I scan because I can

Ladies and Gentlemen, I FOUND IT!!!

Yes, I did! Today, October 16th 2014 at 15.32 I found it. The aricle on minimalism I mentioned in Minimalism for the material soul. It was hidden underneath a big pile that I had named ‘to scan’. A pile I totally forgot about. Out of sight… But I found it again and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Yesterday I started finalising the third post in my Minimalism for the material soul category. Today I found it the article.

Oh, what a glorious moment! I understand it makes your day as much as it made mine.


I’ll continue with the post now.

Months ago my friend Marge and I did a series of SkypeSpringCleaning sessions. It went like this: we both sat down with our piles of clutter. Marge on the London-side and me on the Amsterdam-side of Skype. We would show each other the clothes, articles and clutter we’d collected over time and advice each other on the Go / No Go of the showed piece. At a certain point I sighed (or exclaimed. I can’t be sure, it’s a while ago): “Oh, my poor soul! It doesn’t know where to store all these interesting articles I have so carefully collected!” To which Saving Marge replied: “Why don’t you just scan them?”

Yes indeed, why didn’t I? It was a good old fashioned Hallelujah-moment.

Minimalisme bijlage NRC 11

[ Look, it’s a piece of that scheme for beginning minimalists I mentioned in Minimalism for the material soul! ]

From that moment I started scanning as if life itself depended on it. It’s a godsend, some people might say. I just think that until that moment I always underrated the invention of the scanner. On my lovely old printer it is quite a hassle you see. It needs all my patience – tricky one for me! – but boy oh boy…don’t I love it! I collect a scan-pile and once a week I sit down to scan it all away. It is simply ideal for me. And for all you out there that love to keep articles, letters and what more, but not the physicality of it. I even scanned over 50 old cards (payment, club cards, library passes) I collected since I was 6! Which I always kept in a drawer for ‘a future project’ but so far that project never announced itself. Now they’re still awaiting this project but in all their digitality.

Cheer you up in the Barbie Club.

[ I can’t let the physical version of this gem of a club card go. Yes, I was a member of the Barbie Club. And still proud of it! ]

Today, at 15.34, I scanned the appendix on Minimalism. It’s safe, on my laptop. The paper version is to be recycled and gone for good. Slow-minimalism. That’s me letting go.


[ Blij met niks. Het rijke leven van de minimalist was the title of the LUX-section that set my minimalism-research in motion. Part of and published by the Dutch paper NRC, October 19th, 2013. ]

Giving it all away

One of the most fulfilling ways of clearing out the road to minimalism for me is to give.

Friends who move to Amsterdam for a year get the rug that has been collecting dust somewhere underneath my bed. Other people I make happy with a coat I don’t wear anymore. When things have the potential of making a bit of money I consider selling it online, but the idea of making other people happy without them having to spend money… It’s the best feeling!

But it can get even better. Going through my books every once in a while, I always find some that were fun reads but that I don’t desire to keep. Most of these books I pass on. To random people. Whom I don’t know and probably will never meet. I leave books on trains and in café’s for example. Hoping that someone will be brave and curious enough to pick it up, open the first page and read:Giving it all away


give away books 1.1

For me this is a good way of parting from things.
It leaves me with the happy thought that it might be used by someone else.
The idea that someone reads it and passes it on.
Who knows where it will travel to.
This is minimalism for my material soul.
That replaces something material with happiness.
With a smile on my face.





It doesn’t always go as planned in my dreamer’s mind, though.
A couple of weeks ago I left another book on the train.
When I was about to get off, a boy tapped me on the shoulder.
“You forgot your book, miss.”
Such a kind, thoughtful gesture!
I told him I’d finished it and left it for someone else to read.
At the signal of closing doors I quickly jumped off.
Leaving the confused boy behind.







Just a question: did you ever find one of my old books?

Minimalism for the material soul

This is going to be an amazing blog post. Sit back and read.

I started this post in January 2014. In the paper I read a brilliant piece on minimalism. It had links to blogs of people who live the minimalist life to the fullest. It had a scheme for beginning minimalists saying things like:

“I never use this > True > throw/give away”

Scheme at hand I decided to give it a go. How difficult could it be. Starting with a decent Spring cleaning.

September 2014 and this same decent Spring cleaning is still ongoing. “If she’s still cleaning, how big is her house?!” Yes, I can read your minds. I understand that some of you may have assumed that by now, due to this Spring-cleaning-mania, my house is empty and all I have left is my laptop, tooth brush and memories… Well. Let’s say I kept the article safe as a guide line. And I can’t find it anymore. Not because it ended up in the paper waste containers, no.

Maximalist's table.




























[ My dining table in its usual state. You can’t eat at it. It’s my creating table including creative chaos. ]

Old postcards from gran or notes from my mum. A toothbrush. Yes… A bucket filled with brooches and my first (and only) Polly Pocket. Just a few things I came across since I started my Spring Cleaning last January. Hoarder isn’t the right word, I keep telling myself. I like to think I’m a collector. And the thought of blaming my mum for that, I like even better. After all, she comes with new items for my antique glassware collection every now and…often. She’s a bit like a feeder! Feeding a hoarder in my case. Of course, I realise, I’m the one holding on to it. Key words of this post: holding. on. Or better: letting go.

I find it difficult to let go; of the past, of things, memories. It’s all connected. Throwing my first diary away is equal to erasing my past. Parting from the second diary equals parting from the past that followed. Apart from 5 pages diary number three is empty. But that is no excuse!
And yes, I know clinging onto the past isn’t always a good idea. Having memories is one thing, but it’s not always necessary to have a material link to that memory. Slowly – baby steps! – I’m accepting this. I still can’t help myself taking things of the “give-away” pile to place them back onto the “decide-later” pile. It’s a process, right? I’m learning. I don’t have to have a minimalist’s house by next week.
Even better, I’ll probably never become a true minimalist. I mean, look at the number of words I use before I even get to a conclusion. But after 9 months of Spring cleaning I can see now that clearing out does have perks. For one thing, whilst clearing out I clear my mind I literally get rid of ugly memories and other things I don’t need at this point in life. Lovely! For another, I sometimes make other people happy with the things I decided to get rid and that is always fun. So I’m not going to turn my back on the thought of Minimalism. I’m going to stick to and follow my own material roads to minimalism and I hereby name it Slow Minimalism. Minimalism for the material soul. At Tessie’s Projects I will share my experiences and tips with the fellow material minded. Told you this post was going to be amazing.


Enough written. My Winter cleaning is about to commence. I’ll leave you with a reading tip: the blog mnmlist.com. Minimal even in its lay out and choice of words. The truths in the blog posts are a joy to me and food for thought. Read the home page!