I called Jordan to ask if he wanted a big box of booze, because he’s younger and still has a functioning social life, unlike Jen and I. He laughed and said yes, and then paused and said, “Oh yeah, it’s Tuesday.”
He knows Tuesdays are a special night in the Stein household. Tuesdays in the winter in our house are called “Minimalism night.”
Now before I start this, I should warn you that we are certainly not minimalists. If you walked into my office or into our closets you certainly would know for sure we aren’t even close. We just like some of the ideas and started a few years ago trying to adopt a few of the practices. Jen calls it a work in progress.
Each Tuesday is pretty unexciting. We set a timer for an hour and go through the house picking one area a night. Tonight we focused on the basement. We spent an hour working together to get rid of clutter and take unused items to the Rescue Mission and also to clean up and get rid of things that we don’t want. Our biggest innovation is that at the end of the hour, one of us drives the load of unused things to the Rescue Mission right away so we are not tempted to let it sit for a week and then put it back.
A few things I have gleaned from these Tuesday nights:
Starting the process is really hard, and some nights I just don’t feel like it. But, after you get 30 minutes in you really get into it and we find we often go over our hour time limit.
I am amazed at the shit that we collect even when we think we are being so intentional about buying stuff. Seriously- if you add up all the dollars you waste as the stuff goes out the door you start to get sad.
By doing these Tuesday nights we tend to look at things more critically when we buy things. I can see in my head now a vision of me throwing that thing out on a Minimalism Tuesday, and I often will put the item back.
Jen has shared with me lately that shopping is a whole different experience for her. She goes in for the things she needs and leaves with only what’s on her list.
The big clean outs on Tuesday nights seem to make our lives more efficient in general. I find there is almost a speed increase because I am not wading through stuff, or finding ways to store and catalog it.
We are far from perfect at this and we still kick ourselves for bringing useless crap into our house. For example, our pantry gets cleaned out and then a month later it needs it again.
We may never master this idea, but it is actually kinda fun to participate in, and learn about our habits in the process.