birds on a wireThe time seemed right. The divorce, the move, the unemployment. All convinced me to start a new, more minimalist, life. Or maybe I was just rationalizing. Either way, it was time to reduce the stuff.

We all have stuff. Perhaps in compliance with the laws of entropy, items entering the home tend to stay there. The antique chair passed to me as my parents’ down-sized their own home. Their books. Their knicknacks, their tchotchkes, their gewgaws. Their dust. No wonder I have so much stuff.

I’ve donated hundreds, even thousands, of books to the local libraries, sold some on eBay and Amazon, given the technical ones to colleagues. Still, thousands remain. The statuettes and art pieces I collected on travels – until I realized how cluttered my home had become – stopped coming in, but somehow never leave either.

Wall hangings remain hung on the floor waiting for a wall to pull them into place. Papers fill boxes in the garage, in stacks on floors, in cabinets filed to the brim. The couches (how many does one house need?) collect dust (and books) more than are impressed with lazing bodies. Two televisions dominate rooms, though neither is hooked to broadcast service.

I am the minimalist. Or at least I aspire to be.

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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