One of my new year’s resolutions last year was to not buy any pair of shoes for the whole year. It was supposed to be a joke because my friends went on a shoe shopping spree and I was not able to join them. Then, the pandemic happened. It became more achievable as shoes became useless.

It may not be much, but this resolution rolls up to my longterm mission to live practicing minimalism. Ever since I learned about Marie Kondo and the konmari method of decluttering, I’ve decided to live as simple as possible. I did not get too serious about it until about two years ago when I realized I have a lot of possessions I keep, but do not use. I have gained so much weight but I have clothes from 2012 that I still keep, hoping I can wear them again soon. Most of the time, it was just wishful thinking.

Breaking the habit of shopping was not hard for me. I’m not a shopaholic to begin with. But, based on material things I had, I knew I still had too much.

According to Marie Kondo, the first category to clean up is clothing. In a span of three years, I’ve managed to get rid of most of my clothes that no longer spark joy. Most of them in reality no longer fit me and I just accepted the fact that I am probably not going back to my 28-year old body. If I do, I’m sure shopping for new ones will spark joy too. Last year, I did another round of clean up and I donated mine to relief assistance for typhoon victims. The same goes for my shoes. I don’t really have a lot of pairs. I realized that in my corporate job, I hardly ever wore heels. I prefer ballet flats to walk around so I ended up with ruined pairs of heels due to long storage. What a waste of money. I can’t wait to go back to Manila to sort through my clothes and shoes again. My goal is to keep just those that I need and like wearing the most. For shoes, I need to throw some out anyway so clean up is a must.

The second category in Konmari is books. This one is easy. I barely have books to fill a shelf. I used to read a lot, but now I realize Netflix and Korean drama have taken over. I managed to sort through my tiny book collection last year and got rid of those that I simply have no desire to read (because someone gave them to me obviously not aware of what I like to read). I’m really not into fantasy books. Sorry George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. I prefer Archie’s comics. Anyway, that should not be of much concern to tidy up since I so far just have those that I really want to keep. Also, I started to use Kindle already and just buy ebooks.

The third category is the most irritating one: papers. This includes old unimportant documents, receipts, billing statements. I used to have piles of bills and receipts as treasures. I kept many old documents that I later realized were obsolete. I learned to shred and trash and have significantly reduced my paper keepsakes. I still like keeping receipts, but I manage to throw the unnecessary ones after a short while. Sometimes, I am tempted to buy my own paper shredder just so I can get rid of paper waste right away.

The fourth and fifth categories are miscellaneous and sentimental items respectively. I have yet to get this. Maybe this year I will attack decluttering this category more thoroughly. I have old accessories that I no longer wear. There are earrings without a pair, rusty necklaces and bracelets. Do I still need the raincoat from the 2018 winter Olympics? Ahehehe.

From not buying shoes for a whole year, I learned that you can really live simply. You may have so many clothes, but you actually end up wearing some pieces over and over. In the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, she realized she wore jeans and white shirts a lot. The rest of her clothes stay stored. So she decided to buy white shirts instead. The same with me when it comes to shoes. I end up wearing just one or two pairs repeatedly. Why bother having twenty pairs? I ought to read that book again. She focused on certain aspects of her life each month. Maybe I should do my own 2021 happiness project.

My goal for this year and probably for the years to come is to continue this journey. Like I said in my priority, I am my priority now and I aim for contentment. I also wish to practice the quality of life I want with more consistency. “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” That’s from Gretchen Rubin and I will just leave this thought here.

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