Here’s where I’m at now: In my quest to become more minimal and efficient, I’ve actually spent plenty of money.
I bought a new desk–one that uses its space much more efficiently than my old one. The old one had a drawer underneath that took up 3/4 of the underside, which meant that 3/4 of the desk on top was just there to, like, store extra stuff. I bought a table from IKEA that is just a few inches longer, a few inches deeper, and has no drawers underneath–this allows me to use one side of the desk for activities related to my computer monitor (i.e. video games and extra laptop screen), and the other side is more bare and used for writing, either on my AlphaSmart or in a notebook. I can also use it as a nice, clean station for reading or studying Japanese. The table height is adjustable, but I keep it at the lowest setting–this gives my chair some more authority so that when I’m writing or typing, I can jack it up high enough to sit with better posture. The old desk was always just a bit too high and made writing for extended periods of time feel awkward and uncomfortable.
On the other hand, flat and open surfaces are an awfully convenient location to put shit on, so now I have just a few too many things on my desk to deal with. Some of them functional, some sentimental, some that I know I’m going to give away to someone else when I’m done using them, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s still there. I’ll figure something out in time, though. The drawers underneath my old desk were full of things that I thought were completely necessary, but a little bit of time helped me figure out what to do with that, too. I thought up the solution while chatting with my roommate: If you break down the container, then all of the shit inside has to be dealt with really soon unless you want shit all over your floor! So I spiked my drawers into the driveway, broke em down, and put them in the garbage bin. Now that the contents were out in the open, disposing more than half of them was easy.
The other big update (read: -$$$) is that I bought a Japanese style futon. I’m required to emphasize “Japanese” futon because most folk in America assume a futon is a crappy mattress that folds out of a couch and becomes horribly uncomfortable over time. The futon I bought is an airy mattress futon I ordered from Iris Ohyama over eBay, and I’m really satisfied with it so far. I kept my old mattress and box spring propped against the side of the wall while I tested out the new futon, just in case I changed my mind and wanted to go back to the mattress. I went two nights with the futon and immediately gave my mattress and box spring to my roommate (whose current living accommodations seriously needed my mattress), and I don’t have any regrets so far. I’m having a much easier time getting to sleeping on my back (something I’ve always wanted to do to help correct my posture), I wake up feeling better rested, and the convenience of the tri-fold is king. As I explained to a coworker today, my decision to sleep on the floor was based more on convenience than any “little known science facts” about how sleeping on the ground is probably actually better for you than on a mattress. The convenience of sleeping on the floor on a foldable, light mattress, one that can be moved and stored with ease, had always been the attraction for me–that it might be better for sleeping on than a mattress was a positive after-the-matter fact, a perk that could only further justify my decision.
Aside from the shit on my desk, another challenge still here is my closet. Right now, it’s still housing my desktop PC, which I’m having a hard time letting go of. It’s something that if I needed to keep, I could make room for, but if I can get rid of, I will, because it’s a dust trap and complete mess of cables and wires. If anything, I should probably just upgrade my Chromebook to a laptop with an actual OS on it. That would make it a bit more reliable for work and well-rounded as a computing device. That’s just another thing’ll have to sit on until a solution arises.