In the beginning, let me define my Minimal Minimalist:
Minimal Minimalist, (abbrev. MM): a person that would like to move towards the minimalist direction using baby steps, and has too much of a lot of things, or things that are no longer requisite to their lifestyle or livelihood, and need to be downsized (eliminated).
I fit that definition, my definition, and currently live in a 4,800 sq. ft. home with a three car garage and an attic and crawl space, and it is filled with 6 lifetimes (our selves and our now adult children) of things that were once needed or wanted, and some still are, but a lot are not. Stuff, all useful at one time, or still useful if you want to spend time with that particular thing, like my table saw, hopefully, one of the first larger things I actually “downsize.” But let me back up to last weekend…
At noon last Saturday, I was finished packing up my SUV and headed back home from my first flea market in thirty-some years. Months earlier I was putzing though the garage and had this notion that there was too much stuff, everywhere, and that was one of the things I liked most about our second home at the beach, a 2 bed/2 bath lower unit in a duplex in Florida. Life takes on a simpler set of requirements there, due to space and lifestyle. And we’ve been spending more time there and it is now nice, and somewhat sparse considering our “family” homes over the years; so sparse of many things, with just the right things. But let me back up to July 8…
We were in Dodge City, KS, and I had the opportunity to chill while the grandkids were napping, and I watched the Minimalists’ movie and thought about how much downsizing would benefit me. An adult lifetime of 40 years leads to a lot of stuff if you followed the old school American Dream of a house and a yard, etc., and keeping up with the Jonse’s, and keeping up with technology and what your millennial children need, all the time, and travel soccer (insert your kid’s sport). I’m all for a more simple, back to the pre-kid lifestyle that included many fewer encumbrances directly related to the dream, relative to things that occupy space and caring about and for those things.
Returning to our home after a super visit to the mid-west and drinking a number of home brews at either the Brewery or the Distillery, just up/across the street from each other in downtown Dodge City, I started poking around the garage and put together a SUV load of stuff that fit the downsizing bill.
Normally, we just take everything to the GoodWill, but decided to give the flea market a try, before the GoodWill or the dump; quite frankly, some of the stuff in our garage is absolute rubbish, but one man’s trash…
I spent probably 6 hours in total and $10 for the flea market outside table spot, and put a bunch of stuff out for sale. An old trombone went first, then a huge rolling pin, then a fan, and a motorcycle helmet, and in the end, I’d made a whopping $37. For sure, I’d set up in the wrong part of the market, in between a bunch of sport shoe, warm-up gear, Nike and Gucci knock off vendors, so, not the junk and decorative objects row, at all. After 5 hours of being there, I had to get home, so that was that and I dropped half of what remained at the GoodWill on my way, and threw another half of what remained in the trash can, and now only have a quarter of an SUV load left to manage – success!
The flea market adventure reminded me of days when my upstairs neighbor, Jomo, and I would have yard sales on our 6 by 6 square foot stoop out front of 2609 E Grace Street in Richmond’s Church Hill. We would sit out front on the steps with three or four things to start, and sell enough to buy a six-pack at the store on the southwest corner of Broad St. and 27th, and we’d hang out selling stuff till we’d gotten right for the afternoon, and head off into the sunset, sort of.
Jumping to the present, my next goal is to become the former owner of a pair of shop tools; a twelve inch table saw, and a drill press, both made by a company in Los Angeles, with parts out of Mexico. I wanted a pair of real machines, and found this company called LOBO that makes all kinds of automated saws and tools, and at the time, I thought I had a good use for them. Not really… Over the years, I’ve made a few things using both tools, and several racks for handbags, as the women in my life seem to have as many handbags as I do things with wheels, so I guess there is a balance, but I could have had most of those projects cut and drilled at a millwork and still paid less than just the cost of the blades on the saw (maybe I underestimate, but probably not by much).
More to come soon on how this MM objective is working for me, and if you are near the Triad area of North Carolina, and need a pair of shop tools, write me at Frank@lifecraftmedia.com.