I’ve been flirting with Zen, exploring peace and super stunned by mini-homes. Last near-end of winter sparked an interest in an intriguing early July Event-brite posting. A click and another lead me to a place I had been before. About a year ago, I stumbled upon Leo Babauta and shared his ZenHabits.net site in one of my weekly Midweek Encouragement Newsletters.
At the time, I was focused on eliminating excess and clutter. It was, after all, the third time I’d be moving in six years. Each time – losing a little more. A little more of my belongings, and my memories; paring down for expense reasons. I also got tired of moving it all around and having to pay people to help me do so. Luckily, many of my movers were acquaintances content with a sandwich and a few bucks for gasoline.
On an only slightly warm July early evening, I coerced a companion into first discovering a school I never knew existed in my neighborhood, and then attending a free seminar by a duo known as “The Minimalists.” Traumatized by the death of an immediate family member and the demise of a relationship (sound familiar?) the search for something more began. Interestingly, Babauta discovery played a part in leading them on to greater things. Actually, it led them on to lesser things, which, in my opinion (and theirs) has led to greater things.
I see the draw. Lamentably, there isn’t much I am willing to minimalize. My things are functional, and my drawers and closets aren’t stuffed. If something breaks, I might not replace it. I don’t have much that will break, though. Going on five years without a television has been easy, except for those few times a year when I find myself wishing I could tune in to a special program.
To my credit, I have been saying, “No.” As much as I loved that imitation potted plant I was recently offered, my little fiends would be bent on destroying it, and truthfully, I had nowhere to put it, anyway. I also passed up an event t-shirt. I really liked it; thought it was nicely done, very artistic. I truly have enough event t-shirts. I’m getting another one Thursday night. It’s mandatory that I wear it, so it will come home with me. If I wore every “around the house” logo’d, promotion oriented, group identifying shirt, I wouldn’t run out for two weeks. They double duty as pj tops, too. Just sayin’.
Then, there’s my love and bane. Art supplies. This move provided me with a long dreamt of studio. All of my craft paper is sorted, colorized, neatly tucked away in mobile drawers within a closet. Envelopes are in another drawer; card stock in another. Gems, brads, ribbon, glue, beads, punches, embossers, cutting machines, enamel embossing powders, brayers, brushes, fabric (lots of fabric), markers, canvases: for the first time stored neatly, within reach and find. There’s an end product to be had, and release of long pent creativity. Now, I just need to find the time. I know that’s no excuse. I have an abundance of time. Time that gets sucked up by… real life, I guess.
What’s left? Clothes will wear out. I am planning on wearing them out. For those about to balk, realistically, I’m also expecting another closet intervention in the vicinity of 6 years future. Not earlier than that.
Since I’m at a point where I feel that I can’t, won’t, and don’t think I really need to minimalize, I have decided to attack organized reduction in another way. My philosophic minimalism is less about elimination, and more about non-accumulation. In this spirit, I have created, The Minimal List.
Inventories are amazing tools. My detailed, Excel-blocked stock of pantry, paper goods, pet supplies, bake and cookware, sneakers and shoes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, towels, sheets; nope don’t need to buy any of these things. Some of that is due to the existence of Costco. Some of that is due to my ditzy tendency to forget my shopping list and regularly choosing to be on the safe side. I recently bought mega bathroom tissue, mega paper towel and mega napkins, only to discover I had already mega’d it all on an earlier run. I won’t run out for a while. I also have a little over another year of laundry soap. Pet supplies are always purchased on sale, usually with coupons. I buy in mock “bulk.” I cart up two or three bags at a time, and do the same with litter. It’s monetarily sound. I won’t deny the convenience factor, especially in winter.
The challenger for me is “need.” I evaluate everything on it now. Do I need new bras? No, I just bought some. However, I found one I liked and who knows how long that particular style will be available? So, while they are on-sale, and I have a $10.00 discount coupon and free shipping and get 9% cash back through DubLi, well, I heavily consider. I also reevaluate my budget, and decide what is going by the wayside, and immediately account for the reallocation of funds. Make no mistake, this constant consciousness is tiring and time-consuming. Someday, I hope, this will be rote.
When I moved into my current space a year ago, I sloughed off the suggestion that this place would be too big for me. I didn’t see it that way. I wanted the studio. I’m glad I have it. I also have to admit this place is too big for me. My smaller one was about $250.00 more a month, for one-third the space. Ridiculous, but true; it was also comfortable. I would have stayed if I could have afforded to.
Mini homes are on the upswing. I love the idea, the minimal cash layout, the reusable resources, and the limited space that demands minimal. To me, a mini home feels like a hug encouraging a conscious, embraceable lifestyle. The only drawback to mini homes is the probable lack of studio space. I’d need another mini home for that. It could double as a guest cottage, though.
So, yes, in a dreamland way, I’m onboard with this particularly appealing program. I’m keen on this mind-blowing sub-culture, hopefully headed more mainstream. Minimalism. I can do that.
Quote for the Week: jakorte 08/05/2014
Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:
The Minimalists: http://www.theminimalists.com/
Leo Baubata: http://zenhabits.net/
I’m in love with this Tumbleweed: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/blogs/tumbleweed/14061973-step-inside-a-tumbleweed-cottage
(* If you are interested in signing up for DubLi, please, please, let me know and I will send you a referral link! I get credit, and you get cash back on purchases. Yes, it works! I have 7.56 cash back in my account after using a $10.00 off coupon for Kohl’s to buy bras on sale, earning $10.00 Kohl’s cash, plus I also got 9% back from DubLi)