Flippin Sweet Dude

August 22, 2010

Minimalist Camping

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: , , , , , — aaron @ 5:52 pm

We all went camping this weekend, and had a great time.  In keeping with our minimalism, we only took a very few things.  Everyone had their 6 liter stuff sack, backpacking sleeping bag and a bed roll.  For food we kept the menu simple, with all homeade food that just needed to be reheated.  Erika had a great idea of having a ice free cooler.  All the food was frozen, and extra juices were put in the cooler instead of ice.  It stayed very cold for the 3 days, and worked out well.

We played in the Provo river, went on a nice hike, visited our Geocache, and played lots of card games.  All in all, it was a great weekend away from the world.

November 18, 2009

Unclutter Forum

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: — aaron @ 4:58 am

Unclutter has announced a new open forum, that can be found here.  It was only announced yesterday, so there are not lots of thread to read, but what out there looks interesting and useful.

November 17, 2009

Notebook

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: — aaron @ 8:49 am

If you are a workaholic like me, you often think of problems and tasks that need to be fixed.  Sometimes these thoughts can keep you up at night, especially if you have so much to do, that it’s easy to let some things fall through the cracks.  I read somewhere that if you write things down when you cannot fall asleep, or are stressed with the work load, that you’ll be able to sleep better and worry less about your ToDo list.

Either way, I’ve been packing around this $1 note book with me in my backpack.  It goes with me to work, church, the store, out on my walks and on my night stand.  I have been constantly writing in the front of the book the tasks and thoughts I have for work, and I write from the back of the notebook my goals and tasks for simplifying  life.

This has really helped with several problems.  First, I’ve not turned on my work laptop after work for several weeks, which means that there has been no work from home.  :)  It has been nice to write down some thoughts, and forget about work, and enjoy the family time.  This has increased my efficiency at work too, mostly because I can prioritize my tasks, and not get distracted with random thought of forgotten tasks through the day.  Also after about 9-10 hours of work, it is proven that you are a crappy worker, so my work from home would often need additional attention the next day.

Second, it is really easy to work on your goals and review your thoughts if you have them written down.  It is actually nice to write down stuff on paper, and get off the old keyboard.   You can see and review you prior ideas, see what you have edited, and see your thought process in action.  I bet I have written more this last month, than the sum of the previous months this year.

Last, it has really helped on getting me into the minimalist mentality.   I was working on my 100 item list, and listed my notebook and pen as the first two items.   I’ve found myself working out problems by hand, rather than working it up in a worksheet, listing out programming classes in my own version of UML, drawing simple user interface layout, and even found myself doodling random picture from time to time.   It certainly has helped me focus on what is important at home, and still give me a way to take care of the important things at work.

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November 14, 2009

Minimalist Web Server

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog,Linux — Tags: — aaron @ 4:07 pm

As part of our quest to minimize our stuff, I’ve retired our web server, and will be saving just the good parts from it.  I obtained a old Dell laptop, and have loaded the Debian base install and am running my few web sites from it.

I think this will reduce my power bills a few bucks a month too.  If not at least it will be much quieter in the office.   I need to figure out a better backup solution, but I think I’ll be happy with the change.

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November 12, 2009

Boys room all done

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: , — aaron @ 6:38 am

Here is the boys room all cleared out and minimalized.    They are down to a bed, one book shelf, ( off to the left ), and some bins of Legos under the bed.   They share a closet, and have small dressers in the closet under their hanging clothes.  It is really nice to be down to just the toys they play with, and all the other stuff all gone.

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November 11, 2009

Minimalism with Kids

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: — aaron @ 5:17 am

Erika and I have been working hard everyday for about a week on minimizing our possessions.  Let me say that we are not owners of may possessions, and I wouldn’t think that we have  lots of stuff.  Either way, we started with the dreaded game closet, worked through the family room, boys rooms, front room and all the other spots where crap piles up.   We found piles of books & games to give away, coat that we no longer use, got rid of fish tank, desks, tables and other misc stuff.

After all this is going, I found this nice blog post on how to clear out a house, when you have kids.  It has some really good ideas, here are some that I found useful:

Identify the important. The first step in decluttering is identifying which toys and other possessions are truly important to the kids. What do they play with, what do they love? Then get rid of as much of the rest as possible, keeping only those they use and love.

Massively purge. In the beginning, if you have a lot of kid clutter, you’ll want to go through a massive purge. The way to do this is to block off a day to go through their rooms. Do one area at a time: a drawer, a section of the closet, a shelf. Take verything out of that area, put it in a pile. From that pile, take only the really important stuff (See Tip 1). Get rid of the rest. Donate it to charity if it’s still good. Get some boxes and put all the stuff to donate in there, and when they’re full, load them up in your car to donate on your next trip. Then put back the important stuff, and tackle the next area. If you do this quickly, you can do a room in a couple of hours.

Leave space. When you put the important stuff back, don’t try to fill up each drawer, shelf or closet area. Allow there to be some space around the objects. It’s much nicer looking, and it leaves room for a couple of extra items later if necessary.

A home for everything. We haven’t actually completely succeeded at this, but we try to teach the kids that everything they own has a “home”. This means that if they’re going to put away a toy, they should know where its home is, and put it there. If they don’t know where the home is, they need to find a home for it, and put it there from now on. Actually, this is a useful concept for adults, too, and it’s one that I’ve mastered and found very useful. Our kids understand this idea (at least, the four older ones do), but sometimes they forget. Still, it helps keep things organized.

Teach them to clean. Our 1-year-old daughter, Noelle, doesn’t know how to clean up after herself. But all of the other 5 kids do, including our 3-year-old. So, instead of us continually stressing out about the messes, we just ask them to clean up now and then. Sure, things will get messy again soon. But at least the kids are doing the work cleaning up, not us. :)

Purge at Christmas, birthdays. On these two occasions, new stuff comes into their lives en masse. If you just add this new stuff to their old stuff, you will have a huge mess. Instead, we ask them to put all their gifts in one place. Then, a day or two after Christmas or their birthday, we go through their closets and bins and ask them what they want to get rid of so they can make room for the new stuff.

Go for quality. Instead of getting them a huge pile of cheap junk, go for quality toys or possessions that will last long. Wood is better than plastic, for example. The classic toys are often the best. It’s best to spend your money on a couple of great things than a whole bunch of cheap things that will break and be relegated to the junk pile in no time.

Once again, these ideas are part of this blog post.

November 10, 2009

Family Room Fun

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: — aaron @ 6:18 am

Here is the new family room stuff.  We had a fun time cutting our couch in half just to get it out of the house.  We also thought we could fix the futon, and found it too far broken, so we just put the mattress on the floor for now.  Entertainment center is gone, computer desk gone, and all other items.  Got some new furniture for computer desk, and a TV stand for all the electronics.

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November 9, 2009

Deep Cleaning

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: — aaron @ 12:00 pm

Family has been ditching all our stuff, and getting back to basics.  First order of business was to clean out the coat / game closet.  Here is Nathan cleaning the closet after we clean it all out.  We have freecycle’d a bunch of stuff.  Family room is down to a TV (locals only), Radio and a futon mattress on the ground.  :)

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November 7, 2009

Simplicity And Minimalism

Filed under: FlippinSweetBlog — Tags: — aaron @ 11:32 pm

Found some new blog about minimalism, and going to give them a try for a bit.

http://mnmlist.com

http://unclutterer.com

Also, one of them mentioned that a good way to get/give stuff is to freecycle it.

http://www.freecycle.org/

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