Friday, August 09, 2013

clutter or treasure?

clutter or treasure

I am fond of saying that my wife has kept everything since birth.  And it’s pretty close to the truth.  She still has stuffed animals from her childhood.  She has a personal ‘dewey-decimal’-like system for her childhood books.  She has kept all of her college textbooks, notes, and paperwork - “just in case”.  

“Just in case what?”, I ask! Just in case we are teleported back in time to the late 90‘s and your materials are still relevant and timely?  Just in case someone comes by the house and asks, “Hey do you have that Humanities textbook from 1998, cause my daughter is headed off to college and I think it could come in handy!”

We have an innumerable number of boxes in our garage that are “Just in Case” boxes.  Boxes that I have moved - unopened - for 15 years from house to house.  

There are other categories of clutter in our home as well.

Of course, we also have the boxes of ‘before-we-moved-into-the-digital-age’ stuff like photo prints, cds, movies, and similar items.  These boxes are just begging to be digitized and then vanish.  (In fact, I dream about having a ‘cloud’ for all non-digital stuff.  Now that would be cool.  Let’s just put these unfinished dining chairs into the cloud until we need them...unfortunately, the ‘cloud’ is our 3rd car garage at the moment.

Which leads me to the ‘i’m-gonna-get-to-this-project-soon’ category of stuff.  This takes up quite a bit of square footage in the household.  Armoires, old dining chairs, tables, wooden things, desks, pictures frames, old junk, and ‘I don’t even know what it’s called’ stuff take up space collecting dust, spiders, and who knows what else.

In 15 years, I have yet to start a sentence with, “I am so glad we kept...”

I’m a proponent of a system that allows for the disposal of stuff after a defined period of time has elapsed.  Say a year.  If this project/just in case box hasn’t been used in the year then out it goes!

I want to get a big bunch of fluorescent stickers and mark each item/box with an expiration time stamp.  If the item/box hasn’t been touched - meaningfully used - then it has passed its use-by date and it can be donated/discarded.

I know what they say: One persons junk is another persons treasure.  Well, excellent, we have a TON of treasure for ‘another person’.

Apparently there is some sort of emotional attachment to some of this stuff.  Briana has told me before that she keeps things as memories and if she gets rid of said memory she will forget about it.  My response: Take a (digital) photo of whatever it is and you can always have that to look at.  Bam!
And that is my side of the story!


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