The Why of Less

The More of Less.

The Joy of Less. 

What about The Why of Less?

You're 1/3 of the way through the 30 day challenge.  It's getting a little harder to find things to toss, but you're still stubbing your toe on boxes or silently swearing when you can't find your keys in the morning.  You want to get rid of more, but you just...can't. 

Not to brag, but if I'm home, I can always find my keys.  However, if I'm anywhere else - parents', friends', hotels - I lose them. It's embarrassing. 

So why can I always find them at home?  

Because they have a home within my home.  I open the door, I hang them on the hook on the wall inside the door.  Period.  

So that's one of my "whys".  I'm a ditz.  I lose things.  

What are your Whys?  Why do you want to declutter? Write them down.  Glance at this paper often.  

 

Some ideas:

Less hassle

Less debt

More time

More energy

Fewer fights 

 

 

Baseball Cards, Collectibles, and the "F"-its

In the face of the rental market from hell, going tiny is looking more and more appealing.  We received a 26% increase last year and are facing a similar increase this November. 

To wit, I've been going through boxes of old "stuff" from my childhood in preparation for downsizing.  Nothing is safe.  Nothing is sacred. 

Most of it is stuff that's been in boxes for 25+ years.  Collectible holiday Barbies (Save them! They'll be worth something! Not!), baseball cards from the years fondly referred to as the "Junk Wax" era, horse figurines from a time before I had a real horse, plaques and awards. 

I preach not having stuff.  But still it persists, 10 66qt boxes of it. So I'm right there with you.  When there are things in your possession that aren't bringing you joy, it's overwhelming. Weekends spent carting bins from my "garage" in my family's shed to my living room. Evenings sorting the "stuff". Mornings before work running bags to Goodwill. 

Sorting through a past of consumption sucks, but the piles do go down.  The "F-its" kick in and the desire to keep the stuff fades.  F-it.  Out it goes. One drawer, one bin, one collection at a time. 

Don't think of it as one big project, break it down into little mini-projects.  Sort through one drawer or container of utensils at a time, not the whole kitchen.  Sort one shelf on your bookcase, not all of your books. 

Remember why you're doing this.  For me, it's about not allowing the amount of stuff I have dictate the amount of living space I need.  I'd rather be nimble and able to move to a smaller apartment when our rent goes up.  What's you're reason?

Less stuff...

...more life

...more time 

...more money

...more sanity?

          Why? Why do I still have this stuff?

          Why? Why do I still have this stuff?

Phone a Friend

Am I alone in being hesitant to call people I've been out of touch with? Or scared to answer the phone when they call me?* 

Time passes, you don't hear from each other. Time morphs into a scary beast - intent on telling you that that they don't care, don't miss you, you're not enough.   

Then, you suck it, phone a friend, and chat for an hour.

You realize that, they were just busy...like you.

They were a bit overwhelmed with the day to day...like you.

They were doing their best to keep in touch with scattered family and friends...like you. 

They love you...and you love them. And talking makes you immensely more connected to the world, your history and your life.  

This week, pick up that phone.

*granted talking on the phone has always been akin to waterboarding for me. As a kid, I used to hide when the phone would ring. As an adult, I make good use of the "Do Not Disturb" function on the iPhone. 

 

Papers: Week 2 - Keep or Toss?

Tax season is over, but you still have piles of papers.  It happens.  

Last week I mentioned using Scannable.  This week, I'd like to give you an exercise to do.

Your goal each day this week is to grab one overstuffed file folder, set the timer for 5 minutes, and toss like a crazy person.  

Have bags for recycling, trash and shredding next to you so you don't have to get up. 

Most people are great at discarding papers they don't need, they just don't schedule the time to do it.  So here it is. 5 minutes. Anyone can schedule 5 minutes for anything, even you, Ms. Busy.  

As for taxes, the "keep your tax documents for 7 years" mantra is not entirely true. The IRS and H&R Block summarize it nicely. Chances are, you can discard a lot more than you think. However, I must tell you to consult your tax professional when discarding tax related documents.  They are the experts, not me. ;-)

 

30 Day Decluttering Challenge

The 30 Day Decluttering Challenge starts May 1. 

 

This is seriously my most favorite time of the year.  I love hearing from you all every day and seeing what clutter you're removing from your home (and life!) in order to make more room for what's important.  

The rules are simple:

  1. Remove 1 item from your home each day (donate, sell, recycle, or trash)
  2. Post what you removed in a comment on either the daily photo on our Facebook page or on this blog post.  i.e. if you threw out a magazine, you just need to write "magazine" in the comments (or post a photo!!)
  3. Use hashtag #MinsGame in your post if you're also playing the Minimalism Game***

*** BONUS:

This year I'm going to add in an extra challenge.  If you're super motivated to make a huge change in your living space, I'd like you to take the 30 day challenge to the next level and play the Minimalism Game.  To play, you remove one item on the first day, 2 on the second, 3 on the third and so on.  Use the hashtag #MinsGame in your comment if you're playing that version. 

If you successfully complete the Minimalism Game, I'll enter your name in the hat twice for a chance at a free session. 

If you'd like to be paired with an accountability partner, email me and I'll set it up!  

You may find it helpful to keep an "outbox" in your entryway or garage to put your donation items in each day.  As it fills, take it to Goodwill.  Rinse. Repeat.