i like helping

minimalism in a nerdy world

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Minimalism Collector video – Tour of the Booster Cave

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

gratitude is contagious


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

Starting the #SummerOfNew experiment

Happy Canada Day!

This is a song to all my friends
They take the challenge to their hearts
Challenging preconceived ideas
Saying goodbye to long standing fears
Don’t crack up, bend your brain, see both sides
Throw off your mental chains

-Howard Jones “New Song”

After a last rereading binge, kicked off the Summer of New today! For the next two months, I will not be rereading any books or comics, nor rewatching any films or TV series.

It has been interesting getting reactions to this experiment. For the geeky, there is a bristling. Like I am forbidding them from seeing close friends for the summer.

From others (usually the non-fandom folk), there is a blank look. They do not rewatch or reread. Films are absorbed once then discarded. And at a book or two a year, rereading never enters the realm of possibility.

As always, the truth is probably a middle path. Moving on from the so-so in favour of new experience. Reminder becomes tradition becomes habit becomes chore. And all of it is time you could be spending on the next thing you will love instead of the past thing you quite liked.

Wifey and I are jumping in with both feet. Opening up the Netflix queue and trying something out of the ordinary. I am curious to keep track over the summer of how many new stories we hear, new art works we experience.

It’s the Summer of New. Throw off your mental chains.

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