De-cluttering Rules


When Jill and I were packing up the house in Minneapolis we were amazed at how much stuff we had accumulated.  In the course of packing, we got rid of 6 car/truck loads of stuff.  We resolved to pair down more and more over time - and defined these three rules for doing so: 1. Out by default.  When packing, imagine that everything is automatically out and that you are selecting a subset of your stuff to include.  This rule served us well during the move, particularly when we were packing … [Read more...]

Life Update


We're looking at a busy next few months for our household. Big picture: I'll be graduating from law school; we'll become landlords for the first time; we'll become Texans; we'll celebrate Jaye's first year of life. Of course, there are a lot of little steps to get us to those four biggies. This weekend: I have my second to last class in law school ever. It's my last real class because my last class is a pizza party. After class, we'll jet down to Northfield for the rest of the day. Our … [Read more...]

Packing Plan: Changing the Default

As we thought about packing up the contents of our home over breakfast this morning, Phil and I decided to change/reverse the usual approach.  Usually, you'd assume that you were bringing everything you owned, but maybe leave out a few things you didn't really use anymore.  Instead, we're going to assume that everything is not coming with us and only bring those things we do actually need.  For example, we have several little drawers of extra pencils and free pens from different places. Do we … [Read more...]

The Little Project that Took a Year

Last Christmas, I bought Phil two prints from Etsy.  I loved them (and I think he did too). They show the same scene in the daytime and at night of a girl riding her bike along the Mississippi River underneath the Hennepin Avenue bridge in downtown Minneapolis.  Only the day scene is happy and cheerful: the sun is grinning, a fish is leaping from the water, and a couple with a baby stroller walks across the bridge. The night scene is downright sinister: the sun has a moustache and a pistol, … [Read more...]

The De-Junking Campaign: Tackling the Upstairs

Our upstairs room has been slowly spiraling out of control over this past summer and fall. It became a dumping ground for projects in process and general clutter we just didn't want to deal with or see downstairs. I'm horrified to admit that this is (pretty much) a true "before" picture. I had pulled some stuff out of the closet to stack it on the sofa at the back and brought those cardboard boxes up to remove some junk, but the rest of it is accurate (gasp).  View from the top of the stairs. … [Read more...]