i like helping

minimalism in a nerdy world

clutter is selfish

Anton Chigurh: You know what date is on this coin?

Gas Station Proprietor: No.

Anton Chigurh: 1958. It’s been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it’s here.

-No Country For Old Men

One of the drives that really started getting Things out the door was the realization that it was very selfish to hang onto them.

Since I do not think of myself as a selfish person, I can only reconcile this by letting go.

If I’m not using a Thing, and others would, it is inherently selfish to keep control of that Thing.

I use “control” quite specifically here.

If, for example, you are holding onto a book for a theoretical later use or to give it to a hypothetical “right person,” you are exerting control over who can get value out of it.

You are attempting to control the destiny of that book. Grasping on like Gollum to something that is adding no value and is costing you time and space.

Let the book go. And let it land in whomever’s hand it will.

Maybe that destiny is to gather dust on the shelf of a used bookstore. Perhaps to go unread in the home of a book hoarder.

But maybe, just maybe, that destiny is to get picked up for $1 by an inquisitive teen who will forever remember it as the book that changed their life.

Let that object continue to travel through the world without you.

Let go.

Minimalism Collector video – Tour of the Booster Cave

Thanks for watching. New videos post on Saturdays, blogs go up on Wednesdays.

gratitude is contagious

gratitude

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence
-Alanis Morissette “Thank U”

The first phrase I learn when travelling is “thank you.”

Gracias, grazie, danke schoen, thanks, cheers, merci.

I am a guest and they are helping. It matters to me that I can show my appreciation.

I experimented with a gratitude journal while travelling and it reminded me of the subtle habit I have cultivated of saying thank you. To anyone who helps me, in a big way or small. Automatic, but every time genuine. Habitual but not habit.

I was a big fan of the TV show The West Wing and was fascinated by the protocol of always saying thank you to the president when leaving his office, even if you had been called in to be dressed down. The idea being you are thanking him for his time and attention, not the substance of the meeting. I picked up this habit for my working life and have done it for years. I don’t call attention to it, but it is my small way of acknowledging my gratitude for their time and focus.

It’s a fast world and it is even more important to take the time and intention to appreciate those around us.

In doing the journal, it focused me on the small and big appreciations. The medical professionals who cared for Wifey when she took ill on the flight. The comic shop owner in Athens who recommended local creators. And the hotel bartender who made the most amazing Greek salad.

Gratitude is contagious. It connects us. It builds community.

Thank you for your time.

link to mininalist collector on yourtube

Minimalist Collector YouTube channel

I launched a youtube channel!

Despite hosting an audio podcast for five years, taking media training, and hosting live panels, I still had a bit of stage fright. It’s a different experience when it is just you and the camera and the whole world.

More videos are planned. My current idea/dream/plan is to post videos on Saturdays and blog posts on Wednesdays. I have a few bigger decluttering projects that are about ready to go, so those will be videos instead of photo essays.

Thanks for reading and watching.

Decluttering the kitchen storage room

A bit of a different post today. Last weekend Wifey and I finally got to a project we’ve had on the list since my decluttering and minimizing began. The kitchen storage room.

It is half pantry/half storage/half cleaning supplies/half gadget room. If at math seems a bit off, you aren’t wrong.

This tiny room was packed.

The first step of any effective purge is to get the Things out of their natural habitat. It is far to easy to “leave things be” if you leave them be. Only by putting everything into a new space can you properly judge if it should be kept or discarded.

It took almost a half hour to empty out this 5×3 closet and stack everything on and around the kitchen table.

The storage closet had become a bit of a junk room. The proximity to our outside space means it is the best place for Things we are going to use on our deck – spare chair, insect repellent, BBQ supplies, etc.

It is also where the vacuum lives so the other cleaning supplies congregated there. Add in a silly amount of seldom-if-never used kitchen gadgets, and it was plenty crowded.

And jars. So. Many. Jars.

Read more

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