Applying the idea


So now that I read everything about zen habits, muted opposition, and am all pumped full of enthousiasm, the question is how do I apply it to our lives? I tried to take the best of everything I read and came up with this…

Steps to reduce amount of stuff we own now:

1) Throw away anything with no value
2) Give to family/friends good valuable things we never use, if said friend/family member actually wants the item (no cruel dumping, of course!)
3) Sell what no one wants
4) Donate what goes unsold

Setting up systems to prevent junk from accumulating again:

1) the 30-day list: When wanting to buy something, write it down along with today’s date. If in 30 days you still want the item, buy it. This is only for non-essential items (obviously I won’t follow this for grocery shopping, cleaning products, or toilet paper!), but it should help curb impulse buys and immediate gratification.

Setting up systems for keeping our lives in order (where chaos currently reigns):

1) Laundry: Have 2 bins for laundry (light and dark colors). If the bin is full, run that load of laundry. This seems very obvious, but right now our system is: accumulate everything in or around laundry bins, when the laundry bin overflowed and clothes are covering 50% of the bedroom floor, do laundry.
2) Mail: Place incoming mail in a bin if you can’t take care of it right away. Every morning handle the mail in the incoming bin, either file or trash but do not under ANY circumstances put the item back in the incoming bin. Right now my system is: accumulate mail for 6 months and spend 3 hours opening/filing all of it (I get all my bills online, so rarely does my mail need any action other than filing or discarding).

Rules: It is ok to skip a day. Obviously we’re only human. However the rule is never skip TWO days. This will ensure that the situation doesn’t get out of hand.

The goal:

Minimizing stress, making our home easy and comfortable. Curbing shopping and TV watching. Get up earlier in the morning to do all my cleaning/mail handling, leaving more time in the evening for things I love to do, namely writing, reading, playing the saxophone, and maybe even finally learn japanese.

Next time, I’ll talk about my progress thus far!


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