Living the Simple Life: The Perfect Collection for the Minimalist and Traveler

Sometimes it’s hard not to “collect” things. I’ve had a few bouts with that problem myself over the years. But, I have found the perfect solution, and thought I’d take a moment to share.

If you want a way to remember special events, to ensure that people who want to give you gifts only buy token ones, an easy-to-carry souvenir from any trip and all your travels, and you don’t want to fill your house doing it… consider what I’ve done:

I’m eliminating all collections from my life with the exception of my quotes collection (which is stored digitally and therefore takes no physical space) and my sterling silver charms collection — which also takes very little space.

I started that collection a few years ago. It was something I wanted to do to remove the hassle of a HUGE Christmas tree, once the kids left home. I wanted to get started on the “ornaments” to decorate my tiny tree early, so I’d have a good looking tree when the time came. I reasoned that it also let me have an easy-to-port way to remember trips, events, occasions, etc.

For years, I’ve asked the kids to get me a charm when they felt the urge to buy me something. When I travel, I make it a point to pick up a charm from the area. When Alex was born, I had special baby charms that I purchased. Now, I have quite a little collection… but they all fit in a smallish box. Now, I’ve asked anyone who ever wants to buy me something (be it birthday or mother’s day or whatever) to buy me a charm.

My daughter found this adorable sterling silver witch’s hat for me on Mother’s Day and sent it to me (I was out in Colorado on a writing retreat at the time) and it is so sweet! It was also easy to ship, easy to pack in my bag to bring back home and is tucked away in my “charms box” now. My son brought me back a tiny little sterling frog (I love frogs) from his travels this summer and I have a diminutive Statue of Liberty from his trip a couple years ago to New York.

I’m also keeping a list of each charm and who got it for me and what the occasion was. That information stays in the box with the charms. So, I can ensure that I’ll have my memories when I’m older without filling up an entire house to do it. Heck, I’ll even be able to take them on the road with me when we travel in the Airstream. Ahhhh Bliss.

And it’s so easy to take a few moments and look over them and remember the events, the places and the people that brought them into my possession. IMHO, It’s the perfect collection, the perfect gift and the perfect solution to small, meaningful, token gifts.

I’ll add them to a tiny tree (probably a Bonsai type) for my own Christmas tree of memories when Alex gets older. I’ll add a battery powered set of tiny LED lights too.

For me, it’s perfect. And I thought I’d share the idea with those of you seeking a simpler, easier way to accept gifts graciously, record memories and keep things compact. 🙂