Being Content Equals No Content

It’s been so long since I posted or even logged into this blog. I thought back to why I started this website a year ago. I was in a totally different place. An admittedly unhappy place. Doing 30 Day Challenges was to help me get out of my rut.

Good news: it worked.
Bad news: I’m a horrible blogger.

30 Day Challenge Accepted

A year ago, I wrote about how I needed to discover something – anything – about myself. At 35 years old, I hadn’t figured out what made me special.  Have I figured it out? Not really, but I’m very happy with where I am.  I’m content. But as a result, I have no content to blog because I’ve been busy enjoying life and have no motivation to do a 30 Day Challenge.

A quick update is that I landed my dream job. I have the balance of office-life and home-life that I knew existed for the type of working mom I want to be. I’m happy.

But, there’s always room for self-discovery and improvement so I hope to find a 30 Day Challenge to motivate to me continue blogging. Recommendations?

DECLUTTER: Day 16-18 of 30 – This is a Disaster

This is a Disaster

The next days’ tasks were just like the previous ones – not challenging.

Day 16 “Cupboard with pots & pans”
Total Time: 3 minutes. Total items donated: 0

I love having my pots and pots drawers right under my range. It’s easy access.


30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
BEFORE / AFTER – PANS
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
BEFORE / AFTER – POTS
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 17 “DVDs”
Total Time: 0 minutes
what are DVDs? Kidding, not kidding.

and…

CHALLENGE: DECLUTTER – ✖️ INCOMPLETE

 

What Happened?

  • My clutter didn’t need as much decluttering as I anticipated
  • These posts required photos. I’m not not a photo-person. Mostly because I like to keep my private life private. But I hope you enjoyed some sneak peeks of my home.
  • There was nothing exciting to report. How much can I write about reorganizing my already organized closets?
  • I have to be in a zone to clean. Forcing myself to tackle a small part of my closet was inefficient. I’d rather spend hours and clean the whole house; music blasting with the kids out of my way.

DECLUTTER: Day 13-15 of 30 – Clean Kitchen

Clean Kitchen

Just as with days 10-12, I completed the below over a month ago but just now getting around to posting it. You’ll find out why in the next post…

Day 13 “Under Kitchen Sink”
Total Time: 5 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

BEFORE / AFTER
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Day 14 “Utensil Drawer”
Total Time: 4 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

BEFORE / AFTER
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Day 15 “Cupboard with bakeware”
Total Time: 5 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
 

Truth is, I did all the above in one night and completed it in exactly 15 minutes. I don’t cook much in the kitchen, but my mom does and it forces me to keep the space in order.

DECLUTTER: Day 10-12 of 30 – … One Month Later

…One Month Later

This was done more than a month ago, but I never got around to posting it.

Day 10 “Mud Room / Closet”
Total Time: 30 minutes. Total items for donation: I don’t remember. 

take 1 – I’m lazy.
take 2 – I don’t have a mud room, but I think our main closet serves that purpose. As an asian family, we don’t wear shoes around the house so with the entry way closet, I made sure to build max out on shoe storage. I laughed that I ended up allotting more shelves for my husband than myself.

BEFORE / AFTER
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BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 11 “Shoes (in bedroom closets & entryway closet)”
Total Time: 15 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

take 1 – I’m lazy, again.
take 2 – Since I did the entry way already, today I focused back at the master closet and my hidden shoes. Mostly heels I buy and never wear, but they’re so pretty to look at.

BEFORE  /  AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter   30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter   30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 12 “Desk”
Total Time: 20 minutes. Total items for donation:  a lot of garbage

I decided to focus on my make-up desk for this task.

BEFORE/AFTER

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
STORAGE
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
MORE STORAGE
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

DECLUTTER: Day 7-9 of 30 – Beating the Clock

Beating the Clock

Although I skipped a few days, on the days I finally did Day 7, 8 and 9 of the 30 Day 30 Minute Declutter Challenge, I completed each task in less than 30 minutes!

Day 7 – “Medicine Cupboards”
Total Time: 13 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

Our medicine cabinet is in our 1/2-bathroom and it’s filled with completely random stuff, and mostly gauze pads. Don’t ask.

BEFORE / AFTER
 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 8 – “2nd Bathroom”
take 1… i’m lazy
take 2… i’m still lazy
take 3… Total Time: 20 minutes. Total items for donation: 1

This is our kid’s bathroom. My goal is to keep the tub area clutter-free and prevent it from being an eye-sore, which is a huge task with the amount of bath toys, but from this photo you can see I’ve been successful. (They’re all in a big hidden between the toilet and the tub.)

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Same for their linen closet. It’s pretty bare.

BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

The kid’s vanity however, is another issue.  Most of those drawers are empty, except for two designated for my mom. And the cabinet above hasn’t been looked at all, so there were items from when my kids were infants. The one item for donation is a tub of Desitin!

BEFORE / AFTER
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30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter  

Day 9 – “Laundry Room”
Total Time: 11 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

This took me longer than I thought it would. The pile that’s collected in our Laundry Room (which is more a closet) are things that just needed to be put away in our guest room.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

DECLUTTER: Day 4-6 of 30 – Cleaners Remorse

Cleaners Remorse

Cleaning my own space is fine. I actually enjoy it. Call me Monica Geller. So, Day 4 and 5 went smooth.  Then I went off-track and cleaned a dreaded space not on the 30 Day Declutter Challenge list… my daughter’s bedroom.  Between the Shopkins and 101 gel pens, I regretted it as soon as we started.

Day 4 – “Bedroom Nightstands”
Total Time: 20 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

Yes, please! Such an eyesore that needed attention.

BEFORE / AFTER

 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Let’s take a look inside. (Anyone else an Ipsy subscriber?)

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 5 – “Bathroom Drawers & Shower”
Total Time: 40 minutes. Total items for donation: 0

Shower is pretty bare as it is. The wall shelf is mine and I use every single thing.  The stuff on the floor is my husband and kids and only one bottle was empty. Same for my side of our dual-vanity sink.

BEFORE / AFTER
 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
BEFORE / AFTER

However, my collection of hotel toiletries and miscellaneous goodies is a mess.  It took some time to figure out what was expired, and then to reorganize under the sink and the drawers.

 

Day 6 – “Linen Closet”
Attempt 1 – Skipped

I don’t have a linen closet and the spaces were we do kept our linens are minimal. I have a pretty simple system for our master bathroom… I buy everything in white. It sounds a bit like a sterile hospital, but it helps streamline making our bed (not having to find matching sets).  The kids have the colorful towels and their bedsheets are neutral colors that can be mixed and matched. I find buying bedsheets a boring ordeal, so our inventory is already minimal.

Attempt 2 – My daughter’s entire bedroom
Total Time: 5 hours!!!!  Total items for donation: an entire bag of little toys

WHY?! Why did I decide to lose my entire Sunday to helping my almost-7-year-old clean her room and then kick her out so I could just throw things out without her showing me signs of being a hoarder. Since I went into this unplanned I don’t have Before photos, but here are After photos.

IKEA hacked corner desk
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter
Future purse/shoe closet. For now… home for all her toys.
Reminders (white board wall decal)
 
Decluttered! 

DECLUTTER: Day 1-3 of 30 – I’m Clean!

I’m Clean!

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of decluttering.  By picking a challenge defined as “30 minutes a day”, I felt a lot of pressure taken off myself.  Days 1, 2 and 3 were spent in my Master Closet where I expected I’d need to focus much of my energy, however it ends up I’m cleaner than I thought and the process was quick and painless.

Day 1 – “Bedroom Dresser”
Total Time: 45 minutes. Total Items for Donation: 3 bags.

Keep in mind that my master walk-in is a shared closet with my husband.  My side is the left, his the right.  And despite a short-term career folding clothes at The GAP when he was a teenager, he usually leaves his clothes on the floor.

BEFORE / AFTER
30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter 

Here’s a peak inside my drawers.  Have you read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo? I haven’t, but I did watch YouTube videos and have found her folding method very useful and especially efficient when getting dressed – it’s nice to see every item in your drawer.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 2 – “Bedroom Closet – Hanging Clothes”
Total Time: 20 minutes . Total Items for Donation: 1 sweater

I’m not touching my husband’s clothes.  He’s a bit of a metrosexual and I dare not decide what stays and what goes from his side of the closet. The great thing about today’s task is that I found a lot of empty hangers; not that there’s room for new things to hang. Especially since I only got rid of one cardigan.

BEFORE / AFTER

  30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Day 3 – “Bedroom Closet – Folded Clothes”
Total Time: 20 minutes. Totals Items for Donation: 8 t-shirts

Tonight I only focused on my t-shirts and tank-tops section. (In Day 2’s photo there’s also folded clothes but those are seasonal items and will be swapped out soon.)  The great part about our shelving system is that I’m able to adjust our shelves as my collection of clothes I barely wear changes year-to-year. You can’t tell in the picture, but I did give my tanks on the bottom shelf more ceiling height.

BEFORE / AFTER

  30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

Like a large purse, the more space I have – the more junk I will fit in it.  So, while having a walk-in closet is a luxury, I’m glad that ours is on the smaller side and shared. Sharing it with my husband forces me to be mindful and considerate of his space.  I designed our cabinets and shelves at EasyClosets.com and it’s customized to our needs; including built-in hampers. I highly recommend their system if you’re in the market.  I pride myself on being handy and am proud to say that I installed all this on my own.

DECLUTTER: Day 0 – Spring Clearing

Spring Clearing

It’s April. It’s raining. The dirty snow outside is finally getting washed away. But the mess inside my house will remain the same unless I do something about it. I don’t want to do a typical spring cleaning, I want to do a 2017 clearing.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

The hubby, kids and I moved into this house only two years ago, but we quickly added to the clutter that we brought over from our small apartment.  And just the past two weeks I’ve been traveling, then had back-to-back dinners upon my return.  So I have yet to unpack, let alone bring the house back to order.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Declutter

The 30 Day Declutter I chose was found off Pinterest. I don’t know who created it originally, but the blog that referenced it is: http://www.divaswithapurpose.com/declutter-bootcamp-making-a-happy-home and I decided on this one because it said “30 minutes”.  Any challenge the next 30 days will be tough because I start a new full-time job this week, so if the idea is to complete it in 30minutes I’m all-in.

Status Quo:

  • I’m an organized mess
    • I have slight OCD.  I don’t clean things up right away, but I know where everything is.
  • I’m a low-grade hoarder
    • there’s always a chance I might need it
  • My husband is oblivious
    • unless it smells, he probably won’t notice

Goals:

  • To complete this within 40 days (I have to be reasonable)
  • to have a box full of items to donate
  • find better ways to stay organized

 

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

 

 

MARRIAGE: Day 28-30 of 30 – Boy, Bye!

Boy, Bye!

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

This is the last 3 days of the 30 Day Marriage Challenge, and I’m so happy.  Happy that it’s finally over! It’s disappointing that I was so excited going into this challenge and that it quickly went downhill before I even hit the half-way mark.  I half-assed Days 28, 29 and 30.

Day 28
Look at him admiringly. Make sure he sees you looking at him.

I do this often because I find it funny when I awkwardly flirt with him.

Day 29
Turn off the electronics – phone, TV, tablet, etc. 

Easy enough for me. Impossible for him. So I did my part.

Day 30
Today’s focus: LOVE

Today I leave for Paris, and it’s the first time in a long time that I’m leaving my husband and the kids.  So it was definitely a day full of hugs, kisses and a lot of “I’m going to miss you!”

I chose the iMom’s version of the Marriage Challenge because the tasks seemed most realistic, but now I see that I should’ve gone with a version that seemed impractical because they would be more challenging and possibly more fun.  Perhaps they would’ve made more of an impact.

My goals going into the challenge were:

  • To complete it in 30 days

It took me 31 days because I was trying to be extra kind 😇

  • To do each task genuinely

I felt I fulfilled each task, as mundane as they were 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • Be honest to you with every post

I been telling you how I’m honestly unsatisfied. 😕

CHALLENGE: MARRIAGE – ✔️ COMPLETED

 

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

MARRIAGE: Day 25-27 of 30 – This Lacks Excitement

This Lacks Excitement

30 Day Challenge Accepted Marriage

I tried to be more positive with Days 25, 26 and 27 of the 30 Day Marriage Challenge but I can’t help but still feel bored with these tasks.  At least they’re are a bit more interactive.

Day 25
Ask your husband’s opinion on something. 

Sure I ask for my husband’s opinion, but it’s supposed to be the same as mine.
Kidding! (Not kidding.)

I had a simple question this Saturday – “What do you want to do with the kids today?” And I went along with his suggestion, no arguments. It’s actually nice to not be a planner/coordinator once in awhile.

Day 26
Encourage your husband.

I’m leaving in a few days and will be gone for a week. So today I gave him a run-down of the kids’ daily schedule, which is different every single day. And I encouraged him that he will be a great substitute mom. But honestly, good luck!

Day 27
Do something for his health – ie. eat better and exercise together. 

One of our biggest struggles is deciding what to eat and the worst part is that neither of us cooks.  He usually ends up ordering Chinese take-out for himself, while the kids and I survive on whatever I whip up.  Tonight, I told him to pick any baked chicken recipe he wants me to attempt and I cooked for him. That alone is already a healthier option than fried chicken with white rice.

I’m bummed that I’m looking forward to this challenge to be over. I was really excited to do a Marriage challenge and my excitement has waned with each passing day.  On the bright side, great things are going on here at home that we don’t really need these tasks to test our marriage’s strength.

Want to read all 30 Days of the Marriage Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE