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  1. #31
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Week 3: Storage.

    ... This is the big one here. A few victories from the bathroom and your entertainment selection will hopefully ramp you up for this--but depending on how much stuff you have this could take a while and become a rather big project.

    So what counts as storage? Mostly the places you store junk and stuff. The pantry, while storage.. is mostly food storage, which is rather easy to go through since it is all the same category (and we have a food/catch-all week already.).. And junk drawers and smaller high-traffic areas are also not really storage, as they're small enough to be dumped out and sorted (plus, we have a week for those too!)

    It's such a broad term, but I'm saying that it is the stuff that is not in your daily or even weekly life.. So I'm more looking at the bins in the closet hiding things, the book shelves that actually have boxes of stuff instead of books, the tupperware storage containers you leave in the garage, etc.

    So.. If you keep storage items and containers in your house. Take them from all the sections of your house and gather them in one place. Camping gear, scrap-booking items, that bin full of jewelry from that time you thought you were going to start making your own, that stack of newspapers you think is worth something in 50 years, the 10 boxes of Christmas ornaments, collections you collected but never put on display, that nice china set your mother gave you for your wedding.. All that STUFF. Valuable or not, it's all scattered throughout the house and it needs to be looked at for what it is--storage stuff.

    It's the stuff you don't use all the time, but you keep. This stuff is the stuff minimalists tend to get rid of first.. but to me, this is the stuff that is hardest to get rid of!! There are a lot of what if questions and a lot of miscellaneous things that get in the way.

    1. So, separate it into categories that semi make sense.
    - Hobbies
    - Collections and collectibles
    - Holiday decorations, etc.

    DO NOT have a miscellaneous pile! All of this stuff is already miscellaneous. If you cannot identify a purpose for the item, you probably shouldn't be keeping it in the first place!

    Collections count as items of entertainment.. If you cannot see them or display them, what good are they to collect and have in your life? So evaluate, and like Qlip said, trade up to quality. If it is the concept you like, but the items are not really what you wanted, you CAN sell them off and use that money to get what you really did desire and would display. If they're presents from others.. Hey. Donating, re-gifting, etc. are all good ways to put those things to great use.
    (I did a project as a kid when picture frames were popular to give out.. I took the frames, glued the glass to them, and made boxes out of them. They were really nice looking and my friends liked them and never realized they were the frames they'd given me collected and redesigned and painted.)

    Holiday decorations.. this one is hard. If you have a box of the ones you used last year, and never touched the others.. I'd say that is a REALLY easy way of you telling yourself that those are the only decorations you will bother putting up. My family has a TON, but we only end up getting enough time to string up lights and put up a few lawn decorations. So why do they keep the rest? I don't know, but I'm throwing it all out once I get home! All I can say with decorations is, if they don't store easily and keep well and they aren't easy to string up and have (like that wreath we have that plays christmas songs but we have to fix it EVERY year..... ) then they really aren't worth keeping around. Decorating should be a fun time. Even if you go crazy with decorating, that's cool, just make sure you use everything every time. (I heard of neighbors with themes to their christmas decorations swapping ornaments to change it up instead of buying all new ones. I thought that was an awesome idea.)

    Hobbies... If they're indoor hobbies and projects, and you have a work space set aside for them, great. But that scrap booking stuff you bought to organize all your photos with, and then you realized digital photos are so much easier so you digitize your old photos instead? I'd repurpose what I could (Making some cards for birthdays and christmas, etc.) and then sell or donate the rest. Outdoor projects and hobbies, if you aren't active with them or don't have set dates for things, they aren't really worth keeping. I know I go snowboarding every year, so my gear is essential. ... but camping? I never really do that, so why do I have a sleeping bag? Things like this you'll just have to evaluate. Part of taking the time to drag all your storage stuff out into the middle is seeing if you REALLY want to drag it back. If even carrying it back to be stored and maintained again sounds like a chore, it probably isn't something you should keep. That skateboard you got thinking you'd relive your childhood and never touched after could be better used by a kid next door.

    Really, it is all about just seeing what you need. Taking a fresh look at things when they aren't urgent. Nothing for christmas looks important in April/may time frame So it's perfect to clean it out now.

    I think the biggest thing is to just simply look at time frames. In the past two years, Did you REALLY use this? If it's newer than two years, have you even touched it since buying it or acquiring it? Beach stuff seems cool in May, since summer is coming.. but are you really going to the beach? Or did you buy it thinking you would, the plan fell through, and now there it all sits a year later..

    Here on my deployment, I only have two really big bags of army gear to sift through, which seems daunting in and of itself.. so I know what ya'll will go through with storage stuff! It'll be a big undertaking for me when I get home as well.. that's all I have is useless storage stuff !

    Good luck on it, and please remember to post any results, feelings, or discoveries ya'll had!

    P.S. I chose this one for week three because.. With a few victories, you get into the swing of things and feel like this CAN be done. But those two weeks could also easily be done within a day's time if desired. This one will make you manage your time, and do the project in a way where you won't burn out. If you can get through this week and see the results and feel motivated to go on, you'll be golden for the rest of the weeks!
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  2. #32
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Started my storage today! I'll post pictures of all the stuff I have.. it's all army gear, boring and plentiful. Lots of "Keep this just in case--even though you know you won't use it at all ever." But even so, I have a whole pile of things I can send home because I won't need them the rest of the deployment. I'll take pictures tonight when I get back.

    Also, just doing some side calculations. I was reading a website about replacing many of your disposable items with reusable ones. I think those things inflate the savings a lot, but quick calculations on my end on a few basic items: feminine products, napkins, paper towels, tissues. So far, I calculated out $710 for 5 years of disposables, and $424 for 5 years of reusable items (including laundry costs). You're only saving $60 a year, which is still pretty decent overall considering the savings will be $600 the next 5 years, but it's a heck of a lot less waste in landfills and such, as well as never worrying about running out of those items again either. The only con is more laundry, and a good washer and dryer makes that a breeze as well.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  3. #33
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    i'm still in, i'm actually in the middle of moving now,
    so it's been great to have a few guidelines on what
    i'll take with me. i'm spending more time on what to
    pack and what to leave behind. i'm hoping to just go
    to my new place with the essentials. oh clutter free
    haven.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  4. #34
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmhmm View Post
    i'm still in, i'm actually in the middle of moving now,
    so it's been great to have a few guidelines on what
    i'll take with me. i'm spending more time on what to
    pack and what to leave behind. i'm hoping to just go
    to my new place with the essentials. oh clutter free
    haven.
    Im glad the tips are helping a bit! Glad to hear it moving is probably the best time to declutter--less to move and sets the new place up for success.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  5. #35
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    I really like this idea, Mon. I'm moving in July/August (destination TBA) and I'd like to get a lot of streamlining done before I go. I don't have time to think about it right now with finals round the corner, but I'll be back with more specific goals and the like.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Chaotic Harmony's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh! I am so giving this a go! I wish I would have stumbled across this earlier. Week 1 should make me super happy... I have way too much random toiletries laying around the bathroom that have NEVER even been touched! I shall return to this thread next week with pictures (hopefully!).


  7. #37
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Yes! Minimalism army is being summoned bit by bit!
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  8. #38
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    Postin' in this thread to keep me accountable. I like streamlining, especially transitioning stuff to digital formats. Nice, neat, and compact.

    My mom tends to stockpile for rainy days; I prefer not having a bunch of useless stuff around. So, I give all of my useless stuff to her to either keep or donate

    I don't have any specific goals at the moment, but I get in "scorched earth" modes where I put a bunch of things in bags to give to her.

  9. #39
    Senior Member EvidenceOfRedemption's Avatar
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    I already remissed on the repacking of my tools/clothes (which is pretty much everything I own) so I'm going to plan more here and attack this tomorrow

    Bin 1
    -Street clothes, folded carefully

    Bin 2
    -More street clothes, folded

    Bin 3
    -Any remaining street clothes, folded

    Bin 4
    -Mountain outerwear

    HPRC Case 1-3
    -Mountain tools, organized by size & sharpness

    HPRC Case 4
    -NBC suit and mask

    HPRC Case 5 (small)
    -Essential tools & favorites

    Boxes (triple taped on the bottom)
    -Books

    Toolbox
    -Reorganize for better accessibility
    -Carve socket and bit organizer out of particle board


    Gonna feel great to get everything organized.

  10. #40
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I'm LOVING the motivation here! I finished a short book about the philosophy of minimalism seeping into other aspects of life--like health, and social interaction, environmental affairs, etc. It made me want to race home and clean up everything! Buuut since I can't, I'll just write up week 4's assignment.

    Week 4: Clothes.

    This is a really hard assignment, especially for someone like me who costumes and loves to dress in wacky things on odd occasional events and keeps them all year just in case of said events. But even I can create a more streamlined wardrobe that works for me.

    This is also hard to write about because everyone has different needs when it comes to clothing. Minimalist books write about three main concepts:

    - Picking base colors and accent colors (3-5 colors in the entire wardrobe)
    - Picking classic styles that never really go out of fashion or season
    - Picking high quality clothing that fits you well

    Choosing colors you know you like to wear, and clothing you know fits your body type well that won't be out of fashion next month (like those odd stretchy shirts that looked like a science-k'nex ball? Anyone remember those?) are principles we can all keep in mind when we're going through our wardrobe.

    Now there are websites all over the place that will give you 10-piece, 20-piece, 30-piece, etc. wardrobes where you strictly follow these essentials and you'll have a functioning minimalist closet. But that's not really what YOU need. I think closets need to function around your life, and 30 pieces of clothing just won't cut it for me!

    The principles I am using are just for me, but the concepts in the numbers are the same. If you're a fashionista, you may want to change "what I need clothes for" to "Types of clothes I need".. Like skirts, dresses, slacks, capris, etc.

    So, here's the principles I am following:

    1. Take a quick rummage through the closet and toss out anything that you haven't even touched in the last couple years. If something still has a tag on it from a year ago, or if it's stained but you couldn't stand to toss it out then, do it now. Also, take the time to pull clothing from storage areas like those space-saving bags and under-the-bed-tupperwares so you can see EVERYTHING in one spot.

    2. Write down everything I need clothing for.
    - Write down my weekly activities. Working out, yard work, work clothes, sleeping clothes.
    - Write down my seasonal activities. Swimming, winter seasonal clothes, snowboarding, playing sports, gardening.
    - Write down my yearly events. Formal dinners, costuming, st. patty's day, etc. anything that I go out of my way to dress up for.
    I quickly flip through my wardrobe then, and if clothing doesn't really match up any of these things that I wrote down.. either I need to remember to write it down, or get rid of the garment.

    3. Combine those categories into sections that function.
    - For me, that's: Physical work in the summer, physical work in the winter, seasonal clothes, everyday wear, formal wear, yearly events, accessories, shoes, small clothes, army clothes, and work clothes.

    4. Separate clothes into these piles. An article MUST fit into a pile. While we're not quiiite narrowing clothing down yet, take a small look at clothing as you pull it out and into those piles. Things you know will never fit again should be tossed out.

    5. Create separate spaces for these piles. Creating a place for a section is the best way to keep it all together. A small set of drawers for work-out clothes, for example, means not having to rummage through those old t-shirts in the catch-all "t-shirts" drawer to find the ones you like to wear after the work out. This also means that you'll have a guaranteed place for everything you own, and shows you just how limited space really can be. If you can only put "accessories" in a small drawer now instead of strung about the whole room, then you'll need to toss out some of the scarves you never wore anyways.

    - For me, I have work shirts and play shirts.. (work shirts being used for painting, exercise, and anything that'll make me sweat or ruin an article. T-shirts I like more go into the play drawer, and I wear them when I'm just out and about doing my thing.) ..Shorts and pants, work-out shorts, army-clothes, small clothes, and sleeping wear, all in different drawers. Everything has a drawer so laundry is a snap, and I know just where to find anything I need in a hurry. Seasonal clothing went in a tupperware under my bed, and costumes in another. Easy to find, but out of the way since I don't use them on a weekly basis.

    6. Now that you have space, evaluate your piles.
    - Can something be used for more than one purpose? (i.e. Do I really need a "painting shirt" when I have plenty of work-out shirts that get grungy and nasty with sweat anyways?)
    - Can clothing pull double duty? (Most of my winter pants are thick enough and strong enough for outdoor work, same with the long-sleeve shirts, so I skip the "outdoor work clothes" category altogether, tossed all of those that I was keeping and not really using anyways, and kept a few pairs of my winter clothes out all season instead. Also, this is the category shoes fall under a lot.. A good, nice pair of classic shoes can replace 20 pairs if you coordinate your colors and accessories right.)
    - Do you have an overflow of a single category? (If you have 200 t-shirts because you just love the Beatles.. think about maybe taking your band-shirts and repurposing them. There's companies that create quilts out of old t-shirts so you can enjoy the shirts you love without having to wear them. You can also sell a bunch of your gently used clothing to help pay for a pair of slacks that you just now noticed you don't own at all and sort of need.)
    - Does the article match anything else in the pile? (If you have a shrug that looks awesome, but is way too fancy to go along with the rest of your work clothing.. or if you have 10 blue-purple-green colored skirts and tops for work, and one blood orange top... you get the idea.)
    - Can I get this else where? (If you have plenty of female friends around your size.. do you really need 20 semi-formal cute dresses? Or can you get by with your favorites, and trade and borrow with friends if you have a special event that calls for something new to wear?)
    - Can someone else use this more than me? (So, you were a bridesmaid last year, got a spiffy and nice-looking dress.. It fit right, it looks great--and it's WAY too formal for anything you'll ever attend until the next wedding and, hey.. everyone will recognize the dress, so you may not want to wear it. HOWEVER! There are donations for things like girls getting dresses so that they can go to prom wearing something nice that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it.. How much better suited would that dress be being used in that way?)
    - Is this something I wear? I know this seems silly to put at the bottom of the list.. but by the time you've asked all of these questions about every pile.. You may get tired, look at a garment, and go "You know what? I don't even like this enough to evaluate it, moreless wear it.. *toss!*" Easy as pie.

    After all that craziness, just put the things where they go and you're done! If you still find that you're trying to make room for a particular section.. maybe you need to make that section a bigger priority, give it the bigger space, and downsize a different category. If you notice a category is pitifully small (like that your formal wear is non existent and that's why you always get stressed during those sudden formal events), it's probably because you had too much stuff to notice what you needed!

    One tip that many books talked about was avoiding BUYING more space. Do not create more space to store your stuff. Chances are, you already have plenty of space.. you just have too much stuff. This is not the same as, say, what @ceecee did with those baskets. She had a section, just wanted to organize it more. Do not buy more drawers, more closet-extenders, or those hooks that turn one hook into 5. See what you have, put in place, and THEN see if any gadget would make it easier on you.. Chances are, those diamond separators for the drawers aren't really necessary. They're socks, not gems, they can touch and be sprawled about in a small drawer without bothering anyone. Spending money on making a closet too organized may keep you from keeping it organized too! If I have to roll my underwear up to make it fit into a small slot, I'm never going to do it.. they'll just sit in the laundry hamper until I need them. Throwing them in a drawer and forgetting them, though, I can do.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

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