Minimalist Challenge

Almost two months ago I watched this YouTube video by a favorite vlogger. Inspired by a movie that sadly I don’t have access to, he put everything he owned in storage. Everything: bed, toiletries, clothes, etc. Each day thereafter, he was allowed to take one thing out of storage each day for the next 30 days, and didn’t allow himself to buy anything either.

Now this guy lives in Japan, and decided his first object out of storage would be a kimono. It seemed to work for him just fine. Here in the US, while my employers accept (and encourage) a little bit of quirkiness, I think my showing up for work in a kimono might go beyond the pale. Same with not having brushed my teeth. I also can’t fit my bed and furniture in storage. So I decided to keep the following:

Bed, linens, and furniture

Basic toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo/conditioner, brush, washcloth and towel.

Clothes for a week at work and jeans and a shirt for the weekend

My electric tea kettle, mug, and coaster

My altar, but I pared this down to a Buddharupa, cloth, and background

Items for work (backpack, pen, pencil, notebook and work computer)

Books on the bookshelf (but I vowed not to pull them out and am currently rethinking them)

And of course, the cats and their toys. They did not sign up for this challenge!

And, although I hate to admit it, my phone, tablet, watch, and charger. I have put my laptop away, and am finding that I may not need it as much these days.

So since I started with all of these items, I waited 30 days before bringing anything else in. And what I found was that I was pretty much ok with those basics. After the 30 days, I did bring in watercolor painting supplies, some files, a cup to hold a pen and pencil and some of the paint brushes, a TENS unit (purchased), a scarf, headlamp, zipper thermometer, and I traded out some warmer weather clothes for cooler weather clothes. But I’m really enjoying having space in my closet, and even less stuff cluttered around. I have found that I need even less than I thought, although I’ve lived with much less for longer while traveling and did just fine.

But books…..Before moving here from the west coast, I had a fair amount of books. Many I let go of, some I put in storage, and some I brought with me. After being here a while, I’ve accumulated a few more. Some cannot be replaced digitally, some I’d rather not replace. But many have been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years and their pages haven’t seen daylight since they were read the first time. Could I sell them or give them to a library, and if I really feel the need to read them again, buy a digital copy? I’ve never been much of a collector, except for books. It’s so easy to think of them as old friends that one can’t turn away from. But what kind of friend insists you stay and then doesn’t talk to you? Why keep a book you may never read again? I don’t have answers just yet.

So anyway, there’s my challenge. Would you do it differently, or at all? If you did the extreme version, what would you bring back first?

Thanks for reading, and as always, be well and peaceful!