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Investing in Lighting Did Great Things for My Mental and Physical Health

Controlling lighting is an extremely powerful force on your daily life satisfaction

Audio Companion

Recording 20230228170107

Written Piece

Controlling lighting is an extremely powerful force on your daily life satisfaction.

Used correctly it can be calming, or energy building.

Used incorrectly, it is an oppressive pressure on the eyes and the mind.

Yellow Lights

In my bedroom, I use soft yellow Edison bulbs. They're warm enough to not cause stress, but powerful enough to light up an entire room.

White light is best for offices during the day (looking at you, pandemic years) or overcast days when energy is hard to summon.

I keep both around the house depending on the weather forecast and my emotional state.

Also, Invest in Darkness

Equally important is to invest in a good set of blackout curtains or blinds (check out Rolladens if you want to go hard). Getting a full night of sleep is critical, and light seeping through curtains is an easy recipe for poor sleep. is a reader-supported published Zettelkasten. Both free and paid subscriptions are available. If you want to support my work, the best way is by taking out a paid subscription.

Light Mode And Dark Mode on Websites

I generally clowned on developers putting so much into building dark modes instead of critical features that prevent their apps from working, until I was working on this site on a red eye flight. The whites were blinding and the websites/apps that had dark mode were comforting.

I added dark mode literally that flight using this tutorial.[1]

Consider me a convert!

  1. Authors Note 2023-02-28 I have since moved to Ghost Headline and have not uploaded a new dark mode lol

Buy Items You Have a Disposal Plan for

Halving requirements is the same as doubling capacity.
- Nigel Calder

Whenever I buy something new, I try to ask myself how hard it will be to rid myself of the item. This helps decrease the blow of moving substantially and causes you to take better care of your items with the intent to sell or donate them to someone else.

Middle Class American Clutter

Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Of the two, discarding must come first. (Location 392)
To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. (Location 738)

After living the urban lifestyle where a minimalist lifestyle is forced on people due to lack of storage space, coming back to the clutter of rural middle American homes gives a particular anxious ringing in my eardrums.

For some reason that isn't common literally anywhere else in the world as far as I've seen, lower-middle and middle-middle class Americans are obsessed with keeping their houses filled with junk. Core utility items in the house like stoves, laundry rooms and bathrooms fall into neglect as the counters and storage spaces overflow with expired useless trash.

In fact, this clutter is so pervasive that anthropologists have studied the pattern of cluttered American homes.

Repeated experiences like these teach us that if we take action we will be able to obtain the necessary information when we need it. Life becomes far easier once you know that things will still work out even if you are lacking something. (Location 2027)

A lot of these middle class homes are driven by scarcity -- this feeling of stockpiling "in case". But indeed, the stockpiling always backfires, and the stuff begins the process of owning its owner.

The line between hoarding and owning is crossed when clutter becomes dirty. When animals die in the corners of home, when a smell begins to waft through the air, when an electrical fire quickly spirals out of control by catching other items ablaze.

Every item in the line of sight is another item for the brain to process. Is this out of place? What should I do with it? Where does it belong?

When buying items, I follow a simple rule: how hard will it be to get rid of this? (202212160150) -- whether through re-selling, donation, or disposal.

Much like retirement (202212212242), embracing the change of life keeps us vibrant. By burying ourselves in komono (miscellany), we begin to atrophy, to shrivel under the weight of uselessness.

…had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwanted obstacles around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved, the things I wanted to keep. (Location 515)

The opposite is also true. Throwing items out is a vehicle to worship the items that you enjoy.

Luckily, my generation (millennials) pride ourselves on downsizing items. We see the folly in keeping things and stuff around as a salve for mental illness, and choose to pursue owning items that we love and not buying items we don't need in the first place. The wealthier among us even buy the highest quality versions of the things we love, knowing that they have a track record of being loved and offering a sense of pride.

Ruthlessly hold on to items that bring you joy, and apply just as much ruthlessness to removing items that have overstayed their welcome.

I remember reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up on a plane and almost tearing up. The items humans own are deeply integral to our self conception and hoarding trash items because we have a bias towards loss means that we have a low perception of ourselves.

The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it. (Location 1022)
In essence, tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in. (Location 2062)

The Kitchen is the Gravitational Well of the Home

The same items (tables, sinks, ovens, fridges) live different lives in different climates and cultures.

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Notes On 'Feng Shui Does Makes Sense! The Basis of How to Plan Your Home for Comfort and Practicality'

think of moving through the house as circulation, certain areas are heavily used


think of the arteries of your home (the kitchen is the gravitational well of the home) and try to keep it open


consider the well trodden paths and the utility of the spaces you are linking by furniture use


don't want to put study room in bedroom if possible, but if you have a small space place it facing away from the bed

Feng Shui for WFH

Use Feng Shui to create a workspace in a small space and separate it into different tasks.

Many remote workers, especially those living in cities, have been working in shared spaces with roommates or family members and working without desks.

Important to use Feng Shui[1] to separate a small space into tasks

Similar: Notes On 'Feng Shui Does Makes Sense! The Basis of How to Plan Your Home for Comfort and Practicality' - 202301032152

Clever: Money as an Indicator of Value - 202301051900

Chaotic: The Value of a Good Lie - 202301082330

Wallpaper in the 1960's Was a Crime
that wallpaper is insane Screenshot 2023-01-13 00-42-28.png