THE PURGE – PART 2 – CLOSET

Based on Marie Condo’s recommendation I started The Purge with my clothes. I did not follow her method entirely tho because talking to my clothes, thanking them their service and saying goodbye is a bit too much to my rational brain. But I did my best to get rid of all the unnecessary, useless items, I just did it in my own list-charts-table obsessed analytical way.

I started off by collecting all my clothes on the bed. First I was shocked how much it seemed everything in one pile. I felt overwhelmed and I was sure I’m going to get rid of at least half of it.

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Then I counted and it turned out that I own 139 items. This number still seemed HUGE but when I started to break it down to seasons\function I realized it is not extremely lot.

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After this I touched them one by one and thought about the function, how often I use them, if I feel comfortable in them, if I want to wear them more often, if they fit the other items, if they bring me joy. I got rid of all the items that did not pass the bar. It was surprisingly few items but I’m quite satisfied with the result. Now my closet contains only items that:

  1. I really like and use every day
  2. I really like and use less often, but when I wear them I feel excited\confident\happy
  3. Are suuper comfortable
  4. Are easy to mix and match
  5. Seasonal items that I might not use the whole year but I need them in a specific season (snowboard gear, winter coat, boots, etc.)

What I got rid of is:

  • Rarely or unused items, that just sit in my closet for no reason
  • Damaged items that I love but unable to wear any more (like the green pants on the pictre. It used to be my fav pants for 3 summers, but it also used to be closed)
  • Items that I would love to wear but I know they are not my style. so most probably I would wear them once a year and even then I would feel uncomfortable. (like the white dress. I mean seriously…it is literally ante-me.)

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Even though I didn’t get rid of half of my clothes as I expected I feel confident about my closet now. I have plenty of comfy and simple outfit possibilities and also some items that can give an edge to the look on rainy days. Also, all the excess items that took up space and made me frustrated are gone.

I honestly recommend a thorough purge for you too guys. I can tell you I feel much lighter, less stressed and more organized. The order around me makes me calm and relaxed and knowing that I don’t own more stuff than I need makes my conscience\mind peaceful.

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And because I like structure and order I made some etxtra charts.

The final result:

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At first I was surprised how much underwear I have. Then I realized that I can easliy go 1,5 – 2 weeks without washing, so this is amazing. Not only beaceause I tend to be lazy with washing but also saves a lot of water.

 

 

My sustainability index:

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Doesn’t look that good at the first sight. But let’s see what happens if I take out all my underwear (becaue those are all new).

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Looks much better right?

 

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THE PURGE – PART1 – MY APPROACH

In my previous post I promised you a follow up on my minimizing process. However, while I was writing about my big closet Purge I realized that I have my own interpretation about minimalism and conscious consumption. I decided to dedicate this post to define (or at least outline) my approach because I don’t only want to show you how I do The Purge, but I also want you to understand the whys behind this whole cleaning process.

I found out that I have 10 pairs of shoes. 4 sneakers that I can wear any time from early spring until late autumn, 1 winter boots, 1 summer sandal, 1 flipflop, 1 hiking boots, and 2 high heels for my ‘pretty’ days. 10 might seem fairly huge number, but if I think about it, all of them has their function. Even though I don’t use each of them every day, I use them often enough not to throw them away and get a new one when it is needed. For some minimalist this is too much. Why do I need 4 sneakers when I could survive with only one?

My answer is simple: because I’m not going for survival, I’m going for balance. I want to find the point where I own just as much stuff that makes me comfortable. Comfortable in my own skin, comfortable in my environment and comfortable with my conscience.

Comfortable in my own skin. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m vain. I care about what I wear, how I look, how I feel when I look in the mirror and what others think about me. Having options in my closet makes me comfortable. I can mix and match, find an outfit that matches my mood and\or the activity of the day. I don’t need 40 shoes, but I like to have different alternatives and the freedom to choose. As long as I use them every other day I don’t feel a moral remorse to keep them.

Comfortable in my environment. I don’t want my staff to own me. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed or anxious in my own space. What I want to achieve is to have a clean and organized space around me where the things support my inner peace not disrupt it.

Comfortable with my conscience. As you know sustainability and environmental concerns are the main reasons why I chose to reduce my consumption and amount of stuff in my life. It is extremely important for me to keep the amount of stuff I own under control for the sake of environmental protection.

There are many different interpretation for minimalism. After I tried to define my approach, I’m not sure I should call myself a minimalist. Yes, I strive to live with less and not to own excess, but I don’t pursue austerity. I want to live a SIMPLE life where I CONSCIOUSLY invite things that has PURPOSE or EMOTIONAL value and instead of material possessions I focus on EXPERIENCES and the PEOPLE around me. I don’t want things to define me but to support me to live my life to the fullest.

Confessions of a struggling minimalist

Better start with the question: am I a minimalist at all?

When I got familiar with the minimalist lifestyle I was on board immediately; I adjusted my habits, reduced my consumption and minimized the amount of stuff around me. I’ve been calling myself a minimalist since then but I feel I have to revise this statement.

When I moved into the room where I live now, I had only one suitcase of stuff. Including clothes, shoes, toiletry, and basically everything I needed to live a full life. My room was clean and tidy all the time and I felt relaxed and calm in my room.

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Something on the way went wrong, I lost focus, started accumulating stuff, I got less mindful about my consumption and lifestyle. Today my room is a mess all the time and I feel anxious and discontent in my own space. I tend to be lazy with cleaning and organizing. Most of the time I leave my clothes lying around on the floor, my drawer is covered in books and papers and well… stuff. Stuff I don’t even know why or how I have them.

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(BTW I’m infinitely ashamd by these pitures, but sharing them gives me even more motivation to get my shit together like…immediately.)

This is extremely terrifying for two reasons. Firstly because it shows how much I can change in a short period of time. A year ago I was so sure about my minimalistic life I never thought I could start hoarding again. Does it mean I can’t live by my own values? That scares the shit out of me.

Secondly because it happened unnoticed. I started buying more deliberately, invite excess stuff in my life without any further consideration. I haven’t even realized what I’ve been doing until the pile of clothes on the floor and that messy drawer made me frustrated.

On the bright side: I’m still mindful enough to realize (after a while) what is happening around me, within me and I have the determination and  self-discipline to change it. My mission for the next few days is to get rid of all the stuff I don’t need and get back into the real minimalist mindset that made me so happy and carefree.

 

Step by step: a bit of positivity for every day

In my previous post I talked about the life changing effect of positive thinking. I also told you that it takes time and self-discipline to fully embrace the mindset. Now I would like to share a few tips & tricks that helped me on my way.

FIRST AND FOREMOST: BE GRATEFUL. There are trillion things in your life that you can be grateful for. All the small things that at the moment seem natural or ordinary is a potential source of happiness. If you try to look at them so.

PRACTICE BEING GRATEFUL:

  • Try to imagine your life without essentials (morning coffee, car, cookie-dough icecream), it’ll be easier to appreciate all these everyday moments.
  • Train your brain to notice special moments and take a mental gratefulness note. Just tell yourself how thankful you are and immerse in the moment.
  • Take 5 minutes in the evening to reflect on your gratefulness notes, and absorb the warm feeling of positive energies.
  • Do a visual gratefulness wall, like I did. Every time when you look at this collection of memories you will feel blessed.

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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMON…IT IS TIME TO OPEN THE TEQUILA: Every time when something is not going according to your plans, try to find a positive angle. Here are some examples from my recent tequila shots.

  • My boyfriend broke up with me out of the blue; it is time to focus on myself and put all my energy into my career\body\intellectual goals.
  • I didn’t get hired to the place I applied; they give me some good feedback, so I learned a lot and for the next interview I’m going to be more prepared.

Of course it doesn’t mean you’ll not feel hurt, but if you drive your energies to focus on the positives, you don’t have the capacity to overthink the negatives.

MEDITATE: Take your time to clear the negative energies from your body and invite the positives in.

EXERCISE: Do some physical activity to get rid of the excess energy (that you otherwise would spend on overthinking). A relaxed body and mind after a long workout is like a fresh start.

These are just a few steps on a long path, but the more you practice, the more natural it gets to think positively. Keep it up 🙂

It is all about the attitude: positive thinking

Do you know the tingling feeling in your heart when you can’t think about anything else but how beautiful life is? When everything seems right on track and you are full of positive thoughts? That is how I usually feel. Do you know why? Because I want to.

What I learned in the past few years is that everything is perception. There are so many things going on in our life, and how we experience them is only based on our attitude. We can feel sorry for ourselves, sink into sadness and sorrow in hard times, or we can toughen up and change our angles. It is possible to consciously train our brain to focus on the bright side, find the positive aspect even in seemingly terrible situations.

This kind of mental shift is not easy; it takes time and a good deal of self-discipline and commitment.  The first step is to realize that there might be a problem with our mental attitude. I used to easily get trapped in dark places because I was so fixed on my own misery I completely forgot to appreciate the happy moments. After a few years slipping in and out of this melancholic state of mine, I realized that self-pity is not going to solve my problems. I can stay this grumpy, sour person or I can do something about it and convert myself into an optimistic, positive person. Because I’m the only one who can turn my situation around.

It took me a long time to develop the positive mindset. I had to accept that life is hard and it is up to me how I handle the ups and downs. I can’t expect life to be a magical fairytale with cotton candy clouds and glitter pooping unicorns all the time (like I used to), but I can still enjoy the ride. I have to keep my eyes on the things that make me happy, and handle the stressful parts as collaterals.

By consciously focusing on positive thinking, I haven’t let myself slip for a long time. It makes me proud and empowered.

 

Conscious consumerism was much easier when I didn’t have the money

After arriving to Denmark, I couldn’t find a proper job. I did what any other decent student would do: cleaned, babysitted, distributed flyers to be able to pay my rent. I lived from paycheck to paycheck so it’s needless to say I never had money for the hottest FENTY shoes or new Iphone something. Honestly, I stopped craving them. By having no money I learned how to be grateful for what I already have and focus on the small things that make me happy, instead of longing for expensive excess stuff.

When I moved to Copenhagen in September my life had changed. I was lucky enough to find a proper job, I have a steady monthly income so I don’t have to worry about rent and food any more. Indeed, I have some extra money I have no idea how to handle.

For some people it’s not even a question: obviously spend it all, buy whatever comes in your way. Well, that is not something I can do. I’m not going to spend money just because I can, I want to spend money because I have a reason to do so.

In the past two years I’ve become a conscious consumer out of necessity, a budget minimalist and I loved it. I experienced all the benefits of consuming less and living more. Even though I have some money to spare now, I don’t want to go back to the old mindless spending phase. Yet I feel some kind of pressure looking at all those numbers on my account. I even tried to buy my way out of a heartbreak. Dreadful.

This shows I profoundly need to learn how to keep my mind focused and not let it influenced by artificially engineered desires. I have my process of how to stay a conscious consumer in the hard times.

After I lay my eyes on a thing

  • My conscious\minimalist side asks: Do I really need this?
  • My environmental conscious side asks: How sustainable is this?
  • My economical side asks: Can I afford it?

Then I spend days answering this questions, making lists of pros and cons, visualizing my life with and without the object, asking my friends and family for support. After all the sweat I usually decide not to buy the thing.

This is a very time and energy consuming process, but I believe it is only the adjusting period. When you suddenly have money to spend and you want to pamper yourself but at the same time want to stay true to your minimalist values. In a few months, when I got used to this new situation, resisting such urges won’t be difficult at all.

Have you experienced something like this? I’m interested in your stories so please share.

Am I going to feel less hurt if I buy this thing?

To understand my current emotional situation you should know that I have quite difficult few days behind me. Two weeks ago got dumped and then, 3 boxes of ice cream and endless amount of kleenex later, undumped. Since this tiny incident, I’m trying to process all the emotional baggage that my boyfriend’s momentary confusion left me with.

And as with all the emotional crisis, comes the unconscious need for gratification. I find myself scrolling through webshops looking at trendy clothes and expensive electronic gadgets. Luckily I don’t have the patience to spend more than five minutes with this mindless activity, yet there is something stuck in my mind. I found this camera on sale that I think I should buy.

I’ve been thinking about buying a camera for a few months and now the price is 40% off. Rationally it would be a smart decision to buy, but am I acting rational here? If I hadn’t been upset, I wouldn’t have looked at the webshop. I was perfectly happy before I knew about the camera, and I’m sure I could live a full life without it in the future. But I still feel this urge, almost physically pressing me from inside.

For a short period I actually thought I want that camera. Then I realized what I really want is to make my pain go away. For some reason one part of my brain believes spending money on unnecessary stuff will solve my problem. Fortunately the other part knows, that distracting my thoughts and compensating my emotional damage with material stuff is not the solution.

So here I am, cought up in the middle of a consumerist dilemma instead of focusing on fixing my broken heart. I feel lucky that I understand the situation and the true meaning of my actions. It is not about the camera, it is about me. The sooner I get better emotionally the sooner the desire for a new thing goes away.

My minimalist room in Copenhagen

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve just moved to Copenhagen to start yet another education. Leaving home is not only emotionally demanding but also technically challenging. Finding a room, packing, moving all the stuff, unpacking… this is not the fun part of the adventure. This is something you have to get through so you can enjoy the expat life. Especially in Copenhagen, finding a room is a tough business. I was quite lucky to stay in this amazing room until September.

It was love at first sight. This is exactly a room that I can imagine myself living in. Maybe a bit oversized for my minimalist lifestyle. I’ve never had this much space, and I don’t have the stuff to fill it up. As a wannabe minimalist I moved here with only one suitcase (that you can see on the picture). Basically I have some clothes and bathroom essentials but not much more. I don’t like to surround myself with decorations or knickknacks because I enjoy the simplicity and cleanness around me. Obviously when I stared to really use the room, my clothes ended up on the couch so it wasn’t this tidy all the time, but the basic concept of minimal furnishing, the huge windows, the wooden floor combined with white as a dominant color is absolutely a dream come true.

What I would have added to the room:

  • Some green plans so the space becomes more friendly and lively
  • A huge table as my ‘office’ to inspire me to work harder
  • A huge mirror, because I’m a girl
  • A clothes rack to keep my stuff organized

 

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Ahogy az előző postban már említettem, nemrég költöztem ki Koppenhágába, hogy ismét újabb tanulmányokba kezdjek. Elköltözni otthonról nem csak érzelmileg megterhelő, de sokszor a kivitelezés is kihívást jelent. Minden alkalommal ugyan az a folyamat: találni megfelelő szobát, összepakolni, a cuccokat valahogy eljuttatni az új helyre, ott kipakolni… ez a kaland kevésbé mókás része. Ezen túl kell esni, hogy aztán teljes mértékben élvezni lehessen a külföldön töltött időt. Főleg itt Koppenhágában, szobát találni hatalmas kihívás, ezért is érzem magam szerencsésnek, hogy ideiglenes megoldásnak egy ilyen szobába sikerült beköltöznöm.

Szerelem volt első látásra. Pont ilyen szobában tudnám elképzelni az elkövetkezendő pár évemet. Az én minimalista életmódomhoz kicsit talán túlméretezett, hiszen egy bőröndnyi cuccal érkeztem. Sosem volt még ekkora helyem, és (szerencsére) nincs is annyi holmim, hogy megtöltsem. Csak egy pár ruhát hoztam magammal, meg fürdőszobai cuccokat, de mást nem nagyon. Se dekoráció, se csetreszek, mert én azt élvezem, ha letisztultság és az egyszerűség vesz körül. Természetesen, amikor használatba vettem a szobát, akkor szekrény híján a ruháim a kanapén végezték, és ezért egy kicsit rendetlenebbnek látszott, de alapvetően a minimális bútorozás, a fehér, mint domináns szín, hatalmas ablakok és a fapadló teljes mértékben egy valóra vált álom.

Amit hozzátettem volna a szobához:

  • Egy pár zöld növény, hogy még barátságosabb, élettel telibb legyen a szoba
  • Egy óriási asztalt, ami az ’irodámként’ funkcionált volna, hogy motiváljon a munkára
  • Egy egészalakos tükröt, mert lányból vagyok
  • Egy ruhaállványt, hogy rendezetten tudjam tárolni a holmiaimat.

10times challange #10

Almost unbeliveable, but here is the last outfit for the 10times challange. Turned out this shirt is a perfect beachwear as well.


Akármilyen hihetetlen is, de elérkezett a tizedik outfit. Mint kiderült az ing kiválóan alkalmas strandruhának is.

 

100th outfit

10times challange #9

Oh gosh guys, I’m so not up to date. This summer is crazy, I lost focus during the past few months. Haven’t even finished the 10times challenge I started 2 months ago. Shame on me big time. But I’m ready to return, and here is the 9th outfit:
I’m wearing a Mango dress under the shirt I bought in IJ Hallen, Amsterdam’s biggest flee market. If you happen to be in Amsterdam, and up for some treasure hunt, I would totally recommend to visit this place.
I’m also wearing my oldest but most loved Chuck Taylor. I bought it 7 years ago. Falling apart but still rocks.


Azt a mindenit de régen postoltam már, szégyellem is magam rendesen. Ez a nyár nagyon pörgősre sikeredett, és őszintén bevallom kicsi elveszítettem a fókuszt. Még a 10szeres kihívást sem fejeztem be, amit 2 hónapja kezdtem el. Szégyen gyalázat. De itt az ideje visszatérni, ezért fogadjátok sok szeretettel a 9. outfitet:
Az ing alatt egy használtan vásárolt Mangó ruha van, amit Amsterdam legnagyobb bolhapiacán, az IJ Hallen-en vettem. Ha arra jártok mindenképp érdemes ellátogatni, kincseket lehet találni.
A cipő pedig az első Chuck Tailor-om, ami nagyon a szívemhez nőtt az elmúlt 7 év alatt. Már csak pillanatok választják el a totális megsemmisüléstől, de én büszkén hordom amíg a lábamon marad.

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