The Minimalists Documentary

We watched the Minimalists documentary last night.  We watched through Netflix but it looks like several other options to watch are available.

The film didn’t really “teach” us anything new, but it did remind us about our journey and why we are decluttering the stuff.  It allowed us to think about other aspects of minimalism and simplifying.  Finding your own fulfillment is what life should be about.  We would recommend it – just don’t expect to learn why you should be a minimalist.

Quote from film that is the big message in just 4 words:

Love People, Use Things

Here is the link to the film:  Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Here is the link to their website:  The Minimalists

January Challenge Update #4

So this month’s challenge was . . . challenging!  Not only keeping track of the number of items each day, but documenting with pictures was more effort than we thought.  We had the counting down – both of us counting “trash” and “recycling” stuff as we worked, donation stuff in a box to be tallied when the tax list was prepared.  Easy system for us!

Then we added the number of items to equal the date challenge.   This aspect was strange for us.  We were used to just working until we felt finished for the day.  Trying to maintain the daily removal, especially as the month’s end was looming, was more difficult than we ever expected.  Stopping at a specific number each day took more restraint than we are used to!  

The positive is how easy decluttering the stuff can be if you take it one day at a time – each day has a specific goal whether it is a number, location, type of items, etc.  Just set a goal!

Barb had “fun” playing with a new app to make a collage of the pictures – each day being put into a single collage.  It was more effort than she is willing to continue!  Our numbers updates may occasionally include pictures in the future but we are done with the pics of everything leaving the house and which items should “count”.

January did see 601 items leave the house.  It also saw the addition of a new high efficiency washing machine – more on that soon.

 

days 24-27 for blogPhototasticCollage-2016-01-31-16-59-58

 

days 28-31 for blog PhototasticCollage-2016-01-31-17-02-03

 

 

January Challenge Update #2

One January challenge is to rid our home/garage of items each day equal to the date.  So far we have kept it up!  Barb loves the Phototastic Collage App for Windows 10!  Can you guess Barb’s favorite color??

Total Items removed so far:  419 of our goal – 2016 items in 2016!

for blog 8-11 PhototasticCollage-2016-01-16-20-14-25
Day 8:  old washcloth, backpack and the trash found in it   Day 9: Curtains and polygrip for the crown that fell off   Day 10:  4 hangers, boot box, 5 burned cd’s    Day 11:  6 tights, 4 watch batteries, sunglass case
for blog 12 - 15 PhototasticCollage-2016-01-16-20-15-42
Day 12:  2 purses, 2 directions on using fondant, 2 craft kits, 6 unworn undies   Day 13:  13 whiteboard markers taken back to work   Day 14: 14 random things from the desk   Day 15: 15 undies worn only once and not liked

Decluttering Challenges for 2016

We are participating in 2 different challenges this year:

  1. Remove 2016 items during 2016
  2. For January, remove the number of items which corresponds to the date (e.g. Jan 14 will be 14 items) found at Embracing Homemaking

We are pretty confident we can reach 2016 items.  We are organizing and documenting the decluttered items for the January challenge set up at Embracing Homemaking.  Documenting the items is already “a challenge” and it is only day 7!  Here is some of the stuff we have decluttered.

for blog PhototasticCollage-2016-01-07-15-32-30
Day 1: Keep in mind kiddo #1 has her PhD and kiddo #2 is in 3rd year of medical school.  Day 2: Bags from when they both were in high school, one with tag 😦  Day 3: leggings.  Day 4: Jeans, hard to see pair 4 at bottom of pic.

 

for blog PhototasticCollage-2016-01-07-15-29-08
Day 5: Camisole type shirts.  Day 6: Fabric, pattern, etc and receipt dated 2008 for a dress never made.  Day 7: Uncomfortable bras.

Our Annual Black Friday “Boycott”

While in college, both of us had to work the day after Thanksgiving – John at a bank and Barb in retail.  The busyness then was nothing compared to current madness.  Stores remained closed on Thanksgiving and opened at 7 or 8 am on Black Friday. 

When we finally got jobs that gave us the day after Thanksgiving off, we avoided shopping. Now, 30 years later, we still avoid shopping this day, even online. 

Our original reasons for boycotting purchasing today stem from having experienced it from the other side with crazy customers on the busiest day of the year. We really didn’t want to experience it from the consumer side!  Now our minimalist, anti-consumerism, simplifying outlook on life influences this decision even further.

Is the “really great deal” of stuff worth it?  Do you really save money when you buy random stuff in the hopes you can give it up someone?   Was the time and stress worth the savings?  Will the recipient enjoy the random stuff?  Do you really need to add more clutter to someone’s life?  Did you enjoy the experience of Black Friday shopping?   

Grandma took the girls one year Black Friday shopping while they were in high school (because Mommy wanted nothing to do with shopping at 6 am)  Both had never experienced the madness of Black Friday. They came home physically and emotionally exhausted, understanding why we avoided the madness.   Neither of the kiddos are shopped today!  

So to those of you Black Friday shoppers, enjoy the crowds!  We are going to be doing something else!  

Does it really need to be connected to the Internet??

We recently read an article in the New York Times (Sep 6, 2015) by Allison Arieff titled “The Not Very Smart Home”.  (Online the title appears to be “The Internet of Way Too Many Things” – not sure why the difference)

Here’s the link.

She seems to hit certain dilemmas in our minimalist/simplification/environmentally-friendly quest right on the head.  We often comment about some of the same things she mentions in her article.

“…a night light that “listens” for your smoke detector to go off and then calls your smartphone to let you know your house might be on fire.”

“Technology is integrated not because it is necessary, but because the technology exists to integrate it.”

Wouldn’t it be better if the night light called the fire department??? Continue reading