The idea of minimalism is great–but it’s one thing to wax and wane poetically about owning a single bottle of shampoo–actually putting the principles of “less” into practice is another. Allow me to break down our weekend de-cluttering spree to illustrate.
Sunday, April 28 – 11:16am
I proudly declare the time has come to turn over my new minimalist leaf by announcing to Scott we will be spending the afternoon making over our living room. He rolls his eyes, suggesting we tackle our master bathroom first. Hesitantly, I agree.
Per the book’s instructions, we empty the entire contents of our bathroom into a separate space for analysis. The shower, the floor, and every single cabinet are completely emptied onto a few blankets in our bedroom.
I carefully read each step of the S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E process aloud as they relate to bathrooms. Scott rolls his eyes and begs me to “Just start organizing, already!”
I attempt to tackle step “M” (Module) of S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E. Scott explains that I’m being ridiculous — he’s been minimal for years– I should just do what he says instead of listening to some silly book!
I share that the ‘silly book’ cost ten dollars to download–I intend on getting every penny’s worth out of it. This involves following S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E to a tee.
Scott grows disgruntled and decides to boil the shower curtain liner in bleach while I move on to step “L”. (Limits.)
Scott discovers the 100+ toiletry samples from various hotels that I have finally chosen to discard. He takes it upon himself to throughly clean out every single one of them so they might be recycled. I argue that the water he’s wasting cancels out the eco-friendly benefits of recycling the bottles. Unfortunately, there’s no changing his mind at this point.
I move on to the final step (“E” for “Everything in its place”) of S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E. Scott is still washing out miniature shampoo bottles.
I give the toilet, sink and counter a good scrub down before placing the few items we have decided to keep in their respective locations. I ask Scott to help me clean the shower. He explains that he will….as soon as he’s done rinsing the remaining 43 miniature shampoo bottles.
The bathroom is officially finished! I coax Scott to take a look…but he’s still rinsing out those darn shampoo bottles.
I settle in with Jolie for a quick power nap. I think I’ve earned it after all that organizing!
Scott enters the bedroom, and accosts me for sleeping on the job. I explain that my work is done! He argues that we’re just getting started. Apparently, we still have to tackle the guest bathroom. I roll my eyes and explain that I can’t clear out the guest bedroom until he’s done using its sink to rinse out those stupid shampoo bottles. He agrees to move to the kitchen so I might start in on the de-cluttering.
After much nagging, I finally drag my limp body out of bed and repeat the S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E process in our guest bathroom.
Much to my dismay, I discover an additional 18 miniature shampoo bottles. (Scott is delighted.)
Finally complete the S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E process in the guest bathroom. Scott recycles all 187 miniature shampoo bottles with more excitement than a six-year-old child on Christmas morning.
I attempt to crawl back into bed and finish my power nap. Scott physically removes me from our beloved mattress, explaining we still have to tackle our linen closet. I may or may not throw a mini-tantrum while trying to convey that I had only planned on tackling one area of the apartment per day.
Experience a breakdown when Scott forces me to get rid of a plaster mold of my teeth our dentist in Seattle used to create my custom teeth bleaching trays.
After a hefty debate, Scott convinces me to toss out the plaster molds and the custom bleaching trays as I only use Crest Whitestrips, anyway. While I see he has a point, I’m still not a happy camper.
Tension mounts as Scott insists I donate Jolie’s prison uniform (complete with hat!) to charity. “I’m sure it will make some other chihuahua really happy.” he argues.
Scott discovers an additional 14 sample size shampoo bottles, at which point I immediately go BSC. (Bat S**** Crazy.) I dramatically run to the kitchen and make myself a tuna sandwich.
Scott scolds me for making the tuna sandwich…apparently we have two pounds of fresh, organic turkey meat that needed to be used up.
I wolf down my tuna sandwich as violently as possibly, explaining Scott can finish S.T.R.E.A.M.L.I.N.E.-ing the linen closet on his own.
I come to my senses and help finish the linen and entryway closet while Scott rinses out even more miniature shampoo bottles.
After all four spaces have been thoroughly minimized, Scott and I realize we desperately need to get out of the house. He declares he’s going to the gym for a swim. I decide to tag along (with a friend) and walk laps around the indoor track while he practices his butterfly stroke.
While briskly walking around the track, I give a slightly biased account of the events of the day. My friend and I both conclude that Scott is the most difficult person to live with in the entire world.
While driving home, I share this conclusion with Scott.
(I should probably mention that my friend is still in the backseat at this point.)
I’m going to skip the next four hours for the sake of brevity. (Not to mention my dignity.) Let’s just leave at this: things got ugly, it was pretty much all my fault, and Scott is nothing short of a saint.
We finally call it a night, and crawl into bed. Scott is the first to speak.
“You know…if you take away that almost getting divorced thing, we really got a lot done today.”
“Yeah,” I agree, “We make a pretty good team most of the time.”
“Just promise me you’re going to stop collecting those shampoo and conditioner bottles from every hotel we stay in, okay?”
“Done.” I giggle. “And I’m sorry I said you were difficult to live with. Honestly, I think we are both equally difficult in our own ways.”
“I actually think you’re a little bit worse,” he continued, “but I’m willing to let it slide if you stick to your hotel shampoo bottle promise.”
“Does this mean I get to keep Jolie’s prison uniform, after all?” I whisper.
He chose not to dignify that inquiry with a response.
(I think I’m going to take that as a ‘yes’?)