Saturday, October 22, 2011

Minimalizing... wait, is that a word?

I've been reading a blog called Minimalist Mom for a while & just started reading her ebook. Her recent post is one of many inspirations right now to pare down all the stuff in my life, starting with orange juice.

We get the bulk of our groceries delivered via SPUD, including not just organic fruit & veggies, but bagels, milk, eggs, cheese & juice. About 6 litres of orange juice a month. Which we actually don't drink that often. Sprout's not yet had orange juice & I don't think I want to give him juice of any kind any time soon. When I logged in to the SPUD site to eliminate this juice from our standing order, I did a quick calculation. We have been spending around $180 a year on juice!

The orange juice isn't the only thing I've been 'minimalizing. I think I'm going to take a second stab at my wardrobe & thin it out even more. The three garbage bags I pulled out last week are good, but I'm still left with more than I really need. Footwear is at the top of the list. I have a number of pairs of shoes hanging around the house that I haven't parted with for some reason, despite never wearing them. Quite a few of them are heels that I loved, but can no longer wear without inflicting serious pain on myself. I am never going to be one of those single-pair-of-shoes people. I regularly wear at least five pairs: runners, brown leather boots, black mary janes, red converse & my green Birkenstock sandals. Then there is the second string of red boots, peep-toe ballet flats, hiking/winter boots, gumboots & a few other pairs of Birkenstocks that I almost forgot to get out of storage this past summer. My coat collection is also a bit ridiculous. If I sit & think about it for a minute, I think I still (after weeding out a few) have more than ten coats of various kinds.

Hmm... you know, I've been trying to 'minimalize' in many small ways for a long time, now that I think of it. A while ago, I came across a post on Google Plus about Inbox Zero. Basically a habit to get into so that your inbox isn't the electronic version of a hoarder's home office. I've been more or less successful at this, having a fairly tidy inbox most of the time. Every so often, I add to my gmail filters to reduce the amount of mail I get that I'm not going to be interested in. I ruthlessly delete anything I don't need & I just click 'archive' as soon as I've read anything that I might want to hang onto. Now if only my actual paper filing cabinet looked as good. That's a project for another day: weeding out ancient documents, scanning some things & organizing what I do feel the need to keep. I suspect there will be a small mountain of shredded paper afterward. Anyone need any for packing material or something?

I don't think I'm getting too obsessed by this 'minimalizing' stuff, but it definitely has become a hobby of sorts. I delight in finding new & interesting ways to get rid of stuff. My latest discovery was the notice of an upcoming craft supplies 'free store' at Rhizome. I have already sorted out a large shopping bag of ribbon, fake flowers, beads & various other crafty items that I haven't touched for years. I realized today while watching an episode of Consumed online that I have several sets of paint that I could add to the bag: gouache, watercolour & oil. I will keep my acrylics though--I actually use those occasionally.

Think I'll sign off with an interesting TED talk I just saw on YouTube. Another way to cut back on the acquisition of stuff: Collaborative Consumption. It's about 20 minutes long, but worth your while.

1 comment:

  1. I love that tv show Consumed. It's a good motivator for cleaning too. I've watched Hoarders and such, but they are so extreme, it is hard to find common ground. Consumed is filmed locally too-did you know?
    Thanks for these blog posts, it's getting me moving to get rid of stuff too! I started my closet, but got stalled after I removed 5 garbage bags. ;) I need to dig out my maternity clothes and turf them too-definately won't need them again! Shoes are a biggie too..and coats...


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