Sunday, January 03, 2021

Minimalism - Mementos

I was in my childhood home for the holidays this past week.  My Dad was in the hospital and my primary purpose was to support him, my Mom and my sisters who flew in from around the country.

As an aside, my sisters and I spent some time cleaning and purging the house of our childhood toys, school projects and mementos that accumulate from when we moved their in 1980 to when my youngest sister moved out in 1998.  I really enjoyed going through board games, posters and a variety of books.  I found all kinds of mementos including school awards and souvenirs from various trips.

We took (3) carloads of books and household goods to Goodwill and this was after my sisters did a very thorough clean and donation effort over Thanksgiving.

I took an old suitcase home filled with a few books, clothes and household good from my parents house.

The one thing we started to do, but did not finish was sorting through VHS tapes.  While it would be relatively easy to discard movies (English and Hindi) and television recordings, I would like to digitize home movies.  It seems like I could crank through this with a $30 USB Video Grabber along with my PC.  Granted reviewing a tape would take from 10-60 minutes depending on what was on it, capturing video would take as much time and uploading, slight editing and distributing would take another 30-60 minutes.  At the rate of one per week, I would finish in a little over a year.  I could ship them via media mail or just grab a suitcase full on my next trip.

When I look at what did occupy my childhood home, it was an a lot of nice furniture (at times too much for the room), pictures (way too many for a given surface), and decorative items.  The decorative items included items from department stores along with items purchased during travels around the world.  There was not a lot of clothing.  My Dad does have a lot of books and my Mom has a fondness for household goods that she often finds on sale with the intention of giving them to someone.  I do not know about you, but my sheet sets can last decades.  They also have a surprising number of suitcases (many with the tags still on).

The question I was forced to consider is why I hold onto so much stuff and whether or not it was time to pare our household goods.

Despite being very materialistic, I could part with large swathes of items without a lot of regret.  I could part with CDs and stereo equipment and not be too put out.  I could get rid of my back-up skis and golf clubs.  I could get rid of a lot of kitchen items.  I think the important thing is to just start.  If I happen to donate something I need in the future, I could borrow it or purchase at Goodwill or purchase new.

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