Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ditchin’ the DVDs

Well, the cases anyway.

This was harder than I thought it would be.

But I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner.

We’ve already been gradually whittling down our books and DVDs. Eventually, we’ll probably be close to 100% digital/cloud/whatever, but until time and money permit, we’ll just work with what we have and continue gradually purging anything we wouldn’t want to watch/read over and over again, or loan out to friends. We don't currently have Netflix or HuluPlus or anything like that.

Just to be clear, I love old-fashioned, regular old books and will probably always have a few favorites around to treasure. But I don’t need tons. We are avid patrons of the public library. One shelf-worth of grown-up books and one shelf of kid books to own at any given time will suffice for me. Except for a handful of odds and ends in storage, we’re pretty much down to that after my latest purge.

But back to the DVDs. Today I ditched the cases and liner notes. It was hard – some of them really are kind of special. The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition has lovely artwork all over the box. West Side Story Collector’s Edition comes with a script. But like many of you, I did this with my CDs a long time ago. I had to ask myself now, do I ever think longly about all those liner notes and cases? The answer is no. So I was ready.

I had an old CD binder laying around with a few random CDs in it, so once I sorted through those and consolidated, I used that binder for all the DVDs. Now I can get rid of an entire bookcase in my bedroom (also used to contain a few books, but was able to consolidate those to the one-kid-one-adult-shelves) and a crap-load of worthless plastic. And our movie collection is now so portable, compact, and easily accessed, at least considering it's non-digital.

And it was hard--but only while I was actually doing it. Now, I'm completely fine. And that reminded me of an important downsizing lesson. A lot of people tell me they just can't do it. They may be referring to a certain item or a group of items. They really would like to do it, but just can't. Today, I was reminded that, yes, it is kind of a bummer and it does actually hurt! I realized that I need to do a better job of acknowledging that this is true.

It hurts, but the end result is worth it, and it feels great.

Like so many things in life, eh?

Note: We're still holding on to our actual CDs in a binder because we like to listen to them in our older-model car on road trips, but I once I have time to make sure they're all burned into iTunes and I'll probably ditch 99% of them. It's a process!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Top 10 Reasons Why a Minimalsist Would Host a Jewelry Party

(Okay, why this minimalist would host a jewelry party. Not speaking for all of them.)

I suppose to some, "minimalist" and "jewelry party" could appear to be a contradiction in terms. For the benefit of all the doubters, nay-sayers, and people who enjoy mocking me out of general principle, I made this list of reasons why I'm hosting one.

Without further ado, in no particular order:
  1. The Jeweler. Nikki is a super cool person and I want an excuse to hang out with her and introduce others to her awesomeness. She is funny, smart, genuine, brave, extremely generous, and also one-of-a-kind – just like her jewelry!
  2. The story of Nikki’s jewelry business is inspiring. A couple of years ago her husband was out of work and they needed to put food on the table. She tapped into her creativity to help take care of her family. I love that!
  3. Nikki reuses and recycles many materials in her jewelry. Reducing waste and being resourceful – what could be more minimalist than that?
  4. Accessories are a minimalist’s plucky sidekick. They allow you to own fewer clothes and make outfits “different” by varying the accessories. Jewelry, in particular, takes up so much less space than clothes.
  5. Girl time. Adult conversation. ‘Nuff said.
  6. Hospitality is one of my core values. But I’m not a natural at this – it tends to stress me out, balancing getting food ready (ooo, not a natural at this either, even under normal circumstances) and the house clean while simultaneously managing the kids. But I think it is important, and I like the end result, so it’s good practice for me.
  7. I will be extra lonely. Pete will be in France for much of November and December and I won’t be able to go out, so why not have people in? (Yep, I just played the pity card.)
  8. People have been asking me to host another one. I don’t like to disappoint.
  9. It’s more like an art show than a typical hostess party. I want people to come admire art, celebrate creativity, and be inspired.
  10. An excuse to eat yummy snacks. And yes, I will provide wine.
So come check out some Pierced Zebra Jewelry on Wednesday, November 30th, anytime between 7-9pm, my place!