So now we can finally have our champagne in correct champagne flutes!

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5. Zara Coat
I’ve had this one black coat for a couple of years now but the buttons always pop out, especially the ones near my neck. I’m always wearing a scarf so it does not surprise me much but it’s very annoying to have your buttons falling off all the time. So the other day, when I was doing a little window shopping, I popped into Zara and immediately set my eyes on this beautiful coat. I tried it and new that it would be a perfect replacement for my old black coat. I can also wear it as a transition coat at the beginning of spring and end of autumn. A perfect investment!

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Day 10 – Streamline your reading list
When I was a child, I loved reading. Every night before falling asleep I would read. However, over the past years I’ve noticed that I’ve been reading less and less, but in September that changed. I started reading books on my tablet on my way to work. I’ve read quite a few books this way, and as I’ll soon be travelling to my new job by train, I need to start finding new books to read. First up, I have got to finish The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third book of the famous Millennium trilogy. I hope to finish this book within two weeks; I only have about 120 pages to read but can’t seem to get around to it. Next, I’d like to read the Maze Runner trilogy. I saw the film and would really like to read all of the books. Even though it’s more for high school kids, I think it will be a great distraction and a quick read too. On a more serious note, and to which I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’d like to read Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I have a feeling that this book will be quite sad as it touches on Alzheimer’s disease.

So this is what I have so far. My reading list isn’t very long, but hopefully I’ll be able to update it as the year goes by.

Day 11 – Go for a walk
As I had gone for a two hour walk the previous day, I thought I’d take this challenge a little bit more relaxing. The weather was beautiful on Friday, a perfect day to go out for a walk. I walked in the city for about an hour. Ok I did stop in one shop just to see what they had, but I didn’t buy anything and continued my walk from there. The day was very peaceful, with a few young tourists here and there, but other than that not too many people in town. While I walked I enjoyed the weather – the sun was shining and the sky was completely clear. And it allowed me think about all sorts of things – next blog post, the delicious bread I had made that morning, and what I would do the next two weeks. Sometimes you just don’t realise how nice it is to be out of the house, just yourself and your thoughts. You get to think about things that if you stay at home in front of the television or laptop, you would not think about. You can get your thoughts and ideas together. Think about things you’d like to do. In just a few hours you can think about your life, what you have achieved and what you’d like to know. Something, I think, everyone should do once or twice a week. Take a step back, enjoy the time outside and simply think!

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Day 13 – Identify your stress triggers
When I was in high school and university, it was much easier for me to determine what my stress triggers were than right now. We always had exams or papers to hand in, so for me the key to not being stressed out (even though I sometimes would be) was to have a clear written out schedule of what had to be done and when. I do work very well under pressure and once I have established a schedule I will follow it. If it’s just in my head, I will push everything back and say “I’ll start tomorrow”. We all know that phrase, don’t lie to yourself! Exams and handing out paper, especially if it’s in the same week would stress me out the most. But with some preparation, I would be able to maintain my stress.

Generally, I would say that I am not a very stressed out person. I usually try to take things as they go. Even when I had my temporary work that ended a few weeks ago, I did not feel that my work stressed me out. Maybe it’s because I knew that it would end and that it would not last. What did stress me out during that period of time was what was going to happen next. Besides weekly hour, I had to apply for internships and traineeships. Receiving negative responses or no responses at all can be stressful. And I can assure you that around November/December I was stressed out. Everyday people asked me how my applications were going, whether I had answers or interviews coming up. I know that the intention is there but sometimes not asking is better. It definitely made me stress out when people would ask me, especially since I knew that nothing was coming up. How do you deal with that? Well, there was this one day where I was really not up for it. I didn’t feel like working and had a don’t-disturb-me kind of face. I felt stressed the whole day because I did not know what was going to happen next. I didn’t not want to be out of a job, and just wished that something would come up quickly. After that day, I thought and told myself that there was no point of putting myself in such a situation. I just needed to push on. To keep on sending applications, no matter what they answered. Now I don’t need to think about this anymore as I have a new job. No more stress for now. Let’s see what the future brings. Maybe I’ll be able to identify new stress triggers in the upcoming months! But for now, I would say that I am stress free!

Day 14 – Follow a morning ritual
I’ve decided to try and maintain this new morning ritual – a 30 minute work out on my yoga mat. I bought this mat a few months ago (October I believe) and haven’t used it since I bought. Back then I was determined to do some at home workout since it was getting cold and did not feel like going outside for a run. However, that did not go as plan. But now since I’ve started running again and will soon be doing a race (in May) I really want to get back in shape. Only running will not be the solution, so I’d like to do the following workouts: ab routine and toned buttom. I’ve started this morning and truly hope to continue. I know it will be extremely difficult, but I am more than determine to get back in shape!

What I can also add to my morning ritual, which I’ve done for a very long time is drinking tea and having breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and as I’m always hungry in the morning when I get up, it is even more important for me to eat something every morning. I usually have some pain au lait, with homemade jam, a fruit and a tea. I hope to add to that a homemade smoothie too. Usually when I make a smoothie, I have some for a whole week.

Finally, my morning ritual will always end (or begin) with making our bed. As the weather is getting better now, sunshine and nice temperature, I leave our window open and our bed unmade so that our bedrooms freshens up. After an hour or so, I go back up, make our bed and usually leave the window open if the weather is still good. At night it always feels good to go to bed in a made bed.

Note: there’s no day 12 as I didn’t do any challenges on that day.

This entry was posted in Diverse.