Yesterday I finally cleaned out the mini-storage unit we had been renting since my move here last Christmas. I remember laughing the first time I saw one of those commercial blights on the landscape. “People shouldn’t buy more than they know what to do with,” I probably thought. I was not into possessions then. I also used to say, “You don’t own stuff; it owns you.” I sounded a bit like Otto Mann, bus driver on the Simpsons. Well consider my arse well-owned.
Since my wife moved here first most of what was stored was mine. And we moved into a much smaller house. To further subtract space, we neither have the full basement nor attic of our previous residence. The garage is smaller too. It also leaked. Renting extra space seemed a good idea at the time.
This naturally prompted a discussion about the difference between valuable keepsakes, precious mementos, useful items, and junk. Most of my stuff seemed to fall into that latter category, at least according to her. She further reminded me that I had moved much of that “junk” many times already. I was not sure where she was going with that line of reasoning so I stopped listening.
OK. Sure. I have moved - multiple times - books I bought in the 70’s that I still have not read. They are books for God’s sake. I bought them for a reason. And why throw away perfectly good pants that are only 4 inches too small in the waist? I might get back to 32. The old sailboat mast, sail and rigging are still good. All we need is a boat. All that old hi-fi equipment might be useful again, one day. My LP’s are still good, at least if we can find my turntable and had a place to hook it up. Those three old Mac computers still work; they might be valuable someday. I am sure there is some good paint in those old cans. And my collection of nuts and bolts that goes back to 1970? Don’t even think about it. Why the other day I used one of those bolts to repair...something. I don’t remember. My videotapes? Too valuable. Have you seen what they are asking these days for the complete Upstairs, Downstairs or I, Claudius? That’s PBS we’re talking about here.
Maybe if I just consolidate some of these boxes we won’t need so much space. There must be some extra space in one of these boxes, somewhere.
eBay! That’s right. I’ll sell the stuff I really don’t need on eBay. I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would just jump at the chance to………….
Why are you laughing?
OK, maybe I need to throw away some stuff. Maybe if I think like an accountant and adopt an amortization schedule I can throw things away and not feel so bad.
Would anyone like some old National Geographic’s?