An Artist's Take: Collecting Trinkets is Oddly Satisfying.
Image via The Design Sponge
Over the last twelve years or so, I have accumulated quite the collection of odds and ends. As a self-proclaimed "minimalist" (or at least one who strives to some extent) I sometimes feel guilty about indulging in the collecting of antique trinkets, family memorabilia, and a few really top-notch wine bottles to decorate the tops of our cabinets.
Over the last three years, I have been a dedicated purger of all things in my closet and bedroom that I deem "unnecessary". Although I typically feel very accomplished and organized immediately following these material cleanses, I always experience no less than a dozen twinges of pain about six to eight months after the incident.
My judgement, for the most part, is spot on. If I haven't worn a blouse in over a year, or even if it just doesn't "spark joy" as Marie Kondo says, I put it in the donation bin. Most of the time, I can't even remember what I donated. Mission accomplished!
However, there are inevitably those few items which I miss profoundly after I donate them during the impulsive frenzy of simplifying my life. After a few years of making these serious errors, I am finally beginning to learn my lesson. I keep donation bags for an extended period of time before parting ways permanently. That way, I can rummage through for that prized pair of earrings that I was most certainly mad to abandon.
Some of the most precious treasures I own are complete, 100% nonsensical trinkets. I don't know why, my mom tells me that I have been obsessed with "little" things since I was a child, when I owned more Polly Pockets than I could count.
To be more specific, I offer a brief synopsis of the items in question, with some pictures below:
- A miniature Tibetan silver laughing Buddha statue.
- A never used miniature Dior perfume bottle (the scent I wore for my wedding).
- An antique pair of opera binoculars that my best friend from highschool gave me for my birthday one year.
- A vintage Olympus 35mm camera.
- A wooden carved Buddha statue.
- A faded bandana that belonged to my beautiful friend Grace Violet.
- A pair of vintage miniature cowbells.
- The bottle of Peach Lambec I drank during mine and Brian's first Thanksgiving together.
- A vintage Japanese teapot I found at a thrift shop in my home town.
- A heap of vintage watches that I inherited from my grandmother.
- And a stack of love letters between my husband and I from when we first started dating and dealt with long distance for a year and a half.
This list goes on, I am hesitant to admit. But, the thing is that I derive joy daily from these little guys. Even the watches I don't often add into my rotation, sometimes I just admire their beauty, wind them up and hold them to my ear to listen to the ancient mechanism still going strong. I love seeing my little Buddhas smiling next to my plant babies. These little pieces inspire me, and remind me of important life memories and beautiful people who once crossed my path.
In summation, minimalism is great and all...but being a collector is pretty fulfilling as well.