There Will Be Minimizing

In a few days, it will be the first of March, and I have decided once again to play the Minimalism Game (MinsGame) for Spring! This means that on the first day of March, I will get rid of 1 item, for the second day, I will get rid of 2 items, for the third day, I will get rid of 3 items, and so on. Since March has a total of 31 days, that means if I make it to the last day of the month, I will have decluttered 496 things. That’s a lot!

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Ready for spring cleaning!

This is my maybe fifth time playing the MinsGame, so if you add it up, that’s a crazy amount of items. If I didn’t do this about twice a year, I think my house would be so full, it would be hard to move. But why? Am I going crazy buying stuff every week? I don’t think so. For instance, since I cleaned out my closet the first time I played the MinsGame, I am only able to get rid of one or two items each subsequent MinsGame, because I really don’t have that much. For pants, I have one pair of black work pants, one pair of blue jeans, and one pair of black jeans. That is literally it. I don’t need or want more than that. I doubted myself for a minute, thinking I am buying stuff without realizing it. But this year, I decided to keep track of how much clothing I buy myself to see if that’s the case. Last month, I bought a sweater at Century 21 for $19. I haven’t bought anything else for myself this year, but I’ll continue recording to keep myself honest.

Another category of item I have drastically cut down on previously was books. If there was any book I would absolutely not read again, I got rid of it. And because I now almost always just read books that I borrow from the library, I can’t imagine my bookshelves will get crowded again.

So where will all 496 items come from? A lot of it is because I have kids, and they grow out of clothing. I never get rid of my older son’s out-grown clothing, because eventually my younger son will grow into it, but when my younger son grows out of something, it’s out the door! Also they do not seem to want or need any of their out-grown toys or baby books, so this is much of the minimized items. Let’s see what happens!

The Continued Saga of Trying to Sleep Unlike a Baby

For many, many years, I have been unable to sleep without certain sleep props. For the unaware, sleep props are things that, without which, one cannot sleep. One of the most common sleep props in babies is the pacifier. Adults usually don’t have sleep props. I had a lot, which you can read about here. Over the almost five years since I wrote that post, I’ve tried to address them slowly, one-by-one.

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My cat Oz generally has no trouble sleeping, unless I rattle the treat jar or put a camera in his face.

The first thing I dealt with was the ear plugs. I woke up one morning and one of them had fallen out onto the floor and the cat was chewing on it. Which could cause him to die! I threw all them out, and, since I have a white-noise machine, didn’t really notice any issues.

The second thing I got rid of was the benadryl. For a few days, I imagined that I woke with my nose stuffy and couldn’t breathe. I got a nose spray and used that for about a week, until I forgot to use it. Now I am completely unmedicated when I sleep.

Next, I tackled the real issue and one that was the most difficult. For more than 10 years, I had not been able to sleep without a sugar-free cough drop in my mouth. When it dissolved (usually took a few hours), I would wake up coughing and feeling like I was unable to breathe. The first few nights without cough drop, I was very dramatic inside my head, thinking I would not be able to sleep. But I did. The next night, it was almost as difficult, but I still did it. And somewhere around the fifth night, I stopped feeling like I was choking to death every time I laid down.

Now the only thing I have left as a sleep prop is the white-noise machine. As I said in my post of about five years ago, this one doesn’t really bother me, as my bedroom window is on a street, and without it, I would probably wake 20 times a night, as I am a very light sleeper. However, on the rare occasion that I take a nap, I have stopped turning it on. And sometimes I will wake at 6am to go to the bathroom and turn it off then, as I only have less then an hour to wake anyway.

Overall, I’m really pleased with my progress to be higher functioning than a newborn human!

Sustainability Project: February 2020

It has come to my attention that kitchen sponges are gross. I’ve tried the Scotch-Brite sponge mentioned in the article, and thought it worked just as well as the traditional plastic sponge. However, they are sold wrapped in plastic and have to be replaced every few weeks, so I was still looking for something better.

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Enjoy this photo of a beautiful heart-shaped mushroom.

Fortunately, we do have a dishwasher, so anything we got would not have to be the sole cleaner of dishes. What I landed on was this dish brush. I like the way it looks and the fact it’s made of bamboo and ceramic primarily, with some recycled plastic. Also, it seems like it could last for a number of years. I’ve had it almost a month now, and it shows no signs of wear, although the only items I always use it on are those that can’t go in the dishwasher (my knife, bamboo cutting board, and saute pan). Right now, I got a very large container of dish detergent to add to it, with the thought that buying one large plastic container once a year is better than buying a small one every month.