Pare Down: February Update

If you read my blog regularly, you know that this year I want to pare down, and my first month was a big success. I like doing monthly updates to help keep me accountable, and to help any of you who might be trying to declutter your lives too.

In the last post, I ended with some goals to start tackling in February:

  • Declutter the kitchen
  • Declutter books, papers, and other random stuff
  • Finish my makeup purge – I’ve got two boxes of makeup that’s either expired or I don’t wear, so I want to figure out what kind of blog post or video I want to do with it, and get rid of it!
  • Keep cutting back on TV and YouTube time
  • Schedule filming and blog drafting time like I do with strength training

I’m happy to report that I got to work on some of these goals, and even took on a couple things I hadn’t thought of yet. Plus, the habits I set up last month are starting to pay off.

I still avoid my phone in the mornings

Cutting back on screen time has been so good for me. I don’t even scroll through my feeds over breakfast anymore, and instead enjoy the sunrise out my window. It’s so nice to start my day without distraction.

I’m still strength training three mornings a week

This month was when I started to feel the effects of cutting back on one thing (sitting in bed on my phone) to make room for something infinitely more important (strength training). The amount of growth I’ve seen in myself after only five weeks, 15 half-hour sessions, is astounding. I’ve been keeping a log to track how I’m feeling and to record how much weight I’m lifting for each move, and it’s really helped me celebrate and reflect.

If I hadn’t kept up with this until it became habit, I would have missed out on everything I’ve learned about myself so far. And I can honestly say I now understand why everyone says “enjoy the journey, not the results.” I don’t miss that screen time at all!

I reorganized and decluttered my kitchen (Edit: and bathroom!)

The big project. I got the toaster oven I mentioned in my first pare down post, plus I got a Vitamix and ice cream attachment for my mixer for my birthday. It was finally time to take everything out of the kitchen, wipe everything down, get rid of things we don’t use, and reorganize as I put everything back. I was so in love with my kitchen afterwards! Everything I use regularly is accessible, and we still managed to hold onto some counter space for food prep.

Edit: I forgot to mention when I published this that I also reorganized and decluttered the bathroom. I took everything out and threw out anything that was expired or we didn’t use. Now I can actually find things in there!

I got rid of a ton of paper

I had SO much paper to go through. I kept getting important documents like tax forms and blood work orders, putting them somewhere safe, and then forgetting where that safe place was. I purchased a file organizer and a regular folder, so papers I need soon are in a folder (tax forms, gift cards, coupons), and papers I want to save for reference are tucked away (old cards, manuals for random things I own, receipts). Now there’s no more paper strewn across every surface of my apartment!

I read 26 of 28 days 

I wanted to get back into the habit of reading. I missed reading. I love having quiet time to myself, immersing myself in something, and taking in inspiration. There were only two days this week when for whatever reason I didn’t end up reading. But on the other days, I read in-depth articles, made another dent in a long biography I’m reading, and finished a book about forming habits. You can tell about that last one by how many times I’ve referenced habits in this post…

I started learning how to sew

I got a sewing machine for my birthday (I had a very domestic set of gifts this year), and I started figuring out how to use it. I spent a few big chunks of time practicing. I suck, but I’m getting better.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends

I often overlook this, but as someone with anxiety, going out to do things with people is a big deal. I spent more time than usual going out, whether for work happy hours or meals with family, that I know I would have just spent at home watching TV. It was great to invest time into my social health.

Once again… I still watch too much TV and YouTube

This old habit won’t leave me. I get overwhelmed easily, and in turn I start watching something and don’t move for five hours. I’ve learned that once I start, it’s really jarring to suddenly stop. If I don’t see much more improvement here soon, I’m going to get strict about it and cut back a lot until I can trust myself to stop before I’ve lost an entire afternoon.

I’m still not where I want to be with my blog and videos

The month started off promising, I hosted my giveaway, but my energy and motivation started to waver. I’ve been juggling a lot with a full-time job, big declutter projects, learning new skills, and maintaining new habits. I love that I want to do something like make YouTube videos in my free time rather than sit around, but I get stuck and overwhelmed. I think having time to write every day would help me plan, and coming up with good times to film could give me more options with my schedule.

Well, that was a long reflection! February was a great month, and I’m still very happy with my progress with paring down.

For next month, I want to:

  • Get into the habit of writing every day
  • Declutter books and other items
  • Finish my makeup purge
  • Post a video and blog post once per week
  • Keep cutting back on TV and YouTube watching
  • Keep developing skills like sewing and painting

What are your goals this year? Do you like reading these updates? I’d love to know in the comments section.

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