Bathroom

The bathroom is the easiest room to declutter. Not a lot of people store a lot of their sentimental belongings. It’s also easier to throw away items since these items such as medicine and make up have expiry dates and health risks if kept longer than they should be kept.

I began by removing everything that doesn’t belong in the bathroom. Throw away expired medicine and makeup (if you store your makeup there, to me, I prefer to keep that in my room).

I believe that the only things that should be your bathroom is…

  1. Shower supplies –> Shampoo, conditioner, body wash (either a bar of soap or a shower gel), shaving cream and a razor
  2. Hand towel and hand soap
  3. Toilet paper on a toilet roller
  4. Extra toilet paper
  5. Plunger and toilet brush
  6. Bathroom cleaning supplies
  7. Towel rack
  8. Garbage can
  9. Curtain and or blind if there’s any window(s) in the room
  10. Bath mats (one in front of the shower, in front of the toilet and by the sink)
  11. Shower curtain, rod and rings

Under the sink, I only like to store my bathroom cleaning products. The kitchen cleaning products are kept in the kitchen. I like to keep extra toilet paper under the sink as well. The rest of the supply is kept in the linen closet next to the bathroom.

In my opinion, it is so much easier to clean the tub when there isn’t any shower supplies in the tub, so that’s why I prefer to keep them under the sink. Before we had our container, I would have to lug out all of our products which is a lot between three people. All three of us have our own container where we place our shower supplies. This way the bottles don’t get covered in slim. I clean them off after every shower.

In my container, I make sure I only keep one of every thing I need (one shampoo, one conditioner, one shower gel, etc.) I keep my extras in my closet. I stocked up on my supplies when I went to school so I wouldn’t have to worry about that when I was studying so that’s why I have extras. I keep my extras I leave my towels in the linen closet.

Behind the mirror is where we store our bandaids and medicine.

After I had decluttered and got rid of everything that doesn’t belong, I begin to give the room a nice deep clean, by cleaning everything so it is nice and fresh.

Change of Plans

To be honest, when I had moved in here, I often felt stressed and sometimes unhappy. It was because of all of this clutter around me. It took up space in the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom – it was everywhere! I often felt like the only chance to feel at peace was in my boyfriend’s room (which was technically half mine, as well).

These events took place August 2018.

Long story short, his two siblings eventually left so it was just my boyfriend, his mom, and niece and myself. Not to get involved into too many details of my boyfriend’s family lives, his mom whose room used to be in the basement, now got relocated upstairs of the house. We played musical chairs with the bedrooms… My boyfriend and I went downstairs into the basement, then his mother went into his brother’s old room. His niece got her mother’s room.

I decided to go to school so his brother told me I could have his desk. In order to bring the desk downstairs, we needed to declutter the basement, since as you remember, it was filled with things from ceiling to floor. It took us awhile to convince her to start this journey since she was always tired from taking care of her granddaughter. But we were getting pressed for time since school so we had to hurry this journey, another thing I do not recommend unless you prefer to spend a weekend purging instead of doing a bit a day.

We eventually ended up clearing out the whole basement with help from his brothers to carry out bulky unwanted items, with his mom’s consent since these were her belongings.

So what we did was…

Removed any items that didn’t belong (for us this included, multiple dressers, desk, a bed, and a bunch of “just in case” items).

His older brother left without taking all of his stuff so we ended up packing some of his things and placed them in containers in a corner.

His mother was the same, when it came to some of her things so her stuff is in another corner. Well the basement is somewhat divided into a recreational space and the laundry room, so his brother’s stuff is stacked in the laundry room. And his mom’s is stacked in the recreational room. I know it isn’t the ideal living, but we are saving up to move out for our own place soon.

After that, we ended up giving this room lots of TLC, by dusting, vacuuming, etc. We decorated with new curtains and our sense of style. We then started bringing down our stuff from our room. His older brother helped us bring his desk for my studies.

It was such a great feeling to finish cleaning out the basement. I was able to have a desk and set up my vision board above my desk of all of my goals. A lot of my goals are traveling and school. I do eventually want to pursue my Masters degree and Doctorate degree as well. I know a lot of hard work lies ahead of me, and that’s okay, I am up for any challenge.

Where to Begin…

These stories are about my journey, and I know that everyone is going to have a different experience, and that’s okay.

To me, the bathroom is the easiest place to start since this isn’t a common room to store your sentimental items. And another advantage of beginning in the bathroom is that it would provide you with a room of relaxation and an area where you can pamper yourself.

I will explain step by step how I clean each room and what to do.

Although, looking back at it now, the approach I should have done this project in is as follows… Although I know that not everyone will have all of these rooms.

  1. Bathroom
  2. Kitchen
  3. Foyer (hallway closet and other closets, excluding the bedroom closet, that’s for later)
  4. Living Room
  5. Laundry Room
  6. Bedroom(s) (and office)
  7. Attic
  8. Garage

After reflecting in my journey with my boyfriend and his mom, I realized I had approached her in a wrong manner. In my defense we were pressed for time so sadly, we needed to prioritize what was important. If I can do it all over, I would have done it this way. That being said, I really do recommend doing it in order from the above.

This list makes sense because the easier rooms are the bathroom and kitchen. I left the bedroom near the end since that is where we store our sentimental items, and that is something that we must not start with. If we start with the hardest rooms, this mission wouldn’t be able for lift off. The bedroom is almost last so you can build confidence and know that you are ready to finish this project.

Mind you, my method probably isn’t going to work for everyone and that’s okay. You just got to find something that works for you. Use my experience as a guide line.

My Journey

My boyfriend lives with his mom (and at the time his two siblings) to help her out. When I first moved in with them, I felt very overwhelmed. I had no idea so much stuff can fit in such a small room.

The house lacked organization by having things everywhere. I can tell that not every item had a “home”. As I learned more about his mom, I realized where the issue came from. Not to get in to a lot of detail, but it pretty much stemmed from not having a lot of disposable income and the lost she has faced in her life. She felt like she needed to hold on to a lot of “just in case items”, which took up a lot of space in the house. My boyfriend’s sister was the same way and his brother inherited the desire to have a lot of clothes from their mom.

I guess my boyfriend was alienated by having so much stuff, that he wanted to have less, so he doesn’t have a lot of stuff.

Their basement which is a decent amount of space, was full of stuff from ceiling to floor. The kitchen which was already small, had a lot of stuff on the countertops. This didn’t make for a serene kitchen to cook in. The dinning room table was always cluttered that we couldn’t have meals on it.

I feel like this was my purpose in life, to help others. I often felt like I was people’s lighthouse when their life was in a storm.

I started very small, mostly because I didn’t want to overwhelm her and step on anyone’s toes. Especially since I moved in a few months prior to doing this, so I wasn’t sure how people were going to react.

I rearranged some of her drawers in the kitchen. In the top drawer is now where we keep cutlery, can opener, knives, chop sticks, etc. The drawer below that was the hot beverage drawer (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) alongside sugar, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon. The third drawer is where we keep tea towels at the front of the drawer, and in the back is where we store the other table cloth and place mats. And finally the last drawer stores the not so common kitchen utensils.

After I spent a few hours rearranging it, I can tell everyone was impressed and appreciated it a lot.

This is pretty much where our journey brings.

The Beginning

I have helped out a lot of my family members and friends to live with less. I love the idea of living with less stuff. To me, living with less, helps eliminate stress in my every day life. Just so you know, when I am talking about my journey, I speak without any judgement to the people I live with, the ones I’ve helped and with the people reading this. I will never judge people based on their way of living. I offer people going through this journey support and positive vibes.

When it comes to things that people decide on donating, I know that it has to be the person’s decision to donate these items. I would never make that decision without the person’s consent. I only suggest ideas and offer support to them. I also never throw out anyone’s belongings without their permission, because if I did that, then they aren’t learning anything in the process. It has to be their decision to let go of things. It’s part of their journey.

The way I look it at is, if you throw out a person’s things, they would just find something else to collect. And this action will not really change their behaviour of collecting things. That’s what this journey is about, they learn a lot about themselves, like their reasoning to hold on to things. It is usually is caused from something that happened in their life, that has shaped them into the way they are today.

From the people I have helped, their reasoning to hold on to things is because of money and they already have lost so much beforehand. This explains why others often find this process to be overwhelming for them. And that’s okay. Any signs of discomfort means you are going out of your comfort zone. You just to start small and keep on working towards your goals. No one has ever regretted donating their things to other people.

In order to overcome this and be comfortable with less, they need to learn what lead them to this behaviour. This is where I come in and help.

Hop on board, you’re on the journey of a lifetime.

Organizing Quote

One of my favourite quotes from someone who has inspired me to be comfortable with less stuff. It has been such an uplifting journey. Before I donated a lot of my stuff, the old me thought I just needed more containers and other things to help me and my family stay organized. But now it’s easier to get rid of things that I no longer use to someone who has been wishing to have these things. It’s better to donate your belongings rather than having them shoved in a closet or an attic just collecting dust. That isn’t the purpose of that item. It’s meant to be used.

Start small and build your confidence to tackle the harder tasks. Remember easy does it!

owningless-isbetter-thanorganizingmore-667x1000

Deciding

Look around you and ask yourself; “Is there more to this space? Can I work on improving myself?”

Perhaps you are surrounded by things that you no longer need or use anymore. Or perhaps, there isn’t enough space for you to actually enjoy your life. It’s okay if you have a lot of stuff, we’re on this journey together. There’s always a solution and way to make things better.

I’m here to help you guide you through this journey of decluttering so you can release your worries and stress. Owning less will allow you to stress less and make room for enjoyment.

So decide if this is for you and begin to work towards your goals. I know you can do this!

So let’s get started.