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Closet Clean-Out 2015

Glimpse into part of my Closet - January 31, 2015

Glimpse into part of my Closet – January 31, 2015

For anyone who has been following my minimalism project, you know I just got rid of 2 boxes of clothes during my “packing party,” which was inspired by Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists. Even so, it’s a new year and every garment is potentially on the chopping block again.

For me, minimalism is about getting rid of the things that don’t add value to my life. It is a constant process. Just because an item added value to my life last year, it doesn’t guarantee that it adds value to my life today. And if that’s the case, and that item should find a new home where it will be useful again.

On January 1st, I went into my closet and flipped every hanger so instead of curling towards the wall, each hanger was curled toward the center of the room. When I wear a garment and it returns to the closet, the hanger will be flipped back to the traditional position. I also took each pair of my shoes and flipped them so the toes were pointing towards the room rather than towards the wall. When I where a pair of shoes for the first time, I flipped them around when I put them away. It takes only a few minutes to flip everything around, and by using the system, I can see at a glance what garments and shoes I have and haven’t worn this year.

Historically, when I’ve done an annual wardrobe clean-out, it also included a checklist for garments that are folded like sweaters, workout gear, and T-shirts. I decided not to do that this year but instead will keep I mental checklist of what I have worn. The items that I don’t wear often will end up at the bottom of the piles and back of the drawers and I’ll decide by the end of the year if anything would be better off being donated to charity.

I got rid of a lot of clothes during my “packing party.” As a result, I seem to enjoy the clothes I have that much more and it appears I’ve flipped a lot more hangers to date then I did last year. It’s a very rare that I find myself rediscovering a garment in my wardrobe because I forgot that I owned it. It definitely makes me happier knowing that the things that I have actually help me be more comfortable and add value to my life.

I’ve considered trying the capsule wardrobe – creating a 3-month wardrobe based on mixing and matchng 24-33 garments. That might be something fun to try when I get back from all my spring travels.

The Undeniable Recap of 2014

Wow – 2014 was a year for change for me. I never would have predicted that so much would be different in 12 months’ time – mostly for the better. It has been a tumultuous ride but I think it’s allowing to lay the foundation for more good things to come.

I keep a running document for The Undeniable Recap from the beginning of the year and it’s so fun to look back and remember everything I did in the last year. It’s always hard to come up with the top 5 events for the year but here goes.

Photo by Julia Kolsrud

Photo by Julia Kolsrud

1. We Moved! I’d been living in my parents’ second home since I moved to Phoenix and I decided it was time for Rosie and me to get our own place. After months of searching, I found a condo that I fell in love with at first sight. It’s less than half the size of our old place – just 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, an office, and an open kitchen/dining/living room. It’s the perfect place for a girl and her dog.

2. The Packing Party. I read about Ryan Nicodemus’ “packing party” in the book Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn. I’ve been an aspiring minimalist for a few years now and moving gave me a chance to step it up a notch. When I moved, I put everything in boxes and only unpacked what I needed when I needed it. It took 72 days to go through all my boxes and a lot of my stuff is going to charity. It was eye-opening to see how little I need to be comfortable.

3. Week in Wickenburg. At the recommendation of my therapist, I spent 5 days in Wickenburg last spring at a workshop at The Meadows. It was an intense experience where I got to do a lot of personal development work and look at who I am, what’s important to me, and when I’m in a hand basket. And with no computer or cell phones allowed on the campus, it was a valuable centering experience.

Post-Brunch Handstand - Photo by Erika Brown

Post-Brunch Handstand – Photo by Erika Brown

4. Birthday Stories. I had the most awesome birthday this year. I always take the day off on my birthday to do whatever I want. This year I asked my friends to send me stories about something related to our friendship. Dozens of people responded. I spent a few hours curled up in front of my laptop taking a wonderful trip down memory lane. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to thank each of you who contributed individually but know that your stories were very much appreciated!

5. Lindsey’s Wedding Weekend. The best trip I took in 2014 was for Lindsey’s wedding in the Bay Area. I’ve known Lindsey since she was probably 7. We were gymnastics teammates and we’ve been friends for decades. It was great to get back to my old stomping ground where I crammed in as many people as I could in a 72-hour period – teammates, coaches, and other friends. And to top it all off, I got to see Lindsey get married. Of course we had a post-wedding handstand contest.

Photo by Jeff Moriarty

Photo by Jeff Moriarty

Firsts in 2014
Aerial Yoga class
Polar Plunge
Encyclopedia Show
Yelling at a server at Buffalo Wild Wings (not my best moment)
Performing at the Orpheum
World’s Largest Pi Fight
Mass mailing for Carter Law Firm in honor of Captain Kirk’s Future Birthday
Virtual Presentation at a Conference – ABA TechShow 2014

Poolside Rosie

Poolside Rosie

Batting cages
Getting crapped on by a bird
Day trip to Jerome
10K race that I ran the whole time
Visit to the big dinosaur in Gila Bend
Ice Bucket Challenge
Overnight trip to Sedona w/ Rosie’s first hotel stay
Buying real furniture for my new place
Ignite Phoenix After Hours at The Mint
Driving myself to Prescott
Hiking the Wind Cave Trail
Local Events: Arizona Wind Symphony Performance, Art Detour, Scottsdale Arts Festival, Tempe Arts Festival, Heard Museum, and Zoolights

Hanging with Peter Shankman

Hanging with Peter Shankman

Medical Firsts: Cardiac ultrasound, Beta blocker, Anti-depressant, Stress test
Food Firsts: Pho, Rutabaga, Matzo ball soup, Sugar cookie in a mug,

Celebrity Sightings
The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
The Oatmeal – aka Matt Inman
Chris Guillebeau
Peter Shankman

Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 9

Minimalism Boxes - December 14, 2014

Minimalism Boxes – December 14, 2014

And then there were 3.

I have only 3 boxes left in my Minimalism in 90 Days Project.  I worked my butt off during the last week to go through my remaining boxes. From each box, I’d say about half the contents survived and half was added to the charity pile. I added quite a few things to my kitchen cabinets that I’ll use on occasion – like a hand mixer and a casserole pan. I ended up with an extra box to go to charity just of kitchenware. I also went through my stationary and got rid of a ton of postcards and ugly stationary that I’ll never use.

I started throwing out empty boxes. The stack of them was getting close to the ceiling and they were adding to the clutter. I need to make arrangements to have the charity boxes go to charity soon because they’re just taking up space on the office floor at this point.

It is challenging to know what to keep and what to throw out from the last remaining boxes. Two of them are mainly filled with books I haven’t read. Some people would say if I haven’t made it a priority to read them yet, I never will so I should probably donate them. I’m going to set them aside but then give myself a year to read them and decide if they will stay or go. If I haven’t read a book in a year, it will be donated so someone else can benefit from it.

One thing I keep saying to myself is “Minimalism is a process.” This packing party isn’t the end all be all of my minimalism. It gave me an enlightening glimpse into how few things I use on a regular basis, and it’s given me the opportunity to get rid of a lot of clutter. But it will be an ongoing process where I’ll regularly ask myself, “What makes my life valuable?” In general, it’s not my stuff. My possessions make my life comfortable and they provide the means to activities I enjoy, but I’m pretty sure I’m not a better person simply because I own an object.  Conversely, I’m a better person when I keep my life simple.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4
What was Unpacked During Week 5
What was Unpacked During Week 6
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 7
Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 8

Minimalism in 90 Days Update from Week 7

I'll be going through these boxes by the end of the month.

I’ll be going through these boxes by the end of the month.

I am just over 7 weeks into my variation of Ryan Nicodemus’(of The Minimalists) “packing party.” I still have my notebook where I track what I unpack and get rid of each day, but at this point it seems almost redundant to post the day-by-day list of what I’m using, unpacking, and donating to charity. If you’re really interested in seeing the daily lists, let me know.

I finally went a day where I didn’t unpack anything because I needed it. However, I’m unpacking things if I know they’re going to survive the final cleanout and adding them to the charity pile the moment I know that an item is not going to survive, so even on that day where I didn’t “unpack” anything, items still came out of the boxes. But in case you are wondering, that fateful day was Day 49.

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m using this minimalism project as a way to avoid fully settling into my condo. So I’m using this month to do the final cleanout. I’m trying to go through a box a day and at least unpack the things that I know for sure are going to survive the final cleanout. If I find an item that I’ve forgotten that I had, that’s a pretty good indicator that that item can be added to the charity pile. If it wasn’t important enough to remember, it’s probably not important enough to keep. Also, as soon as my brain has placed an item in a particular place in my condo, I try to unpack it, even if it’s an item that someone might consider frivolous like a flower vase or a stuffed animal.

Charity boxes 12-2-2014

Four full boxes going to charity! More to be added I’m sure.

My goal by the end of this month is to have all the minimalism boxes out of the condo and to have at least ordered the final pieces of furniture that I want, which include a dining set, armchairs for the living room and office, a white board for my office, and a floor lamp for my office. I might end up with more furniture than what other minimalists might have, and I’m OK with that. Minimalism isn’t about having less than what others have, and using it like a badge of honor. It’s about having things in my life that give me value without having the things that don’t. For me, it’s important to have a home that is cozy, inviting, and comfortable so I’m diligent about selecting furniture and fabrics that are comforting.

I’ll keep shooting videos of this project, and I might start doing some where I open the remaining minimalism boxes and to talk about what will survive the final cleanout, what definitely won’t survive, and to talk about the uncertainty I have about whether I should or shouldn’t keep an item. One thing I know that has been handy in the past is Joshua Fields Millburn’s 20/20 rule which he talks about in his book Everything That Remains. His suggestion is that it shouldn’t be a big deal to get rid of something if it takes less than 20 minutes and less than $20 to replace.

I’m looking forward to having this portion of my minimalism project complete and sharing the journey with you.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4
What was Unpacked During Week 5
What was Unpacked During Week 6

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What was Unpacked During Week 6

This suitcase was overflowing with clothes a week ago.

This suitcase was overflowing with clothes a week ago.

I am over six weeks into my variation of Ryan Nicodemus’(of The Minimalists) “packing party” and I have yet to go a day without unpacking something. Every time I think I’m going to have a day where I don’t unpack anything I’ll want to watch a DVD I haven’t unpacked or I’ll need a pair of socks – usually something mundane.

It’s started to get colder in Phoenix so I’ve started unpacking cold weather linens and clothes. I’m also being more diligent about unpacking things I know (and I mean really know) I’ll need or want or getting rid of things I know won’t survive the final clean-out.

Here’s what I unpacked during the last week:

Day 36

  • DVD
  • Tall socks and t-shirt
  • Japanese figurine and somersault girl figurines
  • Extra keys
  • Spare change
  • Mug

Day 37

  • Fish bowl
  • Checkbook

Day 38

  • Sweater, slippers, cold weather running shirts, and running tights
  • Brown handbag
  • Rosie the basset hound saved 3 tennis balls from the charity pile

Day 39

Day 40

  • Lipstick
  • DVD

Day 41

  • Thermometer (I have to remember that I don’t have a fever, I have cold hands)
  • Glass cups

Day 42

  • DVD

Items set aside for charity this week: 13 hangers, banker box full of clothes, big blue vase, dog brush, dog toys, 5-pound dumbbells, and plastic party cups.

In terms of the number of boxes and suitcases in the minimalism pile, not much has changed, but the volume of stuff in each one is steadily dropping. I found a few items in the that I inherited from my grandmother in my things that have basically become dust collectors there are no reasons, not even sentimental ones, for me to keep them anymore. So I will be passing them along to various family members when we get together for Thanksgiving.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4
What was Unpacked During Week 5

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What was Unpacked During Week 5

I still have a suitcase filled with clothes I haven't worn yet.

I still have a suitcase filled with clothes I haven’t worn yet.

I am over a month into my variation of Ryan Nicodemus’(of The Minimalists) “packing party” and I have yet to go a day without unpacking something. On most days I unpack only a few items. I expect that day will come soon, but I also expect days where I’ll be unpacking a lot more. I’m starting to think about what items are going to survive the final clean out even if I don’t use them on a regular basis – like the keys to my parents’ house in California or the Ziploc back of spare change I haven’t unpacked yet. If I think of those items and I know they’re going to be spared, then I’ll unpack them. Likewise, the moment I know an item isn’t going to survive the final clean out, it will go into the pile of things to be donated to charity.

Here’s what I unpacked during the last week:

Day 29

  • Crockpot and pan
  • DVD

Day 30

  • DVD
  • Towel set
  • Handout and magnets (to attach it to the fridge)

Day 31

  • Sweatshirt (It’s finally cold enough that I want a sweatshirt instead of a zippy to walk Rosie in the morning)

Day 32

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • DVD
  • Replacement tube of Rosie’s toothpaste (I have several replacements for toiletries I currently use that are still in a box. I might unpack all of those because they will be used. Don’t worry – I only have 1 replacement for each item at most. I’m not like an extreme couponer who has 100 bottles of shampoo.)

Day 33

  • Dress
  • Cassette

Day 34

  • Music stand and sheet music
  • Donation to charity: unused travel size toiletries

Day 35

  • Aztec sun (I’m storing this on the wall for now)
  • Birthday card for brother-in-law (bought it during Independents Week sale)
  • Stage manager bag of pens, highlighters, velcro, and safety pins (to work at Ignite Phoenix event)
  • Vinyl pants, FMBs, and pasties (to wear at Ignite Phoenix event)
  • Mascara, foundation, lip liner, eyeliner, shimmer powder, and lipstick case
  • KT Tape (for my sore leg), alcohol pads, and knee socks (to sleep in my KT Tape)
  • Music binder

The list on this post goes through last Friday, but I usually shoot the weekly video on Sunday so I’ll be talking about a few things that you won’t see on the what-I-unpacked list until next week. I’m definitely trying to treat my condo more and more like a home. I don’t want a lot a knick knacks – just a few sentimental items that make me smile.

Other updates from the Minimalism in 90 Days project:
What was Unpacked During Week 1
What was Unpacked During Week 2
What was Unpacked During Week 3
What was Unpacked During Week 4

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What I Unpacked During Week 2

Minimalism Boxes - October 26, 2014

Minimalism Boxes – October 26, 2014

I’m a little over two weeks into my new minimalism project where I only unpack what I need as I need it – inspired by the “packing party” Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists did. His process lasted 21 days. I’m giving myself three months for mine.

I looked up Ryan’s packing party story in Everything That Remains and noted that his first day when he didn’t have to unpack anything was Day 10. I’m still unpacking things every day, but the number of things I need is dropping – still mostly clothes, kitchware, and now that I have a TV, DVDs.

I realized that before when I needed something, I would look at everything I have and make a decision. Now that most of my stuff is still in boxes, when I need something – like deciding what I’m going to wear that day, I envision how I want to look and feel that day and decide accordingly. I don’t rely on the visual stimulation of looking at my stuff to inspire me but try to tap into what I really want instead.

One of the challenges I face on a daily basis is paper. No matter how much I minimize my life, I will always have to deal with paper in form of mail, business cards from networking events, receipts, etc. I’m toying with the idea of letting it pile up and deal with it once a week instead of daily.  That might be a more effective use of my time. Given that “freedom” is something I value greatly, conserving my time for things that matter to me is important.

For those who are interested, here’s what I unpacked during Week 2.

My T-shirt Drawer - October 26, 2014

My T-shirt Drawer – October 26, 2014

Day 8

  • Spoon
  • Sundress and cardigan
  • DVD
  • Highlighter
  • Coupons and store club cards
  • Laundry soap, dust cloth, duster, dryer sheets, and dishwasher soap

Day 9

  • Contact lenses, contact solution, lotion, and marker
  • Eyeglasses case
  • Bike pump
  • T-shirt and socks
  • Big soup pot, food storage containers, measuring spoons, medium pot, chopper, cooking spoon, colander, and onion goggles
  • 2 DVDs

Day 10

  • 2 T-shirts, tank top, bra, and cardigan
  • Salad container and measuring cup

Day 11

  • Tank top
  • Lids for food storage containers and mug
  • Extra razor blades and 2 types of mouthwash
  • Vase I use for spare change

Day 12

  • Skirt, blouse, and Mary Jane heels
  • Remote mouse aka “clicker”
  • Makeup brushes, eyelash curler, compact, powder, and nose hair trimmer
  • Crochet project

Day 13

  • Reflective belt for early morning running, t-shirt, underwear, Legal Rebel Converse high tops, and blazer
  • Extra business cards
  • Measuring cups

Day 14

  • T-shirt
  • Home inspection binder
  • Q-tips and tampons
  • Small pot, wooden spoon, and new knives

I wouldn’t be surprised if my first day where I don’t unpack anything comes within the next week. I think I’ll need about a month to get through the majority of the activities I do on a regular basis and then it will be easier to start going through my boxes and get rid of things on a more frequent basis.

In case you missed it: What I Unpacked During Week 1

Minimalism in 90 Days Update – What Got Unpacked the First Week

When I read about Ryan Nicodemus’ “packing party” and 21-day minimalism project, I was curious to know what got unpacked during those 21 days. In case anyone is curious about what I’ve unpacked since moving into the condo, I thought I’d share what I unpacked in the first week.

The number of boxes has remained unchanged but the amount in each box is dropping.

The number of boxes has remained unchanged but the amount in each box is slowly dropping.

Day 1 – October 11th

  • Nail kit (I broke a nail unloading groceries)
  • Bath towel, hand towel, wash cloth, bathmat
  • Mattress pad, sheets, comforter, pillows
  • Phone charger and extension cord
  • Rosie’s bowls, Kong toy, scoop, and food
  • My prescription pills and check sheet
  • Paper towels
  • Swiss Army knife (This is stored in my utility box under my bed so everything that was in that box is under my bed now)
  • My dirty laundry and laundry basket
  • Keychain for my mailbox key
  • 3-hole punch (I had to file a receipt. I treat my file cabinets and files like furniture so they were already in place)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Laptop, cool pad, power strip
  • Measuring cup, spoon, soup mug, food storage containers, cutting board, knife, cup
  • T-shirt, sandals, hoodie, pajamas
  • “If you’re not fucking up, you’re not in the game” sign and 2 magnets
  • Sponge, hand soap
  • Coffee pot
  • Library book
  • Everyday toiletries
  • Night guard

Day 2 – October 12th

  • Sugar bowl and canister
  • Coffee mug, 2 spoons, cup, knives, bowl, baking sheet, plate, fork, pot holders, glasses,
  • Blender
  • Camelbak and bike lock
  • Rosie’s travel bag, car harness, ear wash, and nail trimmer
  • Bear figurine (dust collector but I like it)
  • Scanner
  • Mug to keep pens in
  • Sunglasses, shorts, t-shirt, cycling clothes
  • Family photo
  • Boombox and cassette (b/c I’m old-school like that)

Day 3 – October 13th

  • Knife, bowl, 3 spoons, measuring cup, food storage container, and sandwich bags
  • Zippy, t-shirt, socks, and underwear
  • iPod, headphones, and webcam
  • Backpack
  • Highlighter
  • 10-pound weights and resistance band

Day 4 – October 14th

  • Running clothes, zippy, t-shirt, underwear, socks, jeans, Converse sneakers, and tank top
  • Knife
  • Stapler and scissors

Day 5 – October 15th

  • Mug, 2 spoons, bowl, plate, salt and pepper, fork, can opener
  • Running clothes, pants, tank top
  • Painters tape, printer ink, shredder

Day 6 – October 16th

  • Spoon, food storage container, plate, fork, kitchen towel, and cup
  • Safety pin
  • Running clothes, pants, 2 tank tops, dress shirt, underwear, heels, bra, and jacket
  • Hand lotion, eyeliner, and lipstick

Day 7 – October 17th

  • Spoon, knife, plate, fork
  • T-shirt, socks, underwear
  • Calculator, stamps, and file folders
  • Gift certificate for trapeze lessons
  • Swiffer
  • Toothpaste
  • Rosie’s extra blanket
  • Hand towel

So basically at this point most of what I unpack day-to-day is related to food consumption and clothes. I’m getting better at remembering where each box is and what’s in it (thankfully they’re well-labeled) but I still feel like a fumbling idiot when I’m in that corner of the condo looking for something.

I did laundry and ran the dishwasher last weekend so now the closet and cupboards are starting to look like a person lives here.

Minimalism in 90 Days – The Pre-Move In

For those of you who missed it, I moved from a 1800 square foot furnished townhouse to a 895 square foot condo. Since my life was going into boxes, I decided to create my own variation of Ryan Nicodemus’ Packing Party. I decided to move myself to the new place but not unpack anything until I needed it to see how much stuff I actually use and what I truly need to function and feel comfortable.

I closed on the condo on September 29th but I won’t move in until October 11th. I needed time to buy some basic furniture, pack up my life, and get it moved to the new place.

Let me start by saying, Ryan’s Packing Party is a lot easier than mine. Moving sucks. I feel like my life for the last week has been hijacked by furniture stores, delivery people, utility people, and movers.

I’m really glad I did a major clean-out of my life last year. I still had more to get rid of in this move, but it’s a lot less than what I’ve already parted with to date.

I’m writing this post from new condo on the eve of the official move-in, at my new standing desk from Ikea, while I’m waiting for the furniture guys to arrive to exchange the damaged box spring they delivered earlier this week with an un-damaged one.

The only furniture that belonged to me in the townhouse was a bookcase and my mattress so I had to go furniture shopping. Here’s what I’ve purchased so far furniture-wise for the condo: bed, box spring, 2 bedside tables, dresser, desk, desk chair, coffee table, 2 end tables, entertainment table (for the TV), and 5 lamps. The fact that I made this many selections without crying is a miracle. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m hellaciously indecisive. I have trouble ordering a sandwich. I purchased a couch too but it won’t be ready for a few more weeks so I’m sitting on a camping chair for now.

My Living Room - October 10, 2014

My Living Room – October 10, 2014

Some people may be wondering if I’m a minimalist if I’m buying this much furniture. To me, minimalism isn’t about having as little as possible. It’s about limiting myself to the things that add value to my life. It’s ok to be comfortable.

In the back and forths from the townhouse to the condo, I’ve brought over a few boxes, some oversized items that didn’t fit into a bankers box, and a few garments that I’d rather keep on hangers instead of folding them and getting them wrinkled. I brought over all my empty hangers in my laundry basket. It seemed dumb to have 3 boxes just for hangers. I cleaned out the freezer and realized the freezer at my new place is a lot smaller than the one I’m used to. I also went shopping for a few items that I knew I would need early on like a new comforter and toilet paper.

This is supposed to be the dining area, but for now it's where the boxes are going to be.

This is supposed to be the dining area, but for now it’s where the boxes are going to be.

Here’s how unpacking is going to work. The movers are going to bring my things to the condo. Everything will be placed in the great room and nothing will be unpacked until I need it. (I expect this will be the fastest move they’ve ever done.) Once an item is unpacked, it can’t go back in its box. It has to be put away, given away, or thrown away. Today, I had to unpack a notebook so I could leave a friendly note on the windshield of the truck that’s been parking in my space.  Now I need to decide where notebooks are going to be stored.

For the most part it’s been fun creating my new living space but I’m at the point now where I can’t wait to be settled in.

New Project: Minimalism in 90 Days

I’m taking my minimalism project to the next level. When I moved to Phoenix ten years ago, I moved into my parents’ second home – lovely two bedroom, two bathroom, 1800 square foot, furnished place with a pool and a yard. It’s been a wonderful home but it’s time for Rosie and me to get our own place. I recently found a condo that I loved from the moment I saw it – 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 900 square foot place with a patio and a nook that will be my home office.

I’ve been systematically cleaning out my stuff for the last eighteen months but for this move, I’m stealing an idea from Ryan Nicodemus, one of The Minimalists. When he decided to become a minimalist, he and his fellow minimalist friend Joshua Fields Millburn had a “packing party” where they packed up all his stuff as if he was going to move. For the next twenty-one days, he only unpacked what he needed as he needed it. After the twenty-one days, he went through his boxes, pulled out a few extra items, and got rid of the rest. By packing up his stuff, it opened his eyes to how little he actually needs to be happy and comfortable.

I suspect my new place will look like this for a few weeks. Charted by Shelah from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I suspect my new place will look like this for a few weeks. Charted by Shelah from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

So here’s my plan for the move. I sold or gave away all my furniture before I left Oregon. (As a joke, I signed a lot of it – does anyone still have any of that stuff?) Once I take possession of my condo, I’m going buy a few staple furniture items that I know I’ll need – bed, couch, desk, and probably not much else. (Oh, and I promised Rosie a memory foam bed for her birthday.) I’m going to box up all my stuff – and probably use file size boxes so their easy to use and stack. Each box will be filled based on where the things were stored in the house and labeled so it will be easy to find stuff after I move. I’ll also go through my boxes of kitchen stuff and linens from my Oregon apartment and get rid of the stuff I know I won’t need in my new place.

After I move, everything will stay in the boxes. I’ll only unpack or buy things as I need them. I’ll probably do this for three months. By then, the weather will have changed from warm to cold so I should have all the seasonal items I’ll need unpacked. I’ll probably spend the dead week between Christmas and New Year’s going through the boxes one more time before giving away whatever I’m not using. If I get to the point where I know I’m not going to be going into the boxes anymore, I’ll call it early and do the final clean out then.

I’m curious to see how many boxes of stuff I actually own right now compared to what I actually use. There’s nothing like moving to motivate you to get rid of your stuff.