Simplify Your Life

During my Google research of slow living info this morning  I found the website simplify.de (unfortunately only German) by Werner Kuestenmacher, a protestant theologian in Bavaria, who started in 1990 as a freelance writer, cartoonist and speaker.

The cartoon with the seven-stage simplify pyramid reminded me a little bit of my own mess, so I immediately subscribed to the newsletter … and also ordered the book Simplify Your Life by Werner Kuestenmacher and Lothar J. Seiwert.

In the next few weeks I’ll tell you about my self-experiment with the implementation of the tips.  I will keep myself largely to the seven-stage simplify pyramid, but also include other sources, for example, The 7 Secrets of the turtle by Aljosha Long and Ronald Schweppe (unfortunately this book is only available in German), Cut the Clutter by Cynthia Ewer and others.

And now a brief description of the Simplify pyramid:

  • Level 1: Things
    Simplify things on your desk, in your wardrobe, in your apartment, in the garage, in your car – in that order and without separation between private and business utensils.
     
  • Level 2: Finances
    A difficult issue that is more difficult to manage than the chaos at home and in the office. We are talking about cash, account balances, debt, loans, savings, expenses and about mental blocks in dealing with money.
     
  • Level 3: Time
    Organizing the daily 24 hours, in order to get more meaningful free time. Time for your partner, children, friends, bosses, relatives, but also for the daily routines, hobbies, and especially for yourself, time to reflect, recharge your batteries, do nothing.
     
  • Level 4: Health
    Avoid diseases in the long run, achieve a healthy interaction between body and mind, and thus a healthy relationship with your own sexuality, eg. by losing weight, healthy diet, relaxation exercises.
     
  • Level 5: Relationships
    Social relationships can be complicated and often lead to intrigues, disputes, jealousy, bullying. Therefore, it is important to become free for contacts that really enrich.
     
  • Level 6: Partnership
    A partnership does not necessarily exist between spouses or partners; this can also be special friends, relatives, or other important relationships or God for religiously oriented people.
     
  • Level 7: You yourself
    The top of the pyramid. The goal is the realization of your own idea of happiness and fulfillment, the meaning of life.
     

I am looking forward to the result and to your comments.

Literature:

Don’t toss it – repair it

Reparatur-Café

We live in a throwaway society. Unfortunately, one of our gadgets is broken and we consider whether it is worth to have it repaired. We quickly decide that a repair is more expensive than buying a new device.  And certainly the item ends up in the waste.  Often enough in household waste, although it is actually e-waste.  Admittedly for many repairs you need a certain expert knowledge and appropriate tools.

One solution for non-amateur crafters: why not ask your friends or neighbours.  And in return offer your expertise.  Sure you can find a bulletin board somewhere in your vicinity, e.g. in the supermarket.

Repair Café

Another positive trend are Repair-Cafés, originally from Holland – initiated by Martine Postma in 2007.  Usually they are organized by local economic agents, volunteers and repair experts; you can bring your defective items to fix them and – most of all – together with the experts.  You receive valuable tips and instructions for making it yourself.

The particular benefit of this project

  • waste prevention
  • environmental protection
  • sustainablility
  • learning
  • knowledge preservation
  • contacts
  • appreciation

The required tools and materials for the repair of furniture, appliances, clothing, toys and bicycles are largely available, e. g. carpentry tools, tools for electrical appliances, sewing accessories.  Having coffee, tea and cake you can now screw, solder, cut, sew.  You may also find interesting books about repair and home improvement on a reading table.  The chance of success is actually the greatest when you bring all the cables, accessory and operating instructions.

Locations

There are now Repair-Cafés in 15 countries worldwide, e. g. the Netherlands, Germany, France, USA, Australia.  Here you will find a list of cafés near you.  By the way, if you want to open your own Repair-Café, you receive a lot of support and information – and all at a very reasonable price.

What do you prefer? Repair it or toss it? Please tell me your experiences?