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Monthly Archives: March 2011

organizing socks

my sock drawer used to look like this.

i followed gretchen rubin‘s advice to dump out the whole drawer and only put back in what i need and love. it’s much harder to sort through a full drawer finding items to remove. this way, owning each pair of socks is a deliberate choice.

this simple sock strategy can be applied to many other categories of “things.”

for socks in particular though, it helps to cut down on the types of sock you own. for me the list is limited to:

  • Top Shop print socks (like this)
  • thick black ankle socks
  • thin black dress socks
  • athletic socks
  • thermal/wool winter socks
  • one pair of over-the-knee socks

within each category all of my socks are identical (with the exception of the Top Shop socks), making laundry easy and eliminating unnecessary choices.



keeping lists of books, films, and plays

one of the benefits of minimalism that i enjoy is the free time i gain. with it i choose to read more books, watch more films, and see at least two plays a week. to keep my “culture consumption” organized, i write lists.

i track my reading progress on goodreads. i rate books out of five stars and sort into bookshelves by year.

i record the films i see on imdb. i rate films out of ten stars and sort them into categories by year.

i keep a private pages document of all the plays i see. i record the name of the week, the title of the play, the venue, the company, and rate each play out of five stars.

i keep each list as concise as possible to make updating quick and satisfying. at first i was unsure whether to rate each item, but i’ve found that doing so allows me to remember my opinion at the time.

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essential thing: lemony flutter by lush

lush is my favorite cosmetics store, and lemony flutter is my favorite lotion. while it is technically cuticle butter, and is very good for that, it is also great for feet, elbows, and as chap-stick.

as a minimalist i’m always looking out for effective, eco-friendly, multi-purpose products like this one. do you have any favorites?

is it possible? muji the minimalist store

i was wandering around london when i came across MUJI. i was drawn to its clean calming storefront, and inside its doors i was greeted by sleek and simple stationery sets, travel containers, clothing in soft yet sophisticated fabrics…

i left the shop empty-handed and with a clear head – being in the store was zen – the only exception being a copy of their catalog, which i keep by my bed. i want to live inside that catalog. the opening pages confirm my assessment that MUJI is a minimalist store.

click on the image to read the whole thing, but here’s a textual sample:

Muji products came into being in the early 1980’s as a result of a new mood, calling for a return to simplicity in daily life. Our aim was – and still is – to provide our customers all over the world with the fundamental things they need to live a busy, modern, urban lifestyle.

while the opening pages are convincing enough, the visuals of some ideal rooms are what inspire me: