Saturday, May 9, 2015

Week One: Our first Simplification Saturday

Week One: Saturday, May 9th, 2015

This is our first Simplification Saturday. This blog is new and an effort of tracking and sharing our efforts to simplify over time (versus my typical giant, cathartic spring purge). We have lived in our home for three years and the stuff has flooded in. Now chores have more to do with keeping the clutter at bay than it does with really making it the best home it can be for our family. Instead of wasting time with the way we've been doing chores, we are moving to Simplification Saturdays! Setting aside one morning a week not for chores, but for finding ways to have fewer chores because we have less crap around the house to take care of in the first place.

We happen to have acquired four books over the years. Some I've had for years, and others were purchased during past attempts at simplification (with the best intentions...adding books on organization and simplicity to, you guessed it, the clutter! Oh, the irony). With the mindset of making more from what we have, we are using/reviewing the books we already own. Whatever proves to not be helpful will go into PILE 3 (headed to Goodwill):
There are four of us, and four books, so each Saturday we will each pick an idea or two from each book, or from our own noggins, and see if we can make it happen in our household. We will share WHAT we are trying, WHY (read above...but also with some specifics), HOW to do it, and WELL...that worked or didn't work.

WHAT we are trying this week:
  • Cancelling almost all magazine subscriptions (our own idea)
    • WHY? We don't have time to read them. They cause clutter and just end up in the recycling anyway.
    • HOW? Just call or go online and cancel them. Sometimes you get a refund sometimes you don't. Oh least we don't waste time with more clutter.
  • Removing almost all email subscriptions (our own idea)
    • WHY? I sign up for crap ALL the time. Information is power, right? Well, the result is I often start my day wasn't time sorting through them all and deleting the majority. What a waste of time.
    • HOW? Instead of just deleting that annoying incoming message, scroll to the bottom, click 'unsubscribe'. Done and done.
    • WELL? Have already been working on this and its already getting the inbox down to a more manageable number. 
  • Staying Car-Free (from Merken)
    • We are already are. Done and done.
  • Zero population (from Merken)
    • Another one of Ella's snarky contributions...we will not be adding any humans to the global population this weekend. You're welcome.
  • The Drawer-by-Drawer, Shelf-by-Shelf rule (from Luhr, 355):
    • WHY? We have many areas that are like the trap in the sink, collecting junk we really no longer need. Time to deliberately attack those small areas and purge.
    • HOW? Modified slightly slightly from Luhr:
      • Each family member picks 2 areas: a drawer or shelf in their room and a drawer/shelf/cupboard from a communal family area. 
      • Empty out/off the space completely. Purge what is no longer used/usable. Wipe down/clean the now empty area before returning ONLY the items that are usable and will be used often. 
      • Additionally, from Smallin, we are tackling ALL toiletries as a group (from all four of us), organizing, sharing, purging.
  • The Three-Pile Rule & The Taped-and-Dated Box Rule (combining them, from Luhr p 357-358)
    • WHY? Just doing this with clothes, shoes, and outerwear. Its spring, so everything from winter is still out and now the spring/summer clothes are out and there are piles of clothes and shoes and jackets everywhere I look!
    • HOW?
      • We have blended these two rules and added the 'hand me down' part for pile 2. Each family member takes out ALL of their clothes, shoes, coats and puts them in one giant pile. All closets and drawers are empty! Go through the items and make three piles: 
        • PILE 1. Love it and use it all the time! Awesome. Wipe down your closets and drawers and put this stuff away!
        • PILE 2. Like it, but don't use often: This items are up for grabs from other family members. Anything not claimed, goes into a box or rubbermaid/sterlite container with the family members name and the date we put the items into storage. This goes away for 6 months. If items are not used (excluding items that might not be used for seasonal reasons - like winter coats) in that 6 months, they graduate to pile 3.
        • PILE 3. Don't like it, wear it, or it doesn't fit: This pile goes to Goodwill stat!


  1. Awesome! Now, let's get a beer and talk about your composting and waste reduction. :)

    1. Yes please! We should be at a good point by next weekend.