The Minimalism Challenge – Days 27 & 28

I was tired last night and should have probably just gone to sleep but looking for superfluous stuff to get rid of has become a habit. I also want to see this challenge through now that I’m so close to the end. So I did what any aspiring minimalist would do: I looked under the bed and opened a junk drawer. What I found under the bed was basically a messenger bag worth 40,000 dollars. That’s about how much I paid for grad school and what I walked away with was a free messenger bag and a bunch of blue folders full of notes and hand out. I also got a diploma and a full time job out of it, so I suppose there was some return on my investment. But back to the class notes: Why do we keep things like that? Unless you’re continuing your academic career towards a doctorate degree you will most likely never look at any of it again. It will end up under your bed and you will forget that you even had it.

The junk drawer held a stack of cards given to us for our wedding. None of them were heartfelt or funny, and that’s okay. But there was simply no reason to hold on to them, or scan them, or read them again and then get rid of them. Don’t get me wrong, we are appreciative of the generous gifts but even more appreciative of the people who genuinely root for us and want us to be happy. Speaking of the wedding: there was also an empty ring box in the junk drawer. I proposed to my wife but I never did the getting down on one knee and opening the box like they do on the Bachelor. If you really get technical, I didn’t propose myself, our dog did. I put a cute custom shirt on her and attached the ring to it with a safety pin. Julie couldn’t say no to puppy eyes. I guess the point of the story is that the box holds no meaning even though it once held the ring that was part of an incredibly important moment in my life. The same goes for the maps, free tourist guides, and postcards that were never sent from our honeymoon on Kauai, the Hawaiian adventure island. I can pull up the memories from that amazing trips at any moment. The 17 mile kayak tour along the breathtaking Napali coast, the almost getting lost in the dark on a hiking trail, the helicopter ride, the snorkeling, the beautiful beaches, sunsets, romantic dinners, and roadside fruit stands. I don’t need any of the marketing materials in our junk drawer to trigger those memories.

28 days and 406 items down. 2 days and 59 items to go. I’ll try to make them count and maybe revisit those things that I’ve held in my hands and then put back into the closet over the past 4 weeks. Or maybe I will find some more socks and loveless cards.

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