Becoming a Minimalist

The inside of my house looks tired and needs some sprucing up, so I decided to have it painted. My potential painter informed me that I should move the treasures that I have collected through the years and it suddenly hit me that I should become a minimalist, a term I had never heard of until two years ago when my kids accused me of being in serious danger of turning into the opposite: a hoarder. Tom and I lived in a half dozen states and seven Idaho counties and we visited three or four dozen countries. I made sure to have a memento of each and every pleasant memory we made in all of those places.

Looking around, I see that I have three stumbling blocks to becoming a minimalist: books, dishes, and thimbles. We always loved books, reading, seeing, smelling, and touching them, so I have three large bookcases filled with books that we read and toted all over the country. Some are ancient, meaning Cicero and Plutarch era, some are not so old, meaning Tom Clancy and John Grisham, but only a few are younger than those because I now read on Kindle and Audible, which weigh a lot less than a bag of books. Not only are they heavy to move but how do I decide which are the dearest, and where do I send the undear ones? Library, one of the charities, or to the trash heap (for those that are especially un-dear and ragged beyond any hope of repair). And I need boxes to put them in. Note to self: Add a trip to Costco to my to-do list.

Thanks to my mother, the Field Marshall, I have seven sets of dishes and they are all lovely, probably were expensive, but what do I do with them? I have so many that I could avoid washing dishes for a year, but the pile of dirty dishes would be tall, and unwelcome small gray animals might creep into my house to dine. I can’t imagine why my kids don’t want these dishes…they are perfectly good, almost new, meaning I have seldom, if ever, used them. On the plus side, if I get rid of them all, I can eat out all the time. I figure I can keep one set, but which set?

Problem number three: I have collected thimbles from all our travels (smaller, cheaper, and easier than T-shirts). They number three hundred, and I house them in special “thimble cases” displayed beautifully on my walls. I don’t want to get rid of them because they represent our travels together and the fun we had trying to speak a dozen different languages and figure out what nudillos de cerdo, the daily specialty of the house was, only to find out it was pork knuckles.

I checked on the Internet with Dr. Google to see the rules of becoming a minimalist and luckily there are guidelines, although, sadly, I found nothing about thimble collections. Does that mean I get to keep them? When I touch them, they do bring me joy. One happy discovery was that I don’t have to do it overnight, I can take up to ten years! So, a few calculations reveal that if I throw one thing away every day for ten years, that would be over three thousand things. A minimalist champion in the making!

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