In a discussion with another geek minimalist, a thought experiment came up.
Look around at the room.
If you lost everything in this room to fire or flood, what would you buy again?
And if you wouldn’t replace it, why do you have it at all?
Looking at the statues and such, it’s maybe 25% on what I would replicate, which is pretty low. I think the reason to keep them is that they have continued to bring me the joy of a familiar space. Replacing them would break that chain.
For books and comics, I would replace almost 100%, but almost all I would buy digital given the opportunity to start fresh.
This made me renew my thought of doing a planned sell-and-rebuy plan to transition. In many cases, I could break even on the transaction. I have already done this on almost all Marvel comics collections since they are very inexpensive on Kindle.
Another option I’ve considered is selling off virtually all of my comics and putting the money into a separate account for rebuying as I want to read them. A sort of “comic book trust fund.” Knowing full well that it will be years (or never) before I am compelled to draw upon that fund.
Electronics I would replace my whole ensemble. I use everything I have with great regularity. I might rethink a few choices to expand my options, such as some way to integrate iTunes video and my TV (something that is easier said than done with my current set up).
Which leaves me the one category that I would want to replace – the irreplaceable. In my case, original art and autographs. The walls of my office (I nicknamed it the Booster Cave) are covered in one-of-a-kind art including commissions and the originals of comic book pages.
If I were to lose that room, that is what I would miss. Those things that are completely impossible to replace and that scanning makes less unique.
These are also what I think your own space should be composed with. What makes your space unique and unduplicatable?
Art by (clockwise) Dan Jurgens, Adam Hughes, Franco Aureliani, Scott Shaw!, John Delaney, Scott Kowalchuk, Art Baltazar