Day 5: A quick update on my decluttering

(I may not have perfect skin, but these lemons do. I also just felt like I had to find a refreshing image to match my refreshing feeling after all the tidying up and since it’s pouring and flooding like no tomorrow in Sydney, I was not going outside to buy some.)

Cleaning out my room has never felt so good.

I have found so many things that I didn’t even realise I owned and got rid of so many seriously outdated products. So far, I’ve cleaned out all my makeup, skincare and two of my old “stuff drawers”- which were absolutely chock-a-block full of random stuff. I’m never going to need to buy a pen for the rest of my life, I have that many.

So, because whilst it’s fun telling you about my cleaning up process and the joys I’m getting out of it, I thought, why not take a few pictures so you can see what I have left and what I think I still need…just a warning, if you are not that interested in makeup or skincare, this is probably a tad boring for you and don’t worry I will have many more storage tips for all different things  in the coming weeks!

Numero Uno: Makeup

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As you can see, I really don’t have that much makeup. I’ve got a few concealers, nail polishes, lip glosses, blush and a range of eye products. I tend to go for neutral colours with a bit of pink/orange because that’s what I think looks best on me. Then again, the only lipstick I seem to have and always wear is a bright red Bobbi Brown one, which definitely is not au naturel looking! Also, I just realised, that I don’t even have a foundation in here. Well, considering I’ll need one at some point before I go to another 21st, which trust me is probably in a day or two time since everyone I know seems to be turning 21 at the moment (except me!), if you have any recommendations for a good foundation, please let me know! 🙂

Also, if you’re wondering where I got these makeup dividers from, I bought them from a place called Howard’s Storage World ages ago, but I imagine you could get them from any Target or equivalent. I personally love them because I can put them in a drawer (like I have here) and still see everything, and if I spill something I can just take everything out and wash the divider in the sink because it’s plastic. Before anyone asks, I prefer to put my makeup in a drawer so it doesn’t get dusty. When you live in the city, everything gets dusty so quickly and I’d rather that the stuff I put on my face stays as clean as possible!

Also if you don’t want to buy a specific makeup storing divider, just use a cutlery or stationary divider- it does virtually the same thing and it is much cheaper! Anything that’s marketed towards makeup or “women” always happens to be much more expensive. Before I got the divider, I used to just use a variety of different sized cardboard boxes which I stuck together to have my own sort of DIY divider. 🙂

Numero Duo: Skincare

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This is all my skincare, no more, no less!

I am in love with everything Aesop’s products. They works great with my skin, they don’t cause me to break-out or anything and I have super sensitive skin so something gentle that doesn’t result in a strange rash or sea of pimples is a win win in my books. If I do have a break-out then there’s always some good old benzoyl peroxide haha!

Storage wise, I have a few of these tubs from Ikea, which are fantastic. Just like my makeup dividers, they’re hard plastic, so if I spill anything it’s super easy to clean up. If you haven’t noticed already, something that’s easy to clean is super important to me because I spill lots of things. The other great thing about these tubs is that they have cut-out handles which makes it easy for me to pick up since I put the whole tub under the sink. So, all I need to do is just grab the tub and everything is at my disposal, there’s no search through drawers. I can’t find the exact tub on the Ikea website, but it’s pretty similar to the one here, if any one is looking for it.

I also have a metal stationary thing (no idea what it’s called), to put some of my smaller tube shipped products in and tools like tweezers, which I didn’t need for all my 100s of pens and so repurposed for here. I’m pretty certain I bought it from Office Works, where I get most of my stationary.

If you don’t know much about Aesop, then you might be wondering why I don’t just keep them in the shower? Well, nearly everything Aesop (except shampoo and some creams) come in glass, which means if you’re a bit clumsy like me, having wet glass bottles in the shower is a bad idea- I haven’t smashed one yet, but I’m not taking any chances! Especially when you’re paying $40-60 a bottle which is a lot, but it lasts a long time.

So that’s some of the stuff that I have been doing with my makeup. I’ve also been selling some jewellery online which has gone fairly well and I’ll write a post about that shortly because I feel like it’s one of those things where there isn’t that much information about selling mid-range jewellery, most of the articles I read were all about selling high end pieces, which is not me!

So I hope this gives you a few storage ideas or some inspiration to part with a lot of your old and never used products as well as show that you don’t need a lot of makeup to get by, unless you love makeup in which case as I always say, “you do you”. I was thinking of maybe doing a post running through my skincare/makeup routine, so if you’d like to see that or if you have any cool storage ideas that you use, please leave a comment down below!! 

Alana 🙂

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Day 3: Why I’m terrible at using a diary and what I plan to do about it!

(I tried to model my cat for this photo. What did I learn? Some things you just can’t ‘organise’, cats being one of them, even with bribery.)

I have a lot of diaries.

I have so many diaries in fact that one would assume that I was so organised that I organised my organisation.

Unfortunately, that just not the case. Here’s the usual example: it’s the beginning of the year or semester and I decide, ‘Alana, you can’t remember every single thing in your head, so get a journal and write it down. You’re going to be more organised than you were last semester!‘ So, I go out and buy a diary, which is usually the biggest, most-detailed diary I can find, come home, spend hours putting it all together and then spend the evening feeling pretty impressed with myself because I’m now, all of a sudden, an organisational genius. Does it work?

HAHA…no. What usually happens: I spend a week pedantically carrying around this oversized journal and meticulously writing down every possible commitment I may have, until one day I decide it’s too big or too heavy to fit in my bag and so leave it at home. One day diary free becomes 2 days and so on until I eventually stop using it and it gets abandoned in some pile of university work which is called the ‘to-do’ pile, which is in fact the, ‘I don’t feel like doing it now and will probably never do later’ pile. If my parents are reading this, don’t judge, I know you have exact the same piles…we all do. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.

Back to the diary situation. So, once I’ve abandoned my diary, my organisation and record keeping becomes a series of writing things down on whatever piece of paper I happen to have at the time, until I lose them all, forget something and then once again I eventually decide I need another diary, make up another set of excuses and the cycle starts again…Oooft, try saying that sentence all in one breath!

So, what am I doing about it? Well for starters, I’ve moved to an electronic diary. Why? Because I’m 20 and addicted to my phone – trust me, it’s probably an addiction when you respond to your whilst in the shower rather than wait 2 minutes until you’re out like a normal person…I guess I’m not perfect after all. The current diary app I use is the simple, basic apple iCalendar and the free app Wunderlist for all my to-do stuff.

Why these two? I’ve spent more than enough money on my ‘organisation’ and it’s easy and convenient for me and what I do, which is study and keep up with work, university societies and friends, and you can’t exactly get behind in iCalendar, it’s always there. I’ve considered other calendar apps, like Fantastical 2, but for around $80AUD, there’s just no way I can justify spending that much money on something I may never use, but that’s just my opinion! If you have experience with Fantastical 2 or any other great calendar/daily planner tools, please let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts about them?

Okay, so having the apps and whatnot is one thing, but how am I actually making it work? Well I’m doing 4 basic things:

  1. As soon as I make a plan, I just put it in my phone. I don’t wait till I get home or do it later. I just try and do it asap- because I will forget.
  2. I don’t make exceptionally long and unrealistic to-do lists. I try to focus on doing only 1-2 things daily, so whatever else I do on top of those feels like a bonus rather than a failure.
  3. I don’t beat myself up about forgetting something. Okay, so I forgot to write something down, or I got the time wrong, or the place wrong…these things happen and that’s life. C’est la vie!
  4. I don’t let my diary rule my life. I don’t need a plan for every day, nor do I want to spend a considerable amount of time planning when I can be doing. Also, plans can change and mine often do.

So that’s how I’m trying to improve my organisational and time management skills! Don’t worry, I’m far from perfect and do love my procrastination. In my opinion, embracing a more minimalistic lifestyle isn’t necessarily about cutting heaps of things out of your life and becoming this super organised well-oiled machine, but more about trying to reduce clutter. In this case, it’s not physical clutter I struggle with but mental clutter. Trying to remember everything in your head is hard and stressful and so I’ve found that writing events down in a calendar and having short 1-2 thing to-do lists has really helped me!

Hope you found this interesting, and let me know if you have any organisational tips too!

Alana 🙂