Very old pencil sharpener

Why do we tend to hang on to so many things that – while they served their purpose well when we had them, they no longer serve any purpose other than to take up space in our home and bring back memories of times gone by?

We recently decided it was time to re-vamp the room in our house that once served as a combination second bedroom/office but over the years due to limited use as a guest room – had become more of a huge closet/storeroom.

I am one that dislikes clutter – my philosophy is that within our home there should be a place for everything and everything in its place – a philosophy that I have found hard to fulfill more days than not the older I get. Especially being married to a wonderful girl that has been brought up with a somewhat different philosophy – one that follows the thought process – that as long as the item (whatever it is that is not being thrown away)  isn’t eating anything (strange analogy), it is okay to keep. Besides – one day it might come in handy and you will be thankful that you kept it.

While my keepsakes habit does not – in any way, shape or form – resemble the habit that she has followed these past 55+ years of marriage, I must admit that I too, have kept some things that in all probability could have been gotten rid of years ago be they donated to Goodwill, The Salvation Army or just sold at a Garage/Yard sale. But the fact of the matter is that now that our room is back to its somewhat original state (combination bedroom/office), I find that I have three or four very small boxes of memorabilia that needs to be sorted through and well, disposed of.

The posing question though is – how do we decide what and where do these things go? Things like, while they have served their purpose well (a USB hub – no longer needed; a very old miniature recorder I used over thirty years ago; the tapes I recorded messages on; old floppy disks from a desktop computer that, while it turns on – cannot be operational until I find the Boot-up disk that I may or may not have); and well, I could go on but I am sure you have the gist of my dilemma.

Part of me has no problem in just tossing the contents of the boxes into a re-cycling container and putting the items out of my mind but the other part of me says but would these items be useful to someone else even though they are old and out-of-date and if so, who should I give them to so that they might be re-utilized and serve a purpose for someone else.

Knowing how I have handled situations similar to this in the past but on a much smaller scale (An example might be when we allow something to lie on our dresser for weeks on end until one day we say to ourselves – what am I keeping this for and just toss it), such a plan of action is necessary now but on a slightly grander scale.  After all, at age 78 – going on to 79 later this year, what am I going to do with an old cell phone, adapters for items I no longer have or know where they might be, and other similar items?

What to do – what to do? My educated guess is that eventually I will get a box large enough to hold the contents of these smaller boxes, transfer the contents from the smaller boxes into the larger box and transport the box to our Re-cycle Center and pass the decision on to them as to what to do with the items.

That is, if I don’t pull a few things out before transporting the box, saying to myself: “But it isn’t eating anything!”

Until next time!

6 thoughts on ““But it isn’t eating anything!”

  1. Thank you for visiting my blog and leading me to yours from there. I am delighted to find a kindred soul as far as disliking clutter is concerned. I am however constrained by my sharing my home with my son and daughter in love whose ideas of what is clutter and what is not are vastly different from mine. My room and the living room however are like a monk’s quarters but furnished with very comfortable furniture. Every now and then, I do go on getting rid of things binges but, mostly stuff that I have accumulated like, books and receipts.

    It would be helpful if you could addmailchimp so that if your readers opt to get mail alerts of your posts, they can. I have in my blog. Thanks.

    1. Thank you for your comments. I am not familiar with Mailchimp or how I would go about adding it but I will check into it. Thanks for the information.

  2. This resonates with me, Irwin. I’m reading Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Magic of Tidying Up’ and find it fascinating. I’ve gone through my clothes and my shelves are bare. It was amazing how many things I had that I never wear! And I’ve gone through most of my books. Now I’m tackling paper. The recycle bins are full and I carted a bunch of music to a young music teacher in the hopes he can use it for his students. I have so much more to go through. And I’ve tried to not keep too much over the years! There are things I’ve kept for sentimental reasons, in case I need them, or thinking I’d pass them down to the next generation. I have one son and he doesn’t need anything I have so he’ll have a giant yard sale after I’m gone. It does feel good to free up space and eliminate clutter!

    1. Glad you liked it. I try to “weed” out every so often but lately it sort of got away from us. At least we’ve started weeding out again. I don’t have Marie Kondo’s book but I have followed some of her tips. All I can say is our children will have a gigantic yard sale or need a big truck when the time comes. Well, cut that analogy in half as I hope to do what you’re doing but my wife – not so much. But half is better than none. 😃

  3. Wonderful post! Kind of goes to show that “opposites attract”. And yet, your wife has a good point for the things you may keep…after all, “it isn’t eating much.”

    I was much like your wife; “never know when something may come in handy”. Until the day came when I saw had boxes and boxes stored in the basement….untouched for over ten years!!!! And I hit a purging point in my world. Now, everything I own can fit into half a car trunk and I have no desire to save much of anything.

  4. Oh the war against clutter…ahhhhhhhhhh! Sometimes you gotta be ruthless

    As for noting eaten…. i believe its dead weight and creates a aura if the same. I feel less stuff a sense of lightness…

    But i have a garage full of clutter…but the home is becoming clutter free slowly and lighter and i feel lighter for it. I feel terrible that i got my self into this state, but i forgive myself too. But i have to take more action. Cause when bits of clutter are gone it us a beautiful light feeling.

    Great post..have fun with its not eating anything…

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