I’m reading (& loving!) Everything That Remains by The Minimalists. I’ve been trying to minimize my life since the beginning of last year. I did a big clean out last year and I’m doing another pass this year. As I read The Minimalists’ new book, I felt the urge to clean out my glove compartment, use up perfumes that only have a few drops left in the bottle, and get rid of things I don’t actually use anymore.
I really enjoyed reading about Ryan Nicodemus’ experience embracing minimalism. He packed up his entire apartment as if he was moving and then for 21 days he only unpacked the things he needed. At the end of the 21 days, with few exceptions, he sold, donated, or threw away everything that was still in boxes.
I don’t think I would ever do something this extreme, but it made me more mindful of what I actually use on a day-to-day basis and what takes up space in my life and mainly collects dust. One of the things I started thinking about was my Star Trek autograph collection.
I love Star Trek. I’ve been a Trekkie for over 20 years. I’ve collected 46 autographs from various Star Trek actors from conventions, eBay, and sending requests for autographs directly from the actors. When I was in college, I put them in cheap frames on my dorm room wall but now they’re in plastic sleeves in a binder on a shelf. Some of my favorite autographed photos are DeForest Kelley (died in 1999), George Takei, Patrick Stewart, Wil Wheaton, Whoopi Goldberg, James Cromwell, and Mark Allen Shepherd (Morn from Deep Space Nine). Reading The Minimalists’ book made wonder what value these autographs add to my life. They sit on the shelf and I rarely look at them.
Last year, I started minimizing my Star Trek collection. I’ll admit I still have most of my Trek items I want to get rid of because it hasn’t been a priority to make an appointment with my comic store to see what they’re interested in buying. It’s important to me that my Trek items find new homes with fans who will enjoy them rather than donating them to a thrift store. I wonder if I should bring my autograph collection with me to see if they’d be interested in some of those too. Twenty-two of my autographs came with certificates of authenticity; I’m not sure how much the value drops without a certificate.
If I part with my collection, it wouldn’t be about the money. It would be about getting rid of things that add no value to my life. When the space around me is clean and uncluttered, I feel more relaxed and it’s easier to focus.