Friday, December 12, 2014

The Minimalist Game, Part 7

It's getting harder to keep up with this game simply because of the time it takes to hunt things down. On days when Boyfriend and I both have work, it's almost impossible to find the time to pick 10 or so things to get rid of. Today is December 12th, but we were so tired last night that I just said, "Don't worry about the Minimalist Game tonight, let's just go to bed and I'll find 23 things tomorrow while you're at work." It's amazing how those numbers add up.

December 11th

  1. We used up a Trader Joe's Gift Card. This is our first item we've gotten rid of by using up, because we came up with an addendum to the rule about whether using up counts: if you are planning on replacing the item, it doesn't count. If it's a one-time purchase or gift that you had sitting around waiting for the perfect occasion and you finally used it up, it counts. My mom gave me this for my birthday, and I sent it with the Boyfriend a few days ago, and he picked up a bunch of things from TJ's. For some reason, though, the gift card is still sitting on our table. This means it needs to be thrown away.
  2. Boyfriend tried to throw out his Usher cologne the other day, and I fought him over it. He hasn't worn it in months, but it just smells SO GOOD on him. "It's just not part of my lifestyle anymore," he said, referring to how we've gone much more natural with the things we'll put in or on our bodies. Boyfriend's brother laughed, "It's funny because it's Usher and it really shouldn't, but it does smell SO GOOD." Then, yesterday I tried to spray it on myself in a moment of heated if-he-won't-wear-it-then-at-least-I-still-can, only to find that it was EMPTY, and the way cool bottle that it came in DOES NOT EVEN OPEN so therefore is TOTALLY USELESS. So, in short, Boyfriend wins, we're throwing it away today.
  3. There was a toothbrush that we had used to clean the GameCube controller, but it was actually really bad at that job, so we threw it away.
  4. We had a Mexican Hot Chocolate stirrer thing that is actually super cool looking, and it is the traditional tool for the purpose, but truth be told, a blender works better and we have a pretty great blender.
  5. I had a pink half-burned votive candle in a glass votive holder that was very nice, but the last time I burned it the flame got super big and it was all liquid wax in the glass holder and I was terrified that the thing was going to break from the heat and get hot wax everywhere and catch fire and burn the house down, so I decided it was safer to just get rid of it.
  6. Minimalist Girl gave me a black sequin flower headband for her Minimalist Game, but it was too small for me so I donated it.
  7. Boyfriend donated his keyboard because Minimalist Girl gave him a better one. I think this counts?
  8. I got rid of a long black skirt that was all the way ripped open down both sides. It was a hand-me down and I wore it mostly-ripped for a while, and then wore it totally ripped for my Hel costume for Halloween 2013, and now it's days are done.
  9. There was a sheer colorful blouse in my closet that must have been a hand-me-down because I don't remember ever even trying it on, and it was sharing a hanger with a shirt I like better so I donated it.
  10. Another hand-me-down shirt I've never worn--a short-sleeved, white button-down shirt with a black sweater vest sewn on to it. I've never even tried it on because I can't stand when two garments that really ought to be separate garments are attached to each other. Also I'm pretty sure it's too big for me, and it looks utterly unflattering on the hanger.
  11. ...and, I'm finally parting ways with my Caltech polka-dot pajama pants. I loved them literally to death: they're completely frayed apart down the back seam, so I just threw them away. I actually really do want another pair of those, though, if they still make them.
Let's just say this game would be a lot easier if we hadn't already gotten into the habit of making frequent thrift shop drop-offs. Every time we go to pick things to throw away, we think, "But we just got rid of four pairs of shoes and six hats before we started playing!" or, "We could totally count all those dishes and things we got rid of in November if we had just waited." These thoughts are not in the spirit of the Minimalist Game. When I think about it, the way I see it is this: the harder this game is for us, the more rewarding it will be when we are done. So, today I have to do a bunch of cleaning to uncover things we might want to get rid of. That's harder than just looking around me. Great! Cleaning is good! Then, at the end of the day, I'll have 23 fewer things AND my apartment will be cleaner! Awesome! 

Also, today I plan to do our first actual drop-off of the things we've been piling up to get rid of, so we will actually have fewer things, instead of just feeling like it in a somewhat abstract sense.


I wrote those paragraphs and the first three things on that list this morning, and I'm finishing this this evening. Today I went around the house--through the closet and through the linens hamper, mostly--and made a big pile without counting of all the things that caught my eye to get rid of. Then, I wrote out a numbered list before we loaded everything up into the car to go to Savers and donate it (except for a few things which I just trashed). So, we're actually a couple days ahead right now. I'm still going to write these things out in lists by the day, because I'm hoping we can get rid of as close to the exact right amount of things possible, and that seems like the best way to keep track. So, here's the list of 12 for today:

December 12th
  1. I had this really awesome golden-yellow, black, and white vertical-striped '60s dress that I bought from a thrift shop and wore once. It made me really sad to get rid of it, but it has a kinda big stain on the skirt and so I just can't wear it. It had the stain when I bought it, but the one time I wore it was in really low light.
  2. I also got rid of this asymmetrical, Victorian/Edwardian-inspired blouse that was clearly sewn by somebody's grandmother in the 1970s because they did a really bad job on the thread buttonhole (why anyone even does thread buttonholes is beyond me, I've never seen one that I could honestly say was done well) and they made the extremely bad decision to sew it out of non-breathable polyester. The only way those 19th century women survived under all that fabric was because it was cotton or some other breathable, natural fabric.
  3. I donated a wide-brimmed, red straw hat that's pretty cool but just really difficult to wear...
  4. ...and a straw cowboy hat that I got at the Grand Canyon and actually wore all the time when I lived in California but now that I live in Texas I would feel like a poser wearing it next to all these people that seriously wear serious cowboy hats for serious.
  5. We threw out a gross brown tablecloth that we burned a hole in with some hookah coals a year or so ago. Boyfriend was super sad when we burned it, so he held onto it, but when it was destroyed I silently cheered for the death of the polyester, gross-textured, gross brown tablecloth. It was gross. Now it's gone.
  6. We also got rid of a necktie,
  7. a necktie,
  8. a necktie,
  9. a necktie,
  10. a necktie,
  11. another necktie,
  12. and yet another necktie. Picture of the seven neckties below.

You're going to be seeing a batch of neckties every day for the next couple of posts, ye be warned. 
So far, we've gotten rid of 78 things.



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