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?

related posts:


what to do with books…

August 18, 2008

yesterday, i gave away a book to a friend named jenna.  it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  i overheard her mention that she was planning to go buy a certain book.  i knew that i had a copy of the book on my shelf that i had already read.  the next time that i saw her, i grabbed it and gave it to her.  she was thrilled.  i had saved her money and communicated the value that i place on our relationship.

the whole episode got me thinking, “as a minimalist, what should i do with my books?”  i’ve seen the same question asked elsewhere.  here are my thoughts on the subject:

  • books that i have never read nor plan to read – get rid of them.  examples would include books that were given to you or books that were recommended to you that no longer interest you.  these books are just taking up space, creating clutter, and distracting you from the important things in your life.  donate to a local library, goodwill, or garbage dump. 
  • books that i have read and have no use for anymore – get rid of them.  examples would include fictional books or self-help books that weren’t all that helpful.  again, get rid of them.  there’s just no reason to keep them on your shelf or in your life.
  • books that i have read that have become influential in my life – lend them out.  these are the books that have helped shaped my life.  they have made a difference in me and made me a better person.  if so, these books woud make the same positive difference in someone else’s life.  holding on to them would be a shame.  put your name in the front cover and lend it out to someone who be equally challenged – and keep track of who you’ve given them to so that you can get them back.
  • books that i have read and use often – keep them close.  examples would include reference books, inspirational books, devotionals, etc.  if you are drawing knowledge or inspiration from them on a regular basis, keep them handy on your shelf.  and you should be able to find them easier with the other three categories removed.

happy reading.  and minimalizing.

this afternoon during a trip to six flags, new england, i took a seat on a bench to wait for a friend. as i sat down, i was suprised to see two young men walk by with HUGE stuffed animals draped around their necks. they had obviously just won them at a “carnival game” and i turned to see which one. it was the basketball shot challenge… and i was immediately intrigued.

i like to think that i can hold my own on a basketball court – especially shooting a long-range jump shot. these young men didn’t look they were anything special and so i began to watch the other contestants.

$2 got you 1 shot and $5 got you 3 shots. make one basket and win a prize – a 4 foot tall stuffed puppy with the tongue hanging out. of the three current contestants, one won. at about that time, a team of 12-year old basketball players and their coaches arrived to give it a shot. when i noticed a high percentage of the players winning on one particular basket, i figured i was on to something and began reaching in my pocket to find a $5 bill thinking that my kids would love the gift!

and then i stopped. “wait a minute, i’m becoming minimalist. what am i going to do with a 4-foot tall stuffed puppy in my basement?” i asked myself. i imagined my kids thinking the puppy was pretty cute at first and then pushing it into a corner to go back to their old toys. the puppy would just sit there, lonely, taking up space in my basement.

i gripped my $5 tighter and tighter as i wrestled with the decision. and when my friend arrived, i used it to buy him some ice cream. i’m very happy with my decision.

related posts: minimalist moment – the book store; benefit #11 – easier souvenir shopping

i originally found this benefit in a zenhabits blog post titled, “a guide to creating a minimalist home.” their thoughts on minimalization are amazing! because i have noticed many people are ending up at this blog after searching for “minimalism benefits” i wanted to be sure that it got on the list because i have found it to be so true!

more appealing. think about photos of homes that are cluttered, and photos of minimalist homes. the ones with almost nothing in them except some beautiful furniture, some nice artwork, and a very few pretty decorations, are the ones that appeal to most of us. you can make your home more appealing by making it more minimalist.

we have found this to be true in our home over and over again. whether it be something simple like removing crowded knick-knacks from a shelf or something large like removing unused pieces of furniture, we continue to enjoy the look of our home more and more as we continue to become more and more minimalist.

related posts: benefits of minimalism, benefit #4 – easier to clean

antiquing (v): the act of shopping, identifying, negotiating, or bargaining for old things like dressers, canisters, postcards, or bird cages. items can be bought for personal use, gifts, or just to sit on your shelf for another 20 years. antiquing is performed at garage sales, estate sales, resort towns, antiques districts, collectives, international auction houses, and other places with nothing to do.

and because i have become minimalist, i never have to do it again. thank goodness.

related posts: benefits of minimalism


July 22, 2008

does my decision to become minimalist mean that i can’t get one of these: spaceship for sale.

related posts: 150in plasma screen, my junk drawer for sale on ebay

7 things that could be minimalized in your bathroom right now:

  1. reading materials
  2. over-the-counter medicine
  3. make-up
  4. bath toys
  5. cleaning agents/supplies
  6. nonworking appliances (hair dryer/curler, electric razor, electric toothbrush)
  7. bottles of shampoo/conditioner (for some reason there are 8 bottle in my bathroom right now)

previous posts: 7 things – the kitchen