January 15, 2012

Coming out of my closet...literally.

My New Year Resolutions is:

Keep it simple.

There are many reasons why I have chosen to  keep things simple.

Here is one of them:


You have probably run away from the computer
and are trying to turn off your browser with a ten foot pole right now.
But wait....

Now, for the really scary part....that is actually an AFTER picture NOT a BEFORE!
We couldn't see the CD shelves AT ALL (nor the floor) the same time last year because there were so many boxes piled up!


A lot of people have been commenting in blogland about how we tend to show the pretty, perfect and peachy sides of our lives.

I am

Or now I can say...was one of them.

That room above is not supposed to be a closet, but it is, and we are changing that.
Finally...been sort of "working on it" for ages.

Thanks to  numerous videos on youtube and websites like flyladyzen habits (and his books) and for inspiration, better homes and gardens I have been able to stay focused.

One of the most helpful were books by Dominique Loreau.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find anything by her in English (only in Japanese and French) but I did find this lovely blog by someone who has posted about reading her and decluttering:
I hope the blogger doesn't mind my posting a link....

so here are three steps I have taken so far:

step 1.

I went through my summer wardrobe and threw away everything I hadn't worn!


Then I went through my winter wardrobe and threw away everything I knew I wouldn't wear this season.

Now, I am only going to buy clothes when something gets old and even then it will have to be in one of these colors:
blue, gray, green or pink.

Why?  Because I use to keep buying shirts in outrageous colors that I could never match with my business suits etc.  (They looked pretty in the shops...)  If everything can be coordinated it makes it easier to pack for business trips etc.

Once I cleaned out my wardrobe I could feel the weight of my belongings lift up, rise...and...
fly away
Less clutter in your home means less vibes you are constantly getting from your "stuff".
(check zen habits again here:

Miraculously throwing things away started to get easier and easier.
I started to throw away a garbage bag a week just by opening up two or three boxes at a time.

step 2.
They key was to not overdo myself.  But since it was fun, I would clean out a corner of my apartment or 3 or 4 boxes every other week. (I had LOTS of business trips over the weekend last year, so under those conditions I think I did pretty well!  It actually takes only an hour or two once you get in the habit of
LETTING GO.  (You just have to give up playing computer games...or shopping...or couch potato-ing.)

step 3.  

When you notice something... just don't walk by...stop, consider  (if you don't need it, if it is redundant or you had even forgot you owned it) and toss!

If you don't have the heart to throw something away, but you know you don't really need it:

have a clean garbage bag or a cardboard box or even a suitcase you no longer need open, toss stuff in.
The next time you have a garage sale, attend a flea market or charity bazar, you are ready to go!


As you may have noticed from the picture, we have lots of CDs.
So this is what we have been doing:
repackaging CDs. 
Taking them out of the hard plastic cases and putting them in slim cases.
It saves a lot of space!
The CD shelves start to look like this:
We are putting them in alphabetical order.
Where there is a little bit if space, I have placed some of the stuff that came out of the boxes...
I know, I know...more stuff...but I am taking things one step at a time.
AND enjoying it!

Although we had to buy lots of plastic CD jackets, don't forget, I have found that the trick is not to buy more stuff to organize your stuff.  
Get rid of what you don't need first, then and only then, find the perfect place for what you have.
If you are like me, and like to collect boxes and bags, you already have lots of storage!

Thank you for reading this not so pretty blog but...

I am still on the path to clarity (mind and material).  
The art of living in Japan (and anywhere else) for me, is to:

Keep it simple.


julochka said...

I love this post.

that is all.


donna baker said...

I thought the cd shelf didn't look so bad. I wear lots of black and white so I don't have to match much. I love the idea of getting rid off all the clutter. I think I will have to work hard at it. I just have so much stuff. I thought in Japan, housing was small with little storage. Guess that helps with getting rid of stuff.

I_am_Tulsa said...

Julie! Thank you sooooo much!

Donna, thank you for your kind words...let's just say it's a good thing that I didn't take a picture of the "real before"...slowly but surely making progress!
Japan housing IS small and the storage is unbelievably small too. I think it is because a long time ago there wasn't a lot of hoarding...and of course the country itself is a bit small. Things are changing though...
my mother in law has LOTS of stuff too...

I still have some blogging left to do on clutter in Japan! LOL

jgy said...

Happy New Year!
Best wishes with your resolution.
I will attempt to do the same! Thanks for the tips:))
And thank your for stopping by. said...

Fascinating blog. I know what you mean about throwing stuff out that you don't need. It is liberating. I am a composer/pianist/recording artist. Please visit me sometime to hear my music.

I_am_Tulsa said...

jgy and Betsy, thank you!

Betsy, your music is sooo beautiful! thank you for stopping by!