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Archive for the ‘Minimalist’ Category

1. Don’t buy things unless you need them. Once you stop the habit of recreational shopping, half the problem is gone.

2. Everything has its designated place. Look at the kids’ playroom: it’s certainly the room in our house that contains the most stuff relative to its size, but everything there has its place. They have cubbies and baskets and containers and bulletin boards to hold everything, and once in a while we go over their stuff and decide what needs to be tossed and what can be donated.

playroom

3. I straighten the house every day, several times each day. I don’t wait for clutter to build up – as I walk through the house, if I see something out of its normal place, I immediately put it back where it belongs.

4. We never just put stuff on surfaces. The kitchen counter is clutter free, because there’s no reason to put anything there – everything has its designated place, including drawers and cupboards and a basket for mail:

kitchen island

The dining table is clutter free, because there’s absolutely no need to put stuff on it when everything in the house has its place:

dining-table

5. I donate stuff twice a year. I use the “2-year” rule, which says that if you haven’t worn or used an item for two years, you must get rid of it. I apply this rule to everything – even pots and pans – not just to clothes.

6. I never store stuff in the garage long-term, and certainly not at a rented storage space. If you can allow stuff to sit at a remote storage space, then you don’t need that stuff. Stop wasting your money on storage and donate or sell it. As for the garage, it has the 2-year rule as well. So yes, my garage is clutter-free too, although it’s certainly more cluttered than the main house.

My house is clutter-free, but it’s not completely bare. That would be boring! I do have art on the walls, and a few items that I love as decorations.

The reading area has a small table that holds a few beloved items:

Reading Area

[via MomGrind]

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Vouwwow

Vouwwow [Dutch] – to pronounce as Vow Wow and which I would translate as Wow it Folds – is a cardboard strip that is easy to carry, easy to fold into a chair and easy to produce.

Vouwwow can be taken to the park or an event, anywhere that you would want a chair. I can also see temporary events use this cheap transportable chair. Vouwwow by Maartje Nuy and Joost van Noort won the Thonet / Mart Stam prize [Dutch] for innovative chair design.

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Vouwwow

from Minimalissimo by Stan

Vouwwow [Dutch] – to pronounce as Vow Wow and which I would translate as Wow it Folds – is a cardboard strip that is easy to carry, easy to fold into a chair and easy to produce.

Vouwwow can be taken to the park or an event, anywhere that you would want a chair. I can also see temporary events use this cheap transportable chair. Vouwwow by Maartje Nuy and Joost van Noort won the Thonet / Mart Stam prize [Dutch] for innovative chair design.

[via Minimalissimo]

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YouTube is notorious for choking slower or underpowered computers (like netbooks), and all that video requires a lot of bandwidth. YouTube Feather is an opt-in beta that strips YouTube to the bare essentials for your underpowered PC or slow internet connection.

Feather seriously strips out the unnecessary elements from YouTube, leaving you with little beyond the video. (We’d read reports that it also meant you didn’t have the option to view videos in high quality, but we’ve seen plenty of HQ videos in our Feather tests.) It loads fast so all your computer has to worry about is the video. There’s not much more to say about it beyond that. It’s an opt-in beta, so to give it a try you’ll need to visit the opt-in page and click on the Join the “Feather” Beta link.

For our part, we rarely use the more advanced features of YouTube anyway, so the lightweight Feather feels great. Let’s hear what you think in the comments. (If you’ve had problems with YouTube jumpiness in Firefox, this fix may help.)

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Everyone says the cleanliness freaks would agree with me on the two most cluttered and unorganized folders on our computers these days – the desktop and/or the downloads folder. Well the downloads folder if you are a download junkie like me.

Ever wondered why it is that the desktop gets cluttered very easily? Maybe because it is the one folder that is visible and easily accessible. So you end up putting everything you think you need on there, not realizing that most of them will only be needed once or twice in a week. I mean really – take out the web browsers, an important document or two, perhaps the ‘computer’ icon and what else do you need on the desktop?

For the download junkies – there is the Automatic save folder extension for Firefox. Now let us look at some ways to clean and organize your Windows desktop.

Desktop Teleporter

Desktop Teleporter is a software that constantly keeps an eye on your desktop and quickly moves various files and items on the desktop into folders. You specify rules, and Desktop Teleporter waits for any new additions to your desktop. The rules are then applied to the new item and it ends up being moved from the desktop into the appropriate folder automatically.


The software doesn’t require installation, just click the executable and you can find it running in the system tray. By default it is configured to move everything except the items in the exclusion list from the desktop. So anything that you would like to remain on the desktop should be added to this exclusion list. The interface has a strange Mac OS-like feel, but then you don’t have to look at the UI often if the rules you specified are working as expected.

If you need greater control on the rules and want the magic on other folders as well, have a look at Belvedere.

Fences

Desktop Teleporter helps you move things from your desktop and organize them into other folders. If you would rather keep all the stuff on the desktop then I suggest you have a look into Fences. You can download and use the community (personal) edition of Fences for free, only thing is it starts bugging you after a month or so to re-install the latest version.

Fences lets you organize Windows desktop items into different categories. It does a great job and picks up items to put in different categories automatically. For the ones that are left out, you should evaluate if that item is worth being left on your desktop and then either move it or categorize it into one of the default categories.

In addition to that you can create your own categories and layouts. The thing with using Fences is that you can have a desktop full of junk and still make it look pretty. How is that you might wonder? Well just double-click on the desktop and Fences will hide all the icons and files on the desktop. Double-click again and you have them back.

While this may appeal to many, it is another reason for lazy people like me to dump everything on the desktop. After all who is going to see it?!

Wallpaper

The wallpaper can be very effective for de-cluttering and arranging items on your desktop. Drawing inspiration from some GTD wallpapers like these, you can easily create some for your screen resolution.

Creating such wallpapers is easy peasy. All you have to do is think about the various categories you would like to arrange your desktop items into. Then using any image editor create a new blank image, and then simply draw rectangles depicting the various categories. That is it, you are done at this point.

If you are feeling creative you can add different colors to the background, rectangles, some drop shadow perhaps and throw in a quote or line that gets you working. There you have it, your very own customized desktop de-clutterer that looks amazing. It is just like having virtual trays on your desktop on the screen.

So how do you keep your desktop neat and clean? Any special tools or tricks that you would like to share with us?

[via MakeUseOf]

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I am talking about pressuring companies to stop putting unnecessary packaging on items.

I know some of it looks cute — plastic confetti, extra tissue paper — and some of it is even recyclable or eco-friendly, but the LESS that we put and have into packaging, the better.

Why?

Simply put, it affects your wallet.

If they put in cute additional frills in packaging, where do you think they get the money to pay for all that?

It surely isn’t free.

You’re paying for it in the price.

I want to see more stores on board with this

I do long for the days, when it was all bulk bins where you would scoop out what you wanted, like in those old pictures.

butcher-shopThere are stores that exist today with that purpose — Bulk Barn, Whole Foods has a bulk bin section, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

I’d love it if my butcher would cut the meat and wrap it up in paper that could be after, or even better, let me pack it into my glass container that could be re-used the next time I come back and shop.

But stores won’t let you bring in your own containers, and the styrofoam packaging becomes a constant nightmare and feeling of guilt for me when I go to eat meat.

I could just simply give up meat, but I am trying to live a life where I use less, recycle more and reuse what I have but only if it is SUSTAINABLE for my lifestyle. (Read: Also convenient.)

I want to be able to refill my lotion & other bottles (preferably made out of glass), with my favourite products.

The Body Shop allows this, but I cannot think of any others!

It is why I am leaning towards using their products (if only they were organic and not as filled with chemicals).

Consumers (myself included) love prettily wrapped items

We as consumers, LIKE pretty things. Colours, the right box, with the perfect ribbon tied on it to let us know that what we paid, was the real price for what we got.

packaged-soapBut as each day passes, and as I keep looking at all the tags made out of plastic ties, the plastic containers that yoghurt comes in, or unnecessary plastic wrap and styrofoam that all the meat comes packaged in…

And I wonder if all that waste is worth it, just to feel good about a purchase.

Ultimately, I’d rather have less guilt about my purchases than a feeling of beauty.

Even when I order things online, I BEG them to not send me extra packaging.

Just throw it all into the envelope and send it. It’ll be fine without a fancy box, extra styrofoam peanuts, or plastic wraps.

This is something I struggled with, and am still struggling with.

Nothing in life is really “free”

But the best motivation to get others to also move towards a greener lifestyle, is to appeal to their wallets.

Look at what happened when gas prices rose!

People started taking the bus, riding bikes, walking and leaving their cars at home.

All that packaging, all those containers, all those bottles and especially those “free” plastic bags in stores, are not free.

So remember: You as a consumer, are paying for extra, unnecessary packaging either directly or indirectly and a move towards minimalism would benefit you.

[via The Everyday Minimalist]

I am talking about pressuring companies to stop putting unnecessary packaging on items.

I know some of it looks cute — plastic confetti, extra tissue paper — and some of it is even recyclable or eco-friendly, but the LESS that we put and have into packaging, the better.

Why?

Simply put, it affects your wallet.

If they put in cute additional frills in packaging, where do you think they get the money to pay for all that?

It surely isn’t free.

You’re paying for it in the price.

I want to see more stores on board with this

I do long for the days, when it was all bulk bins where you would scoop out what you wanted, like in those old pictures.

butcher-shopThere are stores that exist today with that purpose — Bulk Barn, Whole Foods has a bulk bin section, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

I’d love it if my butcher would cut the meat and wrap it up in paper that could be after, or even better, let me pack it into my glass container that could be re-used the next time I come back and shop.

But stores won’t let you bring in your own containers, and the styrofoam packaging becomes a constant nightmare and feeling of guilt for me when I go to eat meat.

I could just simply give up meat, but I am trying to live a life where I use less, recycle more and reuse what I have but only if it is SUSTAINABLE for my lifestyle. (Read: Also convenient.)

I want to be able to refill my lotion & other bottles (preferably made out of glass), with my favourite products.

The Body Shop allows this, but I cannot think of any others!

It is why I am leaning towards using their products (if only they were organic and not as filled with chemicals).

Consumers (myself included) love prettily wrapped items

We as consumers, LIKE pretty things. Colours, the right box, with the perfect ribbon tied on it to let us know that what we paid, was the real price for what we got.

packaged-soapBut as each day passes, and as I keep looking at all the tags made out of plastic ties, the plastic containers that yoghurt comes in, or unnecessary plastic wrap and styrofoam that all the meat comes packaged in…

And I wonder if all that waste is worth it, just to feel good about a purchase.

Ultimately, I’d rather have less guilt about my purchases than a feeling of beauty.

Even when I order things online, I BEG them to not send me extra packaging.

Just throw it all into the envelope and send it. It’ll be fine without a fancy box, extra styrofoam peanuts, or plastic wraps.

This is something I struggled with, and am still struggling with.

Nothing in life is really “free”

But the best motivation to get others to also move towards a greener lifestyle, is to appeal to their wallets.

Look at what happened when gas prices rose!

People started taking the bus, riding bikes, walking and leaving their cars at home.

All that packaging, all those containers, all those bottles and especially those “free” plastic bags in stores, are not free.

So remember: You as a consumer, are paying for extra, unnecessary packaging either directly or indirectly and a move towards minimalism would benefit you.

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Hidden Bathroom tile storage

Kind of neat. I’d be worried about water getting in and growing mold, but I suppose if you keep it out of the way of the shower head and clean it regularly, it might be all right.

25

Pics Roll

Open Concept Fireplace

I like how the fire can be enjoyed from all angles.

xarchitekten_5-480x471

Via Swiss Miss

Picture Frame table hides when you aren’t using it

PictureTable02-thumb-550x825-30389

Via Not Cot

Double-Duty Coffee Table & Children’s Play Area

jennys-blocks

Via Desire to Inspire

Luggage Scooter

Instead of having you dragging it around, you ride it :)

trolley-scooter

Via Ubergizmo

Stop from tripping over cables

This is a problem for me and it’s an elegant solution!

I have cables all over the place sometimes.

postline

Via UberGizmo

Large, Open Windows… A dream!

Heavenly. Look at that view.

Look at those floor to ceiling windows.

Ahhh… light.

Open-Home

Via Apartment Therapy

[via The Everyday Minimalist]

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