Tag Archives: minimalism

Minimalism

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My bike derailleur is on the fritz and I didn’t get around to fixing it on Wednesday so yesterdays trash run was in fact a walk. I conveniently found this walking stick early on in my stroll.

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On Gauthier and Gaspe I came across this picture (on wood) of Patrick Roy from his time with the Montreal Canadiens.

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I found this mishmash of stuff in a bag within one of the bins above. There was a bass tuner (I still have to test it but I’m optimistic that it’ll work), a little clock (working), a flashlight, several catholic medallions (in the ziplock bags), some museum moisture charts, an unused small canvas and a few other things. I took the charts and bass tuner and left the rest by a bixi station for others to find.

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I found these decorations in the alley adjacent to Parc. There were some really cute framed embroideries, a couple of Hellenic plates and two old souvenir plates of Montreal and Quebec City. I’ll probably keep a couple of the little embroidered birds, which are totally up my aesthetic alley.

On the way home I stopped by at Monastiraki for a talk by my friend Robert Wringham (the founder of the “New Escapologist” magazine) about the benefits of minimalism. The talk reminded me of my least favorite parts of this “job”: the accumulation of trash and how it clutters up my life and my brain. I try to save what I can and hold onto what I think might be valuable or good to give away. It kind of comes with the business that I end up with too much stuff.

What sucks about that is the constant inner turmoil about how best to make money from something and the fear that I’ll sell something valuable for a fraction of what it’s worth. This sort of circular thought pattern leads me to doing nothing at all a lot of the time and makes it hard to relax, which isn’t particularly fun or fulfilling and also takes away from my actual enjoyment of some of the beautiful things I find.

I don’t think I’m especially attached to money and possessions but I definitely still feel that sort of greed that drives you to get “your share;” that feeling that wants the most from the least amount of work possible. However, in the end I have enough to get by and enough to buy microbrewed beers instead of PBR and that’s fine by me. Attempting to get the maximum amount of profit for things will just drive me crazy, especially when I have so many little things to be contemplated.

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This is the sectioned off part of my room right now. You don’t even see what’s in the big red suitcase (full of knick knacks and costume jewelry) or the other suitcases for that matter. You also don’t see the “normal” part of my room, which is littered with the nicer, Etsy-able jewelry and other miscellanea.

I’m going to focus on hitting the garbage “reset” button because I’m sick of thinking about how much I could theoretically get for an unopened bottle of 1964 chianti. That’s not to say that I’ll get rid of the stuff I think I can get good money for, but I plan on cutting the cord on a lot of this stuff, leaving it out on the street for others to pick through or selling it for cheap at a yard sale.

I think ditching the excess will help clear my mind and make it easier to stay on top of the trash I may bring home in the future. Right now it’s just sort of overwhelming. I want to live by that William Morris quote: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

In other news I made a couple of sales in the last few days. I sold the old Silver Cross pram for 80$, some sports caps and stickers for 10, and an old Avon catalogue on Etsy for 4. I also sold a couple of things last night to the owner of Monastiraki for 4$ and bartered a watch for a selection of organic green tea. With this 98$ I’m up to 138$ for the month. Not too shabby considering I haven’t even got around to listing some of my more valuable stuff on Ebay / Etsy. Hopefully my upcoming yard sale (I may even do one today if my room-mate is interested in hanging / helping out) brings in some more profits as well.

I’ll likely be walking again for trash in the eastern Plateau unless someone lends me their bike. I hope to get to the bike co-op tomorrow to fix my ride.

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