Minimalism : a job for warrior baby boomers!



Has minimalism been designated as a “young person’s” zone, or am I just unlucky to have come across nothing but twenty-thirty something young persons tell me how to get rid of my stuff?

Try being a baby boomer that birthed three children, now adults, who has been married 38 years and then tell me about stuff. I have multiple potato peelers older than most of the so called minimalism experts.

I started the flirting with minimalism a couple of years back. When we made our tree change I tried to shed as much as I could, but we ran out of time and energy in the moving process and so more stuff than I wanted made the journey to the country with us.

Then my mother went into care and the contents of my parental home of fifty plus years had to be dispersed. That meant incoming, but I managed to keep it to those things I considered important to me. My brother and sister took the mother lode, so to speak.

Not long afterwards, Mr FD’s parents died and though I stated VERY CLEARLY that I desired nothing from their home except for a few select items I thought our children should receive, Mr FD heeded not and a peculiar assortment of household items made their way into our garden shed and home. Most of it pretty ugly.

Now I open drawers and find three potato mashers and five pastry brushes. I make pastry about once every three years, tops.

So, some perky little thing with nice teeth who has only ever collected shoes and drink coasters from holiday nightclubs is not going to know the minimalism I am seeking. I need it in the large family size tub.

Baby boomers have a unique position on clutter. There is the clutter of two lives joined together; the clutter of  children and their lives before they flee home leaving everything in their rooms and the plastic storage containers in the garage. This is then topped by the yours and mine parents’ hoarding of their lives and the stuff we left behind when we fled the parental abode as well.

A weekend, two cupboard boxes and three plastic shopping bags are not going to meet my needs.

I’ve made a decision. I am going to complete the kitchen project kick started by Son while I was interstate. In turn, I think he was influenced by his sister who gave me a set of coffee mugs as a Christmas gift, then refused to leave the house until I shed an equal or greater number of  ugly and mismatched mugs that no one ever used. You know the type – the tiny mugs that only hold a thimble of tea or coffee and so are always pushed to the rear of the cupboard. Also, the cups that were “special” to your children, when they actually were children, but  are now on a top shelf, out of reach even if anyone desired to use them.

I wanted to shed the children’s cups for aeons, but I just knew the gods would go crazy and the very next day one of the children would have a mental melt down that would only be contained by drinking out of the mug they got at Dreamworld in 1997. However, Daughter1, a thirty something, steam rolled me into agreeing to allow her to remove them. That is, I allowed her to think she was steamrolling me and now if her siblings complain about a departed keepsake cup I can point the finger of blame her way. Win, win, for me. She gets to think she got one over mother, which is always a good ploy by any mother. Let them think they win, when in fact you have won big time.

How is any twenty-thirty something going to understand that type of minimalism psychodrama? Move aside this project requires a Baby Boomer Warrior Minimalist!

And no, I won’t be wearing any big girl undies on the outside of a superwoman costume. It’s always the pearls, dahling.

16 thoughts on “Minimalism : a job for warrior baby boomers!

  1. You hit it! You can’t understand stuff until you have lived for 40, 50, 60 years with parents, children and different houses (I hate to throw away a lamp that doesn’t work here because it might work at the next house). Serious clearing out takes copious amounts of chocolate and wine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having grown up with parents who were children during the Great Depression (and a mother who was poor as dirt), minimalism is not something I was taught. I’m far from extravagant, but I do have stuff.


      • When we bought our house the people we bought it from had lived here for 51 years. They were moving from a medium sized house to a small apartment and had to get rid of tons of crap. I’ll always remember the old man asking me “Have you ever tried to put 50 pounds of something in a 5 pound sack?”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. i have boxes and cupboards and closets of items i want someone to just come in and take away while i’m not home. if i open any of the storage, i remember why i stored the items and i store them again. if they leave, I’ll never know what is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your observation about the coffee mugs hit a sore spot here: I have a set of small mugs that was given to my husband and I as a wedding present by his best friend in high school. I haven’t heard from this friend since my husband died, and the mugs are too ridiculously small to contain my coffee addiction. But: they were great for serving hot cocoa to children and tea when I was feeling ill and didn’t want a large amount, only enough to soothe a sore throat or a raspy cough. Sadly, since the kids moved out and now have their own mug sets (or in the son’s case, this huge stainless steel travel mug that is so hideously stained I don’t want to even touch it), these cute little mugs—they have smiling cats on them!—have migrated from the back of the cupboard to a plastic bin in storage. I probably will never use them again, but the thought of parting with them makes me sad. When I sold my house on the suburban prairie, I took them with me, and they made the move to California. I’d given away so many things in the two moves, I think losing so many dear memories—because stuff collected over the years really are memories to those of us in middle age—left me a bit hysterical.

    (I’m still haunted by the eyes of this one stuffed bunny I took to Goodwill. It looked sad at being abandoned in the bin, and then I saw the movie “Toy Story 3,” which almost sent me into therapy.)


  5. Excellent post. Young Minimalists do not understand the passage of time or the true power of objects. Their youth, combined with living in a plastic throw it away mass production society , distorts their understanding of the “thing” and its power. The closest their generation comes to it is through the Toy Story movies and those who understand Geek Culture and Comic-Con treasures.
    Those cups and trinkets belong to a line of artifacts stretching back to the Valley of the Kings and past that to ancient cave art. 🙂

    Then again there is junk. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I abhor junk and get rid of stuff at every opportunity, so much so that my husband, who lives at the opposite end of the spectrum, often despairs and amasses his possessions in his crammed office. Having said that, at 53, and the in the same house for 13 years, sometimes I look around and wonder what I would do if I had to downsize or just move long distance. But if I hear once more about that chick who counsels everyone to commute with objects and then throw them out if they don’t hold any more meaning, I am going to throw up. It would take 10 years of daily practice to evaluate every object in my bloody house!


  7. Couldn’t agree more. I’ve become really interested in minimalism but think it is a life long process! It is a pity there aren’t more mature people writing and YouTubing about life type experiences. Great post. Andy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s