Monday, March 26, 2018

30-Day Minimalism Game: Day 26 + Not-so-perfect Solutions

It's the 26th (and almost final) day of the 30-Day Minimalism Game and due to unplanned delays yesterday I didn't get a chance to pull out of my storage boxes the umpteen photo albums I was hoping to have ready to get rid of today. So there was a bit of a scramble going through the bathroom cupboards early this morning ad my tool box just moments ago, to hit today's magic number.

Day 26

For today I managed to get rid of:
  • Two Sailing magazines - read one, the other they sent a duplicate.
  • One Weck jar lid + rubber seal and two clamps (counting all as one). Have a wooden lid coming - as I plan on using it for small batches of ground coffee, the clamped lid is just too complicated.
  • One Ball jar lid - use this for multiple purposes but none of them require the lid so I'm getting rid of it.
  • Two phone charger stand accessories - the final rubber holder that was on the charging stand, and one insert for Micro USB devices - we don't charge any of those on the stands.
  • One display bowl - used to use for fruit but it was too fragile and was sure to get destroyed by the felines. Giving away to a family member since we have no other use for it.
  • Nine bathroom cupboard items - a travel soap dish that we haven't used for years; three toothbrushes given to us by dentists that we have no use for and while we might need them someday, these have been in our cupboards for months (if not a year); one electrode device for back pain that was ineffectual; four expired medications.
  • One book I've read and plan to give away.
  • Eight items from the toolbox - three adhesive products used for intended purpose and no longer needed or ineffectual for intended purpose; three caulking/sealing products used for intended purposes and no longer needed; one sanding block used for intended purpose and no longer needed; one bag of picture hangers not needed as they were too small and have been hanging onto them for years.
  • One very large photo album used to store 8x10 and 9x12 photos. Photos were removed to put in a photo box with other photos and/or given away to other family members. Plan to donate, give away or sell along with other photo albums I'll be going through this week.
So I think that's 26.

I am more than a bit disappointed in myself as I had planned on going through all my photo albums, but carefully removing the photos from this album took many hours (there were 59 very old, very fragile pictures in there that got a bit destroyed due to their removal from an album that was put together about a decade ago).

As the beginning of the week is always more hectic than later in the week, I may end up sharing those items due to be discarded in two weeks over the next few days, then doing that huge album purge later in the week. But if I get done with work early enough today I might have enough energy to tackle things. We shall see....

In the meantime...

Not-so-perfect solutions.

What I've come to learn over the course of the many years that I've been struggling with my things is that there is no perfect solution to their storage or their discard.

I used to seek the perfect storage solutions. I spent countless dollars and even more hours on trying to find the right tools - solutions that would be perfect for the hodge-podge of things I owned.

It/they weren't out there.

I despised the fact that I couldn't find the perfect way to store all my cards and photos and trinkets and media.

I hated that I couldn't group things together in such a way that they'd "fit" within the constraints imposed by the solutions I found that I thought would be perfect.

Everything was a bit too big or too small or didn't account for X item.

And even those solutions that seemed to be more than adequate would always be a problem as I just had too much stuff contained. So I bought shelves and racks and bins and boxes to store these storage solutions in that contained the stuff I owned.

It was overwhelming. Which meant it was not perfect.

Sure, everything looked organized and well-kept and contained. Everything seemed sorted and had a proper place. But I was never happy. Not once.

And so the cycle would start again. At least until I started getting rid of many of my things and going digital with others.

Even those systems started to weigh heavily and over the past five years I've been getting rid of those things too. At least the ones that didn't have any meaning to me.

My keepsakes are stored in some not-so-perfect solutions (have been for almost a decade) - although some might say they are perfect. I have identical shaped scrapbooks, identical shaped and colored photo albums - except a few which are in the same product line but are different sizes. And for someone who had a less transient life than we do, they might be perfect.

If I could put these things on shelves in a closet - easy to access if I wanted them, out of sight if I didn't want to see them, I might be okay with the solution and with the quantity. But that's not my life and it won't be for a long while.

As I can't get rid of everything - or at least I won't right now, I will have to redo many of those not-so-perfect storage solutions and come up with ones that might seem less perfect, but are more suited to my current existence.

And I think I can live with not-so perfect solutions as long as I don't feel the weight of them with every move. At least I hope I can.

Though I imagine in a year's time as we think about moving again, what I have will feel heavy again. And hopefully at that time I'll be ready to cull things even further - even if the result will be an even less perfect solution than the one I'm moving toward now.

To be continued...

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