Category #3: Papers

One of N’s bosses, her husband has tested positive ๐Ÿ˜” So now her and the kids have been shipped off to quarantine. This is exactly what I was talking about yesterday and how I didn’t want this to happen to us! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ So now their whole team has been asked to work from home for the next few weeks. Greeeat. N doesn’t like working from home. The connection isn’t very fast, and he only has one monitor at home. Plus he’s in a lot of meetings, so if I want to film any videos, I have to go set up in the bedroom and close all the doors so that his voice doesn’t get picked up in the audio. Plus he just makes noise, like any person does, which, again, isn’t great when all the noise is picked up by the mic! And then sometimes I’m teaching while he’s in a meeting, so he has to walk off to take his call in a different room. So yeah, it’s not the ideal work situation for both of us. But given all the cases at the moment in the area, I’d still rather that he stay home.

N started cleaning out his closet today, which inspired me to start cleaning out all the papers in the study! I got through some, but there is still quite a fair bit to get through. I’m guessing I’m about halfway through – and that’s after tidying up for around 3.5 hours today! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ And that’s just papers. I still have other miscellaneous items to sort through. Not just in the study but everywhere in the house. Sighhhโ€ฆ I don’t know if I’m going to get through it all in 8 weeks! That seems really ambitiousโ€ฆ But I’ll just keep pushing through and just do whatever I can in that timeframe. Much like my 30-day splits challenge, I never actually made it to the full splits at the end of the 30 days, but I ended up with a new daily habit. And maybe this 8-week challenge will be similar. If that’s the case, then I’ll be happy ๐Ÿ˜Š

Category #2: Books! ๐Ÿ“š

I read the ‘how to tidy up your books’ section in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. And in case you’re wondering if you should read both books, I would say no. The latter has how-to drawings (and the first one doesn’t), but I don’t think it gives you any more insight into the theory than the first book. And her videos on YouTube will give you better instructions than the drawings anyway.

And also, just a heads up, her book is also very touchy-feely. In fact, I think her whole approach is very touchy-feely. So if you’re not like this and want practical tips on how to tidy your home, then this book ain’t for you. You’re not going to get much of that from her! ๐Ÿ˜†

The book ‘Outer Order, Inner Calm‘ is on my to-read list, and I think this would have more practical tips, if this is more your style.

But this 8-week challenge is all about Marie Kondo’s approach – the KonMari method – and I’m going to give it my very best. I wonder just how effective this will be after 8 weeks, and whether I will indeed stay nice and tidy, and not relapse and go back to my old ways.

I actually don’t have many paper books, so this category is actually really easy. It’s the next few categories that I am going to really struggle with, in particular, papers and hobbies. These are really difficult categories for me to tackle. And I’m sure a few other miscellaneous categories are also going to be pretty hard. And I’m already dreading getting to the final category: sentimental items! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

My Friday reality and weekend expectations

I felt better today, thankfully, almost back to my normal self again ๐Ÿ™

N went to a workmate’s place for dinner tonight, so I just stayed home and filmed my next YouTube video ๐Ÿ˜† And then I watched YouTube videos on how to level up my colour grading skills. Not quite how one would usually spend a Friday evening, but such is my life now! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I think the weather also isn’t helping my mood or my productivity. It’s been foggy and overcast the last few days, with the threat of a shower actually delivering the goods once or twice. But generally, it’s just been grey and miserable. And apparently the weekend is pretty much bringing more of the same ๐Ÿ˜’ So neither of us really want to do anything tomorrow. How blah. So I might just stay home and start working on my 8-week tidying up challenge. OK, not start, since technically I started it last week, but continue. And get started on the next category: books ๐Ÿ“š

My closet has been great, by the way. Everything has a home (or a temporary home, while they wait for their permanent home – ie I need to go shopping ๐Ÿ˜Š), and I put everything back in its rightful place at the end of each day. I want the same thing with everything else in the house! So if I can achieve that with my books this weekend, that would be so awesome ๐Ÿ˜Š

Category #1: Clothes

I did it. I cleaned out my wardrobe, OMG. Iโ€™m so proud of my effort today ๐Ÿ‘ I felt like I was really ruthless, and got rid of sooo much stuff. I actually could have gotten rid of even more stuff, but instead, I decided to keep a few things and just go shopping to look for things that can replace them with stuff that I actually do like.

Part of my wardrobe – woohoo ! ๐ŸŽ‰

I need some storage containers, so I’ll have to head over to IKEA sometime (or maybe Muji) and look for some possible solutions.

Man, I’m loving my wardrobe right now! ๐Ÿ˜

Next stop: books! But perhaps I’ll leave that for another weekend ๐Ÿ˜† There is still a lot of work to do in the house (a LOT! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ), but I’m going to tackle it one category at a time. I have eight weeks ๐Ÿ˜†

My new challenge

I didn’t have the most productive day today. I just wasn’t in the right headspace ๐Ÿ˜” I really wanted to do more stuff, but I just didn’t have the willpower. Sighhh…

N and I were also hearing negativity around us, which didn’t help matters. Sighhh… This is one of many reasons why I don’t like giving out negativity into the universe. If someone is already down, you’re just going to compound that feeling and make them feel worse. I don’t want to be a source of negativity. I want to be a source of inspiration, of motivation. But I, too, have down days, so it’s not always easy. But I try ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m thinking of doing this 8-week decluttering challenge set by Marie Kondo. It’s a tad longer than my 30-day splits challenge, but I’m sure she made the daily tasks bite-size and totally doable. Plus week one sounds really fun and easy ๐Ÿ˜† I totally go into these decluttering sessions with guns blazing, but then six months later, I fall back into my old habits, and the house looks almost exactly the same as it did before I did the decluttering session ๐Ÿ˜” I say ‘almost’ because I do improve incrementally each time. But it’s never as neat and tidy as straight after the decluttering session. So if I do a full-on 8-week deep dive, then maybe I can actually change my habits during those 8 weeks and actually see long-lasting results. Maybe… ๐Ÿคž

And as per my one-word theme for the year, you may as well just do it and see what happens! Much like my 30-day splits challenge, sure I didn’t get all the way down to the floor, but I’m so much closer to the floor now than I’ve ever been my entire life. And now that I have a new daily stretching habit, I may actually eventually reach this goal too! But I won’t know unless I keep stretching every day and keep pushing myself. I’m definitely going to keep tracking this goal and see where I am at the end of 90 days, and then after 180 days – a whole half year of stretching! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Much like so many things in life, if you just keep working at it consistently, more often than not, you will see progress. That’s what I’m hoping for with these stretches and with this 8-week challenge ๐Ÿ˜Š

On the hunt for a few apps

We went to one of N’s workmate’s places for lunch today. A few others came over as well, and they all played mahjong. I don’t really know how to play. My knowledge of mahjong is just as good as my knowledge of poker – ie very little! ๐Ÿ˜† So I just watched on the sidelines, asking questions and trying to figure out the rules of the game. I want to learn how to play both, but mahjong requires a whole kit: the tiles and all the other bits and bobs, as well as an actual table. I wonder if there’s an app where I can just learn to play on my phone, and I don’t have to actually bet any real money (yet?? ๐Ÿ˜œ). And same with poker. I’ll be trying out a few different apps tonight! ๐Ÿ˜Š

And then I watched the men’s singles final at the Australian Open. It was too quick a match, unfortunately, but it was still great to watch. It’s not as easy as just turning on the TV and having it on free-to-air TV like in Sydney, so at least I didn’t put my life on hold for two weeks just to watch tennis ๐Ÿ˜† So I only watched the odd game this year. But at least I could still watch it at home here in HK without having to go find a sports bar that’s playing it on one of their TVs ๐Ÿ‘

But my one and only project for this weekend never happened: my closet was not touched ๐Ÿ˜” Maybe next weekend.

Not quite what I had planned…

I had planned on cleaning out my closet today, doing a really good decluttering. But that didnโ€™t happen. At all. I didnโ€™t even start ๐Ÿคฃ I only had one thing that I wanted to do today, and I really shouldโ€™ve started with that before doing anything else – ie before plonking myself down on the couch!

So it ended up being a lazy day โ˜บ๏ธ We watched:

I also did my stretches. Iโ€™ve actually finished my 30-day splits challenge, Iโ€™m not sure if Iโ€™ve told you. But Iโ€™m still continuing with the stretches, wondering if I will ever get down to the floor one day. Like with my YouTube channel, I donโ€™t know if Iโ€™ll actually achieve what Iโ€™d like to, the only thing I can control is to try my best to achieve it. And I just have to keep showing up and hope that one day, the results will speak for themselves ๐Ÿ˜Š

Good work! ๐Ÿ‘

Iโ€™ve been using all the samples that the cosmetics companies give me whenever I buy their full-sized products. I usually save the samples for when I travel because theyโ€™re just the perfect size. But since travel is pretty much not happening this year, and possibly even some or all of next year too, I figured I may as well just use then up now, rather than let them gather dust for at least another year ๐Ÿ˜”

Itโ€™s been great! Iโ€™m using up a ton of samples and therefore clearing clutter; and also saving money because I donโ€™t need to buy any of the full-sized products until I finish all the samples ๐Ÿ‘ Two birds! ๐Ÿฆ…๐Ÿฆ… hehehe

I also drafted up my complaint letter to HSBC, which is great. I canโ€™t believe I managed to draft the letter. I knew that if I didnโ€™t write it up this weekend, it probably would never get written. But here we are. All done. Iโ€™ll get N to quickly review it, see if thereโ€™s anything that heโ€™d add, and then Iโ€™ll send it off tomorrow. Good work, me! โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘

Minimalist aspirations

I started getting really frustrated with all the crap in the study today. Iโ€™ve been frustrated for a while now, but it seemed to boil over today. I use the study as a dumping ground for anything paper related, so all books, notebooks, receipts, manuals etc get shoved into this room. And, of course, I donโ€™t keep it neat and organised. If i did, I wouldnโ€™t have this issue! ๐Ÿ˜†

I have different piles everywhere, with no logic to any of the files. And lately, these different piles have started to get really annoying. And when my level of annoyance gets high enough, it spurs me into action ๐Ÿ˜‚ So I have vowed to spend a few hours this weekend to tidy up this damn room.

I also have this minimalist ideal that I have in my head, so I feel like anything less than this is just a poor attempt at keeping this room neat and tidy. We have friends whose house literally looks like no one lives there, as if itโ€™s permanently on the market for sale – and they have two boys under the age of ten! So theyโ€™ve given me this unrealistic standard that I constantly try and live up to. I probably canโ€™t achieve their standard, but itโ€™s something that I always aspire to ๐Ÿ˜Š If they can do it with two boys under the age of ten, then why canโ€™t I?!? ๐Ÿ˜œ

My other problem is that I donโ€™t have good storage solutions for this room, which makes it even harder to tidy up. I started looking at ideas on Pinterest today, but nothing has really stood out for me as a solution that could even potentially work for me ๐Ÿ˜’

But first things first, I need to purge. Get rid of whatever stuff I donโ€™t need anymore. And I need to be ruthless. I need to summon our friendsโ€™ minimalist tendencies ๐Ÿ˜† Iโ€™m feeling pumped (and frustrated!), so hopefully I will still feel this motivated when the weekend arrives. All the crap around me will probably keep my frustration levels high, so I should still feel the same way by the weekend – if not even more so, as the piles will have continued to annoy me throughout the week! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Decluttering during this current outbreak situation

My one-word theme for today was โ€˜homeโ€™. N did a ton of decluttering yesterday, and I felt like I didnโ€™t pull my weight with him, so I thought Iโ€™d make up for it today. And I did! I was quite proud of my effort ๐Ÿ‘ Thereโ€™s still a ton of stuff to get through, but Iโ€™m slowly making my way through it.

Iโ€™m also decluttering my emails. I literally have thousands of emails to get through ๐Ÿ™„ But I can handle electronic clutter a little bit better than physical clutter because I am literally surrounded by the latter. I canโ€™t not see it. Nonetheless, Iโ€™m working my way through both types, and it feels so liberating! I absolutely love it. So moving forward, I really would like to stay on top of the clutter, and make sure it doesnโ€™t get out of hand. Easier said than done, of course ๐Ÿ˜’

And one area in the house that is really bothering me is the study! It looks like a bomb has gone off in there ๐Ÿ˜ค So Iโ€™d like to slowly make my way through all the stuff in that room and hopefully get it looking semi-decent this weekend. And since Iโ€™m avoiding going out at the moment because of this current outbreak situation, I should hopefully be able to get through it ๐Ÿคž

The numbers in HK jumped up overnight, with 10 people from the one family gathering infected. Faaantastic. So now HK is up to 39. But that number actually pales in comparison to the number in Shenzhen, a nearby city on the mainland, where the number of cases is currently at 369 ๐Ÿ˜ฑ with 56 people recovered. Shenzhen has a population of over 12 million people, so even based on population size, 369 cases is still a much larger proportion than that in HK. Nonetheless, 39 or 369, a case is a case, and they all add to the overall numbers ๐Ÿ˜”