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Monthly Archives: December 2010

new year clean out!

my goal is to declutter as much as possible before the new year. here are some areas on which i will focus

  • identifying items i no longer want to keep
  • sorting and distributing said items to permanently remove them from my house
  • organizing computer files, including iphoto
  • photographing and scanning paper clutter
  • cleaning my bathroom and vacuuming floors
  • crossing off little ‘nagging tasks’ on my to do list

i’m sure more areas will come up as i go along, but the idea is to have a cleaning marathon to start fresh on the first of january πŸ™‚ happy new year!


clean out your inbox!


there. isn’t it beautiful? sometimes i need to sit down and go through all of my emails until i achieve this minimalist inbox πŸ™‚ i feel refreshed and on top of things, and the feeling stays until my inbox starts to get cluttered again – just like cleaning up physical things in my room or closet. there is a process in which i need to set time aside to do a complete purge, then i work to maintain the perfection for a couple of days or weeks.

one day i’d like to stay in that state, a clean inbox all the time, only checking my email when i am able to complete it. right now, it’s a process.

where i have been: minimalist marathon

perhaps some people at university look forward to going home to be reunited with their stuff.

when i was at university i looked forward to going home to get rid of a lot of stuff.

and i didn’t realize how much stuff i have! i’ve spent many hours clearing it out of my room into sorted piles in the hallway, missing the oxfam down the road at uni, but also noting just how many trips it would take to said oxfam to deposit the stuff.

nevertheless, progress is being made. i’m focusing on decluttering areas, which improves aesthetic while i minimize. it’s so calming to see clean, empty counters and desktops and walls.

i realize that there are many things with which i cannot bring myself to part. but taking away those things i won’t miss makes those special things more prominent, and makes me happier to see them.

i realize also that there are many things about which i have forgotten and have not needed, yet i find it hard to let go at first. making the decision to get rid of something is emotionally confusing sometimes.

christmas countdown: fun for free


Can you still have fun and not spend a penny?

i suppose i am a minimalist nerd, since something i do for fun is clean out my closet, or empty a drawer and remove unnecessary contents. i find it relaxing, and beneficial in the long run.

i also love shopping – just browsing, looking at new clothes in boutiques, games in toy shops – it actually reminds me of things i already own that i may have forgotten. for example, i was in a game shop and was tempted to buy a puzzle because it looked so shiny and new on the shelf. but instead i decided to go back home and do one of the puzzles i already own – an activity i wouldn’t have thought of so easily without visiting the puzzle shop first!


Look around you. What kind of things can’t you buy with money? How much do they mean to you?

going out and seeing what does cost money reminds me of what i can do with what i already have. i could go out to eat, or i could experiment with cooking. i could buy wrapping paper or i could make it myself out of recycled magazines and things around the house. finding an alternative to spending money requires creativity, it requires a process, an experience. and whether you choose to spend money or not, such activities are generally better enjoyed in the company of your friends πŸ™‚

christmas countdown: pay in cash

Leave your cards at home and pay for everything with cash today. Do you feel different when you actually touch the money?


in the uk i pay in cash for nearly everything, and only allow myself to withdraw Β£10-20 at a time from the cashpoint. there’s one right next to my college, allowing me to do this easily. it makes me much more aware of when i’m using money.

note: sorry i’ve been behind with the updates! i’m now at home and needed a few days to adjust.

christmas countdown: make your own lunch

Make your lunch today, or bring your own water/tea instead of buying a coffee… then drop the money into a charity box, how do you feel?

well, this isn’t difficult for me as i’ve been living off my leftover food anyway! i’m leaving england on sunday, so i’m eating my leftover fruit, cereal, and instant noodles. as for donating to charity, i’ll also be giving quite a few items to oxfam in the next couple of days πŸ™‚

christmas countdown: minimizing my wallet

minimal student is doing a christmas countdown with a new minimalist task per day! i’m excited to share my progress here.


Does your wallet contain more than just money? Empty out old receipts and cards you don’t use at least 2x a month and feel the difference.

I removed some receipts, a coupon, and a loyalty card to a coffee shop I rarely visit. I already showed you my wallet, but here is a list of its contents. As you can see from my previous post, my new purse is separated into two compartments:

Compartment 1:

  • Cash/coins
  • UK bank card
  • US band card
  • credit card
  • student ID

Compartment 2:

  • town library card
  • Boots advantage card
  • Waterstones gift card
  • Tesco club card
  • Oxone discount card
  • Blackwell Rewards card
  • The Waterstone’s card
  • The Mission loyalty card
  • Oxford Castle discount card
  • ‘Fair Trade in my Wallet: The tear and share guide to swapping’

This is the UK version of my wallet, but it is obviously different when I’m home in the US, so I’ll post that version later πŸ™‚