A forced minimalism experiment

A forced minimalism experiment

In March, when our house was robbed, my jewelry was stolen. Luckily, I was wearing my wedding ring and one pair of earrings at the time of the burglary. Below is the list I prepared for our insurance claim and a photo of what the burglars left behind.

Our bedroom after. No, we are not slobs; the burglars made this mess. They also destroyed the leather jewelry box that had been my dad’s shown in top photo.

The jewelry that was left behind by the burglars. Guess they don’t like the Oregon hippie stuff…

There is no way to replace the necklace my uncle bought me when I was born, of the earrings a former boyfriend sent me from Switzerland. To be honest, even though these are only “things,” I cried when they were stolen. I loved wearing them and I loved the stories behind them. Jewelry is personal and often one-of-a-kind. Not replaceable.

There is no shortage of jewelry to buy here in Ajijic, from expensive things in boutiques to street vendors with colorful beadwork. But I am a thoughtful consumer now. I think through my purchases and ask myself questions. I am finding that I don’t need very much jewelry.

What are my lessons? I’m trying these on:

1. Don’t own anything that will make you cry if it’s stolen.

2. Life goes on in all its wonder and joy even when you lose things you have cherished.

3. We all need less than we think we do.

4. Don’t buy things to fill a void left by something else.

5. Some things can’t be replaced, but their memories remain.

6. Dang, I miss some of my stuff! 😦


List of stolen jewelry submitted to insurance company:


1. High-quality gold chain (approx 20 inch) with Libra zodiac pendant, engraved on back with “Christina Susan 9/29/64,” purchased in Germany in 1964.


2. Gold thick twisted hoop earrings, 1970s.


3. Long silver and brass earrings, Switzerland, 1990.


4. Silver earrings with pink semi-precious stones, Alison Shiboski jeweler.


5. Turquoise earrings, 2 pr, one pr studs and one long dangle.  


6. Turquoise disc pendant.


7. “Found object” earrings, 2 pr, Marilyn Kent jeweler.  


8. Thin gold necklace (18 inch?) with 3 small gold balls (1970s).


9. Silver necklace with handblown glass beads.


10. Matching necklace and earrings with red coral beads and silver accent.


11. Metal folk art heart earrings.


12. Red enamel earrings.


13. Long (24 inch or more?) silver chain with goddess pendant (pendant from Greece).


14. Long (30 inch?) thick gold-plated rope chain with rhinestone sphere (1960s)


15. Cut crystal earrings.


4 thoughts on “A forced minimalism experiment

  1. wayne

    I want to be a minimalist. Beverly doesn’t share my feelings about this but I can’t blame her for me buying another pair of pliers at a yard sale when I already have several. Minimalists I think should avoid yard sales and thrift stores.


  2. tandreas6

    I’m so sorry again that this theft happened! I would miss my things too, especially the ones with stories and history.

    On the other hand, it’s very freeing to get rid of things – Dev and I are continually working on the clutter… it seems to accumulate in the corners so quickly!

    Have you watched Minimalism the documentary? We watched it and then spent the rest of the evening cleaning the house… =D


  3. czelazek Post author

    I love The Minimalists and have been following them since before the film. That film is great. You may want to check out their books and podcast too. Very inspirational.


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