Wednesday, May 1, 2013
the rule of fractions
Fractions are almost a bad word to some people--an association left over from grade school. Maybe I should call this the rule of pie, and describe it in terms of a half, a third, a quarter of a pie... that would certainly get the bitter taste of math out of your mouth, wouldn't it? Or, we could just move on and realize that fractions are a piece of cake.
Wow, that paragraph is making me hungry.
We all gather stuff. As a college student on a budget, I live by "waste not, want not" for most of the year. Yes, I wash out and save used Ziploc bags. I hoard Goodwill sweaters. I fix my $2 flip-flops with duct tape and keep on wearing them.
But I'm also a minimalist, I like to think. I think my dream in life is to boil my entire existence down to two or three big Rubbermaid tubs...but I know that won't happen. I've got a thing for instruments, and ain't no Rubbermaid tub big enough for my guitar, harp, dulcimers, and violin! But still, I prefer less clutter, less possessions, less feeling like I'm sitting on junk I'll never use.
Conveniently, I move back and forth from the south to the Midwest several times a year. The packing process is the perfect opportunity to just not pack some stuff and throw/give it away instead. This is where the Rule of Fractions comes in. This is the goal I set myself:
Get rid of half of my "stuff." This means books, knick-knacks, school supplies I don't use, hair supplies/toiletries, miscellaneous stuff. It's a good time to go just try to reduce overall.
Get rid of a third of my clothing. I toss, sell, or give away anything that doesn't fit me, anything that hasn't budged from its hanger in months, anything that's worn out and shouldn't be worn anymore. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a largish wardrobe (even though I don't), but I do think you should wear everything you own on a regular basis. It just makes sense!
Get rid of a fourth of my books. This is the hardest part...because I am a full-blown bibliophile. But last year, I realized that I often keep books just because they're books. Like they're sacred. Once I got that through my head, I was able to donate a whole stack of books that I didn't really care about or expect to read again. Let others enjoy them. Related to this: get a library card and borrow your books instead. Only buy the ones you absolutely can't live without.
Are you a math nerd/minimalist like me? How do you set goals for downsizing and decluttering?