Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I got for xmas

Here's a list of what I got for xmas and how it conforms or detracts from my Minimalism, and let's see if I can take my own advice!

Odd-size measuring cups - I don't need these to bake, but they're make some recipes go quicker because I won't have to measure twice.
Books to read with Viola - Books are great! And when Viola moves up in age, we can give them to her younger cousins to enjoy.
Blocks to play with Viola - I'm a sucker for blocks. Now Viola and I can build temples and play gods and smite the infidels. My favorite game.
Wine - Consumable. Not a bad gift.
Mazipan - I eat sweets so rarely, but I have a soft spot for this almond sweet.
Coffee - Also consumable. And organic!
Weather Station - Completely anti-Minimalist and extraneous--and currently non-functional. Grrrr!)
Lots of shatter proof dishes and plates - Viola likes to throw her dishes (sometimes on accident, often on purpose). These are practical.

All of this stuff came in packaging which I had to either recycle or throw away. Even in our household of three we only need trash pickup every other week, but at xmas we start looking like every other American. Our trash can was full the Monday after xmas, as was the recycling bin (to be fair, most of the waste came from the packaging from the new dish washer, purchased at the last minute because the old one died right before our house guests arrived. Grrr.)

One way we reduce on our waste is that for years we've been reusing our xmas wrapping. We have several sizes of draw-string bags that at the end of xmas we re-distribute and save for next year. Advantages abound, but the obvious reduction in waste, wrapping time, and paper recycling is enough.

To make room for all of this, I'm going to have to sell some stuff on craigslist and give other stuff away to Goodwill. This is way more efficient than paying for public storage. Next week I plan to go through our cabinets and see what utensils and gadgets have lain fallow for several seasons. Uncluttering is a process, not a goal. Earlier this year I got rid of a set of plates that was taking up precious storage space and were never used; there's no reason to think I can't do that to more stuff.


  1. The Minimalist owns a dishwasher? I'm shocked!

  2. You've helped me load it! (The old one anyway) A dead dishwasher with house guests is a painful reminder of just how much I need that appliance. It's very hard to do dishes by hand with only a single basin sink and three meals worth of dishes piled up and a restless toddler demanding my attention. We were doing dishes by hand three times a day and still couldn't keep up. The dish washer also wastes less water.

    I still don't own a microwave though :-)