Minimalism looks different to everybody because we all live different lives. I happen to have more than one yoga mat. Even one mat might be too many for someone else who doesn’t do much yoga. For me, as a yoga practitioner and teacher, I can sort of justify having more than one. Someone else may find tremendous value from a comic book collection or other things that I would not find valuable at all. There is no universal list of things we should have or not have, no matter how many people might try and tell us otherwise.
If I haven’t lost you already, here’s where I might lose some of you. You’re no doubt already familiar with my handbag addiction. I’m going to be a little vulnerable here and tell you that, while I consider myself a minimalist, I do maintain a few collections. Lest you thought I was a perfect minimalist with a nearly empty house, I am here to remind you how imperfect I am. And that’s OK. I’m fairly new to minimalism and, in the last 3-6 months I’ve been purging the excess from my life, I’ve gotten rid of so much. Some old habits die hard, though, and I can’t bear to minimize these collections just yet. I am a work in progress, like we all are. The decluttering I’ve already done has made me feel so much freer and lighter and that’s why I chose to challenge myself with a year of buying nothing. The easiest way to control clutter is to stop buying more of it.
I have a collection of crystals, used mostly decoratively (sometimes, I use them to aid my meditation practice, but not often). My crystal collection adds beauty to my personal space. I have a large rose quartz stone and a large aquamarine heart that I use as paperweights in my home office.
Also on my desk in my home office is a plastic succulent and a collection of religious statues and crystals — lapis lazuli and fluorite obelisks, and a clear quartz pyramid. This adds beauty, but also some tranquility to this area. I work from home occasionally and this is a sort of sanctuary. If you think this is cluttered, you should have seen it before!!!
A clear quartz cluster on top of the notepad on my desk. I’ll be the first to admit, I might have gone a little overboard with the crystals. But, wait–there’s more!
I keep a selenite tower on top of my alarm clock next to my bed, along with a group of small animal statues. Admittedly, not the most minimalist bedside table.
A closeup of the bowl of small crystals I have near my bed. My collection includes amethyst, carnelian, sunstone, more rose quartz, black tourmaline, labradorite, bloodstone and citrine. For holidays, a local crystal shop I used to frequent will give out a free small stone, and several of these were free from that shop. They really sparkle and shine in the light. It may be a little thing, but they’re beautiful and they make me happy.
2. PIGGY BANKS
I have had the beautiful, handpainted piggy banks on the left since I was a kid. The one on the far right I just thought was cute and thought it would look good with the collection I already had. I know I could do with just one, but I actually do keep change in them, though…
I collect autographs–books, CDs, DVDs, it doesn’t matter. I am obviously a comedy nerd, (if you couldn’t tell by how much I talk about going to the comedy club) so many of these autographs are from my favorite comedians. Lots of musicians in the mix as well. Yes, everything pictured here is autographed.
When I was younger, I played the saxophone. I went to a concert of my favorite saxophone player, Mindi Abair, who I looked up to so much as a female role model in the male-dominated saxophone game. I happened to be performing at the same theater the next night in the teen talent show, playing my saxophone, which my companion excitedly told her. (I was about 14 and too star-struck to speak). She thought it was awesome and signed my CD: “To (my name) Keep rockin’ the sax, girl! ❤ Mindi Abair.” Many years later and it’s still one of my prized possessions.
4. POLITICAL PINS AND BUMPER STICKERS (not pictured)
This started in 2008, when I started getting lots of free Obama swag. Then, I ended up working on a political campaign and kept a few bumper stickers. Then, my husband’s uncle passed away and his sweet, lovely aunt heard I collected them and gifted me her late husband’s stash of buttons. I have quite a bit of political memorabilia, spanning time periods and the entire political spectrum.