Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And So It Begins

Decided to leave work a little early today and get myself a little voluntary simplicity fix. I’m in the decluttering phase of The Plan so I’ve adopted the following strategy: start on the first floor, go from room to room categorizing everything in my path into (I) stuff that I can get rid of NOW; (II) stuff that I can get rid of once my tenant leaves; (iii) stuff that I will need to get rid of before vacating the premises. I will be putting up the excel spreadsheet (yeah, I'm using a spreadsheet, so what of it?) once I'm done. Along the way I trashed everything that I could.


Anonymous said...

hey man,

it was very exciting to run across your blog today! my wife and i decided to become minimalist over memorial day weekend, 2008. it's been fantastic! i recommend it to everyone i talk to.

we haven't written down any timelines like you have - that's a good idea. thanks for the encouragement of being in process too.

Elizabeth Halt said...


I do love spreadsheets, though I tend to forget about them after they've been created - that's really the fun part. :-)

The Executioner said...

Greetings. This might be my own perception, but it seems like the world of simplicity/frugality/personal finance blogging is disproportionately populated by women. It's nice to see a male perspective on things. I appreciate the classifications in your early posts (The Enemy, etc). One thing you haven't mentioned yet is your savings situation. Have you managed to put something aside for the future, or did you get completely caught up in debt and consumption?

PS: Nice job photographing the trash so that your reflection isn't visible in the stainless steel exterior of the garbage can.

Nicola said...

GOOD FOR YOU! (and i use spreadsheets for everything. keeps me far more organized!)

anita said...

good for you for getting started! i laughed though, at your spreadsheet comment! something my hubby would SO totally do! me? i don't even know how to make a spreadsheet! lol

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, the sweet freedom of throwing stuff out! But like anita, I don't know how to do spreadsheets, so that definitely would be an "adventure in complexity" for me, but you go, guy!

Jack said...


Already checked out your blog. What an interesting and fabulous journey you guys have started. Will be checking in regularly.


Someone asked me something very interesting last night. They asked how I could be so committed to simplifying your life if I am making spreadsheets and outlining the process ahead of time so much. I told her that all the organization was a way for me actually get things done. It's a way to find order out of chaos. It's the only way I know how to put one foot in front of the other and get things done.

Either way, I'm soo going to laugh when I actually put speadsheets up for all to see. :)


Actually, have a good chunk of savings in the bank. I'm trying to grow the amount as much as possible and the idea is to have enough to get some income coming in on a regular basis once I am done with m y job. But there is no question that what I have in the bank would have been much more impressive had I started this process way back when.

Thanks everyone! Take care,


Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

Beautiful! Nice to hear from a fellow Excel junkie. There is no aspect of my life that escapes quantification and analysis in Excel. :)

Jack said...

Thanks Jennifer!

Excel junkie myself.


Anonymous said...

Wow what a journey you're on! Good luck I'll be following your progress.

LiveWorkDream said...

OK it's a start, for sure. But let's see MORE garbage bags!

Of course, before you trash, try to Freecycle it first :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack,

I'm becoming invested in your simplification now, and I guess I need to get around to starting a blog or something.

In my own simplification I am in the middle of things, and it is a bit frustrating. I find I am wanting connection with others, and seeking understanding, and just wanting .. wanting.. and wanting... more!

I am getting rid of stuff and wanting less, and wanting more in the meantime. It's crazy sometimes.

Thankfully I am not crazy. :-) But man, getting to where I want to be is definitely something which takes ongoing concentration and effort.


Your Lover said...

Congratulations on the concrete progress, Jack!

You know it began long ago, right? Sure you do. And the manifest reality of now is pretty great.

When you finally get that van-lifestyle going, drop me a line and we'll see if I still have a driveway for you to crash in, in our little permaculture community.

Jack said...


Thanks for the kudos. Always helpful!


Already on the website. I fact, putting up some stuff later this weekend. I'm pretty much done with the first stage of the decluttering process and I have a ton of stuff to give away...


Maybe starting a blog would go a long way towards focusing your energies on the simplification process. It also helps by putting you in touch with like-minded people you can count on as you move forward. On the other hand, its not for everyone.

Take care and good luck buddy.

Your Lover,

I may just have to take you up on that! Thanks!

Nina said...

I have simplified/decluttered almost 4 x's this year. Very liberating and addictive, lol. I'm always scanning the environment for stuff to donate.

It always feels good to move from the planning stage to the action stage.

congrats on the start of your journey!

Anny said...

Congratulations on the awesome start! I'm trying to unclutter my life too - starting with a garage sale this weekend if I can brave the heat *ugh*

Anonymous said...


First of all, thank you for putting your thoughts and plans out there for all to see- it is a brave thing to do to share your personal process with others. You have got me thinking over this past week in reading your blog about my own life path and simplification as well. The more I think about and reflect on your plan, and your method for getting there, the more I come to understand how much of a significant life changing choice this is for you to make. I think I may need some lessons on how to incorporate spreadsheets into my life... it may be just what I need to gain momentum!

Jack said...

3 moons, anny, anonymous,

Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I actually feel 'lighter' today. What's truly amazing is that, aside from stuff that I will be giving away/selling, I think I could pack up all my "essential" stuff and leave my place for good in under an hour. Can you belive that! :)

Sharon J said...

I bet that made you feel good. And just look at the support you're getting here! I bet that makes you feel good, too :)

~ Sharon

Anonymous said...

Hmm, your trash still looks neat. Good job. When I declutter, the house is a mess, then there is a miraculous sight afterwards when I am done. :) Have a good weekend.

donna said...

wow this all sounds very organised!
by the way ive given you an award- details on my blog

Jack said...

Sharon, Katrina,

Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, decluttering is super addictive. And clearly good for the soul.:)


Thanks for the award!! I'm going to just have to pass it forward.