Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World

I am currently reading The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World and I love it. It was co-written by the Dalai Lama.

In the beginning it talks about how to need to be around others and it helps us be happy. I was just thinking of how I miss the community I had in college. Especially in the art building. It also talks about over coming prejudice etc. I haven't finished the book yet but so far it is great. And I totally recommend it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Zen Accessories

I love looking at pictures of minimalist homes as inspiration. In each picture there is usually some element that I really like that brings out the Zen in the home. It makes the place unique and holds that minimalist quality. I just wanted to share some of my favorites as examples.

Buddha statues. I love seeing small statues of Buddha in pictures of minimalist homes. It makes the place look a tad more cozy and Zen like. Some are of a sitting Buddha and some are just a Buddha Head. I really like the Buddha Head. But some of them cost a fortune and have to be shipped over seas. Maybe one day they will make inflatable Buddha Heads. Maybe I am on to something.

Buddha Soap or candles. I love candles they are so peaceful. I just noticed Buddha candles as I was looking for Buddha soaps. I love my minimalist bathroom and thought a little sitting Buddha soap would be perfect. They also have Buddha Head candles.

Bonsai Plants. Rare and expensive so I have heard. Small trees that grow slowly. If I ever get one I want to name it "Couch" not that I will sit on it but that it creates a sense of comfy-ness.

Chinese Lanterns. I have always loved Chinese Lanterns. Usually round paper lanterns that cover a light. You can buy plain ones online for cheap and paint them. I have always wanted one. Just never got around to having one. They come in every color imagine able and in various sizes too.

Bamboo Plants. Another simple plant that is fun to take care of. I have seen some that are grown into certain shapes and even woven into triangles. I love talking to plants.

Zen Garden. You have seen them. A wooden box with sand and some flat stones arranged in the sand. They look like they would be fun to play with. I still don't know that much about them. Gotta go Google it.

More to come!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gifts for a Minimalist

After Christmas I just give all the gifts I got to Goodwill or give them to others. I wish people understood what good gifts were for a minimalist.

I say there are two categories for these gifts for minimalists. One is items that they need and the other are items that don't take up space and can be used up or experienced.

Needed items would be items that you know they need. Like if they need a new laptop or a umbrella. This can end up kinda boring and predictable.

Then there are the items that don't take up space, can be used up or experienced.
Such as:

1. Food items. These can be consumed and experienced. They also don't take up space after they are consumed. Some prefer teas, coffees, candies, etc.

2. Experiences. Tickets to a concert, movie, or play etc. Take them to a dinner. Or just a phone call perhaps.

3. Things that can be used up. Candles, lotions, perfume, phone minutes, a gift card.

4. Spaceless Items. Songs and phone calls don't take up space. They just take up time. Movies take up time rather than space. A library Card. Its like a Credit Card for Minimalists.

Do you see a pattern here?

Things that I would want:

1. An edible subway map of NYC.
2. Green Tea that sings to me.
3. A tube of African Shea Butter Cream that calls me every Friday night.
4. A rainy day.
5. World peace.

More to Come!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Minimalists Entertainment

I remember the time I got rid of my tv. Yet another item I could carry. And item that would be difficult to get rid of once I moved. I never want to own anything I can't carry. Plus with the analog to digital conversion....my tv wasn't useful for much...just DVDS and videos.

I could always watch the dvds on my laptop. And you can watch it full screen and in HD on a laptop!

So I finally got rid of my TV. I remember the next morning I was so relieved that it was gone. My living room was so much more spacious. I can go on my laptop at anytime and browse youtube or download movies or go to the library and borrow movies on dvd for free! How nice. How Zen. It also saved a bunch of my electricity bill.

Don't forget books can be found at your local library too...for free.

I also got rid of my radio. I can always listen to mp3s on my laptop. I also took all the cds I had and copied the mp3s to my laptop so I could donate the cds to Goodwill and listen to the songs on my laptop. An ipod is nice too but they need to be charged on a larger computer and not on a laptop. At least it didn't really work on my laptop.

So there. No radio, and no cds. So minimal. So Zen.

And you can always go on Youtube and listen to some tunes etc.

Video games can also be played on a laptop. It may not be exactly the same but I think it works.

Now for this laptop. I prefer Macs. They last long and don't have as many programming problems. I also got mine refurbished so it was cheaper. The only setback really is that its hard to watch porn on macs. Most porn sites have videos in Windows format. But there are some mac friendly porn sites. Just Google it.

More to Come!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Avoid Color Clutter

Having too many colors in a room can create color clutter. Most minimalist homes we see have minimal color where only one, two or three colors are used.

White. My favorite color to use is white. It makes everything look clean and it creates the illusion of space. But to some it may seem depressing and too empty.

Black. Its a cold color usually. Makes a room look smaller. Black is associated with sophistication. Works well with white.

Green. Associated with health and life. Can make a room seem fresh and alive. A warm color usually.

Blue. A cold color. It can also make a room feel fresh and cool. I actually don't see too many minimal homes using blue. Blue is also said to suppress hunger.

Brown. A warm color. Works well with white and green both. Can make a room feel earthly or more like a home.

Orange, yellow, red. Warm colors. They have been said to stimulate people and make them more irritable. Also make them hungry.

Purple. Rarely seen in minimalist homes. Purple makes me thirsty.

There are so many color combinations that can be used. I would start out with white and then add touches of one other color. Like white walls, white furniture, with a green plant, green curtains and a green wall clock. You see the idea? Maybe throw in a black coffee table and area rug.

Warm colors will make a place more cozy and people will be more likely to stay. Kinda like a museum. Cold colors will make the place more like a shopping mall.

More to come!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Library Card: The Credit Card for Minimalists

I love huge-ass libraries. I don't really like the small ones. Its like a giant book/music store but everything is free unless you forget to return your items.

I never quite understood buying a book new for some crazy price. If anything I bought it used for cheap on Amazon.com and paid some extra shipping and had to wait a week. Then eventually get rid of the book cus I don't want the clutter.

Why not just get all your books and movies at the library for free?

A library may not have all the new books but they should have quite a selection. They also have all the classic movies on dvd. Like like a free video store. Awesome-ness!

I remember I used to buy a new movie every week. Thats about $5 x 4 = $20 a month. Then $20 x 12 = $240 a year.

Then buy a book a month for $10 x 12 = $120

$240 + $120 = $360 I would save a year by going to the library.

Plus tax that would be about $400. Oh and don't forget the shipping Its about $6 each time each item is shipped so...4x12 = 48 plus the 12 books = 60 items being shipped x $6 = $360

Wow $360 in shipping plus $400 is $760.

A library card can save you $760 a year or more.

More to come!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Minimalist Bathroom Tips

I think the easiest room to turn into a minimalists haven is the bathroom. A small space to work with and it usually already has built in shelves.

1. White Space. White space will make the bathroom look bigger and clean. I went through several shower curtains until I just went with a plain white one. It looks great.

2. Be minimal. I don't keep anything on top of the toilet tank except one extra roll of toilet paper.

3. Basics. I keep what I use a lot on the counter. Like a white bar of soap in a white soap dish next to a white wash cloth with a white comb on top. On the other side of the soap is a small cup used for rinsing. Other side of the sink is a bottle of lotion and my tooth brush and tooth paste. everything else goes in the medicine cabinet: deodorant, contact case, mouth wash floss, medicine, razors, etc.

4. Behind the curtain. I keep a towel on the shower rod behind the shower curtain Shampoo, soap and a loofa along the edge of the shower also behind the shower curtain.

5. Hang stuff. I have a bag that hangs that hold my makeup on the back of the bathroom door.

Tada! Minimalist bathroom.