• Minimalism Boxes - October 26, 2014
    Minimalism Boxes – October 26, 2014

    I’m a little over two weeks into my new minimalism project where I only unpack what I need as I need it – inspired by the “packing party” Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists did. His process lasted 21 days. I’m giving myself three months for mine.

    I looked up Ryan’s packing party story in Everything That Remains and noted that his first day when he didn’t have to unpack anything was Day 10. I’m still unpacking things every day, but the number of things I need is dropping – still mostly clothes, kitchware, and now that I have a TV, DVDs.

    I realized that before when I needed something, I would look at everything I have and make a decision. Now that most of my stuff is still in boxes, when I need something – like deciding what I’m going to wear that day, I envision how I want to look and feel that day and decide accordingly. I don’t rely on the visual stimulation of looking at my stuff to inspire me but try to tap into what I really want instead.

    One of the challenges I face on a daily basis is paper. No matter how much I minimize my life, I will always have to deal with paper in form of mail, business cards from networking events, receipts, etc. I’m toying with the idea of letting it pile up and deal with it once a week instead of daily.  That might be a more effective use of my time. Given that “freedom” is something I value greatly, conserving my time for things that matter to me is important.

    For those who are interested, here’s what I unpacked during Week 2.

    My T-shirt Drawer - October 26, 2014
    My T-shirt Drawer – October 26, 2014

    Day 8

    • Spoon
    • Sundress and cardigan
    • DVD
    • Highlighter
    • Coupons and store club cards
    • Laundry soap, dust cloth, duster, dryer sheets, and dishwasher soap

    Day 9

    • Contact lenses, contact solution, lotion, and marker
    • Eyeglasses case
    • Bike pump
    • T-shirt and socks
    • Big soup pot, food storage containers, measuring spoons, medium pot, chopper, cooking spoon, colander, and onion goggles
    • 2 DVDs

    Day 10

    • 2 T-shirts, tank top, bra, and cardigan
    • Salad container and measuring cup

    Day 11

    • Tank top
    • Lids for food storage containers and mug
    • Extra razor blades and 2 types of mouthwash
    • Vase I use for spare change

    Day 12

    • Skirt, blouse, and Mary Jane heels
    • Remote mouse aka “clicker”
    • Makeup brushes, eyelash curler, compact, powder, and nose hair trimmer
    • Crochet project

    Day 13

    • Reflective belt for early morning running, t-shirt, underwear, Legal Rebel Converse high tops, and blazer
    • Extra business cards
    • Measuring cups

    Day 14

    • T-shirt
    • Home inspection binder
    • Q-tips and tampons
    • Small pot, wooden spoon, and new knives

    I wouldn’t be surprised if my first day where I don’t unpack anything comes within the next week. I think I’ll need about a month to get through the majority of the activities I do on a regular basis and then it will be easier to start going through my boxes and get rid of things on a more frequent basis.

    In case you missed it: What I Unpacked During Week 1

  • T0.3 by Connor Burton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)
    T0.3 by Connor Burton from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

    Maybe it’s because I wanted to push myself or maybe it’s because I’m impatient, but whatever the reason, I did speed work with all my runs this week.

    Monday: I hit the ground running this week – at least on work. No workout  scheduled for today, though I’m starting to see a network of veins beneath my skin. I feel stronger and I’ve definitely noticed an increase in my muscle tone.

    Tuesday: Tuesday is my official speed work day when I run on the treadmill – aka the human hamster wheel. I ran 4.5 miles in 37.5 minutes. Running on the treadmill is so boring, even with the most entertaining podcast in my ears. It’s only redeeming quality is it’s faster than running on the street. I knocked out my first 100 push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 16 and 1 set of 20. I like seeing the veins pop out of my arms as I’m getting stronger.

    Wednesday: One of the benefits of running in October is it’s cooler in the morning. The downside is it’s also dark. I think it’s time to bust out my reflective belt so cars can more easily see me. I’d wear a headlamp if it were more comfortable – I don’t like running as much when I can’t fully see where I’m going.  I had a good 6.5-mile run today. I did speed work by making myself run 200 steps at the beginning of each song that played on my iPod, plus an extra 100 running steps when I had to stop at stoplights.

    Thursday: I tried a new 4.5-mile route today (with my snazzy reflective belt) that had a turn-around in the middle of the Mill Ave. Bridge. I hope I turned around at the right spot. I used the same plan for speed work as the previous day. Around mile 1.5 I felt a twinge of pain in my butt with the giggle of each step that was replaced by the intensity I felt in my quads around mile 3. When I got back I finished my push-ups for the week: 5 sets of 17 and 1 set of 15.

    Friday: Rest day!

    My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012
    My Foot and Leg in KT Tape before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2012

    Saturday: I listen to Profiles with Alicia Malone and Scott Mantz during my long runs on Saturdays. It’s an awesome podcast about movies that features a different actor or director each week. Each  segment of the show is named after a movie, i.e., “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “First Blood,” “Quiz Show,” etc. My plan was to do speed work at the beginning of each segment, but I realized I can’t count my steps and listen to these two geek out over movies simultaneously, so I just tried to pick up the pace at the beginning of each segment. I had a bit of shin pain even before I started today’s run that didn’t get worse over the hour. I started getting pain in my right hip around mile 5 (of a 7.2-mile run). I’ll have to keep an eye on that. When I tried to train for a marathon a few years ago, I had to downgrade to the half when I experienced intense hip pain in my longer runs.  I hope my strength work and stretching will keep this under control.

    Sunday: I challenged myself to ride the hill on McDowell Road between 52nd St and 64th St – by Papago Park – during today’s 19-mile bike ride.  This is a steep hill when I drive it so I knew it would be hard on my bike. I told myself that I’m doing my legs more good on this one hill than I’ve ever done on the elliptical in aggregate. I’m glad it was at the beginning of my ride.

    I’m officially 1/3 through my marathon training. If memory serves, I was living in KT Tape six weeks into half marathon training the last time I trained for a big race. (I was also running with really bad form back then.) I’m really pleased with how my legs are holding up so far.

    Weekly Totals:
    Running: 22.7 miles
    Biking: 19 miles
    Push-ups: 200 push-ups

  • When I read about Ryan Nicodemus’ “packing party” and 21-day minimalism project, I was curious to know what got unpacked during those 21 days. In case anyone is curious about what I’ve unpacked since moving into the condo, I thought I’d share what I unpacked in the first week.

    The number of boxes has remained unchanged but the amount in each box is dropping.
    The number of boxes has remained unchanged but the amount in each box is slowly dropping.

    Day 1 – October 11th

    • Nail kit (I broke a nail unloading groceries)
    • Bath towel, hand towel, wash cloth, bathmat
    • Mattress pad, sheets, comforter, pillows
    • Phone charger and extension cord
    • Rosie’s bowls, Kong toy, scoop, and food
    • My prescription pills and check sheet
    • Paper towels
    • Swiss Army knife (This is stored in my utility box under my bed so everything that was in that box is under my bed now)
    • My dirty laundry and laundry basket
    • Keychain for my mailbox key
    • 3-hole punch (I had to file a receipt. I treat my file cabinets and files like furniture so they were already in place)
    • Reusable water bottle
    • Laptop, cool pad, power strip
    • Measuring cup, spoon, soup mug, food storage containers, cutting board, knife, cup
    • T-shirt, sandals, hoodie, pajamas
    • “If you’re not fucking up, you’re not in the game” sign and 2 magnets
    • Sponge, hand soap
    • Coffee pot
    • Library book
    • Everyday toiletries
    • Night guard

    Day 2 – October 12th

    • Sugar bowl and canister
    • Coffee mug, 2 spoons, cup, knives, bowl, baking sheet, plate, fork, pot holders, glasses,
    • Blender
    • Camelbak and bike lock
    • Rosie’s travel bag, car harness, ear wash, and nail trimmer
    • Bear figurine (dust collector but I like it)
    • Scanner
    • Mug to keep pens in
    • Sunglasses, shorts, t-shirt, cycling clothes
    • Family photo
    • Boombox and cassette (b/c I’m old-school like that)

    Day 3 – October 13th

    • Knife, bowl, 3 spoons, measuring cup, food storage container, and sandwich bags
    • Zippy, t-shirt, socks, and underwear
    • iPod, headphones, and webcam
    • Backpack
    • Highlighter
    • 10-pound weights and resistance band

    Day 4 – October 14th

    • Running clothes, zippy, t-shirt, underwear, socks, jeans, Converse sneakers, and tank top
    • Knife
    • Stapler and scissors

    Day 5 – October 15th

    • Mug, 2 spoons, bowl, plate, salt and pepper, fork, can opener
    • Running clothes, pants, tank top
    • Painters tape, printer ink, shredder

    Day 6 – October 16th

    • Spoon, food storage container, plate, fork, kitchen towel, and cup
    • Safety pin
    • Running clothes, pants, 2 tank tops, dress shirt, underwear, heels, bra, and jacket
    • Hand lotion, eyeliner, and lipstick

    Day 7 – October 17th

    • Spoon, knife, plate, fork
    • T-shirt, socks, underwear
    • Calculator, stamps, and file folders
    • Gift certificate for trapeze lessons
    • Swiffer
    • Toothpaste
    • Rosie’s extra blanket
    • Hand towel

    So basically at this point most of what I unpack day-to-day is related to food consumption and clothes. I’m getting better at remembering where each box is and what’s in it (thankfully they’re well-labeled) but I still feel like a fumbling idiot when I’m in that corner of the condo looking for something.

    I did laundry and ran the dishwasher last weekend so now the closet and cupboards are starting to look like a person lives here.