The Great Media Purge

As a student without cable and pre-Netflix I used to love Thursday night Blockbuster nights. The ritual began with walking the outer store perimeter to review the new releases from A to Z and then trying to convince my friends that my pick was clearly the night’s winner. Don’t bother with the middle aisles, ever.

Next a stop at Metro for Smart Food and M&Ms. Over the years I managed to amass a fairly sizable collection of DVDs largely thanks to Blockbuster’s bins of pre-owned treasures.

Remember two-day rentals and please be kind rewind? Blockbuster has faded to nostalgia thanks to online streaming and I haven’t bought a DVD since getting Netflix but somehow my boxes of DVDs haven’t faded away. I didn’t even bother with a media display when moving into our home five years ago.

Ditto for my CDs which haven’t had a new addition since I discovered Songza and now Spotify.


Its hard to say goodbye to old friends, isn’t it? How many bed-ridden days has Bridget Jones gotten me through? And Never Ending Story is clearly a classic in my books.

Netflix obviously doesn’t have everything, though more than I’ll ever be able to watch. Thankfully you can also rent movies online of course, that’s how we finally managed to see the latest Star Wars released during newborn baby madness.

There’s also the local library, I headed straight there to remedy the fact that I hadn’t seen or even heard of Lilies of the Field a Sidney Poitier classic, much to my parents dismay (clearly I should have spent more time in middle aisles of Blockbuster).

So I’m ready to let these go, mostly.  Johnny Cash’s greatest hits stays for cleaning marathons, Disney and awesome road trip cds stay too, Princess Bride hangs in there because its my favourite and Bridget Jones stays too because I’m just not ready to let her go.



Goodbye Yoda: Letting Go of Collectibles

I just sold my entire collection of unopened Star Wars Episode 1 figures for $20. I didn’t even broke even with what my geeky 13 year old self paid for them. While E-bay confirmed over the years that they weren’t worth much, I could never let them go for ‘nothing’. As I minimalize and reclaim more and more of my house I was more than happy to have these gone and reinvest the $20 into pizza and garlic bread.

Star Wars Episode 1 Figures Hasbro CommTech x 5 NEW

So yes happy- relieved even, to say goodbye to yoda but still unwilling to pitch my pog collection which was housed in the same now emptier box as the Star Wars figures. I’d planned to give the pogs to my kids one day until reading this:

Things that were fads should fade away from your life. You probably wouldn’t re-buy that pog collection, right? Some things served their purpose for that time in your life, but they’re superfluous now  

Ouch! If the post had used a Star Wars example I’d be patting myself on the back instead of being smacked with reality. Pogs aren’t making a comeback and my kids won’t want them. They were a nice recess distraction in grade four and its now time to let them go. At least these suckers are cardboard and can be recycled. I find the idea of things having served their purpose for a specific time in your life as a good mantra to purge collectibles. Maybe I can let go of my china dolls next.


Are Quality Kid Clothes Worth It?

One of the pluses of a minimalist wardrobe is buying bigger ticket quality pieces guilt-free.  I own one pair of everyday boots that get me through the early spring, fall and most of Toronto’s winter. Being a Canadian I still do own a pair of serious snowfall winter boots mostly for out of city excursions- shoveled sidewalks being a nice perk of big city living.  Since I’m only buying one pair I look for something stylish that isn’t going to fall apart. So, I splurge on my Blundstones without any guilt about dusty forgotten ‘cute but man do these pinch my toes’ boots hiding in the back of my closet.

With the days getting cooler and my Blundstone’s soles looking rather sad after five years, it was time to scout out a new pair. I brought my toddler along on the shopping trip to get him his first pair of Blundstones or as they’re adorably called Blunnies.

Up till now I’ve gone the second-hand route for kids footwear but I’ve been finding it hit and miss on the shoe condition presumably because at this stage the shoes are getting more wear before being outgrown. At over $100 I’m really hoping that we will get a few seasons out of the Blunnies- fall, winter and next spring. I also steered clear of the army motif and bought a style that will work well for my daughter to wear as a hand-me-down.  By the time she’s three, she might have something to say about overly “boy” clothes.


The Blunnies of course won’t get five years of wear like mine so is the investment worth it or should I have gotten something a little less durable? I’m thinking that at this point quality is worth it as both kids will be able to get a few seasons of super warmth and dryness from these and I expect to get a decent resale value down the line. And while I’m not too into dressing my kids like mini adults, these are just so darn cute.  Definitively worth it for the planet too, as I’m sure these are going to see a lot more happy feet before they see a landfill.


You Don’t Need a Change Table

Babies are such tiny things, but man do they come with a lot of stuff.  My outlook with baby number 1 was to go minimal and do without a change table. The dedicated piece of furniture for bum changing would only be needed for a short while and hog space in the small nursery. Instead I registered for a keekaroo peanut change pad and placed it on top of baby’s dresser.

We used that thing daily and I have only great things to say about the product except turns out we didn’t even need that.  Yep another $100 I could have put towards RESPs instead.

At 9 months Baby 2 has used the dresser top change set-up like maybe ten times. Mostly driven by the logistics of our toddler being in the nursery while baby room shares with us. We have only one tall dresser in the master so no space for a dresser top changing spot.

And I love it. We just use travel changing pads and I don’t know why I ever bothered carting baby #1 upstairs to the nursery for changes. Like seriously, why was I hiking upstairs ten times a day before?

Since baby spends most of her day downstairs, I converted part of the dining room buffet to store her diapering things and simply throw a change pad on the playmat as needed. In our bedroom we likewise just use a travel pad on the bed for changes.  Turns out using one less “essential” thing has made life much easier for me.



Energy Hog Arrives at the Minimalists

After 5 years of line drying almost everything with occasional trips to the laundromat we’ve finally caved and bought a dryer.  Part of our family’s minimalist journey is a recognition that more stuff is really not great for the environment. That couldn’t be more true than with the arrival of our first-ever dryer aka the energy hog.

Our first year in the home it seemed doable if unconventional in North America to not have a dryer. But two cloth-diapered babies later, I was starting to dread the idea of another winter of loading myself up with big blue Ikea bags full of towels, nappies and bedding while one handed pushing the double stroller to the laundromat.

I still hope to mostly hang dry and haven’t even bothered hooking the machine up three days post arrival but we’ll see how long we can resist the temptation to reduce our domestic workload. While the machine continues to sit idle for now, the babes are enjoying the arrival of the big cardboard box which so far has been a rocket ship, cave, ocean, fire hall, house and nap space (for both kids and hubby).