A Brief Theory of (De-cluttering) Everything

Getting rid of things that just don’t matter goes a long way toward making room for things that do.

Yesterday, I posted about the millions and millions of search results out there for minimalism.  Today, the WordPress Daily Prompt happens to be simplify. (More on that here:  Daily Prompt: Simplify).

I’ve never done the Daily Prompt, but today seemed like a good day to start.  Minimalism has been on my mind as I go about the business of updating various parts of my house.  No big renovations, just some minor improvements, all of which I can handle myself with absolutely no training (which is exactly the amount of training I have).

One of the most important things I’m doing is getting rid of stuff. If I don’t actually use it, need it, or like it, it’s going.  It’s amazing how many things we hang on to just because we feel like we should.  I don’t mean sentimental things, I mean things that somehow found their way into the accretion disk swirling around my life’s event horizon.

Last year, I started putting some of the minimalist philosophy into practice.  Black t-shirts and blue jeans became my daily decent-weather look.  It’s slimming, it always matches, and it’s one less thing to worry about.  I have one go-to thermal hoodie for when it gets cold, and a black corduroy sport-coat style jacket when necessary.  I’ve had my boots for a year-and-half and just changed the laces.  I’m good for another 3000 miles at least.

This has been very freeing, and so I’ve started applying it to the way I (try to) organize my house.

One of the tenets of Apple-Store style minimalism is that open space is beautiful.  As a writer, I was trained to fill in blanks.  Yesterday, I put a shelf bathroom to keep the counter empty.  It turns out, open space is beautiful.  I feel kind of like a Jedi.

The little trash can on a track beneath my kitchen sink?  I don’t use it.  Gone.  The wine glasses on the top shelf of the cabinet?  When am I ever having wine with that many people?  I’ll fill them each with M&Ms and donate to the church’s raffle.  Exactly how many Tupperware lids with no corresponding vessels does one home need?  You know what time it is.

Excising the stuff from my life means making more room for better uses of my time and money.  It honestly feels like the physical practice of downsizing is helping me think better, like the brainstorm mess of everything I could keep around is giving way to just a few important points.  A thesis, if you will.  I’m eating healthier, drinking more water, and exercising more.  Getting rid of things that just don’t matter goes a long way toward making room for things that do.

 

 

Martha Stewart’s Dead Fish Fashion Tee

Pinterest.  I love you.  You gave me this:

 

This is a DIY T-shirt project from Martha Stewart.  Cool design, right?

Take a look at the Tools and Materials List.  First thing: whole fish or fish replica.

First How-To Step: Generously ink fish.

What?

I like how she gives you a template for the hook, though.

Bromance Valentines On Their Way

If you Google “valentine for bromance,” this post from last February is the first result.  I can’t prove that I invented the Bromance Valentine, but I believe I owe the public an updated offering this year.  Look for that by the 13th.

In the meantime, enjoy this DIY Freaks and Geeks Valentine I gave my wife last year:

How To Make A Hollow Book in Which to Hide Your Stuff

If you went to a high school, you knew a kid who tried to do this. Trust me on that. (No, it wasn’t me.) Now that you’re all growed-up like Wendy Darling, what kinds of things would you use something like this for? Oh, and kids, if you’re reading: don’t bring crap you’re not supposed to to school. Unless it’s something funny. Also, don’t do drugs.

found here via StumbleUpon.

My favorite part of this whole project has to be the inclusion of our old friend, the 3.5 inch floppy disk.  I also appreciated “make sure this is your book” and “make sure you use a hardcover book.”  Now, honestly, I actually cringe at the very thought of cutting or otherwise mangling a book no matter what the awesome final product.  When I find old books at garage sales, I bring them home and nurse them back to health.  Maybe you have a damaged, unusable, unsalvageable edition of something that you can re-purpose for these kinds of projects. If so, then, like Mitch Hedberg used to say, I’m for ’em.

Speaking of Mitch Hedberg, I’m pretty sure he invented Twitter.  Is a post on that forthcoming?  I think you know the answer to that, friend.

Speaking of StumbleUpon, if you use it, let me know so we can connect and share recommendations, reviews, and likes.  If you don’t know what it is, let me just say that it has precious little to do with Culture Club.  Misheard title lyrics there are “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.”  You’d think these guys would be all over that.

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