Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Minimalist Game

Let's be clear: I am not a minimalist, and I don't really want to be a minimalist. I make jewelry, I craft, I sew. I like to acquire things, and I like to acquire other things to help me make more things. Things, things, things, things, things. I love making things and I really like having things... but here's the thing: I have too many things.

I've gotten into a habit of acquiring things as though I live in my mother's house. My mother's house is quite large and quite full of things. My mother likes things, too. I think I got it from her. While my mom's house is a bit disorganized and full of crap, you don't really notice because she has closets, boxes, a garage, cabinets, drawers, and a sewing room to store all that crap. All those things, I mean.

I don't live in my mother's house. I live in a one-bedroom, one-study apartment with my wonderful, loving boyfriend, and he likes things, too. Especially dead musical equipment. And with his love of dead musical equipment, working musical equipment, and beer bottles, and my love of cookware, clothes, candles, and things that could someday possibly be turned into other things, and our shared love of books, records, art, and weird neckties, we have TOO MANY GOSH DARN THINGS.

I love my things. This is what I have often told myself when I have started to feel that maybe I have too many things. It's not true, though. I do love some of my things, but I don't love all of my things, and this is something that aforementioned boyfriend has pointed out to me: when you have a bunch of things that fall anywhere on the spectrum between "vaguely cool" and "I don't even know why I have this," the actually awesome things get lost in the forest of not-so-awesome things and all you see is "things." When you get rid of the things you don't care about so much, the really cool things that you DO care about really get to SHINE. For this and many other reasons, I want to be a little bit more of a minimalist, which really means I want to be more honest with myself about which things are special to me/do I use versus which things could disappear and I would probably never even notice they were gone.

Aforementioned boyfriend told me about something called The Minimalist Game, and we started playing December 1st. The way it works is this: the first day you play, you get rid of one thing; the second day, you get rid of two more things; the third day, you get rid of three more things. You can donate, sell, use up, give away, throw away, or recycle the things. This probably sounds pretty easy, except that it keeps going. We intend to play for the entire month of December, which mean that there will come a day on which we get rid of 31 things--hopefully. Boyfriend and I are playing together, and there's another friend who's playing with us (she actually told us about the game). We may not get to the end of December, but I feel like if there comes a day where we look around and we really can't find a single thing we would be okay with getting rid of, then we will have won. So, you win when you can't play anymore. The only way you can really lose is by not playing. :)

We don't want to do a thrift shop run every day, so we're putting the things we choose to get rid of in boxes or bags to do a drop-off probably once a week.

I want to update you periodically letting you know what we choose to get rid of each day. So far, we've done December 1st and December 2nd, since we usually do this together in the evening.

December 1st: 

  1. I chose to get rid of an old glass vase. I originally paid probably less than a dollar for it at a thrift store because it was cheap and I was in a period of collecting clear and/or white dishes. To be fair, I'm still kind of collecting clear and/or white dishes, but I've started being picky. I haven't bought any for... three months? I'm feeling good about this.

December 2nd: 

  1. I suggested that Boyfriend get rid of a bottle that once contained a beer called Black Metal (I think) from Jester King Brewery (I think). The beer was extremely rare and probably delicious, but it's been gone from the bottle for several years now. The bottle was one of those things that's like, pretty cool for a beer bottle, but not actually that cool in its own right. Now it's gone. 
  2. Then, Boyfriend procured a fake rock from out of nowhere. We don't even have a spare key (he has one, I have one), so we certainly have no need for a fake rock. I don't even know where he got it, but it's gone now.
The biggest challenge so far has been waiting to get rid of things, because it's easy to find things now, but I suspect that it will start to get hard around December 15th.



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