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Clearing the clutter

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by RightHand, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I've been trying to clear the clutter from my life. I was walking around the house the other day thinking about those things that I have, things that I own, that I have collected through the years, and the things that have been passed down to me from generations past.

    Do they still have meaning to me beyond their memory? Isn't the memory enough?

    I have some beautiful ivory sculpture but I realized that I haven't even really looked at those pieces in a couple years. They simply exist on a shelf. Why do I keep them when I could pass them on to someone who would enjoy them. I have little things that hold memories for me even if there is no financial value. Why do I keep those when I can just keep the memory.

    The attic and the basement are filled with "things" neither useful nor even remembered. They are part of the past but not the present and probably not the future.

    I think its time to empty the shelves, the boxes and the trunks and get rid of the superfluous keeping only that which I cannot do without.

    Simplify! That's my new mantra. Clear the clutter so the next generation doesn't have to.
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    The things, are the bookmarks of the memories. I carry my Grandfather's guns for that reason among others. It keeps the memories sharp, and the meaning clear.
    Memory is strongest invoked by scent, but the touch and sight are not far behind.
  3. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    I do have family heirlooms that will be passed down to my niece when she's of age. My stuff, I'm not sure much of it will be passed down to my sister's kids other than the heirlooms. The majority of stuff I have right now, it's homesteading stuff(tools/books), and it really doesn't matter if it stays in the family as long as it goes to someone who will appreciate/use it. My mother likes to collect covered bridge stuff, and I've told her that I'm only keeping a couple items from her collection, the rest will go bye-bye. You can't tell from the mess my room is right now(partly thanks to 2 dogs and 6 cats who think it's all their stuff), but I prefer spartan surroundings. I'm working on downsizing alot of my stuff. Like the computer games I buy, I prefer the ones that I just need to install once, and then I don't need the disc anymore, so I can give the game away.
  4. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    My thought is to pass the heirlooms (such as they are) down now. I live a pretty spartan life myself and don't need "things." Everything of real value exists inside my heart not on my hearth. I have a need to be without encumbrances and so many of the things I have just weigh me down. I want to travel lighter
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose"

    From 'Me and Bobby Mcgee' by Kris Kristofferson.
    Good amount of truth to that.

  6. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    I sometimes feel like I'm at the point where I don't own things, they own me. I agree with you RH, time for the clutter to go!
  7. Capt. Tyree

    Capt. Tyree Hawkeye

    When my mother passed away last year at age 86, I inherited her possessions. Some things were easy to give away to family and friends who were naturally "fit" to receive something of my mother's, because I knew my mother would approve. But, rather than just give away all her things indiscriminately, I rented storage space for some of the antique or heirloom furniture, as well as those things of intrinsic, or even sentimental value.

    These things will take more time, because they were acquired during those years of my growing up, or even before my birth. I would rather spend the rental space money to determine where things will go at a slower pace, not dictated by grief, or overcrowding if I had the "stuff" in my home. Some of the nicer pieces of furniture will be restored, and given to my adult children (some already has). Some of the other things will be sold; some of it I will keep, incorporating these things into our household; and some of it will continue to be stored next to my own things already in storage, waiting to be used again, or for just the right person to be the appreciative new owner. Maybe I'm a foolish prisoner of "things", but I'm paying the storage rent, and as the saying goes. "slow is smooth, and smooth is fast". (And yes, I do have an approximate time objective to reduce the amount of storage space I rent.)
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    beware of rental storage units. mine was broken into I lost everything.
  9. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Day 1 - Dad's Workshop

    This is an interesting process to say the least. Decisions at every turn. What might I use in the future and what can be discarded, given, sold, or thrown. If the afternoon progresses as I hope it will, I will be able to start filling the dumpster I have rented for the purpose.

    My dad's workshop is a veritable treasure trove of useful items, redundant useful items, as well as things I'm sure even he forgot he had and even if he had not forgotten, I wonder if he remembered their purpose. Such are the arcane remnants of a lifetime.

    There are ammo boxes filled with springs, many ammo boxes of springs. Where had they come from I wondered absently. My parents, and theirs before them, were the original preppers and as such, I'm certain they knew that someday these springs might mean the difference between solution A and no solution at all. I can't quite envision the exact moment when 100 year old springs might save my life but one never knows. Put them on the keep side of the room for now I guess.

    And then there are the Model A mechanic's tools. My very first driving experience was with the Model A my granddad had fitted with an open bed and I was allowed to drive through the woods as I mastered the intricacies of shifting and down-shifting and rocking to release the tires from the quicksand like mud into which I had driven, or landed probably. So the tools, wrenches and such, are still in the workshop although the beloved old Model A is rotting in the dump at the back of the land along with tin cans and old bottles and saw blades with not enough steel left to form any teeth, the handles for these errant saws tucked away someplace in the workshop, I have no doubt, put there to await their eventual resurrection when the need arose. Maybe I can sell the tools on Ebay??? But then again, a tool is a tool and you never know which might be just the one to get you out of some mechanical jam, so to speak. Better hold on to those.

    My dad was a tool hound so the walls are covered with an array of hand, power and battery operated pieces of equipment, each in their special place or boxed on a shelf. I guess I inherited my love of tools from him so as I peruse the array, I find it difficult to part with any of them. Who knows what might come in handy some day in the future. I am sorely tempted to toss the three Black & Decker battery powered hedge trimmers (batteries not included) but even as I examine these, I am thinking that the trimming edge might be useful if removed from the plastic housing. I'm not sure what for but better safe than sorry.

    Moving on to hardware.....enough said. None of that can be forsaken for the sole purpose of removing clutter.

    Wire, cable, extension cords, assorted lengths of tubing, copper and plastic, and string and rope and chain links and......it goes on an on.

    Then my dad's first (and only as far as I know) Machinists Tool Box, the one he bought when he worked in the machine gun division of Colt's, made of oak with drawers lined in green felt. There is a small mirror built into top. How many years has it been since he might have opened that box to find just the right gauge or tap? I open each of the drawers to inspect the contents and in the very bottom I find a thin stack of letters. The rubber band that held them together has turned into a rigid snake-like piece of brown releasing it's package from the originally intended bondage. Letters, private letters between a husband and his wife and she to him. I question my right to read such intimacies that might be written but in the end I decide that I think they might have liked me to read them so I began. Several hours pass, memories flood my thoughts, tears are shed, smiles are rewarded and my connection to those who created me is renewed once again. To discard those would be like tearing the past out of my life. So, like the steward that I am, I carefully put them in my bag to bring into the house where they will join their brethren as footsteps through peoples lives.

    There are a couple old B&W TVs and rabbit ears - those will definitely find their way to the trash. Even if they work, I have no cable connection nor a roof antenna so it would be impossible to get any signal down here in the valley. It gives me some satisfaction that at least one thing will be tossed. A small victory.

    In the end of this afternoon, I have thrown out 2 TV's, a half dozen drill bits that are too short to resharpen, a handful of bent and rusty 6 penny nails, a container of old hand pumice that has separated and smells like old sneakers, a broken hasp, some old, dead D Size batteries, a few rolls of rotted green plastic webbing my dad used to repair lawn chairs. I haven't exactly filled the dumpster but I still have a whole house, basement, attic and garage to go.

    The process is much like looking over our many children as they sleep and trying to decide which we will sacrifice to the service of the landlord so that he will allow us a portion of his land. An impossible choice so the decision is not to choose any at all, keeping each in their accustomed place.

    Well, the workshop was a really bad place to start but maybe I'll be more successful in attic.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Check those TV's for tubes. There is a market for intact working tubes.;)
    ghrit likes this.
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