exciting news!

October 5, 2008

becoming minimalist has moved.  please visit us at our new address: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

also, don’t forget to update your bookmarks as all new posts will be entered on the new site.  we hope you’ll like the new look even more as we don’t change any of our content or stated goals.

“Top 10 Colors Define a Season of Change” is the headline.  Without further suspense, here are the top ten fashion colors for 2008: Pantone Fashion Report.

I think that if I was running the fashion industry, it would be important for me to change the “latest” colors often so that people would have to buy new clothes.  It would keep money flowing into my industry.  I think four times every year would be enough to keep people coming to my store.  now, I’m not implying that the fashion industry strategically and intentionally changes the colors and styles to get our money… oh wait, that’s exactly what i’m implying.

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the tiddy bear

October 2, 2008

i suppose that when we decided to become minimalist, it meant that we’ll never own of these.

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a quick project for you to tackle today, you’ll be glad you did. here are 7 things that can be minimalized from your junk drawer in one hour or less:

  1. pens/pencils
  2. old batteries (you know you’re never going to use them)
  3. keys (if you don’t know what they open, they don’t open anything)
  4. scissors/tape/paper clips/rubber bands (does that count as one item?)
  5. tools/hardware (keep one philips screwdriver, that’s it – put the rest away)
  6. coins/receipts
  7. phone books (i hope i’m not the only one with more than one phonebook in my drawer…)

is there anything you would like to add to this list that should be minimalized from your junk drawer?

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receiving gifts from others

September 29, 2008

an interesting conversation occurred with my wife last night when she informed that a good family friend of ours had offered to give our 2-year old daughter a large box of hand-me-down toys that her daughter had outgrown. included in the collection is a large-wooden dollhouse. my wife was interested to see how i would respond based on our decision to become minimalist.

as i began to think through what it would mean to bring in a large number of toys, i had a number of questions for my wife.

  1. are the toys something that our daughter will enjoy playing? easy answer – yes. she absolutely loves dolls! that’s her thing – playing with dolls. i can picture the joy on her face already of having a dollhouse to put them in. shame on me if my quest to become minimalist would rob her of that joy.
  2. are the toys something that the other family wants to use to bless our family or just get out of their own house? we all know the family that graciously offers to give you their old treadmill or foosball table – not for the sake of blessing, but for the sake of removing the clutter from their own house. my wife assured me that they were genuinely hoping to bless our family - even to the point that the daughter ran up to her excitedly to tell about the toys that she had picked out for us.
  3. do we have toys that we can remove from our daughter’s current collection to make room for the new ones? absolutely! there are many toys in the toy room that my little girl has outgrown or no longer has an interest in. we will sort out some of those toys and remove them to make room for the new ones.

i can’t wait to see the joy on my daughter’s face when the new dollhouse appears in our toyroom! and i am very grateful for the wonderful family whose generosity will bring her that joy. thank you.

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cheap toys for young children

September 26, 2008

simple mom reminds us all that the newest, flashiest, and most expensive toys on the market are not necessarily the best.  in a recent post, she offered 11 cheap (and free!) toys for young children.  including:

  • egg cartons
  • chalk
  • empty food containers
  • crayons and paper

i found this post significantly timely as i just put away some of my son’s birthday presents that he hasn’t opened yet.  his birthday was in august.  even though he received a number of flashy toys with colorful (and expensive) packaging, he seems to be most content with a baseball bat and ball.  when will we parents ever learn?

i love selling books on ebay. first, it gets them out of my house. second, i like turning my old stuff into money. and third, it’s so easy!

if you have never sold a book on ebay, i highly recommend it. ebay (as a minimalizing technique) can be very time-consuming. taking pictures, writing descriptions, and shipping packages tend to be a hassle for only a $4 profit. but ebay eliminates nearly all the time-consuming hassle when it comes to books.

when selling books, all you need to enter is the isbn number located on the back of most books. ebay automatically registers all the information about the book (title, author, description, etc.) leaving you to enter just a one sentence description and your shipping cost. not to mention, shipping books is easy (one manila envelope, please) and cheap (usps parcel post).

i hopped on ebay today to list some books that i found in my basement. i was surprised to see that ebay is offering a special 5cent listing fee on books until the end of the year. got a shelf full of books (or a box in the basement)? go grab a few popular titles and turn them into cash today (or at least in 5 days…)

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