My experience with decluttering my physical life has led me to do some digital decluttering as well. How the hell do I keep ending up with hundreds of posts to “Read Later” in Feedly? I’ve actually read most of what I had saved. It’s just that I’ve meant to write about much of it and wanted to save the links to refer back to later, but never got around to it. Now that I’m scheduling posts ahead, I can hopefully use those stories and keep the momentum going. I won’t link to anything too old unless it remains timely, but at some point I’m just going to “clear all” and start fresh 😉
Only 10 more days to go in my challenge! And a bonus for the 31st so wrap up the month and review how I did 🙂
Growing up in the 80’s, we were taught that “papers please” was something you heard behind the Iron Curtain, even as we were already loosing the the right to move freely within our own country. Pretty interesting read.
In case the astronomical calendar I linked to earlier this month was too much, Lifehaker has a list of meteor showers for 2020 that you can add to your calendar.
I never really meant to spend a week talking about minimalism, or, more specifically, my plans to cut out a ton of clutter from my life on my path towards minimalism. My goal is to be able to retire to a tiny house some day, but even my plans thus far wouldn’t quite get me there.
This week, I outlined plans to pare down my computers, books, clothes, and instruments. While I didn’t specifically mention other items, I plan on going through pretty much all of my belongings and ask myself if it brings any value to my life. If not, I will get rid of it. If so, I will keep it. For other forms of media, I’ve pretty much already converted my entire music library to digital, and can easily do the same thing with my DVD collection. At the very least, I can remove them from their bulky cases and put the disks in bulk CD/DVD cases. I’ve done that in the past in order to minimize that space they take up, but has since greatly added to the collection. The same goes with disks for the various systems we own. Very rarely does a game come with any print materials that are important enough to keep hold of.
I think that about wraps it up. Over the weekend, I’ll start with either my books or my clothes, and go from there. I might post further updates, or this might be the last you read about this journey. I haven’t quite decided yet 😉
Apparently, it’s Minimalism Week. That wasn’t my intent, and it just sort of happened organically, but that’s fine. Tomorrow, I’ll try to wrap of my thoughts so that I can actually start implementing some of them over the holiday weekend 🙂
In the meantime, one of the hardest things I’m likely to deal with on this journey is my instruments. Do I really need five 6-string electric guitars and one bass? Do I need two guitar amps and a bass amp? Do I need a 66-key keyboard when my wife has an 88-key one that is a centerpiece in our living room? Will I ever play my electronic drum kit? My wife also has a set of bongos/congas that she never uses, a set of hand drums, and an acoustic guitar. Not to mention all the “toy” instruments my daughters have.
If everything else goes well, then this might be easy because I’ll have room for everything and not have to get rid of anything. As it is right now, the guitars and bass are hanging on a wall, so space isn’t an issue with them. And if I were forced to pare down the amps, I’d likely keep the bass amp and my guitar effects pedals, as the bass amp it the most powerful of the bunch but not the largest/heaviest, and could be used with a regular six-string much more safely than a bass with one of the other amps. The wife also plans on getting rid of the bongos/congas, as she really wanted hand drums anyhow, and now has them. And I will likely sell the 66-key keyboard, as I don’t see a need of keeping it with an 88-key keyboard in the living room. And, should push come to shove, I’d also be able to part with the electronic drum kit.
As for the guitars, I’d likely keep the bass and one or two others, depending on how much space I’d need. And the one I’d keep would likely be my Jackson Rhoads V, since it was the only one of the bunch purchased new, and I love the look and sound of it 🙂
Another item on my path to minimalism is clothes. I have a closet and dresser full of clothes and rarely wear beyond a few items. A lot of my clothes are slightly too small to squeeze into, but I’ve been holding onto because I plan on losing some weight. The thing is, if I ever gain the motivation to lose the weight, those same clothes will be a bit big on me when I get to where I want to be, so will need replaced anyhow. So those clothes are easy. If it fits, it stays. If it doesn’t, it goes to donate or trash, depending on condition.
The harder part is t-shirts. My dresser has so many t-shirts that I just avoid pulling any out and where the same few that haven’t been put away since the last time laundry was done. I love my t-shirts, but what good are they if they never get worn? I’ll take any that are in poor condition and toss those, which shouldn’t be many as I do that fairly regularly anyhow, and then go through what remains and check for any that are too small. Those get donated without much thought. And what remains, I decide on how likely I am to wear it going forward. If there are too many left over after my first pass, perhaps I’ll leave a handful out and pack the rest away. If I don’t find myself rotating them in, then I’ll donate them. And for every one I rotate in, I rotate one out by tossing it or donating it. Or if I have trouble doing all the t-shirts at once, for every one I rotate in, two do out. At least until I have a manageable number of t-shirts 😉
Once everything is pared down to where I want it, then the new rule will be that for every item that comes in, a like item needs to go out. The only exception to that is perhaps dress pants, where I have maybe two pair I can currently wear. This is fine in my current job, as I can wear jeans. But if dress code changes and I need more dress pants, then I’ll ramp that number up so that I can make it through a week without having to do laundry mid-week just to have a pair of pants for work 😉
Step 2, which will probably be done first because it’ll be much easier, towards my path towards minimalism, will be to get rid of a ton of books. I currently have an overflowing 5-shelf bookshelf, and out of that, there are maybe two books I’d like to keep a physical copy of. The rest I am fine with obtaining an ebook version of, or borrowing from the library when I finally get around to reading them. The rest, I’ll either give to friends who want them, or sell to Half Price
For the record, the two I will likely keep are omnibus versions of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Lord of the Rings.
Stop one on my Minimalism journey, my retro computer collection. It includes some XP-era notebooks, a Compaq Deskpro which contains a 386DX-40, a pair of Tandy 1000 SX’s, a Tandy CoCo2, a C64, an Apple 2e, and DEC Alpha, among others. I have a 19″ CRT VGA monitor, and CRT monitors for my non-VGA systems. I also have a bunch of 17″ LCD monitors with a 4×3 aspect ratio. I’m thinking of getting rid of all but maybe a newer machine that I use as a file server, a couple of the laptops, one Tandy 1000, and maybe the Alpha. Most of the stuff can be emulated fairly well on my modern laptop, so even the Tandy and Alpha aren’t completely safe 😉 It’s all in working condition, so it’ll likely all get restored, to a point, then sold off. The restoration part is where the fun’s at, anyhow 😉
I’m considering getting rid of a ton of my “stuff” and starting a minimalist lifestyle. Likely to get rid of most of my guitars and amps, vintage computers, etc. Everything just takes up too much space :/