Heroine in Training: Suzanna the De-Cluttering Dragon

Heroine in Training: Suzanna the De-Cluttering Dragon

During the MinsGame, I was so inspired by my teammate Suzanna (aka @RockRollHippie) as she took her first steps into minimalism! She’s been majorly downsizing, not just in her home, but with her online identity, which has been reduced to mysterious near-anonymity. Her style is the polar opposite of mine, but our principles are the same!

What surprised you about de-cluttering?

De-cluttering – apparently – is different from re-organizing. I realize now that I was not de-cluttering, but moving things around many, many times. Just cut the crap. You cannot organize clutter! I thought I owned too much stuff, but really: my stuff was owning me. It weighted me down. De-cluttering can be (is!) very overwhelming and energy-draining. The same goes for owning a lot of stuff, on a daily basis. Year in, year out. Better bite the bullet. Out of sight, out of mind: stuff out the house is a load taken off the mind.

What does being a heroine mean to you?

It means “be the heroine of your own story”. In my case: she may not always choose the right or easiest path in life, but she’ll get there. She enjoys the moment, and is always moving forward. She’s independent, playful, a trooper who takes a backseat when needed, and more curious than brave. She’s interested in fellow heroine’s stories, challenges herself, faces her fears, goes on adventures, and makes mistakes. She tries to do her best; she believes nothing is impossible. You live, you learn. Overcome. And live happily ever after.

Heroine in Training: Suzanna the De-Cluttering Dragon

What is your daily ritual?

The start of my day is the most important part for me. It’s one full hour of total me-time. After waking up the first thing I do is pour myself a cup of coffee my sweet husband has left for me in the pot [he gets up at 4 so he can enjoy almost the same relaxing ritual of “Me Time” before he goes to work a busy day.]. Than I make myself some breakfast. Whatever I do, I always eat a proper breakfast – 2 slices of bread – within an hour of waking up. I choose to enjoy my breakfast in bed while reading the newspaper online, checking e-mail etc. Than I get dressed and I am more than ready for whatever the day will bring.

How has de-cluttering changed your life?

In a big, huge, massive way! I come from a long line of hoarders. Buy, collect, store, repeat: that’s how I’ve been raised. All I knew. It’s been a long process, but I found a way to break that habit. When I started letting go of things a tiny bit, I already felt so much better. It’s much easier to breath and relax without stuff around me: constant reminders of things done and things to do. Now I feel more creative. Lighter, happier, proud & free. I can focus better on what is important for me. Back to basics. Quality over quantity.

I’ve gone from a self-confessed shopaholic to a practicing minimalist in about four years. During my progress I always joked I’d be debt- and clutter-free at forty. Well, mission accomplished! I got rid of 4000+ things by de-cluttering & playing MinsGame, paid my dues, lost 55 lbs. in weight and gained back my life.

Heroine in Training: Suzanna the De-Cluttering Dragon

What is your shopping strategy?

I shopped mostly on impulse, so I have come up with a few rules:

♡ Shop only for what you need.

♡ Make a list.

♡ Buy only what you honestly need, absolutely love, and – with clothes – could see yourself wearing every day.

Shopping is way more relaxing when you only have to look at one color. For example: (my husband and) I have been wearing nothing but black clothes for at least 10 years now. So in the clothing shops I’d just look at anything black. Also, I know what fabrics I like wearing (machine wash/tumble-dry) and I can spot it on the clothing racks. In our home it’s also: one in, one out. Makes you think twice of what you’d get rid of before you buy something new/a replacement.

With which character from fiction do you most identify?

This question made me laugh out loud and I seriously enjoyed thinking about how to answer it for days. There’s only one character I could come up with: Falkor, the luck-dragon from The Never Ending Story. He’s likes to be outdoors, is totally relaxed, and there when you need him. He will help you on your way, he’s very open minded, and believes everything is possible with a bit of luck. Oh and he’s not afraid to wear a bit of glitter!

miss xandra bee

P.S. If you fancy joining the MinsGame like Suzanna and I did, take a look at the beginning: I’m Getting Rid of 496 Things.

  • Rebecca B

    I’m very impressed – the release of the extra baggage, weight, and belongings is so inspiring here. I don’t think I could commit to a single color, but do agree that limiting one’s palette helps to eliminate a lot of extra wardrobe. I’m currently considering eliminating anything that isn’t black / gray / tan / cream / blue / off-red (either direction).

    • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

      I don’t like wearing black myself (Suzanna and I balance each other out on the color spectrum!), so I wear navy, white, or soft grey instead 🙂

      • Rebecca B

        I do wear a bit of black, because for suiting (worn for work) it’s easier to find pieces to interchange, but in addition to not flattering me much, it also shows ALL OF THE PET HAIR. So I use it sparingly…

        • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

          ha! you should match your suits to your pet 😉

          • Rebecca B

            Ha! Yes. That’s the ticket. At least they are all the same color (red and white – a corgi and two ginger tabbies).

          • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

            excellent colors! 😉

        • A outfit isn’t complete without pet hair! haha.

      • I think the only day in the past 10 years that I didn’t wear black, was on my wedding day. I tried to find a black flirty summer dress in November… didn’t work out. So I choose to play dress-up and bought a white strapless wedding dress + long veil on Ebay. Had so much fun dressing up as a bride + it looks great in our wedding pictures – haha.

    • Thank you! * blush * I love color, but I get easily bored with it: wearing it, looking at it… I don’t wear it enough to enjoy it. Or the other way around 😉 Not worth the hassle of having it. That’s why I limited it. Easier to focus on what I need. We also have color-schemes for our interior. Like, our bedroom is completely white, living room black/white/grey. I find shopping way more fun & relaxing since we’ve eliminated a lot of what’s available just by choosing the color(s) that we like to live in. It really works for us.

  • I want to play the mins game!! It sounds like fun. Plus I need to do that, considering I’m moving soon. Don’t want to take the clutter with me. I’m not sure if I could handle wearing only one color for the rest of my life though. I love me some color. 🙂

    • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

      I feel the same way about color 🙂 But yeah, try the mins game! You’ll be amazed at what you can declutter.

      • I think I will one day! For now, I just need to get rid of as much as possible as quick as possible. haha.

    • Do play minsgame before you move! Or while you pack. While playing I often ask myself: would I take this with me if I moved house? Is it worth the hassle of moving around, packing… Good luck!

      • I definitely want to get rid of a TON of stuff before I move! Thanks! 🙂

      • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

        I do this when I’m cleaning my room as well. I think, do I want to spend the time to keep putting this object back in its place, or can I do without it?

  • Sarah S.

    Great post! I definitely couldn’t commit to wearing one color. I did, however, realize that I don’t need to have any khaki/brown pants (and the brown/color shoes you need to go with them… I wouldn’t wear black shoes with brown pants) because they always made me feel blahhhh. It is so important to get rid of any clothing/accessories/makeup that don’t add “I look AWESOME points +10!” cuz you only have one body, possibly one closet, and why wouldn’t you want to be the best version of yourself and use your favorite every day?

    • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

      Love this assessment! Cut out the khaki if it doesn’t inspire you! 🙂

    • Yes exactly, only keep & wear what you absolutely love! Every day.

  • Thanks for reminding me to declutter, Xandra! My wardrobe looked remarkably like Suzanna’s. I’ve committed to wearing only monochrome (mostly black, rarely with white or gray) for a few years now and it’s helped out a lot. It’s like having a personal uniform!

    • I love monochrome too (in our interior)! And I love wearing my uniform. 🙂

    • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

      Uniforms can be empowering (Mark Zuckerberg will agree!) as long as they are carefully chosen! 🙂

  • Thanks for all the lovely comments 🙂 In all honestly: besides black ones, I recently started wearing printed leggings with a bit of color on it. I’ve a pair in black/white, with black/pink blossom print, pink crystals and one with space kittens on it. Just because I really love them (could see myself wear them every day!) and “I only wear black” isn’t carved in stone 😉

    • Xandra | Fashionably Light ★

      It’s a good strategy: start with what you know you love (black), and slowly branch out into other areas!