Welcome to Towards Simplicity. I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Project Minimalist - Time for an update

And I went quiet again.  So, no major change in habits then, LOL!!!  So what?  There are much more important things in life than on-line activities, no?

Anyway, I thought it was about time for a Project Minimalism update, so I've just been around our home taking photos of the areas that I'm trying to work on/prepare for the big pre-move clear-out (I cannot WAIT for that!)

These first few shots are in my study and show the work I did both a few months ago and also this morning when I put books that were ready to go in certain sections of the shelves.

In this shot, alongside my jumper sleeve you can see that I've read through and cleared out a good few notebooks.  That brown box is currently empty, but will be my card-making supplies box.  What doesn't fit in there isn't being kept.  Some other things have been moved around either for ejection soon, or to be on the 'to read up' list.

In this second shot the movement is more obvious in many cases.  On the top shelf, I'm keeping (all in the 'to read/study up' category) the books on the left and everything from the small yellow book towards the right is going.

There's a little orange notebook towards the right of the second shelf and the few books on the right of that are in the imminent 'study up' section.

On the shelf below, the cluttered section on the left, up to (but not including) 'Complete French All-in-One' is to go.  Several of the titles on the right will be worked through and recycled over the next few years.

On the bottom shelf, which is double stocked, only the front row volumes on the right after the gap are staying, along with a few small scale embroidery books on the far left.

Next photo shows the bottom of the shelves.  The embroidery bookshelf used to be literally jam-packed and there were a couple of extra volumes that didn't fit.  Now, they're all comfortably on there following the sale of a good number of unused titles on Amazon.  There are some that will go to friends or the library soon too.

I've got rid of one huge study file from the bottom right-hand shelf and emptied a fair amount of gunk out of the A4 folders.  Two more are up for 'read and recycle' and a number more will have the contents scanned and recycled.

The magazines I plan to at least halve in the near future.


This is the only photo that wasn't taken today and I used this one instead of the one I *did* take half an hour ago as the lighting is much better.

The blue basket in the foreground is all stuff to go (although the baby knit at the front has already gone).  The CD cases to the library and books to friends.

The blue craft tote I plan to empty and keep only selected items.  Again, aim to halve the contents.  I'm sure one of my more creative friends will like the bag.

A few months ago, there were two huge boxes of stationery and foreign language magazines.  The only things that remain of those now are a pile of mags on my desk to finish sorting and a few that you could see in the first photo on top of that brown box to consider keeping.

The green bag is our emergency bag (still in progress) and there's a small, white plastic bag with things for gadget recycling in between that and the blue one.  The art papers and cards are also to be sorted and dealt with.  Most of the contents of the other boxes will stay, although I am considering cutting down some of the stuff in the fabric colouring Really Useful Box and will need to re-look into that white, Ikea box there.

Moving on now to the living and dining room(s) and here you can see some decreasing in progress. I'll only be keeping about a shelf and a half of books on the right hand unit and several have gone already.  As you can see, there are gaps appearing and I think that all double rows have been singled down.  I've already cleared the top completely of a small pile of books and two small drawer sets - gave one to a little girl as a sewing set (which it was designed to be and I was given it as that when I was about 12), and the second is now my jewellery box (same little girl got my old one).

Almost all of the books in the left hand unit are going (some have already gone) and as many of the souvenirs and nick-naks as I can persuade Sir to part with.  I don't fancy my chances of great success there, but some I can manage to lose.  I also want to lose some of the pots and glassware that we simply don't use.

Most of the videos on this unit are going, as are most of the tapes in the five white and four blue containers you can see here.  We'll probably cut the games down by about two-thirds, and I plan to lose a goodly few CDs.  I may give myself a limit of CDs to keep and work it that way.  Some of the books will; go too - about a third of these here.

This last unit in the living room is real hotch-potch of subjects.  I've already got rid of the old toolbox that was on top and hope to lose about three-quarters of the books on this unit, although I think two-thirds may be more realistic this move.  Many volumes are on the 'read up' list and some I have to convince Sir we really do not need!

On the floor we have some stuff that I keep listing on e-bay and that is gradually selling, along with some special clothes that I hope to sell somewhere too.  There's also a bag of books that I hope to soon be able to return to Glenis. (Next Nottingham talk is 12 July, G!)

The plastic bag is sewing machine stuff and needs to be better stored.

Onto the bedroom and here are after and before (in that order) shots of some of this area.

The after shot shows what it looks like right now with a number of things used up, given away or sold. On the chest of drawers' top, you can also see the little, wooden drawer set I turned into a box for what remains of my jewellery.

The before shot was last July when I was about to do a big clothes and household linen clear-out (and most of Sir's t-shirts must have been in the washing or ironing pile!!)

As you can see, lots of surplus stuff has gone, including some things from the top. Some of the stuff that has since been sold or otherwise got rid of was already on one side for removal at this point, so this isn't even it at its worst.  Anyway, I've used up all but one of those sachets, many of the bottles, sold the hair colourant I wasn't going to use and also 4 big eyeshadow palettes (gave the remaining 3 away).

So, as you can see, there's plenty left to get rid of, but gaps are appearing on shelves, double stocked rows are almost all single rows now and a lot of clutter and junk has already gone.  Things are in hand, but will take just a teensy bit longer....  =)

The whole goal is to reduce my personal possessions by 50% and to cut down household items to the things we really use.  So far, so good.  I've dumped about a third of my clothes and, although I'm not sure I'll make a full 50% on this, I should at least hit 40%.  Hair stuff, jewellery and accessories are already down by about 70%, ditto make-up (depending on whether you count in products or shades).  Perfumery has gone from 26 items at the beginning of this year to about 15 now.  Stationery items are down about 75%, art materials only about 20%, if that, but something has gone at least.  Embroidery things I'll not be cutting down on, except to work up and then sell off the few remaining kits I have and to start to think of ways to use up fabrics.

Household linen I've got rid of about 60-70% of what could go and the rest will go soon.  I also want to get rid of some tableware and some novelty items that have no real use.  The cute cottage butter dish we got as an engagement present is lovely, but I dislike butter and we've never used it.  Nor the tiny individual casserole dishes or the plastic pasty moulds I got from Betterware!!  We no longer use the rice cooker and have never used the toasted sandwich maker, so they can all go too, and that's before we even begin on pesky ornaments!  Depart from my presence, oh dust magnets and shelf clutterers!  Books should also hit the 50% target this time (aiming for more like 75% in the long-term) and that is going to be a BIG relief as they're a nuisance to pack and deal with.  At least my embroidery supplies are ready stored in a box and two lots of drawers.=)

I really need to get back to the read up project though, as I've been shamefully lax with it over the past month or so.  Time to get myself back in minimising gear.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015

3 comments:

Jan. siriuswriter@pobox.com said...

Hi, Elisabeth!
We met oh so many/few years ago while in the midst of a couple of reading discussion groups. You made a comment about translations and referenced the New World Translation and I knew I had met a sister. I believe it was the Medieval reading group I had begun, but I was so happy to have met you. I was a way from active computer usage for awhile and you disappeared. But I never forgot although I did find that your old email is just that, old. I recalled your needlework and yours and your husband's association with a Chinese congregation and Google brought me here. Your needlework is beautiful! I still have lovely photos you took of a convention in Rome. Hope you are both well,
Jan,
Your sister in Oklahoma, USA

Rachel said...

Well, it certainly looks like progress is being made. I'm impressed!

Glenis Pickering said...

12th July noted; I've been meaning to ask you for AGES. We're @ Coventry on 3-5th. Will email you (but don't hold your breath!)