Pare Down: June Update

June has sped on by, and now we’re officially over halfway through the year. I had a pretty good month!

The trend of having a social life has continued

The thing I’m most surprised about since beginning to consider where my time is going is how much I’ve been branching out socially. I’ve been going out with friends and coworkers after work about once a week, and having lunch with people more often (although I still like to eat at my desk a lot).

I got a nail polish rack and cleared a drawer in my makeup space

My nail polish was piled in a bin in a drawer in my makeup drawers. Now, I can see everything I have. Plus, I got rid of more nail polish so everything would fit. Our dresser area is finally looking great (and yes, I asked my boyfriend if I could put my things there — the TV was his compromise).

Dresser organized

Now that my nail polish is out of the way, I have an entire tall drawer that’s free. I have some nail supplies like topcoats that could use the space, but I think I can do a little reshuffling and finally get some clutter off my makeup table and really utilize that nice big drawer!

I gave my blog some much-needed tough love

I’ve been quite passive with my blog over the years, but I finally decided that this month I’d take control of it and stop waiting around for the “right opportunity.” I dove into self-hosting with the help of my boyfriend. It was all very frustrating for both of us, and there were a couple unexpected waiting periods, but now it’s live and I have SO much more control than I did before.

As difficult as this has been, I now have the opportunity to learn more code and play around with my site. I also have the freedom to place my own ads and include new plugins and features I couldn’t before. There’s one that’s live already that I’m going to announce in a couple days.

I’m considering making a post about self-hosting with some tips about the process. Anyone interested?

I’ve spent more time taking care of myself, and by extension, my space

With my new skincare addiction comes an opportunity to get to know my skin and spend time taking care of myself. I look forward to my skincare ritual, and it’s actually been incentivizing me to tidy up as well. Some products need 20 minutes or so to set in, so I can clean my makeup brushes or put the dishes away while my skin gets some love. Or, I can just play with my dog. But generally, I like taking care of some small chores.

Simplifying my skincare routine also meant decluttering my bathroom space. I was able to pull aside all the products I’m no longer using, so my counter space is reserved for the products I use every day. As for the other products, I’m going through to check expiration dates, and repurposing the products that are still good. For example, a fragranced night cream will be used for my neck and hands instead of my face.

Also, I have been getting back into the flow with my strength training. I’m still not as on-schedule as I was before April, but it’s becoming part of my life again.

I decluttered my makeup bags

This is a small task, but still useful. I had about two dozen or so makeup bags that I’d collected over the years. I was able to get rid of over half. I still have way too many, but this was a great first pass.

Makeup bags before

Makeup bags after

I’ve expanded my plant family

This seems a little counter-intuitive to paring down, but I enjoy having plants, and most of them are outside. Some of the plants I got are herbs to use for cooking, one is a tomato plant, and the others are some wildflower seeds I got from my sister’s baby shower. My succulents are still going strong as well! It’s been rewarding to take a few minutes each morning to check on them and water them, and seeing the seeds sprout and the tomato plant start to flower. The herbs aren’t doing as well as planned, so I have to do some research about why that is.

Planting the wildflowers

Wildflowers growing

Tomatoes blooming

There are a few things I haven’t kept up with as well this month. Mainly, I’ve lost control of keeping my space tidy. I had a system with my clothes and makeup, but I haven’t committed to preventing a pile-up by the end of the week. I also haven’t been keeping the kitchen clean, or even cooking that much anymore. My apartment gets much too hot this time of year, although the “San Francisco summer” season will cool things down a bit for a few weeks until we get our real summer in August and September.

I normally list out things I didn’t do as well for the month, but I’m feeling really positive about this past month, and I think I’ve given enough explanation! So, for July, there are a few things I want to take care of:

  • Organize my dog’s treats and supplies – currently, her treats are all at her level, so she often goes to check on her “stash.” I’d rather they stay away from her nose!
  • Clutter killing – little things are starting to pile up again. Quick de-cluttering sessions like with my makeup bags can help keep things in line before I do another major overhaul of stuff.
  • Develop skills like sewing, painting, and learning to code for my website. I say this every month!

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