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Diary entries

The importance of communication

I’m going to go back to mental clutter for a bit because I believe that mental health is an important issue to talk about. Having experienced depression, trauma, and anxiety, I think these issues shouldn’t be swept under the rug, and are a huge part of minimalism and a healthy lifestyle. The most important part of living to your fullest is being comfortable in your own skin and being happy for who you are.

Recently I had to make a drastic change to my life. My boyfriend is moving back home for a year for personal reasons, which is on the other side of Canada. Because we’re both students, flying can be expensive, and we are going to be busy with aspects of our lives. Couple that with the 3 hour time difference, regular video chats and calls are going to be difficult for us.

When I first heard that he was going home, I was miserable. I blamed myself for a lot of the problems he had, although he said none of them were my fault. He was a major part of my life, and was a big pillar for me the past year. I was terrified of facing the next academic year without him. I didn’t want to lose the physical intimacy that we have now. I love physical intimacy. I love hugs more than anything. Now, it feels like all of that is slipping away, and I have no control over it.

Luckily, I powered through my emotions, even though it still hurts. We talked over what’s going to happen, planned out our communication, and just discussed a lot of things with each other. He’s leaving in August, and although I won’t be in town most of August and probably won’t see him before he moves, the important part was that it’s not forever. We will visit each other every once in a while, and he will be back the year after.

It still hurts, but communication helps. My advice if you’re in a situation with your partner or a loved one? Communicate. Communication is key to a healthy relationship, and you will feel so much better afterwards. Even if things don’t turn out the way you wanted, you will feel a lot better about yourself, because you handled the situation maturely, and you got to speak your mind.

Never bottle up these emotions inside. Talk to someone

Diary entries

Zero waste laundry!

So I finally bought myself an accordion clothes dryer the other day for my new place, and I’ve never felt so much more accomplished on my zero waste journey. After reading about how harmful and wasteful drying machines and dryer sheets are, I’m never going back again. I’ve already done a few loads of laundry since buying the dryer and my clothes have never felt better and smelled better.

One thing I have to trouble drying efficiently is my comforter. I only have one comforter, and since it’s so thick it takes forever to dry by hanging alone. Even when it’s dry, there are still wet spots and I don’t want my comforter catching mildew. I also don’t want to dry it outside since I don’t have a patio, and it’s smoky outside because of all the wildfires happening in my province. Does anybody have any solutions on how to efficiently hang dry thick comforters and blankets?

Diary entries

Moving

I recently quit my job that provided me with accommodation because it was too stressful considering my academic schedule. I have decluttered a lot prior to moving, and now moving from one place to another is a breeze. Plus, my room looks so nice without all this stuff taking up closet and shelf space.

One thing I have yet to figure out is how to move and producing as little waste as possible. I know plastic containers are a thing, but they are a bit pricey where I’m from and extremely bulky to carry from Home Depot/Walmart back to my residence. I am currently reusing my cardboard boxes as different recycling containers for different categories.

Diary entries

Why I’ve been on a long hiatus

Hi guys!

I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted recently. I had a lot going on in my life and a lot of baggage on my plate, so I didn’t really have time to post. That being said, I will now be posting a lot more regularly, and will have a schedule up and running in no time!

I did accomplish a lot in this time. I have 3 more boxes of stuff I’m donating to my local women’s shelter, and am planning to declutter even more before I move out of my current place in August. I recently made zero waste mouthwash and I like it even better than the commercial ones.

Hope to hear and see you guys soon! Thank you for supporting my blog and reading my content: it means a lot to me. 🙂

Diary entries

Day 30: Decluttering Day 0

I’ve been talking about starting my journey to becoming a minimalist for a while now, and now I’m finally kickstarting that adventure for good! I have made a list of things I need to purge, and it’s quite small for now, but it will expand as I go.

  1. Makeup that I don’t use anymore
  2. Extra phones and charging cords that I don’t need.
  3. Clothes that I don’t wear anymore/don’t fit.
  4. Binders that I don’t use anymore ever since I got my Rocketbook
  5. Books that I’ve finished reading
  6. Video games that I’ve finished playing/don’t play as much
  7. Empty boxes or containers that I’ve been hoarding for a while.
  8. Extra sheets
  9. Extra cookware that I don’t need/use anymore

I’ll donate my clothes to the local women’s shelter, and the rest of my donate-able stuff to a local charity in town. I will probably recycle or sell my old phones, and give old chargers to friends who will appreciate some extra juice in their devices. Unfortunately, my makeup and crummy undergarments will have to be thrown away for hygienic reasons, and I know that’s not really zero waste. I wonder if there are more environmentally friendly ways to throw away items that can’t be donated because of body fluids.

Diary entries

Day 25-29: Trust

Mental clutter has been a theme for a lot of these blog posts lately, which kind of reflects my current emotions and deeper reflections that I have during this period of time. It’s also Mental Health Awareness Month, so I decided why not? It’s an important thing to talk about.

I also like the idea of grouping days together in blog posts, because it’s a lot easier to manage that way and a lot less stressful.

Trust is a complex human emotion, and for a lot of us trust is a problem. Whether we’ve experienced trauma or just grew up in an environment where trust isn’t really an option, there may be a lack of trust. This doesn’t mean that we are incapable of trusting others: it’s just harder for us to do so. For some, like me, trust comes after a long process and period of time. For some, it requires some therapy and professional help.

The lack of trust leads to a lot of mental clutter, and unfortunately there isn’t a one cure for everyone’s problems. It took me years to figure out my trust issues, and I’m sure there are people who don’t want to admit that they have trust issues. I don’t think it’s a particularly shameful thing: admitting it is the first step to getting help. There are ways to reduce clutter during the process of gaining trust, though.

Communication is key. Whether you’re in a platonic or romantic relationship, communication is important. Telling your partner and friends that you have trust issues is the usually the first step. They need to know that this is a process for you so they can give you the support that you need. And if they don’t understand? They’re not worth being your friends anyway.

Then what? Learn how to self-care. Find what makes you feel relaxed and happy. Take time out of your day to self-care. Be selfish once in a while. That’s okay. Take your time. I like to sleep and lie down and do nothing when I self-care. That’s how I deal with stress and mental clutter.

Be honest with yourself. This is the hardest part, and I still struggle with it. Talk it out with someone. Write it down in a journal. Seek therapeutic methods.

TLDR: Do whatever is right for you and is best for you, not because whoever in your life thinks so.

Diary entries

Day 23 + 24: Abusive Relationships

I have my fair share of relationships, both romantically and platonically. I am grateful for the friends that I have now; they have been so supportive of me and helped me through so much. I am grateful for my current boyfriend. Even though we have our ups and downs, he’s been a great guy to me and is always there whenever I need him.

However, like a lot of people in this world, I also have a collection of failed and unhealthy relationships. An ex of mine was emotionally abusive. A classmate of mine betrayed me by telling all my secrets and vulnerabilities to everyone behind my back. I have been bullied by some of my old classmates.

I remember saying in one entry that minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of material items that I don’t value: it’s also about decluttering my mental clutter. It was hard for me to let go of my unhealthy relationships for many reasons, but mostly because I didn’t know better. I thought, at the time, that these unhealthy relationships were normal. It wasn’t until the beginning of my third year of university did I finally start to pull myself away from the bad people in my life. I learned a few things:

  • Getting rid of mental clutter is hard. It’s basically starting your life all over again, because you have to establish new habits and get rid of old ones.
  • It’s hard to see that your relationship is abusive when you’re in one. The saying “love is blind” comes to mind here, and it’s true.
  • Listen to the advice from your friends, family, and loved ones. Don’t push them away. They may have a different opinion from you at the moment, but they’re only bringing it up to you because they value you.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s professionally or from a friend/family member. Oftentimes, abusive relationships can turn ugly. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for a floor to crash on, or to call the cops. Develop a safety plan. Don’t be scared to confide in a person you trust the most. Your safety is more important than anyone else’s.
  • Finally, if you’re experiencing mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, know that there are resources out there for you. I couldn’t see that at the time, but my manager was kind enough to refer me to counselling services on campus. Everything you say to a psychiatrist or counsellor is confidential unless they are worried for your safety. Trust them. You may feel the need to hide your feelings in order to not be judge. They aren’t there to judge you. They are there to help you.

The journey for me was long, but now I am much happier because of the friends and family that I choose to surround myself with. Remember: you are not the only one going through hard times. We are there for you. I am there for you.

Diary entries

Day 21 + 22: Plants

I’ve been wanting to have a plant or succulent in my room for a while now, but I haven’t gotten to getting one. Partly because I’m not really a gardening person, but also I don’t know where to start. I want something that will last long and takes little effort to maintain.

One of the reasons why I want a plant is because I want to learn how to patiently care for plants in order to grow my own herbs in the future. Growing my own herbs and food will reduce waste because I won’t be using any packaging, and it will reduce transportation waste as well. However, I need to learn the basics, first, so getting my own potted plant will be a way to start.

If anybody has any suggestions in what plant I should get, please tell me.

Diary entries

Day 20: Big Bloody Milestone!

I made a big step in my zero waste transition: I ordered my first set of cloth period pads today! After reading about and reflecting on the wastefulness of commercially produced cotton pads, I took the leap and finally bought a more sustainable option. Also, disposable cotton pads are smelly and gross, and have given me infections more than once in my life. Hopefully I won’t have to experience that again with cotton pads.

I bought my pads from Lunapads, and decided to settle on the basic starter kit. I am on birth control, so my periods are generally very short (usually between 3-7 days depending on the month). I don’t think I need that many pads, and the kit comes with liners to switch out anyway. Plus, you really only need to wash the pads every 2 days, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. If I need to buy anymore pads, I can always order them individually.

The pads will come in a week, and my period doesn’t start until the 2nd week of June, so I will (hopefully) have a review soon!

Diary entries

Day 19: Why are loose leaf teas much more expensive?

I was shopping at David’s Tea the other day and was quite surprised by how much more expensive loose leaf teas are in comparison with their bagged counterparts in the supermarket. I wonder why that is so. Shouldn’t it be cheaper since it cuts down on packaging and production costs? Or is it expensive because it’s becoming the new hip thing to buy? If anyone has answers please comment down below.

On the other hand, I highly recommend the North African Mint tea from David’s Tea. It’s fragrant and so tasty!