Day 53: Coolers are clutter

Backstory:

I had 2 coolers in the garage that the wife and I have used multiple times in the past but now they are redundant. For whatever reason the wife decided to buy newer more expensive coolers, cause yeah…

I need to work on that, but these are redundant.

The plan:

Also free-cycled on Craigslist. Someone already emailed.

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Day 52: 20+ year old bicycle

Backstory:

Fun fact, this is actually my wife’s bike but she told me she did not want it anymore, and it’s hanging in the garage blocking lots of stuff. She has had this bike since she was a young girl. Its been hanging in our garage for easily 14 years untouched.

The plan:

This was the first of many items I listed on Craiglist for free. Someone claimed it in 20 minutes. Boom

Update 3: Rollercoaster ride to smiles

I am over half way there. Wooh-o, livin on a prayer. Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear…

Sorry, whether you like Bon Jovi or not, that’s a great song. I recall playing that every blue moon at weddings and it was always a hit. Where was I? Oh right, the update.

I have had my good days and I have had my bad days, to be expected. So lets start with the bad to get it off my chest. This process has been difficult at times. I see the benefits and I see constant progress, but it is glacial at times. Online I hear and read of minimalists doing packing parties where they invite friends over to pack up everything they don’t need at once, then like ripping a band-aid off they rid themselves of it. When you watch shows about hoarders, this was always the most traumatic thing you could do to someone. The look of panic and terror in their eyes show, and surely you are not surprised when they revert shortly after the tv cameras leave their houses.

My thinking behind taking 100 days to remove 100 items was that I can take time to adjust and think about the whys. And also fix them one at a time. That being said, I still find myself doing it in spurts. Its so much easier for me to spend 15 minutes each week or every few days crawling through my house and making a list of items to purge, then on the day of the event writing a short “why” post. Then even up to a week later I’ll get around to actually moving the item(s) to the garage or otherwise.

I also had piles and piles of things stacked up in the garage, making the garage more useless than usual. This lead to me planning on doing a garage sale, but later deciding instead to never do garage sales again. That was a huge weight off my chest since I was partially dreading doing it.

Also, there are some days where I am so busy with everything that I get to the end of the day and realize that I haven’t purged anything. I built in several days of padding to complete this prior to Thanksgiving, but I wanted to save them up like School Snow days. They are precious and shouldn’t be used since I was busy. I should only use them if I am sick, or on vacation for example.

So far I have not had any regrets at all about getting rid of anything. Nothing at all. I am excited about that aspect.

My wife has slowly adjusted to some of the changes too. If I would have just purged everything at once she would have lost her mind. Doing it this way was easier for her to accept. I am planning on slowly bringing the kids around too, to help purge some of their treasure trove of toys.

Onto the good!

I feel tired all the time, but I think that is due to me trying to be more active. I have been doing light exercise, and restricting my calories to lose weight. Tiredness is a side effect of all this so I am not concerned. I treat myself to a good night’s rest as much as possible, which doesn’t happen as much as I want it. I do literally see signs of weight loss progress which is awesome. My clothes are slightly loose, and I use this gadget weekly to measure your body fat and BMI. I am down about .5% body fat which is going in the right direction!

I am getting better slowly at learning to cook and make meals. I still find myself getting frustrated at times, but the end justifies the means when I am able to sit down with the family and eat a delicious meal. I am also doing awesome at not having useless sugar drinks! I did treat myself to 1 single can of Dr Pepper while at the company picnic. There was also one day where we were getting lunch out and I ordered a Sprite. That Sprite was the sweetest thing (sugar-wise, not epic) I have tasted in a month. I swear I noticed just how sweet it was over things like a delicious apple. It was an eye opening moment when I drank it. I am fully converted over to no sugar coffee at work, and even then 2 cups at most. Slowly I am transitioning towards black coffee too. Right now it is a lightly-creamer’d coffee. Very dark, but not black.

My habit tracking has been a great idea, but there was one day where I went from 5 habits to 10. At day 30 I added in 5 more habits and everything went to shit for about 3 days. I am slowly back on track but I need to only add habits one at a time and spread out. One habit I recently started was trying to learn Japanese. Its been interesting and I feel like I want to dedicate more time to this but can’t.

Shopping-wise I get a gold star. I will admit that I have an Amazon list saved of items I think I want that I am sleeping on. In the end they are all dramatic improvements on some items. I feel like if I can keep up the 101 things I can certainly buy a select few items to make my life better. These things included a L2 charger for my car, a monitor stand to make my computer desk cleaner, and some automated lighting. All of these items I know I will heavily use, and I can justify their purchases. The charger was on sale recently at Costco and my wife ended up buying it for me. So the fun news of that thing is, that I need to get an electrician to wire up a 220 volt plug in my garage, which means I need to move some massive shelves out of the way. Which means,….  (wait for it), MORE CLEANING and purging. It only makes sense that if I need to clean this stuff up I might as well deal with it now. Win win. I am spinning this in to a positive. The final outcome is a nicer garage, less stuff, and a fast car charger for my plug in hybrid minivan! Boom, mic drop.

Writing this blog every day has been interesting. I decided that I wanted to concentrate on content and not ascetics. I even swear of editing to a point. I glance-re-read it before hitting publish instead of endlessly scouring it for spellign and grammar issues. Honestly I am not doing this for fame, or fake internet points. It is for me to work this all out in my head. It also makes it easier for me to not have to carry around a journal.

I have had several new followers and I sincerely thank them for their encouraging “likes”. Two people that seem to keep reading my things in bulk also have 2 minimalistic blogs:

The latter blog I shared with my wife. Sadly my wife is dead set on keeping her overflowing closet of clothes, despite wearing the same outfit nearly everyday of the week. I am honestly no where near a fashion expert, but her blog is interesting to read about her challenges. As I type this she just uploaded her final YouTube video a 4 week long wardrobe challenge. https://youtu.be/E1dz0xe6KUY  Congrats ASmallWardrobe!

I am hopeful for the future. I am enjoying this more than disliking it. I can see positive changes left and right, and while its not perfect every second of every day, I can accept the medium end results. I honestly feel like I am steering my life away from some tragic cliff I was close to in my health, which is priority 1. But also overall I am happier every day, so mentally I can continue to accept change, even if it makes me a little hungry or tired all the time. A happy person has to have more willpower right? Even if it is just a placebo effect, it’s still an effect.

In closing, I shall leave this excellent image to inspire myself onward into the second half of this challenge:

 

 

…and yourself too!

Day 51: Music CDs

Backstory:

Music is life. I can’t live without a good tune to listen to. In the past I owned boxes and boxes of cassette tapes and CDs. I even was a wedding DJ for 7 years, further pushing my love of music.

I did a huge purge years back on my CDs. Even my wife sold a bunch at a yardsale. One thing I didn’t sell though was stacks and stacks of mix-tape CDs. For whatever reason I kept nearly a plastic bag sized pile of mix-tape CDs that my wife and I have made over the years.

Call it sentimental clutter.

Now everything is digitalized or streamable.

The plan:

Easy – throw away. They cannot be sold or recycled. Legally I don’t think we can give them away either.

Day 50: Stupid television shows

Backstory:

I am a fan of movies, plan and simple. Since I was a kid I have always loved watching movies instead of television shows. Traditionally TV shows have always had far less production value, and looked less polished to me. Their subjects were always thin as well. Movies on the other hand captured your attention, and over all made me feel better after watching them. It was like a miniature feeling of that glee from finishing a book. TV shows on the other hand always end on cliff hangers and, by design, left me feeling unsatisfied.

Recently I have noticed that while watching some television, my TV habits are all over place. Some shows I binge off Netflix are truly entertaining, while others are mindless drivel.

I need to find a way to test this still so bear with me while I ramble. Imagine the example of these 2 shows: 24 Hours to Hell and Back, and Masterchef. Both shows by Gordon Ramsey, a chef I can put on my list of “I nearly watch his entire catalog” of entertainment. Both similar, dealing with cooking and creating, Gordon screaming at times, and for the most part touchy feely outcomes. However when analyzed deeper, there exists one massive difference. 24 Hours is a show where he enters a failing restaurant, argues with owners acting like President Cheeto, and then revamps by force the entire place and hopefully the owners shift their behavior to accept the long term strategy. I’d be shocked if 25% of them are still in business after 2 years.

Masterchef in comparison is a show were 24’sih home cooks all compete making insane professional grade dishes, and each week one is eliminated until there is one left, highlander style.  Then each season they just start over with the same exact competition and repeat the formula again and again.

Both shows, one could argue, are formulaic. However at it’s core Masterchef is wildly different since it changes the sheer amount of cooking dishes you are presented, which is part of the appeal of watching these shows: to learn new things. 24 Hours however is the same exact formula repeating again and again and again, with maybe at best 3-4 new dishes each week. Even the pre-commercial break mini-cliff hangers are predicable. It is the most predicable reality tv ever. Sure Gordon’s outbreaks are funny, but even those are repeating. After the first 4 episodes I simply stopped watching the show.

So 2 shows, one celebrity chef I love watching, and 2 outcomes.

The plan

Simply put, I need to evaluate “Why” I watch shows, and try to understand what value I am looking for from them. From that I can compare them to similar items and evaluate if I should even bother watching them. I can then cut WAY back on TV hours per week, and gain more and more time to do the things that bring value or happiness to me.

Besides, TV is clearly targeted at selling ads, and ads are bad. Boo advertisements!*

 

 

 

 

*this blog post is brought to you by Brawndo, the thirst emulator