On Decluttering and Tidying

I’m lucky in the sense that tidying and decluttering comes pretty naturally to me. I just prefer living in a space that has a sense of order. It helps me to feel calm and helps me to sort through my mental clutter if my physical space is tidy. I thought I’d share some stuff on tidying and decluttering – everything from my own advice to resources I continue to find beneficial.

So, first off, I’m going to write in terms of a clean bedroom because that’s my point of reference, but these ‘rules’ can be applied to any part of your home.

The first step to cleaning your room and making sure it stays clean is to declutter. If you’re a Marie Kondo fangirl like me, then decluttering is nothing new to you. But essentially, it refers to the removal of unnecessary items, be it clothing, papers or anything that has no use to you and just takes up space. I cannot emphasise the importance of this step enough. There is honestly no use in organising and tidying things that serve no purpose to you. Whilst it can seem like a daunting task, especially if you haven’t done it in a while and a lot of things have accumulated, doing it in smaller chunks will feel less overwhelming. Work through your things category by category. I generally split things into a toss/recycle pile and a donate pile.

After deciding what things you need or want to hold onto, it’s time for my favourite part – organising. The reason why many people struggle to keep their spaces tidy is either because they have too much stuff (enter decluttering) or because their things don’t have designated “homes” so everything just ends up lying around until it gets used again. Having a specific place for everything will make keeping your room neat so much easier because when you’re finished using something, you just put it right back, and when you do need to clean up at the end of the day or week, it’ll go quicker too because you don’t have to think about where to put things.

Another thing to try is to keep the same kinds of things together. For example, I have a beauty drawer where I keep all my skincare (that isn’t on my dresser for daily use), unopened products, make-up, hair things, etc. All my jewellery is in one shelf and all my papers and books are together too (well, mostly). I find that this helps immensely too, and you’re also less likely to loose your stuff.

Here are some other quick things you can do every day (or as often as you feel necessary) to keep your room looking and feeling orderly:

  • Make your bed! Honestly, don’t underestimate the difference this can make. It’s always the first thing I do when I’m clearing up. It instantly makes your room feel more put together.
  • Throw papers away immediately when you don’t need them anymore. By doing this, you will avoid the need to sift through huge mounds of papers to see what you need/don’t need.
  • Following on from the last one, put papers that you do need into their respective files/folders as you work to minimise unmanageable piles of paper. I usually have one stack of papers on my desk with stuff I’m using (like assessment rubrics/design briefs/etc.) and need to consult often, but I sort through it every week or so, to avoid having too much stuff pile up.
  • As boring as it sounds, pack away your laundry as soon as you can. Again, this will hopefully prevent a mountain of laundry from piling up, and you’re more likely to pack neatly if you have a more manageable amount to pack away.
  • Try to avoid too much clutter on your surfaces. My surfaces certainly aren’t bare, but every few days or so, I just walk around and put things (that don’t need to be there) away.

I hope you find some of this helpful! Remember, your room doesn’t have to look like something off Pinterest. It’s a space that you’re supposed to live in, so don’t bother if it doesn’t look like a styled photograph. Also, experiment with different tidying and organising methods and create a routine that works for you, and is suitable to your schedule and life. You don’t have to spend all your waking hours trying to keep your room clean! (This took me a while to learn haha). However, you will find that having a tidier space helps to calm your mind. It is often said that the state of your physical space is a manifestation of your mental space and I tend to agree.

Here are some resources you might find helpful.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Honestly, this book is so good. Pretty sure I’ve read it two or three times. It really helps you to get a sense of tidying and understanding that physical stuff shouldn’t weigh you down. Find it here (e-book version).

A Considered Life blog

This blog by Sophie is really well written and has new content on a regular basis. Read it here.

Simple Life Pinterest Board

I’ve linked a bunch of resources that I reference on my Pinterest. Find the board here.

Happy tidying, everyone. I sincerely hope you reap the benefits of having a tidy space. If you have any more questions about this topic, ask away.

Nabeela x

Simplify

I have written many posts about minimalism and living a more simple life. However, every year I realise I’ve learnt new ways to simplify my life as far as possible. I’ve found great reward in creating streamlined routines for myself that allow room for everything that has to be done.

Here are some things I’ve done this year that have helped me immensely that I’ll be carrying with me into 2019.

01. / Email

I don’t work yet so I don’t have a huge amount of emails coming into my inbox every day like some people do, but I do know that having a full inbox can be stressful and distracting. Try to stay on top of your emails and try the one-touch rule, whereby you only open emails at a time when you are available to carry out the task (or whatever is necessary) required before you respond. Also, guard your email address. Try to avoid throwing it into every online shop’s mailing list, to avoid getting spammed with hundreds of emails a day that are irrelevant to you. (Some people have recommended this site to manage your subscriptions, but I haven’t personally tried it).

02. / Papers

Papers are the easiest thing to hoard. It’s only too easy to hang onto something, “just in case”. For papers that are important, file them away in a space-saving way. For less important ones that you may need at some point, take a photo and save it into a folder on your phone or Cloud. And for those other pesky ones, TOSS THEM. We are ruthless. I clean off my desk (almost) every night before bed and make a point of throwing away papers that are no longer needed.

03. / Planning and organising

I’ve found that keeping all my planning in one book is highly beneficial because everything is in one place, so you’re less likely to forget something important. Whether you’re a paper planner and list-maker like me or if you prefer your phone calendar, try to avoid having important plans in too many places and work on streamlining your planning and organising systems so they work for you. I’ll be bullet-journalling in 2019, so watch this space…

04. / Time-blocking

I’ve found this really useful. Set aside certain “blocks” of time for certain tasks. You’ll find that you’ll be more productive if you know you’re only working for a short amount of time, plus you’re less likely to procrastinate then. It’ll leave you with more time to relax and do things you enjoy.

Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and rest well.

Nabeela x

Mountain Musings

There’s nothing that changes one’s perspective quite like spending a few days in the mountains sans cellphone signal and civilization. It’s a breathe of fresh air – literally. Drinking river water and falling asleep to the under the watchful eyes of shooting stars can be more beneficial than one might think going into it.

I learned a few things on my trip to the mountains. The first thing being, after a day of hiking, anything tastes good. And white flip flops and dust? Not a good idea.

But more than that, I learnt that once we lose connection with our phones (which seem to be an appendage nowadays), we gain connection with people. With nature. With ourselves. Without the constant distraction of push notifications and Instagram feeds, I found myself lost in long, deep, meaningful conversation with people, something that’s hard to come by in the busy city.

I learned that simply just spending time in nature is meditation in itself. It’s so healing and relaxing to live in harmony with the natural world for once, and not try to fight against it.

Lastly, I learned to appreciate the comforts of home. I certainly take basic things like toilets and my bed for granted far too often.

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It’s true what they say. Sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to get lost. Preferably in nature.

Nabeela x

Curate / Light + Detail

Minutiae / the small, precise details that makes one unique; the finer points and subtleties

As a visual person, I am very much aware of the little things. I have a deep appreciation for details, and they make my heart sing. (I know that I’m definitely not alone on this).

I especially love beautiful light and intricate detail in architecture. Here is a photo essay of some of the light and detail I’ve snapped over the last little while…

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“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armani 

Nabeela x

Listen Up / Podcasts

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I love taking the time to relax and unwind over weekends, but sometimes, because we’ve become so accustomed to always doing something, just lying around all afternoon can feel unproductive. Enter podcasts. Over the last few months, I’ve come to love podcasts. They can be listened to anywhere and require zero effort, but, if you listen to the right ones, they can offer you incredible words of wisdom and inspiration. I thought that I’d just share a few of my favourite podcasts with you.

The Minimalists

Functioning Minimalist

Pardon My French

Elise Gets Crafty

How She Creates

Clever

Good Life Project

I thoroughly enjoy listening to episodes of these podcasts and often find myself taking away invaluable nuggets of wisdom away from them.

Have a listen if you’re in need of some inspiration or just want to listen to something a little thought-provoking. What are your favourite podcasts?

Nabeela x

5 Ways to Live a Little Lighter This Year

I’m not one who believes that new habits can only be formed in the new year. I’m actually the kind of person who will start big new things in September. Nonetheless, I still feel that the new year can be a good time to make intentional changes in our lives because we feel a little more rested and at peace after the December break.

As you may know, over this past year or so, I have really delved deep into minimalism as a lifestyle, and I can feel how much lighter I am without the weight of my material possessions. Here are a few tried and tested methods that may just help lighten the mental and physical clutter for you too.

 

  1. / Toss it

Stop holding onto things just in case. Sort through your things with intention and get rid of everything you don’t use. You don’t have to throw it away. Donate it instead. Let someone else benefit from it.

 

  1. / Unsubscribe and unfollow

I unsubscribed from so many mailers over the past year. Unnecessary emails just clog our inboxes and distract us from the important ones that do require our attention. I also felt that my Instagram feed was clogged and too full. I unfollowed so many different accounts that I just didn’t find any value in or that didn’t inspire me in any way. I even unfollowed some brands I genuinely like as I wasn’t finding any extra value in their account. Be selective about who you follow and change it up regularly in order to stay inspired.

 

  1. / Don’t impulse buy

Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I’ve decided that I will only buy what’s on my wish list. I get a monthly allowance, and with that I either buy what I truly need (I keep a list) or else save it for my big saving-up list. By using this method, you’ll only bring things into your life that’ll truly add value, and you’ll hardly feel as if you’re wasting money.

 

  1. / Shake it off

Don’t let negative relationships weigh you down. If you have a problem, talk it out as soon as you can, so that it doesn’t linger at the back of your mind. If the other person isn’t willing, rethink whether or not they are worth your time and energy.

 

  1. / Take care of yourself

If you take good care of yourself and you’ll feel happier, lighter, more positive and more productive. Give yourself grace, sleep well, exercise, eat well and pamper yourself when it’s needed.

 

Lets make 2017 our most meaningful and intentional year yet.

 

“The happiest people don’t have everything they want, but instead want everything they have.” – Anonymous

Nabeela x

The Edit / 01.

Hello there

I’ve decided to start doing The Edit over here on the blog to share things I’m loving with you. I haven’t quite decided how often I’ll write them yet, but we’ll see. First, let me fill you in on what’s up over at Miss Artsy-Crafty HQ.

So, you may have noticed my absence around here, namely because finals were just crazy and in between studying and sleeping, there wasn’t time for much else. Its now summer holidays and some fun content is coming soon! (Don’t forget about this fun DIY though!)

Also, I’m working on my card range which will be launching in early 2017! Final formatting, printing quotes and packaging is under way! I can’t wait to share my brand and products with you!

You may have noticed that my site is now at missartsycrafty.com, which I am very excited about too!

Now, onto The Edit:

Wearing

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The Circle Ring by Famke

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Bamboo Revolution Watch in Original Natural Tan

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Nude Wear Cozzie in Cappuccino (they’re great for wearing underneath your surf shirts and boardshorts because they don’t shine through!)

Listening To

Elise Gets Crafty

Functioning Minimalist

How She Creates

Reading

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

www.asmallwardrobe.com

www.chloelarkin.com

I’m so happy that summer is in full swing. Beach days, here we come!

Have a wonderful holiday and festive season with your loved ones!

Nabeela x

PS: If you want any extra information about my card range or if you’re interested in selling them, please pop me an email at missartsycraftyblog@gmail.com

 

A Note on Self-Doubt 

I recently did some content creation for a local small business and was thrilled about being asked because it was the first time I created content from scratch.Nonetheless, after emailing off the first batch of samples, a terrible bout of self-doubt set in. 

At first, I was happy but when I looked at them later that day, I felt uneasy about them. 

A million questions were running through my head. “What if they hate the colours? What if it isn’t what they wanted? What if they hate it so much that they decide they don’t want to work with me anymore?” I started knit-picking at my work, noticing everything that could be a possible flaw. 

When I got an email back the next day saying that they loved what I had done, I felt euphoric and mostly, relieved.

I carried on with the project and the outcome was lovely. 

It got me thinking. We doubt ourselves so much. We have little confidence in ourselves but expect others to.

The process of creation should be freeing and liberating, not restricting and upsetting.

It’s time we put a little more trust into our creative process and stop overthinking it all. 

Nabeela x 

DIY Minimal Wall-hanging

Hello

I have been wanting a more simple wall hanging in my room for a little while now. Previously, a dream catcher was hanging there but it started to bother me and made the wall feel a little too busy for my liking. I wanted something simple, beautiful and functional.

I did some searching on Pinterest and made a simple hanging based off inspiration I found whilst searching. Mine holds my favourite Instax Mini prints, so I can admire them every day.

Its quick and easy, so lets jump right in.

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You will need a bamboo chopstick, a bit of string, a few mini pegs and some mini art prints, photos or Instax prints that you love.

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Cut a piece of string and tie it to each end of your chopstick, leaving the same sized gap on either side. Make it as long or short as you like. It all depends on how low you want it to hang.

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Cut three separate lengths of string. Feed one through each of your little pegs, through the little spring part in the middle.

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Tie a secure knot.Tie each of the strings with the threaded pegs to the chopstick. I tied mine at different lengths, but you can do it however you like. (Also, you can add as many pegs and strings as you like. I just thought three worked well).

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Peg your art prints or photos onto the hanging.

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Find a good space to hang it and admire the minimal beauty of it!

Have a go at making one. They’re easy to make and are simple, but beautiful.

Nabeela x

PS: Summer holidays are here and I have some exciting content to share with you! Stay tuned!

Offline

I’ve always admired people who have the will power to have “offline days”. As bad as it sounds, it can be extremely difficult to disconnect ourselves from the hustle and bustle that is constant online. We don’t want to miss out on a thing.

Social media gives us a rush that is described by some as a “runners high”.

That rush of joy we feel when someone retweets, follows or likes what we’ve posted is what some think is happiness, but to me, I think it can take away the ability to look for happiness in less materialistic and superficial places.

I’m not at all shooting down the internet. I’m so grateful for how much my blog and personal brand have grown thanks to the exposure I’ve received on Instagram.

All I’m saying is that we need to know where to draw the line.

We find ourselves starting to live for the media. We have this idea of what life should look like and find ourselves constantly comparing our own lives to the beautifully curated feeds we see on Instagram and Pinterest. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.  Its that constant, unrealistic benchmark that we have set for ourselves and that society has set for us. Emphasis on unrealistic.

I’ve heard people at school say things like “She has such a busy social life! Have you seen her Instagram?” or “Her Instagram has all these photos of her hiking up all these cool mountains. But she’s so clever. When does she study?” Hello? Earth to us all? Instagram is not real life!

I recently listened to a podcast where I heard something very interesting. The hosts were discussing how Instagram has been called ‘visual crack’. Its so easy to get sucked in and spend hours looking at curated photos and then feeling depressed about own, less perfect-looking lives in comparison.

We’ve become obsessed with likes, comments and follows.

Let’s try and change up our barometer for joy.

Let’s go back to the old days where we got joy from spending time in nature or with family, and not only from a retweet.

My personal challenge for 2017 is to have a ‘offline Sunday’ as far as possible. The email can wait.

I challenge you too, to see if you can stay offline for a bit. Even if its just for an hour or two a day where you unplug and connect with yourself and others in a different kind of way.

See how carefree and happy it’ll make you.

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I’ve seen these truth-filled words all over the web, so I created this illustration. All the elements were done by hand first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nabeela x