Back to Basics

Life in the Middle East really tests your values as much as any isolated post can. For a city girl who appreciates the accessibility to sustainable measures like recycling and purchasing natural products, I have noticed just how strong my value of, and appreciation for, Mother Earth really is. When isolation and selective imports prevent you from sticking with your tried and true household cleaning preferences, what can you do except adapt?

Here I start my occasional tapping into some of the other steps of minimalism – leading a simpler life and reaping its benefits, as well as appreciating it.  Continue reading

Cutting the Credit Cord

Recently I have taken a moment of pause, appreciating the steps I have been taking to rid my life of unnecessary things. Steps like a commitment to saving money. Because just four months into my new job, I cleared all of my monthly bills (my day to day living expenses are covered through my job). I paid off a year on my storage unit. Ok, it’s not gone entirely but at least rent is covered for a while. I also paid off both of my credit cards. Hooray! Kudos to me. How lovely is that feeling to know that when I’m too busy scrambling to work out what day it is, I don’t need to work out what the date is as well to see if I’m early or late to pay bills. Unwanted bills at that. Continue reading

Adieu to the Agony Aunt

The word ‘magazine’ conjures up a love/hate relationship for me, more on the side of emotional torment and felled trees and propaganda these days, rather than the love and dedication I once showed my favourite publications. Magazines have been marketed toward women for a long time. In Australia, the Australian Women’s Weekly is an 80 year old bible for mature women everywhere. Other magazines didn’t come along until much, much later. In my house growing up there was always the AWW and the two tabloids, New Idea and Woman’s Day. As a major novel reader, glossy magazines were like lunchtime fodder to me, and I would flip through them regularly. I’m not sure when the music magazines like Smash Hits and then TV Hits began appearing, maybe at age 9 or 10, but suffice to say, there were a lot of magazines around me. Probably partly because my friend’s dad owned the newsagency we stopped at every day after school.

Building a mountain

My earliest memories of reading magazines involved things like horoscopes, regular columns and song lyrics. I definitely collected wall posters from their centrefolds. Those along with the song lyrics comprise part of the earliest evidence of my ‘snippets’ from magazines. Unfortunately, over a space of around three decades, a mountain of magazine paper grew in my storage, for no reasons other than memory collecting, references to information and inspiration. When a pile of papers takes that long to build, eradicating them becomes a long, drawn-out journey. Hence the love/hate relationship. Continue reading

Stuck on Movies

Like last week’s programs and newspaper pile, another inherited collecting habit from my parents, and indeed a common habit of many, is movies. I have like most people, a biggish DVD collection and, due to my move overseas when they were still in vogue, a biggish collection of video cassettes too. After going through university with other impoverished but tech-savvy, much younger students and living a year in a hostel among travelling backpackers, I also have acquired an additional 400 odd movies for my hard drive too. Combined, I have amassed a huge amount of films. Don’t even get me started on the TV show collection! Continue reading

Confronting my Collections: programs and newspapers

Earlier this year as I looked at different blogs by hoarders and minimalists, I stumbled across Sandy of Hoarder Comes Clean, a lady to whom I relate rather well. She’s a hoarder like me trying to sort and minimise a lifetime’s worth of stuff. Two particular posts of hers stood out – her disposal of some 200-300 theatre programs (read here and here). This is what blogging is all about, I thought with glee – reading the personal stories of people I can identify with as having the same collections in common. Continue reading

Happy Easter!

Dear readers,

I would like to say I was organised enough to ensure some delightful Easter reading content was ready for you but alas, I have been busy with work and online university assignments and now we are travelling and my work hours are longer.

So it seems apt to instead wish you all a Happy Easter however you will celebrate, being Good Friday. I like the idea, the irony, that this is the day where I have been forced to take pause. Continue reading

The Inventory List

Since the start of this blog in January I have shared with you the story of my stuff, what I collected, how I shipped it around the world with me, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way – mostly motivations to downsize the clutter and the costs and the emotional toll. From here on, the blog moves into its more intended purpose, reflecting on different elements of minimalism, decluttering, hoarding, travelling with stuff and finding a life more balanced and true.

The first such topic is what I call my inventory list.

I have always been a list person. Way beyond the shopping and to-do list, I have made all kinds of lists: films-to-watch and books-to-read lists, things to do before I am 30, things I need to buy when I set up in a new country, my hard drive contains a bunch of them. But the longest one of all is my inventory list.

Originally it was created to identify where my stuff was. Moved out of Australia, my first job was split between three countries in Europe and generally my employers didn’t like me bringing loads of stuff back and forth, so things got taken to one country and often left there for later. So I found myself starting a list of what stuff was where – in Australia or Europe. And even left behind with friends in the UK. Continue reading