Five Years, Lord Willing

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Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:50 am

FBeyer wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:40 am

Is your wife on board with your decluttering spree? My GF is NOT on-board with the whole minimalism thing.
When I showed her how much paper there was, we both felt a serious sense of shame. It wasn't like it was newspapers stacked all over the place like the stereotypical hoarder, it was buried. And it kept on coming. And coming. And I don't even know if we are 50% through it.

The irony is that I was the one taking over the project. It was like I was possessed by this Japanese woman. Telling her how to focus on paper, not to put anything back, that when in doubt, discard. That files are merely paper storage units and that they must go. That we should have one little binder or folder with essential documents and one little binder/folder for tax purposes. After this, I could run a brothel of geisha girls like nobody's business.

I never used the term minimalism. I explained it in terms of air quality, cleanliness, lucidity, emancipation, control. About living today. Maybe that's minimalism in its component parts, but we both are feeling better.

According to this madwoman, what you should do is set an example by applying these techniques to your individual areas and hopefully your GF will see the benefits. It's like ERE, or any other mindset you want to instill in another. Practice don't preach. But in all seriousness, I'm digging the results. And maybe I won't need to be a douche anymore. That would be a true miracle of tidying up. I could write an endorsement on the back of her latest copy "Thanks to the KonMari method, I am no longer a complete fucking douchebag" Jason From New Jersey.

Clarice
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Clarice » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:00 pm

Hi Jason,
I am glad Marie Kondo works well for you. I am no hoarder, but I've found her extremely helpful and got rid of many useless things using her method. My house and my thinking about my house has never been the same again. She is the star of this field, which is mostly filled with metrosexual-looking guys in white shirts sitting cross-legged in front of their MacBook Pros in Space Gray in the place that looks vaguely like an ad for Danish Concepts International. I've always thought of many things I have to buy to achieve that airy feel, and it has felt fake. This Japanese lady is no fake.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:47 pm

I agree. The minimalist movement is just some Eastern cultural appropriation by your above appropriately described Westerners. This has nothing to do with income, or materialism, or anything of that nature. It's just about a concerted effort to address what you have in terms of what you actually want/need. It's domestic inventory.

J_
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by J_ » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:05 am

@Jason: it seems that "domestic inventory" includes to tidy one's mind?

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:16 am

@J_

No doubt. But further to Clarice's point, although she does ask you to ask yourself "why" and to try to create a vision of what you want your home to look like, it's not a anti-materialist statement i.e. "I'm so tired of staring at the things I bought with my six figure salary that have proven to be meaningless." Yes, there is a mind cleaning but it's not a brain washing so to speak. One thing my wife noticed is that once you start, if you do decide to stop, it's depressing. So from that standpoint, its compulsory that you finish.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sat May 05, 2018 2:00 pm

Small Victory Report From The Tidy Battlefield: The black hole of paper death (often referred to as a filing cabinet) has been removed from home and put in a storage until we call Salvation Army to take it to its next life.

Thank you Marie Kondo.

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Frugalchicos » Sun May 06, 2018 6:52 am

There is no better satisfaction than selling my crap on eBay or Craigslist. Not only I get rid off stuff that I don’t need, but I make a profit out of it. I bet you have some stuff sitting around that can be listed for sale.

slowtraveler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by slowtraveler » Sun May 06, 2018 6:58 am

It's a great joy to declutter and make some money back. I find it not worth it for most items but some things are definitely worth it like bikes, volcano vaporizers, things worth over $50 new tend to be worth it. Wet suits had very low resale value though.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sun May 06, 2018 8:49 am

We keep on asking "Is it fresher in here?" We can't decide if its psychological or actual so I'm guessing its both. Monetization, if there is any, will be down the line. After paper, comes clothes which I usually just stuff in those salvation army bins. I really don't do anything besides read and start fights so I don't have "stuff" like canoes, or bicycles, or exercise machines or UZI's or fishing poles. I don't know if books have any resale value. My plan was just to donate them. But we'll see.

To me it's not minimalism because as Clarice mentioned, that's not exactly a club I want to join. It's more simplicity. Which is complex and requires active management. It's not "I only want 35 1/2 possessions." It's I need to manage this better.

Various and Sundry:

I am reading "Children of The Self-Absorbed" because well, I am one. I always found self-help books rough going and ultimately depressing but this one has some good stuff. So for anyone out there who was raised by a raging narcissist, I recommend.

Surprising good TV Show: "I'm Dying Up Here" on Showtime. I like TV, what I can do. I tried nature but it's just not my jam.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:01 am

I went through my minimalist phase decades ago, after I hit bottom level of messy in a very old house being rehabbed on a dime and 2 young children. My first very-supportive, understanding guru was the FlyLady who leads S.H.E s (scattered household executives) through a baby-step system which starts with detail cleaning your kitchen sink. One of her mantras was "You can't clean clutter." Almost every day she would send me an e-mail suggesting a 29 Thing Fling. Eventually, one day I found myself having to pick browning leaves off of one of my houseplants in order to get to 29 things to fling.

Then I moved up to Cheryl Mendelson's "Home Comforts" best suggested practice, and for the rather brief period of time I was able to maintain this level, it was like my house was as fresh as a wind-swept beachfront.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat May 12, 2018 8:44 pm

I’m reading your decluttering reports while I’m procrastinating cleaning my own house. I stupidly invited my mother over here for Mother’s Day, forgetting that she can see again since she had her cataracts removed. I can’t get away with a quick spritz of Febreeze this time. I read Kondo’s book, but it didn’t resonate with me the first time around. I need to revisit it. I’m not a hoarder, and I’m not a complete slob... but I do have way too much in my small house. Lately I’ve noticed it’s bulging a bit. I need to get on top of it. I have Way. Too. Many. Books.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sun May 13, 2018 8:21 am

Marie Kondo could make a self-flagellating Augustinian Monk repent for being too covetous of his whip.

Now that your mother is no longer blind, It's best not to begin tidying up until she leaves. Kondo addresses this. Outsiders will start questioning and asking for things. That being said, how could you have not have taken advantage of inviting her over when she couldn't see? I spent my whole life praying for my mother to lose her senses.

EDIT: Might as well do an update.

Net worth is close to pre-tax high which is encouraging as stock market has been erratic. I made a good stock pick (so far) and have been aggressively paying down mortgage. Trying to get over that 500K mark.

slowtraveler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by slowtraveler » Sun May 13, 2018 10:00 pm

@Jason
If I'm reading right, you went from 330 to 500 in 5 months. That is scary impressive, congratulations.

Also, on the hoarding, I think that's amazing too. Life changes with the newfound lightness. It was prerequisite to me moving out to see the world. I sometimes laugh internally when I see those monster backpacks. Even my 20-30L bag (was freely found in garage) gets too heavy sometimes so it's nice to not have to deal with more. When you have less, you don't need those packing cubes or other organizing bullish like you're seeing with your cabinets.

@Edith
Removing 1 thing a day minimum and doing more some days when inspiration strikes but keeping in mind that 1 thing is enough has been what worked for me. Keep a dedicated outpile or closet where these daily things to remove go and then make a weekly trip to good will or post on Craigslist as they get opted for removal. Also, a big bag for maybes you keep in the attic or out of sight can be useful as then they'll still be available but you'll start to see you don't use most of the things in there.

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon May 14, 2018 6:00 am

(@) ST

You are not reading right, which probably has something to do with me writing wrong. I would say that progress is more like two years but I am still about 11K shy in net worth due to a 0% interest car loan. I guess you could say we have 500K but we are not worth 500k. I was going over my progress in MINT yesterday. Our greatest single month jump was 60K back in fall 2017.

I have admitted I am a hoarder which is the material reality created by me being a "denier". Denial is like the mental state responsible for hoarding. The less I deny the more I throw out. There's a synergy there.

Will
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Will » Mon May 14, 2018 3:24 pm

Thanks for your decluttering reports, and especially for your reference to Marie Kondo.
I recently started 'competing' with some friends in the Minimalism game (https://www.theminimalists.com/game/). I have been a bit of a hoarder the last couple of years as well, and the famous Japanese lady finally convinced me to quit the crap and start throwing stuff away. The group pressure of some friends sending each other pictures every day of all the stuff you are throwing away is very stimulating and it even got my GF on board with the activity.
Basically we started tossing one item on the 1st of March, 2 items on the 2nd and so on. So the whole process is basically still getting up to speed, but I already reduced my wardrobe by at least half (and started folding it the way Kondo recommends, though it feels a bit ridiculous in the beginning, it does create a great overview!). At the moment we are working on the paper and electronics (lots of obsolete garbage!) categories, and they prove to be much more difficult than the clothes and books. But tossing away stuff you will never use again feels liberating!

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon May 14, 2018 3:50 pm

Will wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 3:24 pm
At the moment we are working on the paper
I started a "How To Remove Paper" thread on the lifestyle thread if you have any questions or suggestions. I think I'm going to go over there and brag about my new shredder.

LuxVenture
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by LuxVenture » Mon May 14, 2018 9:54 pm

Is it acceptable form to burn the paper instead of shredding it? :^D

(Nice going with your big shift toward simplicity.)

RealPerson
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by RealPerson » Mon May 14, 2018 11:10 pm

Jason wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:49 am
I don't know if books have any resale value. My plan was just to donate them. But we'll see.
Craigslist is generally terrific, but not for books. Amazon reselling worked the best for books. But not for those airport romance paperback novels you may have been hoarding. Those are worth nothing. But higher quality books are worth selling on Amazon. I probably made a couple of hundred bucks that way. The paperbacks are good for donation or cutting your heating bill in the winter.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue May 15, 2018 7:17 am

The paperbacks are good for...cutting your heating bill in the winter.
I drop my “beach reads” (supermarket paperbacks) off in a couple people’s “little free libraries” around town. When I go back they’re always gone, so someone’s taking them. I wouldn’t burn them—I’m just fundamentally incapable of burning a book or throwing it away. Prisons often will take book donations—a friend had to do “weekend jail” for 2 months and he said he must have read 6 paperbacks each weekend.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by jacob » Tue May 15, 2018 7:48 am

Another option for "getting rid" some of those lesser books is paperbackswap.com. You list them and if someone wants them you mail them to the person in exchange for credits that can be used to get other [airport romance] books. You pay shipping one way.

However, Gresham's Law is definitely in operation in that eco-system, although occasionally, one gets lucky.

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