It's ironic that on the same day that I finally clicked the PUBLISH button for my very first post, the very next thing I did was drive an hour from home and buy a large upright piano. Somehow, my kids seem to have a talent for music. I don't know where it comes from, but it's not from me. My wife and I both played percussion in high school, but my experience was mostly the snare drum and occasionally the timpani. I got to play the school drum set a couple of times but it didn't go well. I remember trying to play Wipeout during band class and when the big drum solo came up, I was concentrating so hard and thought I was pretty cool. But I didn't realize I was playing about double the tempo of the rest of the song. The band director was yelling "Stop, stop stop!" and when I did everyone was staring at me. Then one of the trombone players got up and took over the drums. Pretty embarrassing.
Anyway, we already have a perfectly good Hammond organ that the kids have been learning on. How could I possibly justify making room for a piano and keeping the organ. After all, we found it on the curb (a story for another time) so I could let it go to a new home for practically nothing and not feel like I lost any money. So far, this quest for minimalism is a war I'm losing because I now have an old Hammond organ and a beautiful new piano in my home. The silver lining was that we had to make space in the kids' playroom for the piano and that meant the removal of several toys.
Sometimes, clearing your home of clutter requires some give and take, especially when you have a family that may not be fully on board with your desire to get rid of excess things. My plan of attack is to wait this one out for a while. I fully expect that after a few months, they will realize that all they want to play is the piano, not the organ, and that the old Hammond will have been neglected. Then they will be agreeable to finding a new home for it. If that never happens, then I guess that's OK too. If they enjoy playing the organ occasionally instead of the piano then it can stay. My idea of minimalism isn't necessarily about living in an empty house. It's about living with just the things that bring joy to the family.
Welcome to my first blog post. As I mention in my "About" section, I have three kids with a lot of stuff. Seriously. I really mean a LOT of stuff. They have a large family room that somehow became their playroom and now you can barely see the floor. People who see it for the first time often tell us that we could rival just about any daycare. I can't blame them completely for all the clutter around the house. My wife and I have bought a fair amount of it. We are also blessed with very generous family members who like to buy gifts for us all and since my kids are some of the younger ones on both sides, they receive a lot of hand-me-down clothes. We are genuinely grateful for everything, however I've recently realized just how overrun our house has become. It's not just the kids' playroom. It's the whole house. I also have been an occasional reader of a few blogs on minimalism and organizing. A couple of my favorites are Becoming Minimalist and Zen Habits. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist has written a couple of books and I'm currently enjoying Clutterfree With Kids. That's my new goal.
Being an engineer and mathematician, I've always been a little bit obsessed with optimization and efficiency. I enjoy trying to find the "perfect" method to accomplish a task or the most efficient way to store and organize things around the house. As I've been reading more about the minimalist lifestyle, I realized the best way to organize all that stuff is to not have it around in the first place. I made the decision to declutter and this blog is intended as sort of a record of my progress. I want to share what works for me and what doesn't, and hopefully help others along the way. I also plan some diversions to my other interests like mathematics and data analysis. I can't help it. I'm an engineer.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2017