A minimalist with 7,384 things

Jan 18, 2011 by

Minimalism has caught on again recently on the internet.  With the right environment of a horrible economy, and an appetite for consumerism that cannot be satiated, people are starting to look for something else; something better.   This is a great thing.  And the bloggers and authors have come out of the woodwork with e-books, posts, and lifestyle designs of how we should reduce everything we own to 50 or 100 things.  Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great to only have 5o or 100 things and be able to pick up and move anywhere, but there are problems with this.  I recently read a great post entitled “why I hate minimalism” that really nails one of the main problems with minimalism as its preached today.  To sum up the post, today’s minimalism is just re-branded materialism.   And on that point he is right, but that’s not the whole story.

TrulySimple was started to give me a push/excuse/reason to help me simplify my life and hopefully help and inspire others to do so.  I’m all for reducing the amount of clutter and crap that consumes our lives.  We all have too much, too many, etc, but its not about a number.  I’m consistently trying to simplify my life, but I have no illusions about getting down to a specific number of items for several reasons.  First, any system that is so legalistic about your possessions being either materialism or minimalism is flawed to begin with.  Secondly, I’m a creator, a builder, a fixer, a tinkerer etc.  I have hundreds if not thousands of tools.   Many were hand-me-downs from my grandpa or father and many are duplicate or triplicates of other tools. 

Do I really need 157 different wrenches? (yes I just went out to the garage to count them).  That is also the question my wife asks me whenever I try to get rid of anything of hers.  And the answer is yes.  I use them a lot.  Each has a purpose and each gets used when I need it.  I could get rid of all my tools or most of them to live within a specific low number of items, but why?  I love to build.  I love to fix.  I love to create.

Don’t reduce your possessions to some arbitrary number because someone else did.  Change your habits of consumption to make your life easier for you and do good for this planet.   You should get rid of the things you don’t use, but don’t get rid of things you do just for the sake of minimalism.

One of my goals for 2011 is to continue to reduce the unused and unnecessary items I have laying around.  I want to get rid of them, again not to reach some arbitrary number, but to give myself the space for the things I do use often.

With that goal in mind I’ve started the One-A-Week project in which I’m getting rid of one thing each week.

What is your take on minimalism and all this?  Let me know in the comments

Ben…

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Too much snow? No problem…

Jan 14, 2011 by

What do you do if you get too much snow?  Make your own luge track of course.

Once while camping up in the mountains we built a snow cave to sleep in, and then the next day turned the cave into a tunnel in our own sledding luge track.

That video looks like a lot of fun

and this video is just awesome too

Ben…

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1-A-Week: Week 2: The old Xbox

Jan 13, 2011 by

I’m starting something new.

Its called One A Week or 1AW for short.  Its a new goal for 2011 to give/sell/throw away 1 thing each week that you don’t need.  Each week, one thing.  Every week I will get rid of something I don’t need, never use, don’t want etc.

Too Much…

We all have too much stuff and could use from a little de-cluttering.  I’m pretty good and cleaning out our stuff every once in a while, but this will help/force me to get a little more aggressive on it and do something each week.  What do I have laying around the house that never gets used and is just in the way?  What can I throw away that I’ve been saving for way too long?

So I’m starting this retroactively for last week.  Its always nice to start in the middle of a project that way it looks like there is some progress.  For last week, we’ll call the cleaning out of my island my 1AW.

This weeks 1AW

But for this 2nd week of January I am selling my old Xbox that I never play.

I get rid of a thing that no one uses, I get a cleaner living room, and I get some money out of the deal(hopefully).

So you in?

Here are the rules:

  1. 1 item per week (at least)
  2. You can sell it, give it away or throw it away (recycle if you can)
  3. Thats it.

If you could leave a comment of what you got rid of that would help inspire others and I’d love to keep a running tally of total number of things everyone has gotten rid of.

Who’s in?

Will you join me in 1AW for for the next 50 weeks?

What can/should you get rid of this week?

Let me know what you are getting rid of in the comments

Ben…

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Creamy chipotle penne pasta with shrimp and Cajun hotlinks

Jan 12, 2011 by

“Something good but not hamburgers.”

That was the request for dinner from my NyQuil drunk wife as she was passing out to sleep(she works night shift at the ER). That is what she wanted for dinner, so that was what I was going to make.

With that very specific request in mind I set out to make something great that wasn’t hamburgers.

IMG_3062-1

I looked around the house and saw what I had on hand. I had some extra Cajun hotlinks from re-making this recipe for new years eve.  Also had some pasta and some chipotle peppers, so I set out to make a nice chipotle cream penne pasta with shrimp and the Cajun hotlinks.  This recipe turned out so good and after being so sick and finally being able to taste food, this hit the spot, and was very easy to make.

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Unexpected luggage for passengers on Christmas Eve

Jan 10, 2011 by

Spanair airlines gives its passengers a nice surprise on Christmas Eve.

I wish more companies would do great things like this for their customers.  I really want to fly Spanair now.  Maybe time to book a trip to Spain!

Ben…

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