Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In which Things get Organized

Well, we've got some lovely spring rain here, so I've been doing spring cleaning. Sort of. I don't feel like knitting (or any crafting really) at the moment because my hands are bit achey. I think when I'm off my meds (which I shouldn't be, but life happens and I'm a forgetful person), whether changes affect me like an old seaman. Oddly, typing does not increase the ache. Must just be particular hand motions. That, and my typing sessions are usually broken up by me getting up and wandering around and getting more tea, etc. When I'm crafting, I can sit and work for hours without any desire to move or change occupation.

So onto spring cleaning. First I discovered a post on Ravelry about a 333 and a 999 project. Do check out the links, but the gist is you pick 33 or 99 items of clothing to last you 3 months (one season) or a whole year (for the 99). Box up the rest and see just how well you do without excess stuff. The "rules" state that this includes all shoes, jewelry, and accessories though exceptions are made for heirloom and medically necessary items. Also socks and underwear so you don't have to do laundry every other day. Then refrain from buying new stuff, except to replace anything that is worn out. As it is said, this isn't an exercise in suffering, the rules are guidelines not law, but a good minimalist responsibly rotates old items out as new items come in.

Then in the 999 thread, I discovered a link to the 100 Thing Challenge. This was one man's personal quest to reduce his stuff to just 100 items. All personal stuff, not just his wardrobe. He goes on to explain that "community property" and household items don't count, just his personal items he alone is responsible for.

Tangent: I actually don't really believe in property, but I subscribe to it's philosophy because there are too many people (especially in among the rabble I sometimes hang out with) that would say "Ohh, well you don't believe in property, but I do, so all 'your' stuff is now mine" because they're idiots like that. Nice idiots, I don't hang out with total losers.

Anyway, this guy goes pretty extreme. In his list of 100 items, which can be found on the website, he lists a single pen and pencil. Items like his guitar do include blanket coverage for guitar case, picks, extra strings, but other than that, everything is pretty well itemized including all his clothes.

So this has me inspired. I'm already naturally a bit of a neat-freak and Bruce is not, so I've done a bit in his(our)* bedroom in terms of tidying up and getting him to pare down what in the dressers so that I can fit my stuff in too.

*heh, still not quite used to thinking of this as "my home", though my parents' place doesn't really feel like home either. Maybe it's the property thing again. Will save for another entry.

But now I'm really eager to jump into this minimalism. So when Bruce gets up, I'm going to go in there and start getting serious about my stuff. Basic plan:
  • Clothing: I haven't moved enough of it over to really to 33 or 99 pieces yet (well, maybe, I'd need to count), but I am going to start seriously analyzing what gets to come to my new home and what gets a one-way ticket to Goodwill. I think I'm going to break my clothes into categories (warm weather, cold weather, costumes), determine an appropriate quantity for that category, and stick to it.
  • Kandi: most people would say this goes under "jewelry" but any raver child knows the significant of their bracelets. I actually have two jewelry boxes, so I'll dedicate one to just rave jewelry, but also make a conscious effort to keep only the pieces of significance and find groovy people to give the rest to.
  • Books: oh good lord, this one is going to be a biggie. I actually haven't moved any of my books, I just have 2 or 3 that happened to migrate, but I have quite the collection and so does Bruce. I just signed up for Library Thing today which looks like a great catalogueing tool, but it still doesn't change the fact that we have 2 overflowing boxes of books in the closet, my overflowing bookshelf at my parents', and no bookcase in the room. Once things are a little more organized, I'm going to get a shelf in there and start forcing Bruce to donate the ones he doesn't read (well, forcing myself too, oh the life of a bibliophile).
  • Craft supplies: the dude who did 100 Things is obviously not a crafter. Judging by his list of things, he's a hiker/wilderness dude. That does require supplies, but an experienced hiker will be the first to tell less is more. Crafting on the other hand . . . hoo-boy! My stash of supplies is dwindling since I can't afford to buy much, so I think if I can get all craft related things into their own storage container, and not exceed that containers limitations, that would be a good thing.
  • Toiletries: I've noticed that the bathroom can get really cluttered, really fast. I already don't use hair products beyond shampoo and a hair brush, so that helps. I need to go through my big green bathroom case and figure out what's extraneous (big green bathroom case is because Bruce does have a sister, and since she marked her territory in the bathroom way before I was here, I want to respect her space and not take over with my own stuff). I figure if all my hygiene stuff, meds, and other "personal care" can fit neatly into this case, I'll be good to go.
  • Alter: I do have a habit of hanging onto to sentimental stuff because it's "good juju for the alter" but the reality is alters are a center of energy and any good fung-shui expert knows stagnant energy is bad. Giving away special items from the alter to special people is good. Must remember that when it gets crowded on the little table.
I sort of do want to count up my possessions and see how close or far away I am from the 100 item mark. Just writing all my intentions down feels like a trapdoor has been opened in my head and a fresh cool breeze is coming in.

And as if I needed more projects (this is what happens when you are an "unemployed bohemian", your money doesn't come from a 9 to 5 so you end up with lots of spare time) I also want to give this blog a make-over. It started out as purely a knitting blog, but I think I'd like to take it in the direction of being a "This is my Hippie Life" sort of blog. Don't expect a lot of big changes soon, but do expect more than just "so I cast on for this and finished seaming up that".

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the cleaning. I would love to join you, but I don't think I'm ready for that kind of commitment. I'm a little attached to my stuff...