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February 18th, 2010


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09:27 am - useful
I'm trying to sneak up on spring cleaning, on the theory that if I go at it small, I will get some done, which is better than getting overwhelmed and getting nothing done. Today's fight so far has been with that facet of my personality which likes to hide behind my imagination, but which unchecked can grow into a whole different monster.

It's that little voice that says, when I pick up anything from an empty pill bottle to a cardboard box and get ready to dispose of it: You might want to hang on to that. It could be ...useful. It's not lying - especially when money is tight, it is easy to listen to that voice in the name of frugality and recycling. But there comes a time when I have to ask myself how often do I find myself needing an empty pill bottle? About once a year, maybe. How often do I end up with empty pill bottles? Four times a month, at a minimum, in an average month. Saving them is only going to cause storage overflow, not provide me with an excellent solution to a problem somewhere down the road. Multiply this by the amazing amount of consumer detritus that flows through modern life (newspaper! plastic bags - keep them out of the landfills by saving them for future use! ) and then my house is drowning in clutter, which makes me an entirely different kind of crazy, just adding bricks to the wall, or straws to the load, pick your metaphor.

There is a certain amount of counter-delight, fortunately, in actually getting rid of things, simply as a result of being told so often as a child that there was no money to be spent on me. I can let go of this item now; if I happen to need it or something like it later I can get another one. I can embrace my consumerist culture at least momentarily in an attempt to be mentally balanced, yes.

I'm really glad I don't have a basement, nevertheless.
Current Music: I See You Baby - Groove Armada & Gram'Ma Funk

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:quixoticfish
Date:February 18th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
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My mother in law made a good point to both my father-in-law and me, that it's sometimes more expensive to hang on to stuff. Our house is small and rent is not cheap, if you divide it down per square foot per year, that's some expensive storage space.

But it hard to thow away stuff after reading sites like: http://www.re-nest.com/

and thinking, wow, if I had enough of these, I could do that...

[User Picture]
From:sculpin
Date:February 18th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
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There is a certain amount of counter-delight, fortunately, in actually getting rid of things, simply as a result of being told so often as a child that there was no money to be spent on me.

YES. Oh, well put.
[User Picture]
From:sculpin
Date:February 18th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
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(I've been using LJ for how long now, and I still don't hit the right comment link? Sheesh.)
[User Picture]
From:uly
Date:February 18th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
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This has been difficult for me, getting rid of stuff that "might be useful". I think I'm much happier now that I'm less cluttered, and yet it is still sometimes a struggle.

The funniest, for me, are the needles. Every time I clip and discard one, I have to ignore the inner voice saying, "But... but... maybe I'll need a bunch of hypodermic needles someday! And I only accumulate one per day!"
[User Picture]
From:cjot
Date:February 19th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
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I am glad that we no longer have a basement.
[User Picture]
From:mcjulie
Date:February 19th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
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I think that sort of cleaning needs to be done in small chunks, because it invokes the willpower response, which we tend to exhaust.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/opinion/02aamodt.html

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