Tuesday 23 March 2021

A List of Things

I love minimalism when it means not having a lot of stuff. (I'm not so keen, I seem to recall, on minimalist art.) When B.A. was terribly sick four years ago, I read Marie Kondo's book and got to work throwing away possessions that did not "spark joy." B.A.'s CD collection did not spark joy, but as an act of wifely loyalty, I did not throw it away but instead filed it in shoe boxes in alphabetical order. I think I won an invisible Olympic Medal for Wifedom that day. 

Yesterday I clicked on Early Retirement Extreme (a minimalist's feast) to see which post had been recycled that day, and it was one about owning only 100 things. As the charity shops have been closed for months, and I missed the window they were open, our closets and my desk are an utter mess. Perhaps that's why I suddenly felt so amused and began to scribble a list of all the things I used that day. 

If you enjoy lists, you're welcome to read the list, minus the food. I don't think food should count as a possession, even though naturally it is good to have around. 

1. bathrobe
2. clock
3. kettle
4. French press
5. favourite mug
6. computer
7. computer remote keyboard (because of the state of the computer)
8. wooden board
9. big glass bowl (for dough)
10. wooden board (for kneading)
11. pen
12. paper
13. hand soap
14. hand towel
15. wellness journal
16. cereal bowl
17. spoon
18. kitchen scales 
19. kitchen sponge
20. water glass
21. bread tin
22. plastic wrap
23. bath towel
24. table
25. exercise clothes
26. cooling rack for bread
27. exercise bike
28. oven thermometer
29. Elizabeth David's bread book
30. bread knife
31. dinner knife
32. computer remote speaker (because of the st. of the comp.)
33. mobile phone
34. portable phone charger (Thank you, Nulli!)
35. day clothes
36. house phone (for remote Italian class)
37. Italian dictionary
38. Italian notebook
39. Carmelite brown scapular
40. pencil crayons
41. mobile phone cable 
42. remote speaker cable
43. dinner bowl
44. spoon
45. fork
46. chair
47. washing machine
48. oven with stove
49. laundry detergent
50. silver necklace with 2 pendants, one Scottish, one Polish
51. spectacles (Getting basic here.)
52. pack of playing cards
53. pair of dumb bells 
54. measuring spoons
55. liquid measuring jug
56. smaller glass bowl
57. pot with lid
58. 1.5 pint casserole dish
59. colander
60. tin opener
61. fridge with freezer
62. dishtowel
63. dishmatic (dish scrubber with tube of dishwashing liquid attached)
64.  knife for chopping vegetables
65. nightclothes
66. IKEA bag for laundry
67. toothbrush
68. sleep mask
69. pillow
70. bed with duvet, sheet, and blanket
71. hot water bottle
72. recycled squirt bottle/plant mist-er
73. spider plant
74. (forgot, although not at the time) Pears soap

So that's about it, short of the radiator, the kitchen counter, and the flat itself. I didn't list shoes because unfortunately I didn't go outside yesterday. Instead I read Polish, baked bread, had an Italian class over the phone, did my job over the computer, washed a load of laundry, ate a delicious Lenten dinner cooked by B.A., played whist, and then made a tuna casserole to put in the fridge. The gas men have come this morning and turned off the gas so that they may replace pipes without fear, so I had to prepare tonight's supper in advance. (The stove is gas, but the oven is electric.)

I enjoyed writing my list, so if you need a lift, you may get one from doing the same thing. Perhaps a daily practise of object-listing will lead to emptier, tidier homes across the decadent west. My chances of having a truly Japanese-style minimalist home are, however, zero, as Benedict Ambrose has a fatal lust for chairs, and if he were rich, he would collect nice furniture, first editions, and paintings.  

And I would hire a daily cleaner.

Time to read the next exciting page of Mulieris Dignitatem po polsku. I have never appreciated to this extent how repetitive it is. "Na obraz i podobieĊ„stwo Boga" (in the image and likeness of God) is now stamped permanently on my brain. 


  1. I think "remote speaker cable" can be safely grouped with "remote speaker." It's not like you're going to use kitchen string...

  2. How does minimalism work in terms of gifts you receive on your birthday, Christmas, and other holidays? I can't tell you the amount of times I've been given stuff I don't want or need. You don't want to come off as rude, picky, or ungrateful.

    My family and I have fought over what they think I should like. Mom will tell me to inform her if I desire to take anything taken back, then get upset at what I choose. She once berated me for never getting around to using a certain birthday gift.

    I think I'm given far too many gifts during Christmas. One year I calculated the amount,including from my stockings from mom and Grandma. The total was 40! A significant percentage of those presents were undesirable. Boy do I sound spoiled! I appreciate their efforts, but I don't like them wasting their money and time on things I won't use or enjoy.

    I struggle with even coming up with ideas for people to get me. I now include a list of things I don't want. Last Christmas my Grandma kept pressuring me for even more suggestions. Honesty, the less presents the happier I am. They don't really care.