Decluttering Round 1

I always have a cluttering problem. I am a shopaholic and I like buying things. That’s not the end of it. I like to hold on to things. So a few years ago, my sister moved out so I had a room to myself! I started buying, organising, decluttering…. etc I could never keep my room in tidy. I just keep accumulate things and every attempt to declutter kinda fail. I do throw away things but it was only less than 10 pieces each time.  I always have a new shopping site to visit and is always buying things. I know I have way too much bags but I just couldn’t resist getting one once in a while.

I finally found a solution to my problem. I have been reading this book written by a Japanese lady,Yamashita Hideko who invented a method called “Danshari”. I am not sure about other decluttering books but this is the most useful book I ever read!

I extract the information from http://www.missminimalist.com/2011/08/minimalism-around-the-world-danshari/

断 dan – to refuse
This part is about being a good gatekeeper, and stopping the inflow of stuff into your home. How to put this into action?
* Practice minsumerism
* Seek alternatives to gifts
* Eliminate your junk mail
* Refuse freebies
* Engage in consumer disobedience

捨 sha – to throw away
Here we get down to the brass tacks of decluttering: eliminating all unnecessary items from your life. Some ways to do this:
* Purge at least one item each day
* Let go of heirlooms and sentimental stuff
* Pare down your wardrobe
* Streamline your kitchen
* Donate your castoffs to charity

離 ri – to separate
The final part involves cultivating a sense of nonattachment to your possessions. To achieve this, try the following:
* Break up with your stuff
* Realize you are not what you own
* Embrace the concept of enough
* Cherish space over stuff
* Live like a butterfly

The website have some guides which I am going to read when I am done with this book. 🙂

I think the most important concept from the book is you are the subject of decluttering not the objects itself! You must understand if the objects suit you and only keep things that you will use (in the present situation). No point holding on to objects if they are going to be sitting around in your cupboard for years. Think you have only seven days and how much times you really spend with these objects? For e.g. work clothes. I have only 5 days of work. So I only need 5 sets of clothes!  Why I do need so much pairs of skirts? In the past, each time I tried decluttering I throw away foods, expired skin care products, make up that I bought but never get around to use. I keep thinking why this keep happening? Now I know. I have just too many things and never get around to really use them that much. I should only keep things I would use and the rest will need to go. I keep thinking my room is not organise so I can’t concentrate. But the problem lies with my lifestyle not the organisation itself.

Anyway I read a few pages and started decluttering my wardrobe. I achieved much better result!
I found the problems with my wardrobe:
– I keep out-of-style clothes thinking I might wear someday.
– I was unwilling to let go of unworn new clothes since it is such a waste!
– I bought some clothes online and don’t really like it (differences from the picture) but I don’t throw it away as it is such a waste of money.
– I keep too much old tees thinking I would just wear it at home (who really cares what I wore at home right).
– I cannot throw away brand stuffs (e.g. an Adidas tee) as it is such a waste of money.

But I keep telling myself to let go based on the concept and I successfully clear some clothes. The result is satisfying 🙂 But I am definitely not done with my wardrobe yet. I probably need to go for a second or third round as I am still having so much clothes. I have like 4 or 5 black tank top. I should get rid of the others and keep only 1!

After reading about half the book, I decided to spend majority of my weekend doing a general decluttering for room. The result was again satisfying! I could feel myself feeling “lighter” as I throw away stuffs.

Again, here’s are some of my problems:
– I was kinda into art and craft even though I am lousy at it. I am just not talented for it. As a result of liking it, I bought supplies of craft things which I never use. I haven’t actually get rid much of it but I would be doing it in my second round.
– I keep stationary – Pens, Pencils, Papers etc. I keep pencils even though I no longer use them. I finally keep only one nice pencil from MUJI. After throwing the rest, my pen holder seems neater. I keep lots of paperclips just in case I need them. I throw away half and it save so much space! I have one whole stacks of old papers which my sister left behind. They are still good for writing so I kinda don’t want to throw them away before! I keep old notebooks which I have not finish writing but at the same time, I buy a lot of notebooks. So I told myself why am I keeping them? I could never finish and my notebooks just keep accumulating. I have stopped the flow of notebook supplies but I think I still need to cut down!
– I hold on to sentimental things such as gift! When I received a gift, I never throw away even though it might be unsuitable for me. I started throwing away some and I would continue to throw away if I come across any.
– I received a lot of freebies (from purchasing online) and I keep them since they are free anyway. But I think I need to start rejecting and throw away.
– I buy some necessities in bulk such as tissue and feel uncomfortable when it is running low. I think I would need to wait until it is actually running low.
– I buy some other stuffs in bulk. I buy a lot of iPhone covers because they are so cheap and I like changing them every now and then. But seriously, do I get to use every single one of them?
– I am usually attracted to discount and buy more even though I only need one. I would need to learn to ignore this. This is a very important as it always happen when I shop online. E.g. Buy 3 and get 1 free. The shipping cost is also divided among 4 instead of 1. The cost price of each product is therefore cheaper.
– I never throw away books as I feel like I am throwing opportunity to learn. I threw away all my textbooks since we are in the 21st century. Welcome to the internet! I don’t plan to throw away other books but I am already cutting down the purchases by switching to e-Books.
– Bag is also another things that I seldom throw away. I just keep old ones and keep buying. I changes bags often as I like my bags to match with what I am wearing. But I just keep buying. I am going to stop buying but I am also trying to get rid of my bags. I have throw away some but I might need to throw away more.
– Again, I have a problem in new things. I cannot throw away something which is still in their shrink-wrap!

I will continue reading and try to declutter a second round 🙂 I am looking forward to a new change in lifestyle!

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smartwatch

I was not even thinking about getting a smartwatch until I read the new article in Digital Life. And I got interested to get one.
I am still trying to figure the whole idea of such watch but I am so attracted to the fact that it notifies you when you recieve calls or text on your cellphone. This is something I kinda want. So I just made an impulse buy for a Pebble Steel. I was not keen on Pebble Steel at first as it comes with a leather strap but the original Pebble look a bit informal. But I decided to go for it anyway since I would be using it everyday. It would probably match better with my work clothes. I could have wait for the new Apple Watch since I am a owner of so many Apple products but since its Apple product, it would be expensive!

I hope it will ship out soon!

Kickstarter project – Z-Charge

Okay I backed a few projects and Z-Charge was the only one that send me a personalise message haha.

So i am going to do a post on them? 😛 Of course not! This is because of the great product I would be getting as they are funded! yay!

I don’t know about you – But I absolutely cannot leave my house if my cellphone and tablet are not fully charged. I know there is portable charger (I got one that cost like $60 or something!) and stuffs but I don’t like to rely on them as much! And if I have portable charger with me, I still want my devices to be fully charged as well. How obsessed I am with this? I leave my office everyday with 100% fully charged on my iPhone and iPad Mini.

Furthermore I have so much devices. I have an iPhone 5S, iPad Mini, iPod Nano, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7! I do have a lot of plugs at home haha but it is impossible to charge them at the same time. So when there is an emergency that I requires me to leave my house…. this would be good as I can charge all my devices at the same time.

Also, my plug are kinda far from my bed which is bad if my devices are running out of battery and I just want to lie in bed.

Lastly, recently, I started my day… by lying in bed and read news. Having the device at the side of the bed would be good as I do not have to get up and walk to my table. My room configuration is really bad so I do not have the space to place an coffee table. The would really help 🙂

I need to kick…

I am officially addicted to Kickstarter!

I joined kickstarter a long time ago (back in 2012) but never really look at the website. One of the online shop/subscription box thingy that I had a mailing list with – Popbasic started a project on Kickstarter which bring me to Kickstarter. After considering it for 2 hours, I decided to fund the project as I couldn’t resist nice shirt and strawberry print. I was hesitating at first as the shirts are going to be manufactured in China. I thought hey I could have get a better price in taobao or something. But it turns out that not many sellers are selling quality silk blouse. So I joined the funding for the project

After funding this, I look around for more project to fund! I am now funding like 6 projects and I visit every day… This is bad….

Anyway, I love kickstarter. It is a great site to discover unique stuffs, brands or independent label. This is what I have been looking for!

 

Courier service

Dragonlink, a local courier company was in the headline recently for not meeting delivery. They have too way many parcels and couldn’t deliver in time. I guess they couldn’t deliver due to lack of staffs? A customer  was asked to dig through their mountains of undelivered parcels to find her own parcel as she needs it urgently.

She purchased it from Taobao – China’s online marketplace where you can get anything from handphone accessories to furniture. Apparently she did pay a bit for air shipping so this is not the kind of service that we should be expecting from courier.

Being an crazy online shopper, I do shop from Taobao very often. In fact,  most of my iPhone’s covers are from taobao as they are cheap and lightweight so the shipping will not cost alot. A basic silicon cover might cost just USD3 with air  shipping which is much cheaper than shops. But I do not buy from taobao directly. I would use an agent to help me. They will purchase, receive and deliver for a fee. I do know that buying direct is much cheaper as you do not have to pay to get someone to handle your purchase. But here’s why I do that:
1) I buy from different sellers most of the times. It is really a headache to purchase individually. I don’t have the free time to do that 🙂 Furthermore, some items might be on pre-order. which means the goods are not ready yet. So you will have to follow up after a few days etc. All these take times. For me, I would rather pay a small fee and someone will handle for me.
2) Using an agent will also allow you to consolidate different purchases from the different sellers and ship under one big parcel. This would mean huge savings as it is always much cost effective to ship out a bigger parcel than a small parcel.
3) The agent will also help to inspect the goods and repack them if you want to! This would save shipping cost. E.g. I always request them to remove shoebox as they are not necessary. They will help to manage damage goods as it is easier and cheaper to send back to them in china.
4) Lastly, if any shipment is delayed. You can just refer to the agent. My agent have good partnership with their logistic partners so my shipments are seldom delayed. Even it is, it is usually only 1-2 days late. Which eliminates the problem which was faced by customer who uses dragonlink.

In fact, They have done such a great job that I wouldn’t want to stop using them! For a minor extra fee, i would get a peace of mind and save a lot of times 🙂

I do also have my fair share of terrible experiences with courier. Recently I came across a courier but unfortunately I did not managed to find out the courier company so I couldn’t log any complaint. What happened was… The courier called me and I appreciated that. But he asked if he can leave my parcel in the shoe racks outside since nobody is at home. Firstly, WHAT? If I wanted you to leave my parcel in my shoe rack, why would I pay for the courier (okay maybe I didn’t actually pay for it as some sellers gave free courier if you spend 40bucks like that). The point is I rather it ended up where it should be – the mailbox. So why would I need to pay for such service? Secondly, a shoe rack is a shoe rack. I am particular about my shoes. I never leave those…nice ones outside. So you can imagine what kind of shoes is out there… and no thanks, I do not want anything to be mixed with it even though its all wrapped up. Thirdly, I have nice neighbours. But who knows right? So, I told the courier NO and he can come back another time.

Another bad experience I had was with UPS… when Amazon first started the direct shipping service. They have improved since! You wouldn’t know which courier would be assigned to deliver your parcel. Unfortunately one of my parcels got assigned to UPS. They delivered and as usual, nobody was at home and my parcel was re-deliver to an retail outlet of a certain local tonic brand. I had to take 2 bus just to get there! Of course I was very unhappy. Well, I know it is free shipping but I rather that they ended up in our local post office. At least I do not have to take bus. So after getting my parcel, I did what most people would do.. I complained to Amazon! and told them to use iParcel for all my future shipments. iParcel is handled by my local post and I will be able to collect from my nearest Post Office if I missed the delivery. I think a lot of people complained too. Because a few weeks ago, I have another parcel handling by UPS. So I called them up to make sure someone is at home this time and the CS told me that they have changed their agreement with Amazon. They would delivered and leave a note if nobody is at home and they will redeliver after you called to arrange a timing. I hope they keep up this way! because this is the basic kind of service I am expecting from a courier.

 

Strictly no meet-up!

Okay so I have been trying to sell a few things using an app called Carousell. It’s an app that allows you to post listing by uploading photos from your cellphone directly hence its really convenience!

But I have no sales yet. Because everyone want to meet-up! Or self-collection… which is actually an meet-up as you got to arrange a timing etc. The only differences is that person is going to come by at a place which is convenience to you 😦

Yes,  Singapore is super small so its much convenience to meet-up. In fact, it takes less than 2 hours to get from the East to the West! It is also somehow faster as it will takes 2-3 days to get it posted. But this is just not the way I deal! Honestly? I prefer not to sell anything if you only want to meet-up. Yes I am not “desperate” to sell. So why should I accommodate to your request? Something in which I am not comfortable with. Period.

I hate meet-up with stranger!

Firstly, you got to arrange a timing and venue. This might not be a difficult job. But honestly it just takes so much work and effort to get it done. It is not really something I need to do. So why should I? And contacting stranger via cellphone and all. I may be a little bit paranoid… but the idea of revealing your personal contact number to a stranger is… kinda….  Well, maybe a lot of people don’t mind doing that. But I just don’t like it and you can’t blame someone for being too careful. And I am a very private person. I don’t like revealing too much about myself if I don’t need to!

Finally a time and venue is set after much effort and negotiating.  9 meet-ups out of 10 involves someone being a bit, kinda, a lot, very or super late. Well, 1 min is 1 min. Time is precious. I hate wasting time although I have wasted a lot during my own private time. But I hate people wasting my time. And I haven’t even mention about people who do not turn up due to “forget”, “have last min meeting” etc. If you a friend, I can forgive you and we will be friend again. But if you are a total stranger, why should my precious time being wasted on this? I know it is just something that might happen. But I just don’t want risk it! And the worse nightmare? Another meet-up has to be arranged!

Lastly we are not doing speed dating or blind date. Meeting stranger is just no no no. I will only meet with someone that I am comfortable with.

I think ultimately I just don’t like it when my time is being wasted and there is interruption to my schedule. I don’t mind sacrificing personal time for something that really benefits me like a job, a personal development course etc. But I am not doing this as a job. I am not a salesman. I am just clearing things that I am not really using. If i don’t sell it, so what… I will just give it to a friend. It is afterall a personal choice. Whether I want it or not. it is entirely up to me. I may be a bit foolish for keeping to this principle when more and more people are adopting to the new way of “dealing”. But if it’s not something I am comfortable with. I will not change my principle! So if you meet someone like me on carousell, please just opt for postage. thank you.

Online Purchases #1

So occasionally, I think I will write a post on my online purchases =)

1. Marvel Kawaii Collection Bedsheets and Cushion:
So I saw these on qoo10 so I thought they are so cute! I am actually not quite a big fan of Marvel. But I wanted to get as a gift! Well I couldn’t resist getting a couple of things for myself. Even though I have two cushions at my room, I decided to get it anyway. I got two sets of bed sheet also. I will probably put up only next year. New year = new bed sheet =) I got a free eco bag for purchases over $50 or $60 (couldn’t remember!). It is a cute bag with all the kawaii prints of the character. There is a zip also which is cool as most eco bag do not have zip!

2. Office bag in wine red:
I was eyeing for this for a while. I didn’t get it because it look more like a bag for guy? even though the description stated “unisex”. But anyway I decided to bought it when I saw it on time-sales which means I got $5 off! It was really worth it! So I bought it…in my favourite Wine Red colour. Wine Red is risky colour to choose when purchasing things online… when the colour get a-bit off, it turns out to be either Red or Maroon. Well, I don’t really mind Maroon. But I don’t want Red when I purchased Wine Red. anyway, it turns out to be a perfectly fine colour =)

Its very roomy and can fit all the stuffs I wanted to take with me to work. It is slightly bigger than A4 so I think it would fit laptop too! The handle is too short to be carried on the shoulder but it has an extra strap. The extra strap is perfect for carrying over with the shoulder. I like the material as it is canvas which means it probably can last a good while. I haven’t start using this yet but I am sure it would be a great everyday work bag for me.

3. Dry Eraser board
My mind is always occupied with “To-do” and I like scheduling things and writing thoughts in my mind. I thought of getting a whiteboard but its just too costly. So I got this rollup dry eraser/whiteboard from aliexpress. It is actually much cheaper than the retail shop. Now I just need a board for backing before I could put this up.

4. American Apparel
I got this special discount code from AA a couple of weeks ago for being their online customer for 7 years. It was 30% which is a very good deal as they normally give only 20%. I couldn’t ignore it . So I bought two items with the discount code:

I got a jean baby doll dress and a high waist cotton skirt in rose flower. The jean baby doll dress is pretty but unfortunately the cutting at the side is abit too loose for me. I thought of putting on a belt but it would look so awkward so I am getting a white cardigan to cover the side. I might keep this for lunar new year. The high waist cotton skirt is what I have eyeing since forever! I have been looking at it since they release the print. It was too costly  before but with the discount code, I am getting 10bucks off! Initially I thought the skirt would be very sheer but it is perfect without any inner layer 🙂

5. Google Nexus 7 Screen Protector
Recently my Android phone sort of became unresponsive, so I decided to get a Nexus 7. I could have waited for the latest Nexus but then I already have a iPad Mini so I don’t need a really fabulous tablet. I just need a tablet/cellphone with an Android system. It came with a case but not a screen-protector. Since I don’t take my Nexus out with me. I purchased it on aliexpress (with slow shipping). I was happy to finally receive it. But very pissed off that the seller send me a dented package!

Aliexpress have this dispute function which I usually don’t care for as they are too much of a hassle. But I have filed an dispute for this particular order! I cannot accept a dent screen-protector since it won’t be able to function! Hopefully the seller is willing to do something about it. Otherwise I have to purchase from another seller and wait again.