Six months ago, i took up a resolve to simplify. I think i have come a long way since that post. I made a few categories and put down a few lists of to-do’s. Here is an update on what i have achieved so far and what i havent.

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Home: This used to be my biggest weakness. And it was fuelled by people coming in and praising my apartment. It has been a childhood dream to one day live in a cute beautiful apartment as an independant women. But when i do my weekly cleaning, i can see things collecting dust, way too many ornamental items and items i have collected over the years but meant nothing. We wanted a warm, cozy and well lived in home full of interesting stuff. We grew out of our kid phase and we now want a clutter free home.

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 12.40.05 AM These lines by photographer Rodney Smith summarize what i want. I am far for achieving it. It is a journey. But i have come a long way. I got rid of anything that dont serve a real purpose or are insanely beautiful. Harsha let go of his attachment to things he didn’t want to let go a few years ago. And its like a wheel in motion. Everyday, i can quickly scan through and let go of things that i dont need without any remorse. There are hardly any incoming household items anymore. I am also immune to the charms of items showcased on instagram. I can admire and move on.

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Kitchen: Once upon a time: my fridge, freezer, kitchen and shelves were too well stocked. For the last few months, I have been making weekly lists and sticking to my list. I now don’t waste any food, make simpler food and am learning to cook with emphasis on one ingredient at a time. I dont run off to purchase macro nutrients and exotic superfoods every time i read about how good they are for the humans. I let go of my spiralizer, food processor and juicer. I improved my knife skills instead. And drink fibrous smoothies without wasting or using too much produce. I still have an impressive cookbook collection. But i read and re-read them so much that i treasure them. There is very little i need to let go to clean it all up and i am making progress.

IMG_3531Closet: I have my first capsule wardrobe in place for the winter ( video coming soon). I am quite proud of how i got there and how content i am with what i have. I haven’t bought any clothes in a the last few months, but shoes and accessories are another story. Unlike the capsule closets i see on the internet, mine isnt all neutrals or too minimalistic. I could do with less, but i detest throwing out things that are in use for the sake of minimalism. I feel like i am at a point where i can do an extended shopping fast.

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Reading: Unsubscribing to most bloggers who are like magazines promoting consumerism and are full of affiliate/sponsored links is the best thing i did to help myself. I now have very few blogs i follow. The people i am surrounded with, live very simple lives. Its the bloggers who have influenced me into this lifestyle. I do have a few friends who buy whatever is cheap just because its cheap, but that sort of thing never influenced me. I log into facebook less than once per day. I finally feel like i am in control of what i want to read and am not clicking on everything posted as they come in. I now read and re-read books i want to learn from without a deficit in attention. I got rid of a shelf full of books i know i will never read again. I have another shelf full of novels that i think needs to go. Soon.

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Photography: Although i had nothing new come in since my last post, i see a decrease in my obsession. I have a mirrorless camera and a DSLR. Although the Fujifilm is easy to carry around, i am very disappointed in the quality of the pictures. I am angry with myself for falling for the whole trend of mirrorless. I now use it as a prop in my pictures. I need to sell it away in the next few months. I let go of some of the collectable books on photography that i owned. The only way i will get better is not by reading but photographing more.

DSCF0174-2Art/Artists: I came to a hard realization. I don’t create as much as i want to. Disproportionate assets, rubbing this failure in my face was hard to live with. I gave away most of my art supplies to my little sister who likes creating and has the time at this point in her life. Since i read very selectively, i am not tempted to own new supplies/books by artists/stalk artists. I have more time to do vs getting inspired.

DSCF0116Skincare: This is one aspect where i failed terribly. I stock up on skincare during the thanksgiving sales for the entire year. I am no close to getting rid of the zillion samples i have in a big box nor simplifying my routine. Sometimes, i feel like i took the turn the other way, by adding more products into my top-shelf. To-Do: Do a skincare routine post. Hopefully, i can get some clarity in thought if i wrote it all down.

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Exercise: I do yoga regularly and hike from time to time. This year, i am going to keep at it. My diet is simpler and i am not on the quest to complicate it.

The journey is the destination. I feel like its a constant struggle for me to work on myself and to get to my goals.

I let go of lot of ‘things’ i could live without. Instead of missing these items, its mostly a relief. Its less clutter, more space, less cleaning and less time thinking about upkeep. I did order a lot of stuff online like i usually do, but i managed to return most of the stuff i ordered. This was a step up from what i was doing prior: keeping stuff because returns were a pain. I currently enjoy reading about minimalism, try to connect it to that mindset, read about Japanese philosophy on beauty, etc to keep going. I sincerely believe that i need to shift my values and priorities to stay on this path. We are looking to move into a tiny apartment in SFO in the future. Real estate space is gold and rents are skyrocketing. I no longer dread it, but welcome the challenge.