On Decluttering

It’s a new year, and another shot at living. May it be the best for everyone!

With each passing year, I have a tendency (and constant yearning) to declutter my life. I do this decluttering in order to maintain balance, joy and freedom to do things I really want to do.

Robberg Hiking Trail – SA

And so, I continue to weed. The following are some of the changes, I’ve made (and continue to make this year) in order to simplify my life:


Everyone who writes a book buys more books that they will ever write. This abundance mentality keeps us happy, too!” – Joanna Penn

The quote above is so true. Just to be clear, I won’t stop reading as long as I still have a good eyesight. So, in an attempt to take care of my eyesight I’ll reading considerable less e-books from now on, and stick with the print format. This will hopefully help me curb expenses, too.

“Do not shrink yourself in order to fit into spaces you’ve outgrown.”

I can’t tell you how good it felt to get rid of the clothes and shoes that no longer fitted or I’ve simply outgrown. The same goes for human relations.

Stiletto Boots

Clear the Runaway

This term, which loosely means focus and align, I heard from my god-daughter who is a pilot. In addition to focusing on the positive and aligning myself with supportive people, I’m constantly working at being mindful of my thoughts to eliminate self-limiting beliefs.

Scarlet ibis


A while back, I created a NOW page on my site in order to address time issues. This helps me not to overcommit and be able to say no to requests, invitations, requirements, etc., if I don’t have the time to fit them in.

Social Media and such

– I clung to Google+ for a long time, not sure why, but it’s gone now.
– Deleted my photo/personal blog, cocoaupnorth. I didn’t have the energy to maintain it anymore.
– I’m in the process of building a new cyber home; a rebranding exercise. I’ll let you know when I’m packing this side.
– Busy editing my Instagram feed to leave only photography. Micropoems will go for print publication (in one form or another) in a distant future. I’m also moving conversations about books to Goodreads. Still getting myself comfortable there, but come join me anytime!

By now you might have guessed my word, simplify, for 2019.

In 2018, my word was self-belief. This word helped me focus on things I wanted to achieve and as well as taking risks. I’m happy with the results.

I’d love to hear your “word” too, if you have any or how you motivate yourself to stay on course, that is, your new year’s resolutions, so to speak.

note: I’ll revert to my weekly blogging schedule, where I’ll also be sharing bits of my Writing and Living and Such… (blogging with friends).

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. Tell you what… I think reading your post has helped me find the word I’ve been looking for. I posted a few days ago about some of my plans… but, I’ve really been mulling over the concept of time management and planning! (Just by the way, for all it’s I’ve just begun a project management certification course… )
    So, when you ask for a word… I think I will have to go for FOCUS!! I feel I have always been good with time management – however, I’m sure you’ll agree, when you’re involved with a few different writing projects, flexibility is a desired trait – but, now… I’ll concentrate on focusing on the immediate need… complete the projects without jumping about too much!

    OK – onto the de-clutter – I will work through that one too… I don’t do most of the “useless” social medias (read – facebook/ IG/ G+/ and others…) so, I’ve pared that down already. I’ve promised myself to spend less time on Twitter and LI – mmmm, I wonder! Blogging will always be my SM mainstay!

    Onto Goodreads… I don’t really get it… I’m there but I haven’t seen any real benefits… maybe you can help, for – I joined to try and promote The Lucky Thirteen!

    OK – enough said! Apart from… thanks for the great post and for giving me the “word”!

  2. I’m trying to leave behind things that don’t give me joy or weigh me down too much. Good luck with your simplifying mission!

  3. I love decluttering, Khaya, but I must admit I’m not very good at it. I live in a house without one single closet. Ugh! Ha ha. I love your list of ways to declutter not only your surroundings but your time and energy. You’re an inspiration. Have a beautiful care free new year. <3

  4. Yay! So pleased to hear my post helped you come up with your own word. And Focus, it is! I really hope you’ll keep reminding yourself to focus on the task at hand, instead of juggling too many writing projects. I struggle with this juggling or multitasking myself, hence my goal to simplify.

    Good for you, when it comes to social media. I have to admit it is a time-suck. I’m hugely tempted to shut it all down. But still it has it’s benefits, for instance, I mostly use FB to connect with family and friends.

    Instagram on the other hand, is downright exhausting with the need to show up everyday in order to build readership. It’s just not possible for me to keep up, sooner or later I’ll let it go too.

    With Twitter, I once read an interview where a writer being interviewed said “If you are a writer and you are not on Twitter, you are not a serious writer.” That pretty much helped me with the decision not to join, because I’m not a serious writer, you see. 😀

    Blogging is what I enjoy, and works better for me. As for Goodreads, I’m still setting myself up. So, we shall see. But my main attraction is that I wanted a place, where I can catalogue books I’ve read, want to read and connect with other book lovers. So, I think with almost every platform promoting one’s book shouldn’t be the only aim but enjoyment as well.

    Anyway, that’s my view on social media and such. Thanks to you too for taking time to read and comment. Much appreciated.

    Last but not least, all the best with your project management course. May it lead to great things!

  5. Thanks my friend. Decluttering is not easy, but I have to do it now and again to maintain balance and harmony. I’m a Libran, chaos scares me. 😀

  6. Decluttering is a wonderful cleanser of space and soul. I get rid of some things every spring and at the end of October–I could certainly get rid of more, but I must do it slowly… or forced, lol (when my nerve damage got really bad, I gave away all my high heel shoes, my thin strap purses followed… It’s nice to have the space. 😀

    I, too, am working on website/blog stuff. I was planning to start doing this after my treatment was finished, but… my website went wonky… and you know the rest. When life throws the ball, better kick it.

    I’m working on a book and some stories. It’s nice to know that we are doing together… from afar.

    Hm, a word…

    I have a phrase: I’ll continue to turn horrors into armor.

  7. I agree, decluttering is a wonderful cleanser for both. It’s not always easy though to get rid of stuff, and cut loose the dead weight. But nothing beats the wonderful feeling once it’s done.

    I don’t wear much high heel shoes myself, nowadays, only on few occasions. I swapped them for wellies, when we moved to the countryside years ago. And even now that we are back in the city again, I don’t have much use for them; comfort is key. 😀

    Yes, I saw your post on moving your website. It’s lots of work but slowly does it. We’ll eventually get there.

    This is one of the reasons I love blogging; doing it together with friends even from afar is really encouraging. And I’ll let you in on a secret, one of the poems in the upcoming chapbook was inspired by you. Remember your prompt, “Healer” on Witches in Fiction a few years back? That piece took a life of its own… This is what I mean by support and inspiration. 🙂

    And yes, your phrase is perfect. It captures your positive energy that rubs off to the rest of us as you continue to turn horrors into armor, so well. Keep at it!

    All the best, Maga. Looking forward to your upcoming book.

  8. I wish you the best! I always freeze like a deer in the headlights while undergoing big changes….then suddenly move at lightning speed to purge all the excess… So while I wait for lady luck, my keyword for 2019 is FOCUS… Let’s see how this year turns out (clutter, or organized clutter. Hmmm.)

  9. Good luck with the decluttering! Any little bit helps, I think. My husband and I went through our closets and either donated or threw away four bags of clothes. There’s still much to be done with all the other “stuff” we have, but it’s a start. Focus on the positivity, which leads me to my words for the year: joy and gratitude!

  10. Aha! Another FOCUS. It is a useful word, and especially when undergoing big changes. Hope it helps you with the organized clutter (manuscripts) that I know many of us, your blog followers, are looking forward to see them in finished state. 🙂 All the best to you too, KC.

  11. I love everything you’re doing! I have been decluttering for about 3 years now and it feels great. Now with people, I have “learned”, to walk away, when I should. This kind of decluttering is the best! LOL! For 2019, I am going to continue to listen to my soul! Who knows what will happen? I love the photo of you and your friend! Big Hugs!

  12. Thanks, Catherine! Amazing, four bags of clothes!? They’ll certainly come in handy to some who really needs them. Kudos to you.

    And your words joy and gratitude…so relevant. There are so many pressures and anxieties nowadays, that rob us of celebrating small victories. May your year be abundant!

  13. Yes, decluttering always feel great. And I think you very wise, when it comes to people…walking away, when you should.
    Keep listening to your soul, and keep doing what you love.
    Thanks, my dear friend. Hugs!

  14. I love your photos, Khaya, especially the one of you and your friend…oh and the Ibis (Birds of Eden)
    I also like the quote “Do not shrink yourself in order to fit into spaces you’ve outgrown.”
    My word this year is “gentle”…..especially with myself!
    “Clear the runway”…I think I’ll try that.
    Happy New year! xxxx

  15. Thank you for comment, Anonymous! Oh, yes we do need to be gentle with ourselves. Your chosen word is important. All the best for the New Year.

  16. Both my housemate and I gave away many New and gently used clothing to the Church.

    The Church gives away clothing on Wednesdays to those in need.

Do leave a trace!