During my down time for about a week, I sorted my photos, sent them through my scanner, and saved them to my hard drive. I kept the prints of the ones that were the most important to me and I threw out the rest. I have less than a shoebox of photos left.
I also threw out all my negatives. I kept all of them for years, taking comfort in the fact that I could reproduce an image if necessary. But really, what’s the likelihood that I’m going to want a photo that I only have a negative of and that I’ll remember that I have a negative of it? They all got tossed.
Scanning all my photos was a fun trip down memory lane. Here are some of the highlights.
It took over a year to fully go through with it, but I finally minimized my Star Trek collection.Â I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I saw my first episode of The Next Generation in 1992. Throughout high school and college I bought a ton of Star Trek memorabilia. I got so much Trek stuff from the Star Trek online store and eBay. One of my goals was to get an autographed 8×10 from every regular cast member.
And then I became a minimalist, or at least an aspiring one.
As I started my minimalism project last year, I realized that most of my Star Trek collection was collecting dust, sitting on shelves, or worse, sitting in boxes where I didn’t even see it. Â I slowly started getting rid of my Star Trek collection, but I didn’t want it to go to a thrift store. It was important to me that these items would end up in the hands of fans who will enjoy them as much as I did. I also didn’t want to put a ton of energy into getting rid of my collection, which would have been required had I put each item up on eBay.
My Star Trek Pez dispenser set and Uno game went to a local charity auction and were sold – hopefully to a fan. But the rest of the items I was thinking of parting with just sat for about a year. It just wasn’t a priority to find a local shop that buys sci-fi memorabilia and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get rid of my Star Trek autograph collection. I wasn’t a fan who put their autographs on the wall – at least I haven’t for years. They were in protective sleeves in a binder where I almost never looked at them.
ReadingÂ Everything That RemainsÂ byÂ The Minimalists reminded me that my autograph collection does not add any value to my life sitting in a binder on a shelf. So a few weeks ago, in a fit of minimalist motivation, I got rid of most of my collection at the Collectors Marketplace. They took my Star Trek autograph collection, Klingon dagger, Star Trek mini lunch box, assorted pins, my Captain’s uniform that is too big for me, my Star Trek Encyclopedia, and a few other things. Why did I even have the Star Trek Encyclopedia? I am a walking Star Trek encyclopedia!
The shop got a smoking deal on my collection. I didn’t put that much effort into the negotiation because I cared more about getting rid of this stuff than the price. When I told the shopkeeper that I was becoming a minimalist, he told me not to say that too loudly in the store because â€œWe want people to be hoarders.â€ When he asked me if I’m still a Star Trek fan, and I told him I still love Star Trek, but I don’t need all this stuff to tell me that I love it. More stuff does not equal more love.
Will I ever by Star Trek gear again? Probably. But I will be very selective about it and get things that are high quality and do something to improve my life. This is the first time in a long time that I don’t have a Starfleet uniform in my closet (yes, it’s a uniform, not a costume) so I can foresee myself getting a high-end uniform someday.
When I started systematically cleaning out my life last year, I got rid of a lot of the obvious clutter in my life. Now I’m going back through my possessions and asking myself what truly adds value to my current life. In the last few weeks, I cleaned out my CDs.
Like a lot of people, I saved space in college by getting a CD binder and throwing out most of my jewel cases. I had a big binder – 26 pages, 8 CD slots per page – that was mostly filled with CDs I’ve acquired since high school. When I de-cluttered the house last year, I moved that binder from the top of the dresser into a drawer. Â I also had two smaller CD cases that I used when I traveled.
I suspect I haven’t purchased more than 10 CDs in the last 10 years. I certainly haven’t opened that binder since it went into a drawer over a year ago. I probably could have simply taken that binder and moved it to the pile of stuff to be donated to charity. But there was a voice in my head that was afraid that I might regret doing that and that there might be a song that hadn’t burned that I’d want to listen to later. (Because buying it on iTunes would be so expensive.) So I spent my downtime for the better part of a week going through my CD binder and burning CDs.
When I first got iTunes, I went through my CDs and burned the songs I loved and enjoyed off each album. Unfortunately, when I put the CD into my computer last week, it didn’t tell me which songs had been previously burned, so I had to re-burn everything if I didn’t want to check what songs I downloaded previously. I probably wasted a lot of time burning songs I’ll never listen to, but by the end of the process, all the albums I wanted were burned into my computer and I had no trepidation giving the originals away.
Burning a binder full of CDs takes a long time. I played a lot of solitaire during this process.
My CD binder and two travel cases have been reduced to one travel case that holds up to 48 CDs – and it’s not even full. I have a CD player in my car and there are handful of albums I rotate through it. I also kept a couple of podcasts that I’ve burned to CDs that aren’t available iTunes anymore and the backing tracks that came with sheet music books. Everything I’ve kept are albums I regularly listen to and expect to continue to listen to in the future.
Cleaning out my CDs allowed me to reclaim about half of a drawer. It doesn’t seem like much but every little bit of de-cluttering makes me feel that much more at peace.