Last Goal for 2011

Introducing the 2012 strategy for my decluttering mission.... I am going to set a goal per week and journal the experience and results.

Since there is only a couple days left for this year.... I have to make it simple.

Goal #1
Find a home for my new pressure cooker that has easy access for frequent use.

Background- I got a pressure cooker for a pre-Christmas present. A 5 quart pot of manageable size and easy operation for fast, tasty vegetables (the 5 times I have used it so far I have been delighted with the results)! BUT at present there is NO SPACE in my cupboards to house it.... it has been living on my stovetop, and though that is convenient, it's not practical.

Challenge- Decide which cupboard location would be best (thinking of the goal) clearing space out until it fits.... that may mean re-prioritizing what lives in the cupboard and/or finding new homes for those things. (The trickle down effect is that ALL my cupboards are quite full, so no matter what, 5 quarts of volume must be evicted from SOMEWHERE to make room).


Verdict- SUCCESS!
 This challenge took 20 minutes from planning to completion. HOORAY!

Process- After deciding which cupboards would be acceptable for storing the pot, I narrowed it down to the most flexible cupboard close to the stove, and already housing the much loved slow cooker and griddle. Then I had to assess what could be moved from that space.  The tetra packs for lunches could go elsewhere..... I decided the best place to edit was my cookbooks place. There are a few well-referenced publications, but 90% of the time these days I go to my favourite cooking websites before searching my collection of cookbooks. In short, they have served their purpose and are no longer needed -- thank you very much -- a big stack are off to a new home, and the tetra packs take their place.

Phew, the results are good. Everything is away and outdated materials that I have been ignoring are removed. A true de-cluttering success.


Needs vs Wants & Gifts

When someone asks "What do you want for Christmas?" it is such a challenge for the budding minimalist!

"I have everything I need, really I do. I would be happy for your company". Is my response.

"But I asked you what you WANT not what you NEED?" 


There are LOTS of things a fledgling minimalist may WANT, but in the back of our minds is the assurance that that want will actually be a burden later as most of the "stuff" inevitably becomes. So we have to disappoint and frustrate our family and friends with requests for empty stockings and boxes.


Giving thoughtfully with minimalist experience gifts is relatively easy compared to asking for the same consideration from those that don't share the same ideals about "stuff".... it's lost in translation somehow. At least that is my experience.


Meanwhile there are things leaving my home by the box full and every pound less makes me feel lighter...


Naughty and Nice

If you are like me, the worst is over for the season. As of yesterday, I'd made my list, checked it twice and shopped, created and really carefully decided what would be nice for gifts this season. ALL OF THEM ARE ACCOUNTED FOR! Did I manage to avoid toxic portable power sources (batteries).... YES!

And I managed to sell a few items that still had lots of fun left in them that my boys had outgrown (they share the proceeds).

I hope you are close to finishing your list too.... and that you have stayed true to your budget, goals and heart for each gift....


Bad, Bad, Bad

I'm drywalling my laundry room right now.

Nothing makes you realize how much crap you have quite like clearing EVERYTHING out of a room. Just one room's worth of stuff spread around, and it has made the rest of the home almost unbearable!

It's a prime opportunity to cull the excess, and yet, it is so much easier to swear and kick at it while tripping over it.... or better yet ignore it completely until it can be shoved back into the nook it came from.


My office looks like an episode of some reality hoarding show and the family room looks no better.

What have I done?

Now ON TOP of the holiday chores and mayhem, I have added mudding, taping, sanding and "deal with it" to the list.


The tools are at hand: Bags for trash, boxes for donate.

(I have taken photo evidence of what's going on, but they won't be posted until the "after" shots are ready.)


Gifts of Experience

Gifts of  Experience can be a personal gift of time from yourself, or a gift card for an activity the recipient enjoys.

Presently I am creating some vouchers for my extended family for activities that I know they enjoy...
Possible vouchers include:
  • yoga time with friends,
  • home cooked family meals,
  • cooking lessons,
  • spa days but the "spa" is your home (or their's)
  • movie night of their choice
  • gardening afternoons
  • trips to the park/museum/mall/bike rides together... whatever activity they would like to do with you more often
  • story-time / lego-time / game-time / craft-time / wiggle-time with youngsters

Other experience gifts may be:
  • Resturant/Coffee certificate
  • Movie/theatre Tickets
  • Museum membership
  • Swimming lessons/passes
  • Sports memberships
  • Art Classes
  • Continuing education course in a class they are interested in
  • Salon Gift Certificates
  • Spa Gift Certificates
  • Wine Appreciation Class
  • Kayaking Lesson.... etc

The trick is finding the balance between how well the activity matches them, and how much time they will need to commit to it. It doesn't have to be expensive to be fun and meaningful!