Showing posts sorted by relevance for query minimalist. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query minimalist. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Minimalist months

I failed to keep up to date with my Minimalist posts on my blog but I have been doing them religiously over the last year. Ryan, the Communications Coordinator at the Permaculture Association, added a lovely post about my idea on the Permaculture Blog here reminded me that I hadn't written about it over the last year so here is a recap!!

March saw a whole load of grown-out-of toys find their way to new homes which is always fun. Dh and I have been trying to get all the games in one place in the dining/sitting room area of the house where we only have a certain number of shelves to dedicate to games so we got ruthless even with some games like the one to the right as well as bigger ones we don't use.

Educational toys also got the heave-ho. We would rather someone else use these things than hold onto them. Other things that were bought and only used once or twice also went to new homes as did knitting sets which I had to admit I was never going to get around to doing!!

I got a lovely message from the man who picked up the chess set that his wife loved knitting it all - very satisfying. Then there was all the stuff that we are just never going to use that went to a charity shop. All-in-all a good minimalist month.

That was April/May time last year. Then November happened with some of the stuff shown above new homes as well as a lot of other stuff. Again things that we are never going to use.

What you then realise is that this thing becomes slightly addictive and so now we always have a charity bag on the go and both my dh and I are always looking for ways to reduce our belongings. Even dd has got in on the act and is always looking for ways to cut down on her stuff.

So in preparation for February's minimalist month we have already got rid of a PlayStation 2 and all games, Nintendo DS XL and all games, inline skates, Life of Fred books, I am going through all my CDs at present, I have thrown out at least 100 pens which we didn't need work or we didn't need, etc. We are in a minimalist cycle and although we may never make it to actually living a minimalist life, I would highly recommend this game to everyone. It is fun for all the family.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

More minimalist musings



The fab collage above shows some of the stuff that has left my home since January. I did another minimalist month in March and then May getting rid of another 1000 things. 

Then last month I got rid of a load of stuff on ebay. I have to say this minimalist process is great fun and really, really good for the soul. It is something that I am going to endeavour to do at least twice a year if not once a quarter. I still have way to much stuff so I know that doing this is worth setting in stone so I have added it to my calendar!!

Monday, 3 January 2022

Minimalist months

The basics

  1. Get rid of 1 thing on the 1st of the month
  2. Get rid of 2 things on the 2nd of the month
  3. Get rid of 3 things on the 3rd of the month... and so on.
Sometimes I do that backwards!!

  1. Get rid of 31 things on the 1st of the month
  2. Get rid of 30 things on the 2nd of the month
  3. Get rid of 29 things on the 3rd of the month... and so on.

I have written about it this idea at various times here but the basic premise above was coined as the Minimalist Game by The Minimalists themselves here. They also have a TV documentary on Netflix (found out more here)


Monday, 7 October 2019

Lessons from burning my school assignments

Open University maths assignment marked 10 out of 10I burnt a whole load of my assignments from school and university last week, as part of my minimalist month.

As a kid, I loved getting recognition for how well I was doing at school. That need for external validation followed me into my adulthood. When pregnant with DS I did an A'level in Psychology just to prove I could get an A (I got a B!!) From 2001 (the year DS was born) through to 2014 I studied on and off with the Open University in the attempt to get as First Class degree. I didn't need another degree - I already had 2!! I needed to prove that I could - or at least I thought I did.

English GCSE Open Study marked 44 out of 50It wasn't until I had finished my 5 years of shamanic training culminating in passing my shamanic practitioner training that I finally gave up on that degree and instead settled for a First Class Diploma in business, computing, and design. At that time it was a decision I took almost without thinking about it. 

I feel that the decision was easy because of the personal development work I had done through my shamanic training as well as the many soul retrievals and healings I received. With the help of those soul parts and getting to know my spirit guides, I was slowly beginning to find my validation internally rather than externally. 

Six assignments lined up along a wooden benchFast forward to now and it is a minimalist month and yesterday I needed to get rid of 6 things!! Having done these decluttering months quite a few times since starting in 2016 that means it is getting harder to find things to get dispose of. I am, however, enjoying the challenge and finding that I let go of more stuff, it is mentally, emotionally and spiritually challenging me, especially if I give myself time to stop and really explore my feelings. So in my decluttering/sorting session for day 6, I came across some assignments from middle school, upper school and even from when I was doing my Maths Certificate with the Open University. 

There are valid reasons why I had all those assignments and in some ways, they bring me joy but I don't want the clutter. To be fair they don't take up that much space but if I said that about everything I own then it all adds up to a lot more than you think. So I decided to copy them onto my computer and let go of the originals.

A fire burning in a metal fire bowlAs part of the process, I felt called to make a ceremony of what letting go of those assignments means to me: a celebration for internal versus external validation. So I burnt them at my woodland and conducted a personal shamanic ceremony around letting go of the need for external validation and wholly embracing my self-worth. This cleansing fire brought up stuff about my undiagnosed dyslexia throughout my school career, my comparison to my others academically and many more interesting thoughts and feelings. I loved letting go of all of those thoughts that do not serve me anymore and making room for those thoughts and feelings around validation, self-worth, etc. that help and empower me.  

Ashes scattered on the groundI am in the process of sorting out ways of getting actual worthwhile feedback (not validation) from my shamanic and essential oil clients. Don't get me wrong, I am more than happy to receive feedback that can help me improve my services. I, however, want to move further towards a place where any external recognition I get for my skills, services, etc. will be received with gratitude from a place of power rather than need. 

This has made me realise that decluttering my physical space allows me to let go of more than just the physical stuff if I give myself the time to do so. This whole 'day 6' process allowed me to also declutter my mind and make room for my soul to feel more peaceful.

Friday, 1 July 2016

#30dayswild - last day & going forward

Well, my last day didn't quite go to plan because my mobile phone suddenly died so I had to take it to the EE shop and lost my ability to take any photos. Luckily I have a camera but unluckily it was flat!!

Soooooooooo I have:


put together a photo of pictures that I haven't publish before but are from the last 30 days

Done my garden design base map which is for my permaculture design which I mentioned at the beginning of the challenge.

I have learnt most of my plants in my garden and I have added the ones I want to keep to this base map so I now know what I am working with.

It was good to see that most of the things that I want to keep in my garden have been added on purpose over the years since my Permaculture Design Couse (PDC)

There is a lot of work still to do but it is going well and I will be planting my tomatoes, squash and day lily plants tomorrow.



I have also started observing the sunshine that reaches which parts of my garden. This is a part of my garden design so I know where there are risks of frost, shade, too much sun, etc. I need to catalogue these properly but here are some photos from 09:30 on a June morning.

The other thing I have been doing is sorting out my internal house wilderness!! I have way too much stuff which is not being used properly.


As part of my permaculture journey, I have been challenging myself to a minimalist month every 4 months. A minimalist month is where you get rid of 1 thing on the 1st of the month; 2 thing on the 2nd of the month; etc to 30 things on the 30th of the month (read more about it here). I have combined this with the idea that if you can pick up a thing and respond to the question "does this bring me joy or enhance my life" with no then I get rid of it (here is a photo of some of the stuff that I got rid of in Feb.)

This last day of the challenge my children joined me and we took 4 bags worth of unneeded stuff to the charity shop and I sold 2 things to others who will get far more use out of them than me.

I know that I spend a lot of time every day tidying my house; dealing with clutter; losing things or misplacing stuff and having to find them, etc. If I can re-distribute the things that I don't need then I am going to waste a lot less of my time with these sorts of things.

Then I can use that time for something more beneficial such as #staywild!!

This challenge has been amazing and I have learnt loads myself and from the wonderful people on the facebook page. I will definitely be doing this challenge next year and would recommend it to everyone.

And here is the last picture I managed to take of the wilderness encroaching on the York City Walls before my phone broke.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

General Musings

OK I am really hit and miss at this whole blog thing. I am really going to try getting a bit more regular at it as part of my Diploma in Permaculture Applied Design learning pathway and recording. To help in this endeavour I have actually registered on the Diploma and so I am really need to get more focused about it.

As a start I am going revisit my bedroom design and my health design. I am also doing another minimalist month as can be seen below:



There are more things I have got rid of than the things above but again it has totalled more than the 496 things I was supposed to do as part of the minimalist month challenge. This is such a simple thing to do once you get used to the idea and it becomes quite addictive. I have also added the extra layer of randomly picking things up around the house (especially those things that don't have a home and seem out-of-place or a bit forlorn) and asking"does this bring me joy?" This is a question advised in the Marie Kondo book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever and it really works for me. As part of this latest de-cluttering cycle I asked this question about some of the many ink pens I have and realised that although I really like ink pens I don't need more than a couple and so the extra ones don't being me joy because they never get used and are taking up space in my house that they don't need to.

Anyway I really just wanted to put keyboard to computer screen to prompt myself to start writing again and I have done that.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Minimalist January - part 2

Week 2 of the minimalist challenge is going well, so well in fact that I am posting this a day early!!

I had already got up to 11 and had already done 15 so I only had 12, 13, 14 left to do but I wanted to try and do 29, 28 and maybe 27 so that I had less to do when I was away. The smaller numbers were ok but those bigger numbers - they were a challenge without really cheating and counting things like marbles or pens!!

So I really put my mind to it and I did better than I thought I would as you can see below.

It was great to get some inspiration from some great articles about minimising though like this one.

Even dd and dh got in on the action with Indie getting rid of some items which are part of day 26 below and she got rid of a whole lot of dolls which went on ebay here but aren't included below as I didn't want to include too much of her stuff.

Day Picture Reason why
12

I am a bit of a bag lady so there is really no surprise that I had spare bags that I really don't need and don't use. These are just some of them that I could bear to part with. They went to charity shop.
13

Here are some of the books I got rid of but these went to my local library because they are happy to take good quality books.
14

Household magazines like Prima, Good Housekeeping, etc. These went on freecycle.
16

Juno magazines which I had read. These went to a friend.
17

A whole load of various crochet magazines which I had read and noted the patterns I needed. These went on freecycle.
23

Bad picture (sorry) but here are our unneeded Xmas decorations. We have one box of decorations and it was beginning to overflow so it was time to freecycle some.
24

A set of books that went to charity and a set that went to Amazon for some money.
25


A bunch of seeds I had left over from the Grow Wild Kew campaign last year. Some will be sown and the rest have been freecycled.
26

Some games we don't use which have been taken to charity shop and a bag of dd's clothes which are too small for her. It was great getting dd involved. We totally tidied and zoned her room as we went too (see below.)
27

A bag full of painting stuff that we don't need any more.
28

A whole load of various craft and knitting magazines which I had read and noted the patterns I needed. These went on freecycle.
29

Another whole load of various craft and knitting magazines which I had read and noted the patterns I needed. These went on freecycle. 

My items from last week are still on ebay and don't end until Sunday but have sold already which is great. I have also freed up at least 3 whole shelves by getting rid of these magazines and various other things.

Here are the photos from dd's room
transformation. I wish I had got some before
photos as well because you can rarely see
dd's floor. I am hoping that the re-zoning of everything to where it is most useful to her
might help her keep the floor tidy but we will
see.
Above is a photo showing that there is enough
floor space to actually lie down!! Not something you can ever do in dd's room.

Here are her newly arranged shelves with boxes
and baskets all ordered and organised.

This will not last but it looks good at the moment.
I have tried to organise her shelves so that
the books she uses more often are nearer
the bottom and ornaments she doesn't play
with are at the top.

The same with the red shelves in the
photo above. The more ornamental
things are on the top shelf and the
precious things she uses more often
are on the bottom shelf.

With the 3 sets of wardrobe shelves (to the right and above) I again tried to find out from her how she uses her toys and boxed them up appropriately. This means that she can get a box down to play with something and there then might be a small chance that she then puts it back!!

I think these will need re-visiting as her room becomes messy again. I will then try to find out what is not working and why but by this time she as getting tried of tidying and sorting.

A happy dd using some floor space for writing her book whilst listening to music.
So even when I sort out her desk so that
she can write on it she wants to use the
floor because she can!!
The 5 piles of stuff that we got from her room
which she doesn't want any more.

Result!!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Minimalist January - part 1

I am going to play my Minimalist January game a bit strangely because I am away at the end of January and don't want to be left with took much stuff to get rid of at the end of the month when I am not even in my house.

So for the first few days of the challenge I am going to do extra later days as well as the early ones.

Let the de-cluttering begin!!!


Day Picture Reason why
1
Tap Shoes
I don't use and them and never will. They have gone to a good home where the kids do dance.
2
New Rock Shoes & Keyring
These are now on ebay here.
3
Wooden Fairy Village
This has found a fab new home with neighbours who I know will get lots of use out of it. I am really pleased because I really, really didn't want to get rid of this.
4
Jewellery that I made and some I don't need
These have been given to a friend as a present which she will really enjoy.
5
Socks - socks are only small so 10 pairs of socks = 5
This is what I love about this game. You start seeing everything differently. I had too many socks and had had too many socks for a long time and suddenly I am seeing opportunities to get rid of stuff everywhere. Even getting rid of 10 pairs of socks is a small step towards de-cluttering and it is becoming a habit. 
6
Sea glass, sea pottery and marbles
I had a lot of this stuff that was on display but I didn't need all 7kg of it so I got rid of 5kg of sea glass and 1kg of marbles and sea pottery. 
7
Wool
This was a tough one as I LOVE my wool. But I thought I could donate these few balls to either the new York Timebank craft group or some other crafty group.
8

Empty Jam Jars
We had planned to make jam and chutney but didn't get round to it so there are being offered on freecycle. 
9
Open University course books
Put on ebay here.

10

Oracle cards and sets
Again I have too  many sets of these so I picked my favourite and these are now on ebay.
11
More Open University course materials
These are now on ebay now.
15
Empty bottles and Bach Flower remedies
These are not getting used in my house so have been offered on freecycle
30
Books and Game
These have been given to my brother and sister-in-law for their gorgeous new baby boy. They are all learning to read books and games.
31
More Books
There are always more books to get rid of. I used to have a tendency to think that I needed to keep all books that the kids may at some point want to read but I now know that will more clutter they are actually less likely to read the books they want to read because of being overwhelmed by the number we have.

More next week!!!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Finding a rhythm and the minimalist game

Looking back at my post from August and especially the one from the start of 2014 here it is fascinating to see what things have changed since then. I am now employed at the Northern College of Acupuncture (NCA).  It is a blessing to work at such a worthwhile place even if it is only very part-time. I hoping that my computer programming skills might help here as well because the NCA are considering changing their client database structure.

I never got round to adding alarms to my phone for reading books and doing crafts because I wasn't organised enough at the time. I also realised I was too busy finishing my Shamanic Practitioner training, my Permaculture Association Trustee duties (where I was made official administrator back in July) as well as the needs to my immediate and wider family. However I have now started using google calender, google tasks, google keep and their associated apps on my phone so I am wondering whether, once my OU course is finished in July, I will add these things to my to-do-list if that is what I think is the best use of my time.

Anyway over the last year I have started finding a much-needed rhythm to my life. I feel this has been partially due to my Shamanic studies as well as my continued learning about Permaculture design methodology and how it can help design all areas of a person's life. I have started surveying and assessing the way my house works for us as a family. As a home educating family and my occasional need to work from home we have a myriad needs of our house from accommodating large numbers of children and parents to my needing a place to tutor students or work as a shamanic practitioner. This has led to my contemplating designing a number of rooms in the house and de-cluttering as a by-product of the design implementation. I am going to continue this de-cluttering and am thinking of doing the Minimalist game with my dd in the New Year as a way to maintain and tweak the design. Starting from the 1st January we are going to throw things out or ebay them every day. The challenging bit is that on the 2nd we have to throw 2 things out, 3 on the 3rd, 4 on the 4th, etc.

As part of evaluating my bedroom design over the last few weeks I have already made some changes which have resulted in at least the 6th January being sorted as I found 6 bags I don't need. Whether I will manage all the way through January will be interesting but I like the SMARTness (see below) of this game and if it works I will be implementing it more than once as a fun SADIMET tweak to my de-cluttering designs.  My bedroom was my first design within my house but I have my dining/kitchen area that also needs designing as well as potentially my loft, garage, Shamanic room and porch.  Let's see if this game works or not!!

Specific - follow the instructions
Measurable - I follow the instructions or not
Achievable - 496 items = a lot but I have many things I don't use so hopefully it is do-able
Realistic - see above
Time-bound - this is the best thing about this game.  It is very specifically time-bound.  By the end of January 2015 I will have 496 less things cluttering my house. 

The other great thing about this game is the fact that I am limited on time at present but I want to keep my momentum from the Permaculture Association National Diploma Gathering going.  I have put on hold starting any further designs (I have an "exercise" design that I need to write up) whilst I concentrate on finishing my OU course and settling into working at the NCA.  I am however wanting to continue de-cluttering and finding more rhythm in my life.  If anyone wants to join me in the game let me know!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Ah Permaculture Diploma / New Year - where am I going?

I suppose it is always around this time of year that I contemplate where I am going in the upcoming year. I find January is a time of reflection for me as my birthday falls near the beginning of January as well as being the actual start of a new year.

Well, I got a great surprise in that one of my diploma projects got signed off in January with another one nearing being signed off. I have nearly finished writing up my wonderful collaborative Introduction to Permaculture course design that culminated in York's Introduction to Permaculture course run by 2 other permaculture diploma apprentices and myself back in November.

All very exciting but the diploma is also taking a lot of my time and that is something that I do not have a lot of. So the time has come to re-evaluate.

Something I always thought near the beginning of my diploma journey was using the permaculture principle of designing from patterns to details to concentrate, via my projects, on the circles of my life split up as follows:

1. my house
2. my street
3. my easily walkable neighbourhood
4. my walkable area (within 30 minutes)
5. my locality
6. my city
7. everything else needed to create community / remain connected to everything

with more effort put into 1 through to a lot less effort for no 6 and a weird amount of effort for 7 due to wanting to reclaim entertainment tasks from the economy such as cooking, childcare and fun. Across all the circles there is a need to connect with people, nature and myself and then contribute to the communities in those areas.

I also wanted to honour my quadrinity, as taught in the Hoffman Process, of intellect, spirit, emotion and physical body.

This is not something that I have touched on explicitly so far in any of the 10 designs but they are always in the back of my mind. However all these 11 areas are very important to me in different ways but how do I deal with them all in a way that is understandable? This is something that I have struggled with a lot whilst doing the permaculture diploma. Being dyslexic I tend to think big and assume that everyone is going to get where I am coming from. They don't!!!

All you need to do is look at the number of spreadsheets in my diploma journey planning, logging, documenting project plan here. It makes perfect sense to me but it isn't that easy to follow without some sort of explanation. And therein lies a problem because when it comes down to it I really cannot be bothered to explain all the many small details of my inter-connected way of thinking. I don't have the time and even if I did it would be taking me away from doing all the fab things I get to do. So what do I do now? I don't really have an answer. So I am going to keep doing the things I have been doing since starting the diploma and I will just see where this year takes me. I am going to stick to my plan as long as it doesn't cause me stress.

And so I am going to start with a re-evaluation of myself:

1. I am more than a someone doing a diploma in permaculture, I am more than someone who home educates their children, I am more than a wife, a daughter, a sister, a volunteer at my local community hub, more than a self-employed IT / PA / social media person, more than a friend, more than my jobs, more than my relationships. I am all those things and more.

I am the embodiment of all my relationships / all my connections with the world.

2. What I do does not need to be measured to be valued (do not mistake measurement for value eg. salary, school grades, etc) whether it be via salary, signed off diploma projects or whatever.

3. When I forget who I am and I become disconnected - I need to be aware eg. shopping for stuff I don't need, eating stuff that doesn't fuel my body properly, etc

and then:

4. Celebrate the connections in my life and build more:
i. honour the space I live in eg. declutter (minimalist month), use the space in a conducive manner
ii. continue making cider with people on the street every year, connect with my neighbours in other ways, help-yourself front garden
iii.working at the local community cafe & volunteering at the local youth club
iv. regular walks - health and wellbeing and awareness of my neighbourhood & member of my local Timebank
v. use my local shops eg. greengrocers - local produce, local businesses, local market
vi. walk/cycle as much as possible
vii. grow the great connections I have with my friends and with nature

Intellect
Admit my dysfunctionality
Recognise it = awareness
Confront it = will
Move on = take action

Emotion
Recognise the need to listen (observe)
Recognise the need to be heard
Enlightenment is a group effort or Charles Einstein's idea of us being inter-beings

Spirit
Honour the fact that I am part of nature

Body
Just do stuff and find positive body issues

These are just ramblings that I have written as they have occurred to me against the backdrop of the 11 areas mentioned above. A journalution of sorts (click on the link to find out more about journaling) and there is so much more I could write because working on myself and my place in this amazing universe is never going to end. The universe at present seems to be presenting me with many amazing opportunities to help people get the word out about brilliant courses, fantastic services that will help people find themselves or great products that honour the planet.

I get to continue honouring my planet by being part of the lives of the wonderful natural resources that are a whole host of amazing home educated children (including my own.) The next creative generation!! Every day I get to be part of that. It really needs to be celebrated.

So whether I take a pause from my diploma, give it up, keep working on it - it doesn't actually matter because those 11 areas mentioned above (and so many more) are always in the back of my mind along with the need to looking after the planet I live with.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Getting Things Done so far


Above are just a few of the things that I have been doing over the last few days to try and set up systems which will help me over the next few years with my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.

I have written all the design processes and frameworks; design methods and tools; project management tools and other useful piece of information in a card index folder for easy access.

I have set up a written Getting Things Done system in my A5 Filofax using whiteboard paper I bought especially for this purpose. At present this Filofax also has space for my 10 proposed designs although these may be moved elsewhere at some point.

I have got my email account inbox down to 892 emails. I am now going to use a post by Andrea Klinger to organise my email in a Getting Things Done way (see here.)

I have gathered together all the useful books, cards, information and started collating and organising it so that these tools are on hand for me to use in my designs. For example the U101 cards above were part of a Design course that I did with the Open University and could be used for Random Input or when I need inspiration.

I wanted to add the other pictures to show the other things I have done to get more stream-lined and organised. I have started using a Basics Wallet for my frequently used cards and to organise the other 30 cards I have (which were taking up far too much room in my handbag) set up an index system like that shown here.

I am also still regularly doing a Minimalist Month in an attempt to get rid of stuff that I don't need or use any more.