Just a quick post with a few more floral happenings in the garden. This year is the most exciting, since...read more →
Well it’s the end of Week Two of the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge. Have you been playing along? It’s certainly been nice to have excuses to get all the things done that I’ve been needing to get around to!
Here’s the low-down on this week:
Day Eight: Pick one corner. Remove the items that do not belong and enjoy the space.
I chose the corner of my dining room and cleared out a box of stuff that has been sitting there since spring. Now I have a nice-looking dining room again.
We also picked a second area in the living room full of fabric items from when we thought everything was going to be consumed by moths (long story). We’ve been waiting to see that the moths are definitely gone, and it was time to unpack the stuff and have a functional living room again.
Day Nine: Opt for a digital picture frame. You can simplify the amount of photo albums and picture frames you keep by opting for a digital photo frame. Now all your pictures can be proudly displayed at all times, without all the clutter!
This doesn’t really apply to me, since I am young enough to be mostly digital anyway. I print out only what I really want to display, and everything else stays digital (Mirrored onsite and backed up offsite! Make sure you are protecting yourself from losing all though digital files!)
Day Ten: Take an hour for yourself. Spend an hour away from electronics (TV and cell phones included) and use that time for yourself.
If I had to describe an hour taken for myself, it would probably be watching TV or playing a video game. Or playing board games with my friends, or cooking something fun – while streaming background music from my laptop. But for something entirely without technology I decided to weed in the garden – something that sorely needs doing, though it’s not necessarily fun.
Then life got in the way and given the choice between staying home to weed and seeing friends, I opted for a Housewarming Party/Clothing Swap at a friends’ apartment yesterday – and had hours of fun conversation and baby-watching with only minor interruptions by technology. We definitely got more than 60 minutes at a time in, and it was very nice to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in nearly a year, maybe longer.
Day Eleven: Clean out the toy chest. This includes all the toys in the home (pet, child, etc). Work with your family members and sort through items you may no longer need.
We’ve no children here, but we did once have a dog, and we still had a bunch of dog medicines and accessories hanging out on the top shelf of our hallway closet. I should have gotten rid of them a while ago, but I guess I’ve been harboring the hope that we’d want another dog in our lives. Truth is, we’re busy, and until I’m ready to hit the brakes on my career to have kids, having a dog would probably be a disservice to my dog. Sigh. Farewell unneeded doggie bits, I’ve already begun giving you away to friends with dogs.
Day Twelve: Donate items you’re holding onto “just in case”. Today we are going to donate all the items we have purchased in the last year that we are holding onto “just in case”. Extra Credit: If you’re feeling up to it, donate the items you’re holding onto that haven’t been used in the last 3 months.
I don’t buy things “just in case,” but I could still take a stroll through the house for unneeded items, and place them in the box with the rest of the items. So I did!
Day Thirteen: Opt out of store email offers. Let’s clear out our inboxes so we spend less time sifting through the “sales” and more time getting to what really counts.
This was clearly needed, based on this screenshot from a week or so ago. I actually started de-cluttering the inbox then and have since unsubscribed from DOZENS of mailing lists – and some lists more than once. I am definitely feeling a bit more calm when I check my mail!
Day Fourteen: Turn your bedroom into a place of relaxation. Remove the clutter from your bedroom (on top of your nightstand, the foot of your bed, etc). An hour before bed disconnect from electronics to allow yourself time to calm down for the evening.
I am big into relaxation in the bedroom. One of the things I discussed with Adam before we moved in together than that I simply do not do TVs and other distractions in the bedroom. We read on our Kindles and we charge our cellphones on the opposite side of the room from where we sleep. No radios, TVs, computers, or gaming consoles. We also have blackout curtains to keep out unwanted light (like headlights) after hours.
So, our main challenges in the bedroom are closet clutter, the accumulation of small things on our dresser and headboard-shelf-thingy, and laundry! I recently got some baskets to contain our little daily or near-daily items, so the biggest issues are related: closets and laundry.
Really we need to work on some minimalist wardrobes (see this, this, this, and this… this would make me miserable) to reduce laundry so as to reduce laundry clutter. After reading the aforementioned articles, I challenged myself to go through my closet AGAIN and get rid of stuff that I don’t wear a lot. I managed to clear out an overflowing bag of goodies for the swap, and to reorganize my closet (it was in a state of disarray from shoving everything clean into wardrobe bags… more of the moth madness we recently went through).
If I find that I gave away something that fulfilled a particular role, I’ll pick up some second-hand pieces that fit in well (mix-n-match with other pieces) with my wardrobe. At the swap, I snagged two pairs of pants and a dress, as well as several pairs of shoes… nowhere close to the overflowing bag I brought to the swap!
Well, it was definitely more challenging to find time for all the challenge activities this week. I really struggled to keep up and still didn’t get all the things done that I wanted to!
Still, I feel good about the direction I am headed, and I already feel inspired to extend the goodness to some areas that I don’t think this challenge covers, like my car, medicine cabinet, pantry and yard. Mary, for her part, rocked out Week Two. You should check it out, as well as our minimalism-themed Pinterest board.
I can’t wait to see what next week has in store.