Desperado…

82 words. 1 minute to read.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now.
Oh, you’re a hard one,
But I know that you’ve got your reasons.
These things that are pleasin’ you,
Can hurt you somehow.

– Johnny Cash, Desperado.

Apple addicts waiting in line for the next Apple phone… almost exactly the same as the last Apple phone

I could write a post about this, but I’m not going to.

There’s not really anything to say, is there?

Declutter, simplify, face reality…

247 words. 3 minutes to read.

So often we keep items that no longer have relevance to who we are now.

We keep the guitar from those few lessons we tried, even though we know in our hearts we’ll never be a guitarist and we never really liked playing anyway.

We keep old, moth eaten stuffed toys from our childhood, even though we’ve grown up and become adults.

We keep items from a crafting project that failed, with the excuse that we might pick it up again, even though we know that we won’t.

We keep cheap souvenirs from a holiday that we’ve long since forgotten.

We keep clothes that don’t fit and are out of date, cosmetics that never worked for us, old computers and smartphones that barely work any more and that have long since been replaced.

These might have beens and once weres drag us down, holding us back from where we are now.

They stop us from seeing ourselves as we are, and prevent us from moving forward with our lives.

Become the person you are meant to be

Life is not static. None of us are the same person we were ten years ago, or even last week.

We all grow and change, and our interests and tastes grow and change too.

Accepting that life is change is necessary to achieve our full potential.

When we declutter, we demonstrate a willingness to leave the past behind, and to accept reality as it is, as we are now.

Declutter, simplify…and face reality. Don’t live in the past.

Decluttering: A willlingness to leave the past behind.

Decluttering: A willingness to leave the past behind.

Video

The meaning of life…

270 words, 2 minutes to read.

When I was a teenager, I helped my boyfriend clear out his grandmother’s house after she died.

She was a hoarder. It took twenty of us six weekends to do the job.

At first, the family members and I trod carefully. Everything we picked up was debated, questioned, argued over.

There were cupboards full of china knick-knacks (could be precious!), and shoe boxes stuffed full of stamps still stuck to torn-open envelopes (could be valuable!).

There were suitcases of unlabelled photographs that nobody could identify and – I remember quite clearly – a huge pickle jar full of baby teeth from the seven children and numerous grandchildren she’d cared for over her life.

There were clothes from the forties, fifties, sixties and beyond, all gradually falling into disrepair. All a feast for moths now, all shabby, stained, and musty. Three garden sheds and a double garage full of tools, wires, plugs that didn’t fit anything. Oddments of twisted wire and bent nails.

At first the twenty of us trod carefully. But soon we grew tired. Soon the treasures just became junk.

Leftovers of a life that had gone.

In the end, the family members took very few items. I was offered items, but I took nothing. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted.

The rest of the belongings were either given to charity or sent to landfill.

We all took a deep, thankful communal breath when the job was finally done.

The lesson I learned from those weekends sorting through a dead woman’s life?

It still lives with me, thirty years later:

That stuff we buy in shops? It’s all just junk in the end. Life is more important than that.

Don’t waste your life on stuff.
Don’t let your possessions become a burden, for yourself or those you love.

Your stuff will never love you back.

Stuff is just junk in the end

That stuff we buy in shops? It’s all just junk in the end. Life is more important than that.

Let it go

Declutter everything – with 5 easy steps!

140 words, 1 minute to read.

Ask yourself these five straightforward questions to declutter everything…

1. Is it a duplicate?
Do you have more than one of this item the same? If so, why?

2. Is it easily replaceable?
Can you borrow / obtain / rent / buy the item locally for a small cost?

3. Was it free?
If you didn’t pay for it and you don’t use it, why on earth is it still in your life?

4. Is it a gift that you dislike but feel like you have to keep anyway to please someone?
People don’t give gifts in order to burden you. Let it go.

5. You havenโ€™t worn / used / consumed it in the last six months or more?
Don’t leave it in your life. Get rid of it!

After decluttering, what next?

250 words, 2 minutes to read.

You hear about decluttering. Maybe you’ve already done it, and everything you don’t need – everything that doesn’t “spark joy” – is gone.

Now you’re wondering, what next?

Minimalizing our possessions is the easy part.

It might seem hard at the time, but decluttering our possessions is the easy part.

The harder part of being a minimalist is understanding, at a deep level, why we are doing this, then working to become the person we feel we were truly meant to be.

True freedom doesn’t come from owning less. True freedom comes from our possessions not owning us.

Minimising our possessions brings our true inner self into stark relief.

Once we clear the clutter away, we’re more able to see ourselves as we truly are.

Once I’d decluttered my life, I realised I needed to do a lot of work on myself, as a person.

I was eating poorly, and was overweight.
I wasn’t giving as much to charity as I’d like.
My marriage was unhappy and unsatisfying, for both of us.
I had too many “Facebook friends” and not enough real relationships.
I wasn’t contributing to my community as much as I’d like.
I was spreading my interests and talents too thin, and was consequently ineffective at most things.

Minimising our possessions is a first step.
Minimising the parts of our life that are not meaningful is the second.
Take the first step, and you become ready for the second.

Second step to minimalism

Treasure moments, not stuff.

320 words. 3 minutes to read.

My son turns 13 this week. He’s almost taller than me.

It seems no time since we brought him home from the hospital. He was so tiny, all swaddled up, his eyes so dark, his eyelashes so long. He was the most beautiful baby imaginable. I was immediately besotted.

I think every parent feels this way about their baby, when we meet our child for the first time.

He’s turning 13 now, and I’m very proud of the man he is growing to be.

We’ve had a bumpy road – a diagnosis of autism (Asperger syndrome), which has developed into him just being an extreme geek with a strong talent for anything computer-related. He’s doing very well at school, he has a strong family, friends that care.

Life is good right now.

Things haven’t been easy, but when I look at the hurdles we’ve jumped, I know that they are easier than some other families have dealt with.

I also know that these same hurdles have given us purpose and a strong relationship between us that will stand us firm in the years to come.

When I look back on our time with him so far – the time he has been alive on this world – it hasn’t been the stuff that made life great. It has been the moments.

His first day of kindergarten.
His first day of school.
His first fight.
Him making friends, and sometimes losing them.
The times we’ve shared an in-joke, or just relaxed at the beach with an ice cream.
The hugs at night, when I tuck him into bed, and tell him I love him.

All of it learning, growing, changing.

I’m speaking from the perspective of a parent proud of her son, but the lesson holds true for all of us: Treasure moments, not stuff. Life is short.

Spend your energy where it will bloom. Then you’ll see the roses grow ๐Ÿ™‚

Treasure moments, not stuff

Life is short. Treasure moments, not stuff.

Create a capsule wardrobe…in under five minutes

480 words. 4 minutes to read.

Your Capsule Wardrobe is the clothes you love and wear every day. It’s that 20% of your wardrobe that you wear over and over again, while the 80% that is the rest of your clothes sit hanging, unworn.

Here’s how to create your Capsule Wardrobe with a total of less than five minutes of work.

I believe that this is the easiest, fastest way to create a Capsule Wwardrobe – and you don’t have to spend any money on new clothing, because it draws your Capsule from the items you already have!

You’ll have your Capsule Wardrobe with virtually no effort within two weeks, and you’ll have a chance to revisit and add to the Capsule over further weeks, if you choose to.

Creating your Capsule Wardrobe

Step 1: Take ALL your clothes off their hangers and out of your drawers and rest them neatly on the floor of your wardrobe or, ideally, in a pile in the corner of your room. This includes shoes, jackets and handbags.

Step 2: Every day for the next two weeks, choose whatever clothes you want from the pile. When they are returned to your room, hang them up in your wardrobe, or return them to your drawers.

By the end of 14 days, the clothes that comprises your Capsule Wardrobe will be hanging neatly in your wardrobe and sitting in your drawers.

Voila! You have a Capsule Wardrobe! ๐Ÿ™‚

And the rest…

Any items still sitting on your floor that you don’t wish to keep at this point can be sold, or given to friends or charity.

Items you are unsure about – the remainder, that is – should be boxed up and dated for two months in the future. Mark that date on your calendar. Put the box on a high shelf or out in your garage. Don’t look at it for two months.

If you need an item from the boxed clothes (which may happen!), ask a partner or friend to get that item for you, so you’re not tempted to go through items you don’t need.

Two months later…update and declutter

Two months later, unbox your clothes and, without trying them on, discard everything that you don’t immediately feel the urge to wear. This will be most of it.

If there are any items you’re uncertain about, just re-box them and date the box for another two months in the future, when you can go through it again. You’ll gradually declutter the items in the box.

How many items should be in my Capsule Wardrobe?

Most Capsule Wardrobes sit at between 20 and 40 items of clothing, not including underwear or nightwear. It’s up to you to find a number that you’re comfortable with.

The Project 333, which I follow, suggests 33 items or less, and Un-fancy suggests 37. Most people find that 30 items is plenty, once they get the hang of dressing with less.