Inbound vs Outbound #11 – August 2021

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see, if over time, I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long run since I’m documenting when it’s arriving.

I was packing to move this month. I tried my best to keep track of things but there’s a chance a lot was missed. Really tried to only to move stuff I want to keep (spoiler: mixed results).

plane landing
Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound: 

  • A bar cart;
  • One T-shirt;
  • One legging and sports bra set; and
  • One vacuum.
plane taking off
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • Two jewelry design boards (FB Marketplace);
  • A carry case filled beading supplies (FB Marketplace);
  • A fishing tackle of beading supplies (FB Marketplace);
  • Two glass Terrarium (FB Marketplace);
  • Two outdoor chair and stools (FB Marketplace);
  • One Fijifilm Instax and three packs of film (given to a friend);
  • Two packs of scrapbooking paper (given to a friend);
  • One Gameboy with games and carrier (eBay);
  • More random bag of beading supplies (Buy Nothing Group);
  • A bag of knit slippers my grandma gave me three years ago (hospital NICU);
  • About 4-5 bags of clothing and household items (donated);
  • A office/school supplies (Buy Nothing Group/Gifted);
  • 100 paper bags (FB marketplace);
  • One crochet bear (Buy Nothing Group);
  • One plastic Christmas tree (Garbage);
  • One plant my friend found on the side of the road and left at my old place (returned to the side of the road);
  • One bean bag chair (gifted to my roommate);
  • One dinning table (gifted to my roommate); and
  • One pocket Neopet (eBay).

As predicted in my July post, lots of movement this month. I’m at the new place and there is a lot of unpacking to do, which will discuss in future posts.

BOOK REVIEW: Minimal by Laurie Barrette and Stéphanie Mandrea

Laurie Barrette and Stéphanie Mandrea are two childhood friends and the owners of the Quebec brand Dans le SacWhich primarily sells reusable fabric bags. I attended a virtual interview that Indigo (a Canadian Bookstore) did with the authors. They seem quite nice. The few things I really remember about their talk (I lost the page I wrote my notes on) was their idea of Zero Waste, which isn’t trying to having all your trash for the year fit in a mason jar. But more the 5 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.

Photo Source

The book is a pretty short read at about 220 pages, Libby said that I finished the book in about 2 hours. Overall, I enjoyed it. There’s a lot of lists and DIY projects for different areas of the home and life, such as cleaning products, skincare and baby bum sprays.

I enjoyed the first couple chapters the most and got the most information out of them. They might be a bit basic, but cover the ideal of minimalism, the impact of humans on the environments and the idea of making ones on products to have more control of what is entering ones personal environment.

From the cleaning chapter onwards, they started to loose me a bit. Barrette and Mandrea really love essential oils! I have a below average sense of smell, so I don’t care about aromatherapy or essential oils. Also there’s a few really large multi-level marketing companies that sell oils. And that sales/company structure isn’t something I believe is ethical. To be clear, they weren’t pushing a certain brand or anything like that, just my prior knowledge of essential oils going into this book make me have a generally negative option about them.

I truly disagree with one point they had in there book. That was that essential oils are good for the planet. They mention that oils “triggered their green journey”. Kinda ironic given how material intensive the process can be (like 10,000 lbs of roses for one 1lbs of rose oil).

Also they encouraged putting essential oils on babies, they did have a disclaimer that it’s “controversial” to put these types of oils on babies but their didn’t have any issues with their kids. John Hopkins has an article with recommended amounts/usage. But I personally don’t think it’s a great idea. I’ve used tea tree oil on my skin before, and found it burnt a lot so I can’t imagine how a baby would feel.

I don’t have children but I did enjoy the chapter about raising minimalist kids that are environmentally conscious. A lot of it just leading by example but they have this list of environmentally friendly family actives that I just found really charming. Examples, like making salt dough, building bird houses, and growing veggies. That list is without a doubt my favorite part of the book.

At the end of the day it’s a pretty easy read, with really lovely photos, and with content you can find mostly on their website or if you spent enough time on Pinterest. I did read an interview with them that has a quote, that I think captures their intent with this book: “Packed with DIY project ideas, practical tips for reducing waste, and utterly drool-worthy photos, Minimal is a must read whether you’re motivated by love of the planet, the ‘gram, or both.”

Photo Source

To conclude, I would have enjoyed less essential oil talk, but others may not find it as annoying. If you see this book at a book store or the library I would say give it a quick flip through and read the kid friendly activity list but I don’t recommend spending money on it.

Trying to Reclaim My Car

My car’s name is Dorian. Due to the fact that my car is gray. I love her! She’s my first big adult purchase and I use her pretty regularly to, ya know, drive.

I know The Minimalists say to love people, use things but I think I can love both.

But as of late, I’m not treating my car like I love her… Since I moved (back in July 2020), I’ve had some random boxes just sitting in my car because I didn’t want to clutter my apartment. This doesn’t make the clutter go away. And it being out of sight definitely did not made it easier to remember to actively take steps to intergrade or remove the crap from my life. I now totally understand why every decluttering book warns against off site storage. Out of sight, out of mind is a very real phenomenon.

Anyways, my life has recently reached a new, more cluttered point. Earlier this year, my parents moved and put some of my extra stuff into my aunt’s basement, as she still lives close by. I was texting her about something unrelated, and she mentioned I still have many boxes sitting in her basement.

That was a sign that it was time to get the stuff out of her house and take true ownership of my crap.

And oh my! I have soo much crap!! Poor Dorian was struggling as I was driving her home. I truly needed to clear out my car and make her usable. Since it was filled, including the passenger seat with boxes.

Step One was just clearing out the car. It took a couple trips, even while we used a cart to lug stuff up from the parking garage to my unit.

Step Two is looking through the contents of the box. That’s where it got a been a harder. There some stuff that I can declutter but a lot of it is stuff I don’t have space for, but also don’t want to get rid of. The majority of these boxes are are still sitting in boxes in my room as I write this.

But that can’t stay that way. Mostly because I want my room back, but also because I’m moving later this year and I don’t want to waste space in the moving van on stuff I don’t even want to keep.

Step Three has been getting rid of stuff. 

Donation centers have been closed off and on for the better part of a year due to lockdowns in Ontario. Although they are currently open, they are overwhelmed with donations. So the whole system is way less efficient than usual at redistributing donations.

As much as possible, I’ve been avoiding creating a donation pile. My current system is much slower and one that pretty much no one would recommend, due to it being so inefficient.

I’m currently selling cloths and home goods online on a variety of websites (eBay, Depop, Vinted, etc…). Any items that I don’t think have a resale value higher than it’s shipping cost are being posted in my local Buy Nothing group or FB Marketplace.

It’s been a pretty slow process. I’ve gotten faster at taking, editing and uploading product pics. And for the most part people have been coming to me for pickups. Since I work from home most days so I can just pop down to my building’s lobby and do the hand off. So the active time involved isn’t that high.

A bunch of tapes off to their new home

My friends have been really impressed by my patience in this process. Like the one time a no-buy pickup was about an hour late. Or the person that didn’t read when I mentioned three times I wasn’t available until after 12pm show up at 11:30am looking to trade.  

Those have been the most annoying trades, and they are rare instances. The majority of the time, everyone is punctual and extremely nice. Which is the main reasons I’ve been keeping up with it.

But that’s pretty much where I’m at. My Inbound vs Outbound for June (posted late, but better late than never) will better detail where I’ve been diverting my decluttered items.

I really need to pick up the speed. I really want to have my space reclaimed, right in time to pack it all up for the next place in about a month and half.

I’ve also been recording this process in more detail on my phone. So I need to learn how to edit videos and I’ll post that here as a separate update. So look out for that in the coming weeks to months.

Since the cleanout, I vacuumed the car and it was empty for a short period of time… Unfortunately, the car is currently filled with work equipment, a rain coat, and a copy of Pretty Little Liars I found at my local little library. I plan on dealing with that soon…

BOOK REVIEW: Project 333 by Courtney Carver

I’ve heard of Project 333 a few times over the years, so I was really surprised to find that this book was published March 2020. The concept of Project 333 is very simple. You only wear a combination 33 items of clothing (included shoes and accessories) for 3 months.

Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that Proves Less Really is So Much More is the second book by Courtney Carver. She’s been featuring Project 333 on her blog for a few years and this book is an extension of the concept (about ten years after she started it). Which explains why I’ve heard of it before. Some Minimalist YouTubers I watch have mentioned the book and author before.

The book is a tad slow to start. It takes until Chapter 11 before she officially introduces the rules of Project 333. The majority of the chapters before were about her journey with finding minimalism and answering a lot of the questions people typical have about the project. The book does assume you sorta understand the high level concept of the project before introducing it. I think that the rules should have been introduced sooner then the FAQ .

The idea, as mentioned at the top, only wearing 33 items of clothing for a period of 3 months. There are some exemptions, such as wedding ring/sentimental jewelry, workout gear, under garments, lounge wear (only to be worn exclusively at home. Leggings you wear out to do groceries or whatever count to your 33 items), and work uniforms.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

She has more that 33 items, as some items are seasonal. That’s why the project is three months, to match the seasons. But she has way less that 132 items, since most of her closet carries over.

After the chapter with the rules and looking at her closet, the book goes a bit more ‘woo woo’ or metaphysical about the larger knock on effects of having a small closet. Lots talk about mediation, the joys of quiet moments, not having to clean as much, downsizing. The standard package of a minimalism book. Although she made no comments about losing weight, and she was pro renting. So 4/6 minimalism tropes isn’t bad.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I don’t know if it will be everyone’s cup of tea, since it’s a rather repetitive. I can also imagine her tone of her writing wouldn’t be everyone’s favorite (you can tell she was a blogger first). There were moments as I was reading I was going back and forth on if I enjoyed the style or not.

If you are looking exclusively for the rules of Project 333, her website (https://bemorewithless.com/project-333-challenge/) is definitely the resource for you.

The book was a light quick read filled with 80’s pop references and generally has feel good motivational vibe.

Photo by Alena Shekhovtcova on Pexels.com

I feel for the author, her book was published at a really bad time to start the Project. Since most people have been working from home since publication. In general clothing and fashion haven’t been a main priority for most people. 

Although it will be interesting to see how that effects peoples clothing choices. I know for me, I’ve been wearing around the same 30 items. But that’s because I’ve been living in sweatpants and hoodies, unless I have to go to site or have a cameras-on zoom meeting. Imagine a worst version of what a typical university student would wear during exams, but for the past year and a half. 

When reading the book I was thinking I would do the project and see how I feel about it. Last weekend I was planning on going through my closet and sort what I want to keep, since I was inspired by the book. But I made scones and took at nap instead.

The next recommended start time is September 1st, so I have the summer and maybe slight return to pre-covid times to help me plan my choices. If I do it, I’ll do my best to document and report back on how I feel about it. I can also start in July or any other time. I have some other decluttering projects I want to tackle in the immediate term, but I do want to circle back and try this.

Inbound vs Outbound #9 – May 2021

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see, if over time, I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long run since I’m documenting when it’s arriving.

plane landing
Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound: 

  • Two hot pepper plants;
  • One rosemary plant; and
  • One tomato plant.
plane taking off
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • One dead orchid (RIP); and
  • One pillow case sold on Depop.

Another month that keeps like it was just flying by. June will definitely have more movement.

Inbound vs Outbound #8 – April 2021

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see, if over time, I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long run since I’m documenting when it’s arriving. So I can think a bit more critically about the whole thing.

plane landing
Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound: 

  • Various Seeds (herbs, greens and wild flowers);
  • A piece of rebar for staking plants;
  • Moonlight snake plant;
  • Fertilizer for hydroponics; and
  • Three pack of deodorant, so I shouldn’t smell for a bit.

plane taking off
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • Two books about Construction Project Management given to my friend that is working on getting his PMP.

Definitely more items coming in this month and out. April flew by, so I didn’t really have a chance to get started on my spring cleaning. We’re also currently in a stay at home order, so meet ups for trades are discouraged and donation centers are closed. That just makes the process to get things out of the house even more difficult.

Inbound vs Outbound #7 – March 2021

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see, if over time, I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long run since I’m documenting when it’s arriving. So I can think a bit more critically about the whole thing.

plane landing
Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound: 

  • One vertical planter for my balcony;
  • Various seeds (spinach, boy choy, parsley, and more);
  • One plastic pan to put under planters;
  • One plastic pan to put under planters, but this one has wheels!;
  • Two sets of gardening gloves;
  • One screw driver (for work so I’m not sure if this counts);
  • One flashlight (for work);
  • Two buckets;
  • One box of personal items from my parents house, as they are moving;
  • Four egg cartons for seedings;
  • One small Monstera Deliciosa; and
  • One ziplock worth of worms for vermicomposting.
plane taking off
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • A pair of ripped gardening gloves;
  • One canvas set with the paint and brush included;
  • One drawing pad;
  • One pencil case;
These three were given away on my local Buy Nothing group

  • Four books; and
  • The key to my old house since my parents have moved.

Definitely more items coming in this month because of the change of the season and wanting to do more gardening.

Inbound vs Outbound #6 – February 2021

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see if over time I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long term since I’m documenting when it’s arriving, so I can think a bit more critically about the whole thing.

plane landing
Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound: 

  • 5 various undergarments;
  • Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, borrowed from my parents;
  • Edible by Daniella Martin, borrowed from my parents;
  • 1 reusable menstrual cup;
  • 2 Glengarry glasses; and
  • 8 pairs of socks.
plane taking off
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • 1 belt buckle (sold on Depop);
  • 1 broken pair of headphones;
  •  6 dead pens; and
  • 2 erasers.

Not as much as previous months. It’s a short month, so it’s a short list.

Inbound vs Outbound #5 – January 2021

plane landing

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see if over time I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long term since I’m documenting when it’s arriving and can think a bit more critically about the whole thing.

plane landing
Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound:

  • 1 string of led lights decluttered by my parents to me;
  • 1 phone case; and
  • 1 three pack of tempered glass phone screen protectors.

plane taking off
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • 1 alarm clock that mimics a sunrise, given on my local BuyNothing group;
  • 1 dead rosemary (RIP);
  • 2 Tamagotchis, sold on eBay;
  • 1 winter jacket, donated to a clothing drive;
  • 2 winter/fall coats, donated to a clothing drive;
  • 1 hoodie, donated to a clothing drive
  • 1 bottle of micellar water;
  • 1 glove since I lost the other half of the pair;
  • 1 mitten since I lost the other half of the pair;
  • 1 half used Happy Planner for 2017;
  • One Rock Band instrument set, given away on my local Buy Nothing Group, including:
    • Rock Band 2; and
    • Beatles Rock Band.
  • 6 yearbooks;
  • 2 notebooks from highschool;
  • 1 friendship bracelet, sold on Depop; and
  • 1 keychain for the gym membership I cancelled 6 months ago.

Inbound vs Outbound #4 – December 2020

The point of this article is to see what I’ve purchased versus what I’ve decluttered in the month. The ultimate goal is to see if over time I’m bringing more into my life than taking out. Also if the things I do bring in are adding more value into my life in the long term since I’m documenting when it’s arriving and can think a bit more critically about the whole thing.

Photo by Shoval Zonnis on Pexels.com

Inbound: 

  • 1 new phone, including a new charging cable;
  • 1 set of ear buds that came free with the phone; 
  • 1 Peace Collective long sleeve;
  • 1 backpack;
  • 1 messenger bag; 
  • 1 Callisia Repens Pink Lady; 
  • 1 bottle of plant fertilizer; 
  • 1 necklace with my starsign;
  • 1 cutting wood board;  
  • 1 puzzle of the history of Toronto 
  • 1 ‘House of Plants’ board game; 
  • 1 face cream;
  • 1 mug;
  • 1 jar of wood cutting board oil;
  • 1 garlic cutter;
  • 1 vegetable peeler; 
  • 1 USB stick with some courses;
  • 1 T-shirt;
  • 2 laundry dryer balls; and 
  • 1 print and frame.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Outbound:

  • At least three notebooks worth of random papers found at my parents house; 
  • 1 sweater; 
  • 3 purses; 
  • 1 laptop case 
  • 2 old cellphones for electronics recycling; 
  • 1 wallet
  • About a dozen books; 
  • 3 children books found at my parents house; 
  • 2 books returned to my parents; and
  • 1 broken vegetable peeler.