Confessions of an Incapable-Minimalist

When I began researching how to start a blog, my very first google search on the subject took me right to a blog entitled “How to Start a Successful Blog Today” which was on a site called “The Minimalists” by Joshua Field Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  I read what they had to say, several times…and it was very helpful…and inspiring and actually got me to right here.

BUT, I found myself getting absorbed, with an almost voyeuristic fascination, in their other writing which talked about this really nifty idea of living life with less stuff. These guys are spectacular writers, funny, compelling and passionate about the topic of minimalism and they got me kind of excited about the idea. One post talked about people who had whittled their possessions down to a very small number of items…one person had bravely taken it down to 28 things…and I thought to myself as I opened a drawer in my bathroom “they mean per DRAWER right? I could do THAT, 28 items per drawer…but do you count Q-tips as one item or 150?”

Deciding that a drawer cleanse might be too ambitious for a hoarder such as myself who wasn’t quite ready to get rid of the 50 fake Tinkerbell tattoos (saving for a special occasion) that were under the box of 150 Q-tips and behind the 27 mini bottles of  hotel shampoo from the last few months of overnight travel (to name just 227 of the over 1000 items in my top bathroom drawer) I eyeballed my giant purse sitting on the table in my office…


Yes…its a big, big purse, and has certainly begun to give me some shoulder pain, but in my defense, I am a mother of six and require a lot of emergency items…


For those of you who are unable to zoom in on this embarrassing picture…let me describe most of the FIFTY SIX ITEMS that I was able to narrow my purse’s contents down to…with, I will say, a great deal of angst…

First, yes, there is a purse inside the purse, for those ‘quick visits’ to the bar with friends. I don’t want to give the impression I am staying for three days…that can lead to trouble. So I keep the “little” purse on the top of the big purse for those kinds of times. In it I keep: keys, wallet, brush, lip gloss, powder for my always oily nose. See? Almost a normal little cute gal’s purse…save for my mother whom I carry with me where ever I go because I don’t think she had quite enough adventure when she was alive…just part of her though…in the small urn…the big urn was just too heavy and caused issues at the airport…

In the big purse I ‘narrowed’ it down to the following:

  • Giant bottle of water…I don’t normally keep this in my purse but I am on a 10 day cleanse (which if I live through I will tell you about someday). I am told it’s crucial to stay hydrated when you are cleansing.
  • Wine bottle opener..which I intend to use when I am done with my cleanse…it also makes a good weapon, but don’t take this to the airport
  • Bananagrams, for those tough times at work when I need a creative little four hour word game break
  • Magic Eight Ball, as with my mother, I never leave home with out it. It helps me make serious decisions quickly, like whether or not I should continue with the cleanse: “Ask Me Again Later”
  • 2 Powerbars (I ate one which is what brought me down to 56 items, whoop whoop! Oh wait! I’m on a cleanse. Shit!)
  • 1 Granola bar (this is actually Mitchel’s, he asked me to hold it for him 2 months ago and I am honoring this, still, at least until the Powerbars are gone)
  • Almonds (they are supposed to help burn off belly fat)
  • Two umbrellas (because it is rude to have an umbrella when your companion might not have one, plus I like to keep our two working umbrellas close to me because the kids broke all the other ones having sword fights, its a matter of rain survival)
  • Iphone car charger and my old Blackberry car charger, just in case someone I am riding in the car with has a Blackberry and needs a charge
  • You can’t see it very well but there is a Nerf Dart gun my kids gave me for my birthday. I like to keep this close in case I need to use force on difficult customers
  • Three packages of unopened Thank You cards I bought in January with the resolution to send out more thank yous…its August so there is still time
  • Avista Utility bill for my office: as soon as I pay it my contents will be down to 55!
  • Gloves…yes it’s August but well, sometimes there are freak hail storms in August…this is Spokane
  • In the mix of all this stuff are 21 pens…I need them all
  • Under the black little case (where I keep my female unmentionables and a small box of band aids-I am only counting this as one item because it is all in one case) peaks a pair of scissors: I put them in my purse when some kid of mine asked me (when we were at the LAKE) if I had scissors and I DID NOT and consequently felt like an unprepared and inadequate mother for not having them (though I never determined WHY someone would need scissors at the lake, it is best to not ask these things). But I figure if I can have the foresight to put three miniature bottles of booze in my purse, surely I can keep SCISSORS there…

So…yeah…I am in complete awe of people who are able to let go of material items. I find it admirable and quite frankly good for the world. Less is good… I think I will eat another Powerbar in support of the cause. Just sayin.


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