Hot Mess Express

Look out 2018,  the hot mess express has left the station and I’m not on it!  As I tinker away in my newly organized apartment I realize for the first time ever that I know exactly where everything is.  Where is my iPad chord? I know.  Do I have AAA batteries? No I do not.  I know what I need and what I don’t need.  The items currently queued in my Amazon wish list are only actual necessities with a purpose instead of something to take up space.  The year feels calmer already!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still intend to buy things I want but currently(for instance) I know that here are cream colored flats about three months from being replaced, so three months I shall wait!  The vacuum found a new home to enjoy.  The keys have a new hook by the door and next Tuesday a special cutting board compartment will be arriving.  Essentially I am a master at this minimalist/organization thing already and we are only few hours in.

New Year, Less Mess

Coming into a new year with an organized life is freeing.  I have no resolutions this year other than to have more fun and to practice living in the moment and for the moment.  In a way doing this exercise to de-clutter clears the mind for other things.  I can continue my quest to become a wine snob.  Maybe I can even finish one of the 20 books I’ve started that are staring at me from the shelf.  What my thirty-ish years have taught me is that it is going to take effort to keep this decluttered life afloat, all the more reason to try.

The problem I’ve always had with resolutions was the expectation of it all.  You force expectations on yourself and failure is always an option but failure isn’t reality.  To me not living up to a resolution simply means that it is time to re-evaluate and change direction.

Tomorrow reality strikes again and I’m well aware that I can destroy a room at the speed of sound but here’s hoping the hot mess express doesn’t come back around so soon this time.

~E

Amazon

My Minimalist Life

I can’t decide if my interest in being a minimalist has more to do with my frustration toward mass commercialism and greed or with the fact that I live in a shoe box and just signed another lease.  I suspect it is the later.

Hours upon hours have been wasted scrolling through youtube, getting ideas about how to purge and declutter my life.  Zero hours have been spent doing any of it.  My resistance to trashing perfectly good stuff is strong, young grasshopper, but minimize I must.  Afterall, I am consistantly told that ‘the state of ones home reflects the state of ones life.’  If this is true then I’ve been a disaster since 1996.

Day 1: Tackle Laundry room/pantry/storage/furnace room

See, I told you I live in a shoe box.  Remember when we all had non wifi enabled laptops with 75,001 chords and MP3 players the size a Chihuahua?  Remember when people were obsessed with Chihuahuas for two years? Yes?  Well then you’ll appreciate that old electronics are presenting my first real minimalist challenge.  They have been nicely sitting in a plastic tub inside approximately seven houses.  They’ve done nothing wrong except play victim to a revolution.

The MP3 (music player…3?), for instance, is certainly donatable but who will want to listen to Micheal Buble on repeat c. 2005; besides a sappy college girl from 2005?  Plus said person would have to magically aquire a mini usb because some genius switched us to micro. Plus again, that MP3 was absurdly expensive so trashing it makes me slightly ill!  I was hopeful that after typing through my dilemma a solution would appear but alas I am at an impasse so this is a decision for another day.

Day
2: Shoes

Last night I sat in the garbage heap that is now my apartment and decided shoes were the next hurdle.  How many shoes do I need.  The idea that you only need 5 pairs of shoes is ridiculous so I settled on 10.  Below is my goal list:

  • Boots/booties (2)- got it
  • Casual shoes- got it
  • Work sandals- need to buy
  • Work pumps (2)- need to buy 
  • Casual sandals- need to buy
  • Sneakers (2)- got it
  • Flats-need to buy

I slept soundly knowing I had new shoes to buy… but reality bites.  These are my trash/donate shoes, does it look like I need to buy anything!?!

The saddest part is that I found a pair of work sandals AND work heels hidden in my closet!  My first thought was “Are you friggin serious!?! I bought a second pair just like this and I like this pair better! What am I supposed to use my christmas gift cards for now??”

Overall I was able to pair down my shoe collection to 12-ish (some not pictured). I have also decided to institute the ‘one in, one out’ rule so all shoes can fit neatly on one glorious shoe rack like this-

But honestly, I need more color right?

Please stay tuned for another episode of ‘My Minimalist Life,’ LIVE from the garbage heap. This is going to take longer than expected.

~E

The End of Book One : Christmas Letter 2017

This has been a year of significant change, not just in location but in the way in which one approaches life.

That sounded like one of the transcendental meditation podcasts I listen to in the car, which means I have been spending entirely too much time in the car but duty calls.

Aside from my Tony Robbins-esque intro, something was profoundly different about this year but this is all I could muster:

I have positive feelings about this year, but I’m too tired to figure out what they are”

Maybe this 2017 in review will help put the pieces together…

December 2016

I began preparing for 2017 in 2016 so that is where our story begins.  One morning in early December I shot up like a bat out of hell, and exclaimed, “It’s time to move.”  For one cosmic reason or another I spent all of Thanksgiving break remodeling my basement.  The murderous dungeon look was getting old and I figured with a few more fixes it would be ready to rent out.

I was ready to rock and roll to RVA but life had other plans.  In early January I lost one of my favorite people and my family was missing a puzzle piece, Uncle Andy.  Cancer sucks so I spent January having a lot of gin in his honor.

Winter 2017

On January 21st my second cousins Tracey and Mary, and my friend MB and I, went to the Women’s March in DC.  I can say without a doubt it was the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of.  The atmosphere was so happy, supportive and peaceful.  The sheer volume of people was overwhelming.  Cell service died the second you crossed the DC line and women were climbing up lamp posts trying to see the edge of the crowd, only there was no edge in sight.  Once we decided it was time to go, we made it to the edge and found a bar, so no worries there.

February started out a little lackluster compared to January so naturally I had to fix that.  I was headed to see my friends in Richmond when my Dad called to ask if I was apartment hunting.  I simply replied, “No, I don’t think I’m ready yet.” The second the words came out of my mouth I felt they were wrong.  The next thing I knew my GPS took me to an apartment building in Downtown Richmond where they offered me a free month’s rent.  I signed the lease that day.  Holy Moly Batman!

My realtor was surprised to get my call but she came Sunday and took pictures anyway.  My house went on MLS at 8:00am and by 1:00pm I had two rental applications!  The hustle was on to get out!

Naturally the plan was to get settled and then examine the job market but right before the moving truck pulled out I got a call for a new job in Richmond…and then I got 3 more calls.  Life was hectic to say the least but I finally found the perfect fit and started my new job in May.

Spring/Summer 2017

Speaking of May, Mom decided to come down for my birthday.  She had come to help me move back in March but the first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club. We went to the beach for my birthday and promptly got pelted with hail and rain for 2 days.  In August, when I went to Northern Wisconsin, winter started early and I had to buy a new wardrobe.  I get that it’s a ‘cold’ state but 45 degrees in August is not expected.  Vacation was not on the itinerary for 2017 apparently.

Work really started to ramp up in mid June and I’ve been running at hyper speed ever since.  It has been both fulfilling and exhausting.  I love what I do now but I’ve made the executive decision to pre plan all 2018 vacations, in different times zones and with limited cell service.  My adventures from a Hut in Timbuktu will be the title of next year’s christmas letter, so be sure to stay tuned (I really am turning into my father).

Final Chapter 

I’m sure by now you’re wondering why I chose to call this letter The End of Book One.  You smarty pants always keep me on my toes!  Well, this year felt like an ending more than any other.  I love and miss all my friends in Fredericksburg but it was time to go.  Richmond was the right place at the right time and now I’ve got a new city that needs exploring, a new career that needs rocking and new zest for life.  Preparations for Book 2 are already underway and I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re all gonna like it!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

~E