Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The year of living dangerously (Lean)


I have been doing a lot of reading lately about decluttering and simplifying my life. It seems to be the clean version of hippies for Generation X. Anyways the basic premise is the less you have the less stressful your life, the easier to manage, and ultimately the happier you will be. Peter Walsh makes the point that all this stuff in our lives does more than just fill up our closets; it fills our psyches weighing us down in a figurative sense.


This

Like a fish, we tend to grow as big as our bowl allows. At 40 years old in a rather large house, I find that we are packing up the corners and crawl spaces rather tightly. Storing stuff I don’t use with the false promise I might use one day, or even more pathetic, it might be worth something someday.
To This

If money wasn’t an issue, I would reduce our possessions to what fits in some panniers and spend the rest of our time biking around the world seeing what there is to see. Memories rather than things would fill my storage spaces. That is all good and well in the what if, pie in the sky theoretical sense, but it does nothing for the here and now.

So to that end I want to try an experiment this next year. I want to be rid of as much as the nonessential, superfluous, stuff that fills my life and my home. I hope to document a lot of this through this site, so stay tuned, there might be some good giveaways, or at least some prime Ebay bargains going.

The corollary is I want to take in, buy, or accept as little in the way of stuff (primarily non-consumables) as possible this next year as well. Experiences or necessities will be the order of the day. That means I will need to finish up buying stuff this week!

Then again it might just be a mid-life crisis and I can’t afford a sports car

6 comments:

Heather said...

Interesting. It is a good goal.

Randy said...

Lean? You need a Kiazen Event. Just remember before you throw things out, it should be put in a holding area for a time to prove that no one really needs it. Nothing more frustrating than needing something a month after throwing it out. Try the 5-S method, After Step 5 you return to 1 and do it agian.
1. Seiri - Sort
2. Seiton - Organize
3. Seiso - Clean
4. Seiketsu - Standardized
5. Shitsuke - Discipline

TStevens said...

Randy,

Organizing is for wussies. If you get rid of it you do not need to organize it.

TStevens said...

Plus, the we might need it one day theory is just about the top reason why our homes are packed with garbage. It is a myth. 99.9 times out of 100 we will never need it.

Randy - Master Lean Black Belt said...

HEY, YOUR THE ONE THAT BROUGHT UP LEAN. 5S IS A GREAT WAY TO DO THAT. SO IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEITON, THAN YOU CAN JUST SHITSUKE!!!

Lena said...

The fish-bowl theory is exactly why I don't carry a big purse. I know I would just fill it up with crap I think I need with me. We live in a two betroom apartment and the second bedroom is almost exclusively junk. Or in other words, stuff we got when my husbands parents got divorced and wouldn't take with them. It makes me mad every time I see it.

That would make a great New Years resolution. I need to read Peter Walsh's book.