Experiments in Simplicity or How Not to Wrangle a Snowball

snowballSome strange things happened on the way to the outer rim…  My journey has suddenly, drastically, and irrevocably changed.  It was like a snowball rolling down a hill; I was powerless to stop it…

The original experiment (yes, one) started out simply and innocently enough. My bed was horribly uncomfortable, not to mention extremely old, and I was having such shoulder pain that I found myself, quite naturally, fantasizing about a new comfortable bed.

I had gone out of town and taken my air mattress to sleep on, as my host did not have a spare room.  My shoulder pain improved ever so slightly.  Hmmmm.  A few days later in a fit of pain, I threw the old mattress into the office area and blew up the air mattress on my platform frame.

I didn’t tell anyone thinking that this was so deviant or something.  Who does that?  The shoulder pain gradually decreased and after a long time it was gone.  But, along the way to a better shoulder I found that I liked sleeping on the air mattress.  I began to think: Why can’t it be my permanent bed?

Additionally, I liked that it was light and easy to move for cleaning, etc.  Also, it would not collect dust mites and it was cheap to boot.  And, once it was dressed in it’s fine coverings, no one even knew the difference unless I told them or they sat on it.  I decided to extend the experiment indefinitely.

The next experiment came after the bed experiment and after downsizing my closet / clothes drastically.  I had outgrown my studio because I started doing mural size art.  I began fantasizing about buying empty warehouses and churches in which to set up a more functional studio / living space.  I even wore out my keyboard researching the possibilities.

Once the big closet was gone and the bed was very light, I thought that I could trade the bedroom area with the studio area (there are very few walls in my house, no rooms per se) and that would give me so much more working area.  But, then my bedroom would be right off the living room… very deviant indeed?  I thought about it for quite some time and finally thought that I would just try it – another experiment.  It doesn’t have to be permanent, I told myself again.

It turned out that my old bed did not fit in the new bedroom and I had to seriously commit to the airbed experiment when I bought a slightly smaller (full size), but taller air mattress.  I really love this one even more because it needs no frame.  See pic’s below.

Two deviant experiments and the snowball was rolling.  I opened an Etsy shop and the snowball picked up speed.

A mentally ill, homeless relative came to visit / traumatize / stay with me (briefly) and I began to question my entire life.  I guess this is where the snowball picked up some serious speed.  Unbeknownst to me – I didn’t even know there was a snowball coming.  I mean, one doesn’t really think about snowballs in Arizona?

After said relative left, I could not get back in the swing of my life.  I was sick for 3 months off and on.  My life and Etsy shop had been gaining momentum and then it was just broken – suddenly.  Like Humpty Dumpty, not fixable really.

In an effort to force myself to move forward I decided to try to get rid of some furniture items that just didn’t work for me anymore due to age, lack of usefulness, bad energy, broken-ness, etc.  I posted these items at work and almost all of them sold or were taken.

I was hooked – people either paid me or came an took away items from my home for free.  This was a dangerous drug.  I was inspired.  I wanted other things gone that weren’t working – or “sparking joy.”

I contemplated selling the rest on Craigslist, but I really did not want strangers traipsing though my house.  And then I thought about Annabelle’s Attic – a resale shop here in Tuscon that I had bought some items at for my house many years ago.  I had not thought about selling everything, but right before I left the house I ran around and took pictures of all the other furniture stuffs that I thought would possibly be sellable… thinking that I would get rid of some of it – at least.

And, this would be where the snowball reached terminal velocity!

Annabelle’s Attic wanted everything.  They made me an offer for the whole kit-and-caboodle and in my shock and surprise I just said “uumm?, ok?”.  Maybe they saw my surprise because they said they would pick it up the next day – probably before I could change my mind.  Thinking back, I probably should have haggled over the price, but I was completely taken aback and didn’t know what to do?

Since things were going (away) so well and in order to have the whole business of getting rid of the stuff I no longer wanted done, I went to school the next day and hired students to take the other things down to the street for the people who drive around looking for such items.  Some people came for the stuff before we were even done and my students helped load it in their trucks. I love when things work out so well. 🙂

After the Annabelle’s Attic people and my students left, I stood in my house enjoying the emptiness.  It was messy, but very empty.  I was inspired and in that moment I decided that I would just enjoy living in the nothingness for a while.

As I look back over the last few weeks events I can only think that I got everything that I wanted.  I wanted more studio space and now half of my house can be used for the practice of moving meditation (aka: painting).  It’s so awesome!!!!

Many co-workers asked what was going on in my life and as I explained the story of how I just wanted to get rid of my couch and TV … ????? …. and now it’s a “living in the nothingness experiment”.  I would have thought that people would chalk it up to the crazy things that the “fine art” people do.  But, everyone smiles and nods like they completely understand the “fresh start” concept.  I like to think that they are not thinking that I am having a mid-life crisis…

The pictures (below) might make me (now) seem like an extreme minimalist, but I do not consider myself to be this.  I am just a lady who stepped out of the way of a speeding snowball.  Feel free to call me Yoda.

Monica Gaylor Minimalist HouseMy house is a smidge over 800 sq. feet.  So, now roughly, 450 of living space and 350 of studio space (not shown – a work in progress).  It seems humongous now that almost all the furniture is gone.

Picture taken from the kitchen.


Monica Gaylor Minimalist BedroomThis used to be where the normal everyday living room set up (couch, big chair, coffee, end table, tiny book shelf, and TV) was located.  It is now the bedroom.  Yes, that is an airbed, no frame required.  Deviance run amok.



Monica Gaylor Minimalist Dining_OfficeThis is the new dining / office area.  There used to be a traditional table and chairs here.  That is my old coffee table.

While trying to decide what to do from this point, I made a temporary floor chair out of 2 blankets, 2 throw pillows from the former couch, and 2 bed pillows.  It’s kind-of taco style.

Monica Gaylor Minimalist Entryway

Entryway hasn’t changed much.

I still want my home (my sanctuary) to be warm and inviting.  I rather like the temporary set up and I am seriously considering keeping it.  Perhaps some new bedding supplies that match better and 4 large throw pillows for an Asian-style dining experience is all I need?  I will live with it for a while and see – no shopping yet.  I must let it all sink in.

I’ll update soon with what the new studio layout will be.

Live long and prosper with less.  Spock lives.

Post written by Monica Gaylor.





11 thoughts on “Experiments in Simplicity or How Not to Wrangle a Snowball

  1. Jean February 13, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    Great post! I LOVE the colors !!! Way to go, Monica!

  2. yes1and February 13, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    It looks fabulous and serene, in a Japanese sort of way. One suggestion–if you ever have guests who can’t sit on the floor (disability or something), you might want to keep a nice folding chair tucked away to make them more comfortable. It doesn’t have to be out in your space, but would be a kindness for such a guest.

    • Monica Gaylor February 13, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you and yes, I have seating in the studio (not pictured).

  3. candy April 10, 2016 / 10:08 am

    You have a beautiful home, and I love the artwork! It is interesting, because I’m very much a “all white walls” type of minimalist, but I really love your home.

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