Intentionalism

Isn’t this year just flying by and going snail slow all at the same time? I can’t believe it’s August and there is still so much uncertainty. Here in Melbourne we’ve just entered a stage 4 lockdown amid COVID-19 numbers spiralling. Well, I thought I’d break from the norm and, in keeping with my silver linings optimism, focus on something a little different this month: Intentionalism. Similar to minimalism, the journey a person takes typically starts with decluttering then going into minimalism, and then reaching intentionalism. That’s how I see it anyway. And each week this month, we will delve a little bit into the benefits of a life lived intentionally. This week, we’ll look at the journey and what it all looks like, so that the next posts featuring the benefits make a little more sense. Enjoy. Continue reading

Data

I have this drawer full of electronic data. By far, almost all of it is made up of copies of copies of copies. This is the problem with data, isn’t it? You back it up here, then you back it up again there later. My drawer tells the story of 20 years of technological evolution. Much like my videos, that I kept for years because I moved overseas while they were still in circulation, and never had the time, my own place and VCR to clear them, data storage was something that just kept evolving onto new devices and I never had it all together to sort out once and for all. Bet you’re not surprised about that! So how does one try to tackle years of photos, documents, videos and other data on a multitude of storage devices? How far back are we talking? Continue reading

Videos

In recent years, my book carton full of video cassette tapes has bothered me. The thing about moving overseas in 2002 is that we were in the crux of a great technological change. I had no idea what lay ahead, how the world would evolve in my time away. Yes, compact discs were emerging but they certainly hadn’t yet dominated the market. So, when I moved, my precious video tapes got boxed up for later. Occasionally when I returned home for visits, I would think about tackling them. But I didn’t make any great strides until last year. How? Continue reading

Film negatives. Also old home movies.

If there was one declutter task I was keen to do once I returned from the Middle East, with a bit of spare cash in the bank, it was to finally, once and for all, get my old negatives and home movies digitalised by a photo service. For one, to declutter negatives, cassette tapes and photos. Two, in case of any emergency or loss, I had a copy. Three, because I wanted to add them to my photobook project, someday that I would tackle that. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove as straightforward as I’d hoped. But, what I did learn was useful because if you’d like to do the same, I’ve got some tips and tricks for you. Continue reading

Small Steps

Small steps make big progress. It’s a fact. All the minimalism and slow living folk talk about it. Joshua Becker. Courtney Carver. Brooke McAlary. The Art of Decluttering podcast ladies call it, micro decluttering. Small actions, when there are enough of them, do lead to a big change. This applies to anything really. Grassroots campaigns sweeping the world even. I live by mottoes of similar mantras “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” (Lao Tzu, on my fridge magnet), “A job begun is half done,” my teacher used to say. “Done is better than perfect”, a friend told me last year.

Below are some of my small actions that are getting things done in my life this year and last. File under REPAIR AND REUSE. Continue reading

The laptop

How many people have an old laptop hanging about with nowhere to go? Phones yes, but laptops? A few years ago, I went through my electronics and cables and was able to get rid of a lot, but I found things like laptops harder to pass on quickly. You have to log on and remove the data; after all, it has to be at factory setting before someone else gets it. Well, finally, I got to tackle it along with a few hard drives. Oh, that was a happy day when they all went! Continue reading

Goodbye Ted

I was a teenager of the nineties. It felt like it then, and maybe it’s a phase that continues today that all teens go through as my niece surely collects them, but teenage girls love teddies. I loved my teddies. I had that cute and cuddly bedroom filled with stuffed animals. I was gifted teddies. I had my precious ones from childhood. And then, in the age of Skill Testers, I mastered the art of winning them. Naturally, my collection grew to be sizeable. But teens don’t stay teens forever, and while I struggled to store them when I lived at home – in nets from the ceiling and an old-fashioned wicker trunk – inevitably I grew up and they all moved into storage.

I think they did move around a little bit. I found them last year in my parents’ spare room still stowed in the wicker trunk. But the time had come. I pulled them all out, gave them a wash and took pictures of those that were the most memorable. Gifted ones with love, still soft and fluffy ones, and my favourites. I knew they deserved a better life, to be seen as real and loved and cuddled by smaller humans. Continue reading

Moments

I have always been a busy girl. Priorities out of alignment. Letting work or study or clutter take up all my time. Everything else would get an excuse, sit lower down the priority chain. If I could just get X out of the way then I’ll have time for Y, I’d think. But it never happened. When I was last working, life genuinely was busy in my job, always having kids to chase, parents to answer to, my own impossible expectations to meet. I started this idea of making tea, taking that moment while the kettle boiled, to breathe, to do nothing, to think nothing, to be mindful. To notice the sound of the kettle, the smell of my herbal tea bag, the feeling of my feet on the ground, my back pressed against the counter. I didn’t drink hot drinks, especially in the Middle East, so even if I forgot to make or drink the tea, which I frequently did, in boiling the kettle, I started buying into this notion of taking a mindful moment for myself. Continue reading

Housewarming

I moved my stuff in my new apartment the other day. Boxes upon boxes of stuff crowding up my living room. It was stifling. Overwhelming. But full of hope. Here we are five days later and I can start to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. I think, I can see why people have housewarming parties. It’s to celebrate the joy of making it through the physically and emotionally draining process of decluttering and packing up, hauling your worldly possessions to somewhere new, and then unpacking it all, designating new places for things, buying and building new furniture pieces and making a house into a home. Well I’m on the final stretch now and after the lessons learned, and the pain and problems I’ve been through, I’ll be well and truly ready to share the joy when this is over. Continue reading