Category Archives: Purging Possessions

I am going to make a fancy jar… We’ll fill it full of dreams, money and intention

I am going to get a big Mason Jar. Like the ones my mom ket raisins in. They had about a one gallon capacity. I am going to invite Hannah to join me in writing down all our hopes and dreams to put in the jar with any change in our pockets at the end of the day. Sound fun? It does to me.

 

And one last thing. We CAN’T FORGET to keep on laughing!!

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Read this Post by Joshua Becker on Why honesty is the best policy for simplicity.

This Article is by Joshua Becker of BecomingMinimalist.com :

Why Honesty is the Best Policy for Simplicity

by joshua becker

“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” -Abraham Lincoln

A life of simplicity can be defined as a life that has removed all of the nonessentials. It is marked by oneness. It is uncomplicated. As a result, it is freeing. It allows our lives to be focused on the things that are most important to us.

Simplicity in life cannot be achieved without honesty. Honesty can live without simplicity, but simplicity cannot live without honesty. Consider the fact that every time we are not truthful, we create an alternate reality. And subsequently, we are forced to live a life in both worlds: the true one and the one we’ve created. On the other hand, when we choose honesty in all aspects of life including our marriage, our business, and our relationships, we live the same life wherever we are. Honesty leads to simplicity, but dishonesty leads to duplicity – the exact opposite. (Read More)

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Hello Stuff, We Need To Talk…

Dear Stuff (and your friends, too),

I am not surprised you’re still hanging around my house, Stuff. You have lived with me a long time. Some of you have been here since I was a baby. I know a lot of you think that you are the embodiment of a special memory of mine, or that you represent people that I love, but that is simply not true. I have been trying to tell you this for a long time.

I know I send you mixed signals. In the past I have given a lot of you away to better homes. I admit, some of you I said were going to go live on a farm in Ohio actually got tossed into garbage cans. I have said, over and over, that I didn’t want you, and yet, I have kept allowing you to stay and have even added more of your friends to my collections.

Ceramic Vase, I know you think you are my mother, but you are not. You are simply a vase. You are not her words, her hands or her amazing poetry. You just sit on the shelf with the rest of your brick-a-brac mates and make me dust you.

Prom Dress, I know you know I will never wear you again. Why do you make me store you and move you time and again across the country? I’m beginning to resent you.

Beauty Products, there are simply way too many of you. It’s too difficult to keep you in line. I know you said you were using protection, but I swear you guys are multiplying.

Clothing, you are the worst of all. I am afraid 80% of you will have to go. I simply can not spend so much time and money washing you, ironing you, trying to find you and hanging you back up. You will find good homes. You are good Stuff.

Maybe that’s the hardest part about our breakup, Stuff. You are all good Stuff. But this is the end of the line. I am breaking up with most of you. Very few of you will be left here in the house and I want you to know, you are not allowed to multiply. If one more of you comes to stay, one of you will have to leave. One in, One out.

I’m sorry it has to be this way. I know you were hoping with all the distractions I’ve had that maybe I had forgotten about letting you go. I can see how you may have had that impression. I have left most of you in boxes, piled around the apartment, for over a month. But let me be clear, I have not forgotten. These are your last days. Say your goodbyes now, The Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity is coming soon.

For those of you unclaimed by family or unsold at the end of the day of the yard sale, know this: You will be taken to the thrift store and dropped off.

Thanks for being there for me when I thought I needed you. You may go now and help someone else.

 

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The Cave Man(ifesto)

The following is Matt Medeiro’s “Cave Man(ifesto).” If this little piece of textual wizardry doesn’t get you in the mood to simplify and get outside, I don’t know what will. Also, be sure to check out Close the Laptop (and change your life).

We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

We can fly. Our voices can cross continents, connecting every corner of the Earth, and our thoughts can float farther than ever before on each breath of our Internet connections. We can cure the incurable, embrace more information than we ever thought existed, and share our experiences — our memories – with a vividness and speed that was previously impossible.

Funny thing, then, that we feel worse off than ever before. Funny thing, then, that even the most fervent tech-head can’t deny this one simple truth: for every wondrous advancement the modern world has offered, the humans living within it have continued to suffer.

We face a health crisis of unimaginable proportions. We live in a world of staggering complexity, of a thousand different voices shouting as loud as possible in the overcrowded space inside our skulls. We search and search for simplicity and still come up empty-handed, weighed down instead with so many unnecessary wrinkles on what we know should be simple.

Sound familiar?

THE CAVE MAN(IFESTO)

This manifesto is for people like you. This manifesto is for people like us: every single person who recognizes the wonderful innovations of modern times in the same breath we recognize the enormous appeal of glancing back at a stronger, simpler past.

This manifesto is for everyone who wants balance.

We want a middle ground between the old world and the new one, and we want it for the one part we know we can change: us. Ourselves. This manifesto isn’t a call to change the world. It’s not a call for global upheaval, and nor is it intended to crack any modern social order at the base.

It’s an opportunity, instead, to take control of our greatest asset — ourselves — and change it for the better. It’s a request, for every single one of you, to rethink the way you live, and to realize that a few simple tweaks can bring you right where you want to be: in the middle. Happy and healthy somewhere in the grey, a modern human with all the strength and simplicity of our long-forgotten past.

We want balance. We want to live like modern-day cavepeople — to enjoy the simplicity of our ancestors in a world that’s been near-buried in excess.

This manifesto is a step in that direction.

The Cave Man(ifesto) is both an introduction and a conclusion — a glimpse at the finish line of the work begun in Roots and continued now on Three New Leaves, and a broad picture of the themes we’ll be tackling here in order to reach it.

Ready to get started? Let’s take the first step.

FOOD

1. Food should not be hard.

Diet books. Diet pills. Get thin quick plans, calorie counting, meal timing and food measuring.

What do all of these things have in common?

They’re bandaids. They’re 100-calorie bandage packs we try and apply to mask a simple truth: the modern world has taken a need as basic as food and twisted it into something more incomprehensible — more stressful — than ever before.

They’re also useless. To the modern dieter that’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true: all of these quick fixes are unnecessary in every way for strong, long-lasting health. Call them a symptom, if you like, of the modern fascination with numbers, or just evidence of our over-reliance on tricks and techniques to try and salvage our health.

We count carbs. We count fat. We count this and that and generally make a grand old mess of things while our health suffers more by the year.

Here’s a different idea.

Food should not be hard. Food should serve the purpose of sustaining us, of keeping us alive, without any needless complexity about calories, weight, or how quickly it’ll go straight to your thighs. Food should be enjoyable, a pleasure to both create and eat, and should not invite the stress or worry we’ve been trained to expect whenever we sit down with our plates.

Food should be simple. And it can be, we’ll discover, when we take a few cues from the past and turn a critical eye to some of the dietary choices we’ve accepted as staples in the modern world.

2. Food should not be fake.

Food should not come from a laboratory. It should not be engineered or designed in any way to maximize flavor and safely sit on a store shelf for years at a time. It’s amazing that our bodies can ingest these foreign substances and still survive, but it’s even more amazing that we’ve embraced processed food so quickly and so readily as a dietary staple.

Consider that processed food as we know it debuted within the last century. Consider too that such ‘food’ comes saddled with all sorts of innumerable chemicals and quirky names we could never naturally encounter in the real world. Is it any wonder, then, that our health continues to suffer with every sip of a soft drink we take?

Food should come from the earth. It should come natural and flavorful, the bounty of a land that has supported us for countless years, and it should not come saddled with an ingredients list that more closely resembles the glossary of a chemistry textbook.

Eat simple. Eat natural. That’s all we need to do.

FITNESS

1. Fitness should be simple.

Reverse pyramid training? Double triangle flapjack squats? Olympic-style training for everyone, whether they want — or need — it?

Let’s be clear: I’m not implying that these programs don’t work. They’re designed with very specific goals — let alone a specific kind of athlete — in mind, and in this sense they can prove tremendously successful for anyone willing to put in enough time at the gym.

For everyone else, though? For the average person like you or me who just wants to look and feel better? They’re unnecessary. They’re overly complex, open the door to every manner of injury, and tend to suggest that proper fitness is restricted to a small, elite group of athletes.

There’s no need for complexity. Proper fitness for the modern caveperson should emphasize a simple, effective routine, one that maintains both fitness and physique in a way both appealing and accessible to every person imaginable.

Real fitness should make you look better naked, in other words, and be simple — and satisfying! — to do.

You don’t need to bench press 300 pounds to be in good shape. You need to focus instead on a series of bodyweight movements that provide natural stimuli for the body, the same style of exercises our ancestors enjoyed without needing any kind of strict regime. Stay consistent, stay happy, and the person staring back in the mirror will soon grow to resemble the one you’ve always wanted to see.

2. Fitness should be lasting.

Your age doesn’t matter.

Twenty, forty, sixty or beyond — your body always benefits from proper exercise, often to a degree that can make a world of difference in how you handle those later years of life. The modern world, however, makes it easier than ever to spend our time standing still: elevators over stairs, couches and chairs at the ready, and gleaming boxes with a thousand different channels all vying for our attention.

You owe it to yourself to keep light on your feet. You owe it to yourself to emulate the style of exercise our ancestors encountered on a daily basis: walking, running, and physical challenges by the dozen, all of which have been so cleanly phased out in modern times.

The benefits of motion are tremendous. And whether your motivation is family, friends, or simply your own enjoyment, a strong, lean body is a gift that cannot be replaced. This is your life. We’re all better off spending it the best way we possibly can: fit and capable, able to enjoy each year as mobile and strong as we’re meant to be.

Fitness is not the domain of the youth. It’s a call, now, to stand up and start moving, a chance for modern cavepeople of every age to dedicate themselves to some form of daily motion for as long as they live.

TECHNOLOGY

1. Technology should save time.

The modern caveperson does not shy away from technology. We embrace it, applaud what it makes possible, and recognize every wonderful change it has wrought in the last few decades alone. We recognize technology for what it is, however, and tailor our use accordingly: a tool to be used, admired, and then left alone.

We don’t spend hours with social media, flittering between Twitter feeds and Facebook status updates with the speed of a mouse click. We don’t plop down on the couch and lock eyes on the screen every single evening after work, and nor do we spend every waking moment on the latest and greatest in digital entertainment.

We recognize, instead, that all of those things are a perk to accentuate our modern lives, but should not — and do not – double as a replacement for the real world all around us. We run, we play, and we cherish our lives away from the screens, knowing that modern technology is better left an accessory for an otherwise strong, happy life.

We recognize, now, that technology is a tool to be used mindfully, and not some easy opportunity to waste the time we’ve been given.

THE TRIBE

We want to live like modern-day cavepeople.

That paints a funny picture, admittedly, of suits and ties sitting by a fire, smart phones in one hand and freshly-roasted insects clutched in the other. The main idea here is a lot more practical: a picture of people — people like you and me — living stronger, simpler, and happier than ever before even as the stresses and complexities of modern life start to stack all around.

Can you guess what we’re doing differently?

We’re finding balance. The Cave Man(ifesto) is the first great step in that direction, and let’s also call it an open invitation to every single one of you to stick around and see just how far we can walk. I’ll be right alongside you, I promise, and excited beyond belief to see how we’ll both emerge on the other side.

Join me.

Just remember:

We want to live stronger, happier, and healthier in a world that makes each one harder than ever before.

We want to live simpler in a world of needless complexity.

And starting today, we will.

Join Matt!

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Major Headway — Everything in its Category

When I woke up this morning, I almost despaired. My apartment had not one square inch of cleared space to spare. My junk was everywhere. I was planning to have some larger furniture pieces taken out to the storage unit today to wait until this spring when they will either be hauled off by family members or sold in “The Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity.” (Yes, that is the official name of the yard sale I’m hosting this spring.) Alas, these prodigious pieces persist this evening, but I have high hopes they will find their new home in the storage unit by Monday night.

I decided I would focus on taming the mayhem in the house. Because I thought removal of some big furniture was imminent, I had emptied them out, and their contents were strewn about. AND I had had the kids bring in some stuff OUT of storage so I could sort it. Suffice it to say, the place was trashed. It’s still dirty, but I called roll and took some names today!

I feel like I can’t really start shedding more stuff until I know what I currently have. To that end, I labeled a bunch of empty bins with household categories like, “makeup”, “painting and sanding”, “office supplies” and so on. Then I went through all the crap all over the house and sorted it all into those categories. Guess how many scissors I discovered I had… 15! Fifteen scissors! I can safely sell thirteen of them. Guess how many nail clippers I found… 13! I bet I have over a hundred pens. I know I have 12 different types of hair gel. Honestly, it’s a miracle this house has EVER been clean.

As I was throwing everything into its categories with its friends, I did a quick sort. I have about 3 new bins of stuff to price for the yard sale as a result. And now the fun part starts! Now that I have all household items in categories I can leisurely pick a category a day (or every other day) and mercilessly cull. I feel so encouraged by today’s progress.

Thanks to my friend, Manu, who sat and visited with me for 7 straight hours while I worked.

Folks, this is really happening. I really am going to be set free. I can’t wait!

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A Quick Read

good stuff:

It’s Just Stuff — Shawn Blanc.

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I want to live on a boat…

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Could Aunt Anna's Piano fit and survive on a boat?

I have always wanted to live on a boat.

As I move further into simplification mode, the more my desire to live on a boat, or in an RV grows. Really, apart from money, my biggest obstacle to mobile living quarters is the lack of enough room for my Great Aunt Anna’s piano.

My simplicity has its boundaries. I love my piano. It’s the piano I learned to play on. The action on the keys is very light — too light, actually — but I LOVE it. It’s small and cute and a dark yellow color.

I have a short list of must-haves. They include my piano; my guitar; an ipad and iphone; a super-soft feather pillow; my Aunt Zelma’s quilts; my Dad’s original company jacket; my Mother’s poetry; and my daughter’s photography.

I suppose my interest in aquatic accommodations has been growing in parallel to the likelihood of pulling it off. I wonder if Hannah will be opposed to trading in a two-bedroom apartment for a two-bunk bed boat?

Cool blogs and stuff on the subject:

Living On A Boat – One Woman’s Transition To Living Onboard A Boat.

Amazon.com: The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat.

Living on a Boat.

Liveaboard Life: Minimalism in a Tiny Home at Sea – Sailing, Simplicity, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

We Live On A Boat.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Dreams, Purging Possessions