My Memorabilia Bin

Ever since I left for college 25 years ago I’ve had this bin:

When I got ready to leave for college, my mother filled it mostly with childhood toys, as the label says. I had a second, smaller green one with other memorabilia. She hung onto it for over a decade as I lived in tiny dorms, then tiny campus apartments with four roommates, then a Back Bay studio approximately the size of most peoples’ walk-in closets.

When I finally bought my own place in Upstate New York (an absolutely adorable little two-story three-bedroom, she and her husband helped me moved (I didn’t even own a car, because Boston). When she arrived at said tiny apartment, she had brought the two bins with her, completely understandable as I now quite literally had more living space than her.

Over the next 15 years, I did manage to whittle it down to just the larger blue bin – took some stuff out, and added some more memorabilia as an adult.

As mentioned in my intro, when it came time to sell my house and move across the country to Colorado, I was ruthless with selling and donating everything, including all my furniture except my desk, chair, and office bookcase. However, the month previous to closing was quite insane and where I ran out of time to declutter was my blue bin, so right onto the little U-Haul (their smallest truck) it went, untouched. It stayed packed away in the garage of our Boulder townhouse for another nine months, and then was shoved into the garage of our new home.

Six months later, I asked Karl to drag it out of storage, put it in the middle of my office, and opened it. I was immediately hit with so many memories and quickly remembered why I never really decluttered it. It’s so true that it’s the toughest category!

So this week I’ve been veeeeeeeeeery slowly discarding items from it here and there as part of the Mins Game, but it is really difficult to let go. I’ve heard wonderful tips such as taking photos, or writing about the memory the item is attached to, or even using it one last time, but…well, this is going to be a struggle.

I really would like to get it down to just a small number of the most important things. Any ideas? Please?

Love and Peace,

Veronica

My Story

Hi there! I’m Veronica, a.k.a. The Minimalist Hobbit (or, attempting to be, but we’ll get to that). I’m in my mid-40’s and live with my wonderful partner of 15 years in the Colorado Rockies, where we just bought a house last year and currently work remotely in the IT industry.

So why am I starting this, or in this case, restarting?

I started dabbling in minimalism about ten years ago when “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” came out. After living in tiny places in downtown Boston for years, I bought my first house – a cute little three-bedroom way larger than any space I had lived in before. Although I had moved with all my possessions (including furniture) fitting into U-Haul’s smallest van and my stepfather’s minivan, I quickly filled up the new space with way more than I had ever owned in my life. The breaking point for me was my office closet – a large double closet literally overflowing with stuff of all types that would fall out when you opened the doors.

I started decluttering my piles of shoes, clothes, books, etc. I did two or three KonMari rounds over the proceeding years, a Declutter 1000 Things Challenge, and countless rounds of the Mins Game. These all helped a lot to reduce my belongings to a less-overwhelming number although I definitely still had way more than I needed. The final push came in 2019 when my partner and I sold or gave away about 90% of tour possessions including all furniture in his five-bedroom house and my three-bedroom one so we could fit into a small two-bedroom furnished townhouse across the country in Boulder. It was at this point that I was finally back down to what I felt like was a manageable amount of possessions.

Shortly after moving, however, I discovered shopping in a city for the first time in 15 years. Specifically, Boulder”s amazing consignment stores. My wardrobe, which had been pared down to almost nothing, quickly tripled in size. Nine months later, we bought a house in the mountains that was much bigger than the Boulder townhouse and purchasing continued (Hello, 2020 stress!). Overwhelm has now hit hard – not just in my possessions, but also with work stress, health issues (some a direct result of stress), and pouring money into our fixer-upper.

So now I’m on a mission to simplify – not just my stuff, but every other part of my life as well. To kick off things and start to try to lower my stress levels I’m starting off a 30 day challenge, which I will talk about in my next blog!

Peace and Love,

Veronica