Being Deliberate About Your Pants And Power Tools: Material Awareness For The Lifestyle Maximalist

  1. It’s for boring, joyless minimalists with no hobbies who want to throw away everything
  2. Throw away everything that doesn’t SPARK JOY “ok but what about useful stuff”
  3. She talks to her socks

Maximalist motivations to purge

Incidentally, as a second-generation Asian American, I grew up trained to save all bags, napkins, boxes, plastic utensils, and hotel toiletries, and store them under the sink. I am a lifelong hoarder of such things. So I personally found the book pretty helpful and actionable for extending my desire to live deliberately throughout my physical space.

Tidying as a tool for self-awareness

Does it spark joy?

The logical inverse of “does this spark joy”

The second clause, “during something that happens frequently”, is key. Otherwise, I would have leeway to collect items for all kinds of delectable, never-to-be-realized potential hobbies.

Useful spare supplies

Other boring-utilitarian items to apply this inverted question to: spare batteries, lighters, scissors, dish soap, cables, light bulbs, home improvement supplies, medicines and supplements, old grocery bags...

The trap of organized clutter


The comfort of organic chaos

Hidden clutter is still clutter

The true value of tidying: streamlining your decision space

Talking to your socks

Assessing an object’s role in your life

When I feel shy, insecure, prickly, or anxious, I don't talk to the amorphous blob of feelings inside my head that may easily fly into a bottomless negative spiral. Instead, I simply project my insecurities onto my plush cactus.Although I have become capable when necessary of directly confronting the swirling mass of feelings within my raw self, it's about 100x easier and simpler to listen to my plush cactus say them, then bop him gently on the head and tell him all the things I needed to hear.
It's basically weaponizing broken-healer syndrome against itself. If you are compelled to heal others with your same problems instead of healing your own problems -- why not simply make one of them an external self-projection?




autotelic polymath with an overwhelming compulsion to reverse engineer things I’ve never tried before

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