A couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to be a "minimalist". I got that term from the book, Simplify, that I downloaded on my Kindle. Years and years ago (before blogging) I was a big follower of Flylady and my house looked pretty good. I had routines and decluttering zones and shopping lists. I religiously threw away 11 pieces of junk daily (it could even be a bread package tab... just so I'd hit 11.)
But once I started blogging I got away from visiting the Flylady website daily and my house has crumbled... or maybe better said, jumbled. Stuff, stuff, stuff.
One major problem is that I don't know where the dump is in our town. Taking things to the dump has always been Tetsu's job and HE only gets there once every 4 or 5 years.
Another problem is that there are no thrift shops in Japan. There are recycle shops where the shop offers a piddling for the few things you bring in but more often than not the shop tells you that you don't have anything that anyone would want (that's why I'm bringing it to the recycle shop!) and send you home with your box. It hardly seems worth the trouble.
And thirdly, garbage is set out in a community trash area... not in front of the house, so if you put your trash out on the wrong day then you get an angry block head (that's Block-head as in neighborhood block, not blockhead...) confronting you. What with paper going out on one day, burnables going out on another, cans and glass on another day and plastics on still another day, I am confused about when to throw away the old picture frame (wooden) that has metal tabs on the back (dangerous) and glass on the front (glass). And I am at my wits end about what to do with an old TV and computer printer and old carpets! So there they sit littering my bedroom.
I've asked Tetsu to go to the dump. He said it costs money to take things to the dump. WELL??? Does he want to start his own dump in our bedroom (and storage room and back kitchen cupboard?)
The other day Tetsu invited me to come to his convalescent home's bazaar. Bazaars are great places for people to get rid of their UNUSED stuff. It has to be unused though... Pretty dishes that were given as a wedding present (wedding presents are given to the guests at weddings), towels that your mother-in-law bought but you don't like... Those sort of things. I went to the bazaar and bought a bag of rice and a sturdy serving tray. Also a pair of bead earrings that a group made. I ate some fried noodles and fried chicken and had good time.
BUT!!! That night Tetsu came home with a box!
"Left-over stuff from the bazaar. I just bought it all for a few thousand yen as a donation to the convalescent home."
Bear chopstick holders. A bowl without a lid. Pretty plastic dishes. A wooden trivet. Candles holders, hand towels, a cow cup, a single portion size pot. A set of white dessert dishes.
So much for being a minimalist. I frowned at all of the stuff poking out of the box.
"So, what are we going to do with all this?"
"The ladies in the office predicted that you wouldn't be happy about all this stuff. They said, "Oh, your wife is going to be angry at you!" I'll put it in the back closet."
The office ladies know me better than Tetsu does. I guess the box will stay in the back closet until another bazaar someday.