Keeping your desk clean

Just about every minimalist/feng shui/organizational expert insists on having a clean, uncluttered desk to work at.  Zen Habits, one of my favorite minimalistic blogs even provides a 3-step program to a permanently clean desk, imagine that.

Lord knows I’ve tried, and I keep on trying, but at any given time you can usually find some stray papers or items that don’t belong. I bit the bullet the other day and ordered me a ScanSnap receipt scanner, so now all those little pieces of paper that otherwise would have hung around my desk for MONTHS are getting sucked in and spit out in an orderly fashion, and reasonably fast too.  Even with that, shit keeps finding its way to my desk. In my feeble attempts to keep a clean desk, the shit just migrates behind me, and piles gather on top of the hutch I have behind me. I’ve noticed the exact same phenomenon happening on my kitchen table at home. Mail, headphones, coins, dog leashes, pile of crap that has to be returned or relocated to work, you name it.

I think I am going to once more try the Zen Habits 3 step method and get a basket, one for home and one for work.  Problem is that it is just so much easier to put stuff IN the basket than process it OUT of it….  but maybe this is a chance for me to practice both Sauca (cleanliness) and Aparigraha at the same time.

Sigh. Day at a time, right?

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Reality sinking in

Spent the past couple of nights browsing trailers & RV’s on Craigslist with the husband. We’ve settled on a couple that we are going to take a look at and perhaps tow home before the end of the month. The reality of giving up the house we bought together and moving into one on wheels is drawing very, very close. Just waiting for the bank to approve the buyer, set some dates, sign papers and out we are.

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions beginning about a year go with my husband’s accident. It still is. But now, mostly the feeling I have is excitement. I’m very ready to begin this new chapter of my life with less stuff and more freedom. The days between now and trailer time will be filled with purging and cleaning, both the physical stuff and the mental stuff attached to the stuff.

Damn, look at me go, using the word “stuff” 3 times in the same sentence. I apologize to all you English language purists out there, that has to violate some rules.  Meh, oh well. You’ll live.

The more I go through, the easier it becomes to let go of most of the crap, but then there are always certain items with memories so strongly attached that it is hard to give up. Usually it’s something given to me by someone who is no longer with us, and letting go of the thing somehow resembles letting go of the person. It’s hard to do, but at the same time it’s good to do. For both. I get to have less stuff, and my friend in spirit gets to be free wherever she is now. It doesn’t make any less of our friendship, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still wish she stuck around for a few more adventures, but it surely does make room in the life for other fun stuff.

The last of the yamas – Aparigraha – will hopefully be my steady companion for a long time as I learn to let go.

Freedom of less

Got out of bed early this morning to go for a jog.  I’m pretty solidly out of shape at the moment so just going the usual loop takes a while. But, on the plus side I do some of my best thinking when I run, even if it seems that all these deep thoughts wash right away in the shower.

This morning though, it stuck with me. As I plodded along, putting one foot in front of the other, I was thinking about my upcoming move. In possibly less than 30 days, I will be packing up the house I’ve lived in for the past few years and moving who knows where. Maybe to another house, maybe into a trailer, maybe into a friends spare room for a couple of weeks.
Either way, the less STUFF I have to take with me, the easier ANY of those options will be. I’ve for some while been motivated to cut down on my worldly possessions. It’s hard. It’s as hard as it is to shed those unwelcome extra pounds on my ass.

Just like I need to work off some pounds and rouse dormant muscles in order to keep my body leaner and healthy, my home is going to have to shed some of the unnecessary stuff.  Once that phase is done, it’s on to keeping the pounds off, both physically and stuffically.   Lean home + lean body + lean life = lighter living. Or that is my plan at least.

For more inspiration, check out this great post by Miss Minimalist on the freedom of living small. It’s so inspiring that I’m sitting at my desk at work, looking around for shit to get rid of.

It’s on with the Aparigraha.
Yoga sutra 2.39 takes this one on: Aparigrahasthairye janmakathamta sambodhah.
Indeed.  Tossing Sanskrit your way just for fun. I’m not even going to attempt a translation, but roughly this one means non-hoarding, not wanting/desiring/taking more than we need. This has been my homework for the past month as a part of teacher training, and judging by the results, it will be my homework for the rest of my life. Sigh. On on.