Am I a Minimalist?

Soooo, I did a thing. I inventoried my apartment. Every belonging and possession was counted – every. single. thing. (er, minus stuff that gets used up like soap, feminine products, cleaning stuff, food, etc.)

And I kept track of all of it via excel on Google drive. Here’s the list if you don’t believe me:

Disclaimer: I grouped items that come in sets (like bobby pins) together as one item.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Rachel, I can’t see the categories and numbers and stuff.” (Or maybe you’re thinking that I’m over the top.. I never claimed to be less than over the top.) Well here’s the most important thing: as of November 28th, I own 745 things. That number includes furniture, my car, reusable sacks, storage bins, etc. For the rest, don’t worry, I plan to bore you with declutter posts broken down by category so you can know exactly what I own. 😉

I call myself a minimalist, and I have since my first “great purge” back in 2015. I was going through a time in my life when most things were not great, and something I could control was getting rid of crap. The high I got from parting with stuff that had previously held the proverbial leash to my life was definitely addicting.

Ever since that time, I have regularly (at least once a month, generally more like twice) purged everything I own and bid adieu to whatever was obviously not getting use. Still, somehow the number of things I own continued to climb at a rate faster than I purged. Some of that is due to the generosity of friends and coworkers (I have a “mom” at work who brings me things all the time – love that woman! ❤ ), and some of that is due to my desire to entertain at my apartment (board games). But a lot of it, I could do without.

When I first moved into my apartment, every single one of my belongings could fit in my little 98′ Honda Accord. As you can probably guess, my current list of belongings would definitely not fit in my now bigger car, a 14′ Toyota RAV4. That’s a freaky feeling for me.

Which brings me to a mega goal for 2018:

I intend to get rid of 50%+ of everything I own.

I’ve already been on a purge kick of late. I’ve departed with a trunkload of goodies (one gal’s trash is another gal’s treasure) in the last month, and that old familiar rush of tingly freedom is beckoning for more. But that trunkload was not included in the 745 number, and that is making me feel a little… suffocate-y.

Now, I could jump on the bandwagon and start getting rid of crap IMMEDIATELY (which I’m sorely tempted to do), but I know that if I use that approach, I’ll end up getting rid of stuff I still need/want. I have a tendency to become crazy with my purges and get rid of tons of crap, then regret one or two things after and end up re-buying.

So the plan is to wait.

And wait.

And wait..

Until January 1st. Then I can begin purging.

And during the waiting, I’ll be carefully analyzing my google doc to see what I can live without and what I’d rather have stick around.

No worries, I’ll be sure to post about the purge as it happens.

Do you ever feel suffocated by stuff? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

My 5-Year Plan ain’t Goin’ so Good

The title of this post pretty much sums it up. As I mentioned last week, I’ve decided to spend the remainder of 2017 reviewing my goals and intentions and figuring out how far behind I am + what I can do to make it up before 12:01 AM strikes on January 1st.

The first project was to tackle my 5-Year plan. It was in sore need of an update as quite a bit has changed for me. If you head over there now, it looks fairly different than it did at the start of 2017, but that’s okay. Life changes us, it changes our priorities, our desires. To me, an overhaul of the plan represents the growth I’ve (hopefully) experienced this year.

This is actually Year Two in the plan I put into motion in 2016. Let’s review my original thoughts for the year, shall we?

Pay off remaining debt: I did do this thing. I did it faster than anticipated (thank you random bonus!) and was so relieved once that final payment finished processing. BUT. I guess I didn’t appreciate that feeling of freedom enough, because I jumped right back into the pit and took on a car payment. I will say, the car has proven itself to be quite the blessing, but it came with shackles and I’m not sure if it was my brightest idea.

Continue in school, working towards my AA in Human Services: I did take a couple more courses, but then I quit again. A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my life as a 4-Time College Drop-Out and why I’m beginning to think maybe college isn’t for me.

Complete the German Mango Languages course: Nope.

Walk/run a 5k: Notta.

Complete the Couch to 5k exercise plan: Yeah, no.

Establish an exercise routine that sticks: Take a guess? Did you say “No”? You’re right.

Finish writing the ebook on Chronic Illness, then self-publish: I made progress on this one and added a couple of chapters. That said, it’s certainly not finished, beta-tested, or published.

Visit Prince Edward Island with my grams: I DID THE THING! Grams I went to the island in early October. Can you say wow? That place is stunning.

Visit 1-2 never been states: Knocked this one out of the park – visited 6 states on my list +21 state revisits. Hello beautiful, US of A. 🙂

Begin fundraising and planning for Undignified Event 2018: I’ve had a few brainstorming sessions and redesigned the website, but that’s as far as I got.

Become a more consistent blogger and transfer to self-hosting or upgrade WP plan: L.O.L. Okay, so I did upgrade my WordPress plan (which is why those pesky ads are gone), but I have been anything other than consistent.

Participate in/win NaNoWriMo: I participated. I really did! But then I gave up. I know there are still 9 more days of opportunity, and I could technically win as I only need 37,000 more words (4,112 words a day is totally doable) but………

As for my 2017 | A Year of Self-Care goals…

The following are the items that remain unchecked on my list (you’ll notice some repetitiveness as a lot of these were pulled from my 5-year plan) :

  1. Stewardship
    1. Pay off remaining debt
    2. Save more money for the future (read: travel, emergencies, new-to-me car)
  2. Self Growth
    1. Start studying German again
    2. Finish writing the first draft of my e-book
    3. Walk/Run a 5k
  3. Health
    1. Gluten-free all year
      • Third Quarter: July, August, September – I fell off the bandwagon…
      • Fourth Quarter: October, November, December – I’m still off it…
    2. Only drink soda once a week
    3. Use previously mentioned gym membership – One time, then decided to cancel as it was so awkward
    4. Keep up with Doctor/Dental appointments all year long
    5. Check into getting braces and make decision once and for all
    6. Fix that posture girl

What now?

I’m going to be real here, a lot of this still applies to my life but isn’t very likely to be accomplished by 2018. So I’ve compiled a list of tasks that are achievable, and hopefully will be achieved, by the new year. These tasks are more specific and less “in general” than most of what we’ve just review. Hopefully that helps my success rate climb a little higher..

  • Start the German Mango Languages course – just one lesson and I can cross this off.
  • Walk 10 miles. That’s 2 per week that remains this year, it’s totally doable.
  • Write 1,000 words for the chronic illness e-book.
  • Write a minimum of 5 more blog posts, so that one post goes up every week that remains this year. (✔)
  • Make lady doctor (✔), dentist (✔), and eye doctor appointments (✔) for December and/or January (based on availability).

That’s it. With those five steps, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something that kind of sort of realigns me with where I’m supposed to be right now.

This post is getting long, so I’m going to sign off here with promises that more exciting goal-posts are coming soon (minor sarcasm used with the term “exciting”).

What are some things you’d like to accomplish before the year is up?

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Preparing for the New Year

I can’t believe 2018 is almost upon us. How is that even possible?

I realize you’re probably thinking that I’ve skipped ahead two whole holidays and am jumping straight into the new year posts – no worries, that’s not the case. But it struck me today that I have 40 days left in the year, and after a brief flashback to the previous 324, I’m not sure I can say 2017 has been very successful. I mean, I did a lot of great things (like travel to/through 27 states, 1 country and 1 island), but my goals are still.. well.. unchecked.

40 days is a pretty nice chunk of time, and I’m pretty sure that if I put my head to it, I can accomplish a lot of those unchecked items and set myself up for an incredible 2018.

So here are several things I plan to do over the next 40 days in order to be fully prepared for 12:01 AM on January 1st, 2018. Blog posts are coming soon for several of the following, so get ready for an eyes-wide-open look at my life! No such thing as TMI, eh? 😉

  • Review goals and five-year plan:
    • What have I accomplished?
    • What have I not accomplished that I can accomplish before the 1st?
    • What am I okay with taking off the list?
    • What do I want to move to 2018’s list?
    • Who is The Woman I want to be now?
    • Update the five-year plan to fit my current goals and desires.
  • Review budget:
    • What has my spending pattern been this year?
    • What changes do I want to make for next year?
    • What challenges do I want to take on?
  • Minimalism check-in:
  • And on that same stream of thought… Wardrobe Clear-Out:
    • Track my wardrobe usage for December
    • How many of each category do I have?
    • What do I think I’ll wear? What can go?
    • What did I actually wear? What actually went?
  • Exercise and Diet Detox:
    • No soda
    • No gluten
    • Finish up the BaeTea detox (I bought this almost three months ago and have only used 4 of the 15 day detox teabags)
    • Make better decisions overall (no seriously)
    • I can’t do much right now for exercise, but I’m committing myself to 15 minutes of walking every day, whether that’s in place or outside. It isn’t much, but it’s something.

As you can tell, I’ve got a lot of review work ahead of me.

How about you? How are your 2017 goals coming along?

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