I don’t know about you, but one of my cardinal sins is accumilating stuff. lots of it.
maybe it’s a holdover from the world war 2 years when everything was in short supply (not that i was born then). or as financial guru Suze Orman says, it represents a holding on to something, just in case we need it. it’s an expression of a fear of loss.
and so i keep receipts for purchases i have difficulty recalling later, buy books at warehouse sales, dvds (some of which i haven’t watched since buying them about 3 years ago).
and it’s an addictive kick.
once you start, it’s difficult to stop.
the frightening thing is that whatever you buy, drops to about 10% of what you paid for it if you decide to sell it when you’re sick of it (in most cases).
in fact, whole industries have sprung up to deal with the accumilation of stuff – storage cabinets, wardrobes, storage racks, plastic cargo bins, public self-storage facilities (which are starting to make their presence in singapore.
there’s a major difference between ‘junky’ stuff and ‘useful’ stuff though and i believe it’s in the frequency with which we use the items. here’s a selected record of my ‘stuff’ so far.
less useful or ‘junky’ stuff:
1) CDs: accumilating a couple of hundred CDs because they were ‘cheap’ when i bought them through a CD club when I was living in the US. I hardly listen to them more than once or twice. After factoring in the freight costs shipping them back here, the storage and space they’ve occupied over the years, i figure that it’s probably cost me much more than their initial cost.
Now when i’m looking for places to sell them, i find that the stores that do buy them are picky and selective about what they buy.
that’s headache 1.
2) Books: books represent knowledge, an accumilation of the knowledge of great minds. however, i have yet to read that andy warhol biography, or that fiction novel i had planned to start. the books are nearly occupying an entire room now and again like the CDs will be a major pain to dispose of.
argh, headache 2.
3) steam cleaner: bought this super karcher steam cleaner. it kicks major dust butt. it will be awesome to clean my parquet floors, it does a great job of cleaning the air conditioner, but due to it’s lack of use, it’s kind of been sitting there.
my new commitment is to use it more often to keep the home clean.
and now for useful stuff:
1) black and decker clothes iron and leifheit ironing board: lifesaver, without which i’ll be walking the streets in crumpled shirts and pants (not that there’re exactly pristine now…)
probably cost about $80 for the iron and $80 for the ironing board.
it’s very therapeutic to iron clothes while watching tv, and nothing beats seeing a crumpled shirt become a nice, crisp one.
i figure i must use these babies at least once every 2 weeks.
ah, the simple things in life.
2) Desktop computer: this computer i’m using is about 3 years old. it’s a pentium 4, 2 gigahertz machine and has 512 mb of ram, has a nice graphics card for gaming.
funny story how i got it.
i was doing a consulting project and the client ran into some financial dire straits.
in lieu of making a final cash payment, he gave me a computer instead.
which is kinda a godsend actually.
i store my music collection on it, send email, surf the net, keep my business accounts on it, play games, backup my nokia mobile phone address book on it, edited training videos.
it’s been on 24 hours for the last year or so and keeps on chugging.
3) knives: erm, yeah. no, i’m not some psychotic maniac. my collection of penknives and kitchen knives are a joy to behold (at least to me).
find the perfect knife is like looking for the perfect woman.
she’s got nice curves, a sharp edge, always reliable, doesn’t rust on you (interpret it how you will).
my henckels knife is like a jack of all trades. i cut butter with it, spread cream cheese, cut fruit, meat and use it when i’m making cheesecakes and ice-cream.
truly a universal cooking instrument.
penknives: the universal office tool. it me it’s more useful than a swiss army knife in removing staples, opening letters, preparing presentation materials.
sometimes i even use a penknife when i should be using scissors.
there you have it.
my definition of ‘junky’ vs ‘useful’ stuff.
will go into decluttering clutter later.
have a great one.