Monday, September 22, 2008

Am I Moving? A Minimalist's Move

Well, you all know how unpredictable this economy is right now. As a result I may have to move! You see we've had a beautiful property on the market all summer and it's time to stop the hemoraging of cash flow. We have one more person to look at it today and if she doesn't buy it we're moving in to keep it on the market while we live in it and renting out our downsized Minimalistic Lifestyle townhouse. The big house is on 1/2 an acre and has 2400 square feet.
Not to panic  though because it's only 1.5 miles away! That's how Portland is, country in the city. I'm not looking forward to packing but because I have decluttered on a regular basis there aren't that many loose items except for the kitchen of course. That's really the key to a together house and easy move, having things in containers. The worst parts are disconnecting mounted TVs and things like that. Really glad I use a laptop now!

What happens if  it sells in a month? We'll put our furniture into storage and rent a one bedroom apartment for awhile until the lease on the townhouse is up, then move back here. Phew! I couldn't even have thought about such things if I hadn't minimized our belongings. 
You might think for a minute and ask yourself. What if I had to move suddenly due to a transfer, illness, or other unforeseen event? What would that look like?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Minimalistic Stress Reduction

Most of us are pretty organized at work. We walk in, check over our emails, create a list of things we need to get accomplished, enter deadlines into our planners, etc. As we all know, if we fail to do these things, we will certainly hear about it. (Oh, sorry I forgot about that meeting doesn't cut it at work.) Yet, it is all too easy to feel like we've had enough of this ultra organization by the time we get home and just want to relax, as if our personal lives would just flow along without any organization at all.

But we can use the same tools we use at work at home without over organizing our lives. Take email for example; we can set up many bills to come to us as emails and then pay them with on line banking which gives us a record of when they were paid. This is a huge time saver and cuts down on paper mail which helps me to be a better tree hugger!

Sadly, we spend less waking hours at home than at work,  so our to do lists for home should be much shorter, say two items. This may not sound like a lot, but after a week, you will have crossed off 14 items that you may have been putting off for months! It may be sending a thank you note, making an appointment, or making a phone call, etc. You may have to make a call during business hours and thus accomplish this on your lunch break. You still get credit for this though, because if you assign yourself too many of these things to do you will get even more stressed out. As you clear these types of items off of your list you may want to add items that help organize your home such as go through one drawer, organize your wallet or purse, or list an item on eBay, Craigslist or Freesell.

Just as you use a planner at work to make sure you are where you should be when, you can use a home calendar in the same way. Just like at work, when you make an appointment you write it down. You can go one step further and write a detail that gives you a record of what that appointment was about. You can note phone calls as well, giving you a record which may come in handy in the future.

I challenge you all to try my two item personal life "to do" list for one week and see if you can declutter 14 items from your stress list. Good Luck!