Saturday, September 24, 2011

Irrational Thoughts That Keep Me from Becoming a Minimalist

"I may need this someday"

"I got a great deal on that and I probably will not run into a deal like that again"

"The person who got me that will be hurt or mad if I got rid of that"

"Getting rid of stuffed animals is like 'abandoning' them"

"I should keep this item for my niece. Sure she is only 10 months old and this toy is for 3+, but it's a great item"

"I can't get rid of my college notes and textbooks! Sure I am not in that major anymore, but I paid a lot for that knowledge"

"That is a collectible! I found it at Goodwill for $0.99 because some crazy person thought it was worthless!"

"I live 40 mins from the nearest craft store. I need to stock up on yarn in every color and weight for when I get the urge to create"

"That ripped shirt could be salvaged for fabric. I don't know what for, but I hate to miss the opportunity for free fabric"

"I should keep that napkin with that restaurants logo on it for a scrapbook"

"I need to keep that VHS because my Netflix queue should be kept for expensive DVDs"

"I don't fit into that shirt now, but I use to and plan to again"

"What if I gain weight? I need to keep this so I have something to wear then"

"This is unique! I will never find one of these again! Well, not without forking over a hefty sum"

"I need to keep those books for when I need credits for the paperback swap"

"I can't give that away! Think of what I could turn it into! Not now of course, but some day..."

"But I spent a small fortune on that"

"I need to buy that bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"I need to keep this stuff because when I get my own place I don't want it to look empty"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Before and Afters...and Then Afters Become Befores

Before (9/22/11)
After (9/22/11)
Note: I forgot to picture my high heels in these photos. I have two.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reason Why I Want to Become a Minimalist

* I can pick up and go at any time if need be.

* If there is ever a fire, theft, ect. I know exactly what losses to report.

* I can pack easier and lighter for trips.

* I can save money by not shopping as a habit.

* I can have the things I truly want by picking quality over quantity.

* The less stuff I have the less mess I have to keep up with

* I can have less furniture/space/ect. as I won't have a bunch of items filling it.

* I can save money on moving or storage.

* I can move in easier with my future husband when the time comes. I won't really have to go through things then making an exciting time stressful.

* Less items to dust and dust around.

* More room to do the things I want to whether it be dance or exercise.

* Less stress about people seeing my room because it will always be clean.

* When I have free time I don't have to feel like I have to spend it on "going through stuff" all the time and all those things I have been tied down to. I won't have to feel guilty when I do activities I want to do.

* I will have time to learn KiSwahili like I have always wanted.

Ways That I Am NOT a Minimalist

1) I take too long of showers.

2) I buy too many craft supplies for projects that I don't plan on immediately working on, or even don't have a project in mind.

3) I have too many pieces of clothing.

4) I have too many accessories.

5) My computer has too much junk on it that needs to be gone through.

6) All of my photos need to be digitalized.

7) I have too many toiletries that I don't even use.

8) I keep too many "what if"s.

9) I have too many office supplies

10) I keep a big tupperware box full of "memories" such as ticket stubs that I don't even look through to see my memories; I just add to it.

11) I shop to kill time between appointments when away from home

12) I collect Walt Disney World stuff.

13) I have a hard time getting rid of pricier items, even if I don't use them.

14) I have a stuffed animal addiction. They are hard for me to get rid of cause I feel like I am abandoning them.

Ways That I AM a Minimalist

1) I am not in debt.

2) I carpool all of my errands together into one day a week.

3) I hardly ever get mail unless it is welcomed.

4) I make most of the gifts I give.

5) If I eat out, I try to get something that will have enough leftovers for another meal.

6) I have got rid of all of my DVD cases and put the DVD's into a DVD box.

7) I only buy craft books that I believe are must haves for any crafter's bookshelf.

8) I use only rechargable batteries.

9) When I do need to shop for something, I try to get the lowest price possible and buy used when it makes sense.

10) I wear only black ankle socks. They don't look dingy like white ones do and if I lost one all I have to do is pair it up with another. No waste, no need to buy more.

11) I carpool as much as possible with my mom. We plan to go out together when we can.

12) I do not own a credit card, therefor I only buy what I have money for.

13) I keep my commitments to a minimal.

14) I have very little paper work I keep, and what I keep is important. It seems that everyone I know has stacks and bags of paperwork and I have next to nothing.

15) My cookbook only has recipes that I absolutely love and have made. Not every recipe on the planet and every recipe that everyone has given me like most people. I learned to not be like my mom in this regard.

Monday, September 12, 2011

No More DVD Cases

My DVDs take up a lot of space. I have two towers for them and I almost went out for another. As a solution I got this case from DiscGear.

Photo borrowed from

It has been wonderful so far and I really suggest it. I store all of my DVDs in the box and the covers in a booklet with a coordinating number to the titles in the box. I logged every title into a spreadsheet and then put them in alphabetical order along with the same coordinating numbers. The website has a template online where you can enter this information, print it out, and put it into the list drawer, but this particular program seems a little too tedious for the moment.

I think the best part of this was looking at all of the DVD cases I had piled up waiting to be recycled. It is shocking when you really get down to it and see how much bulk they added to the room. And then you sit back and realize just how much waste companies create with packaging. Packaging is our #1 waste, and just by clearing out these cases it really puts it into perspective. And that is just the cases that seemed to take up a small part of my room. It is an eyeopener.

A tip I have is to keep a few cases for when you take a couple on a trip, someone borrows some...ect. I find that the real gems are the cases that hold two disks as it takes up the same space as a case that only holds one. You can also make your own cover to slip in that has your name/ family's name on it. The clips inside allow you to slip in a piece of paper if you like. It could contain your contact info in case the DVD(s) gets lost if you so desire. Another gem is Blue-ray disks as they are slim and see-through. Both good choices and both have their pros and cons. Either way, keep a few. They will come in handy more than you think.

Another tip is about all those Special Features disks. I say don't put them in the box. Reason being is because they take up important space. These boxes are a little pricey, so the more slots available the better. A solution to being able to get your cake and eat it too is to store the additional DVD in the literature booklet. The way I did it was slip it between the two pages of the covers so it can not be seen, but you know it is there and safe if you find you need it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Starting on the Road to Freedom

September 1st hopefully marks the start of my life being simplified. I have wanted to simplify and knew how but actually getting it done is really hard for me. What really started my big urge to really get it done this time was a photo archived list of everything that a family from Man vs. Debt owned. I realized that doing this had many benefits for me. So on Sept 1st I opened a Flickr account and started taking pictures. I have discovered that this isn't going to just help me simplify but also organize. I can tag items for their location to quickly find things, I can simplify virtually before even getting into everything and making a bigger mess, and even create packing lists for different things like camping by just dragging pictures into a set. I believe this is the start of something great and I knew that I should start writing about it now to keep my motivation. You can do it, Alisha, you can do it.