Sunday, May 2, 2010

Throwing Things Out.

I was looking for a pair of black socks this morning. I found two that seemed to match and noticed one had a hole in the heel. I threw it back into the sock pile and fished out another. Same thing, but the hole was in the ankle area. I threw it back in. I could have tossed them both in the trash but I didn't. You never know when you need an old sock with a hole in it.

I have pens that don't work. I know they don't work and will never work.

Keys? Dozens that have no keyhole that I know of.  I have shirts that I haven't worn in years. I have had shirts in my closet so un-used that a  film of dust gathered on the shoulder.

I know what you're thinking -- that I have a "hoarding" problem. I don't. I watched an episode of one of those hoarder reality shows and they take pack-ratting to a level I can't understand. I have my clean-out binges where I am merciless. Honest. I did watch one show where the lady was keeping empty bottles of shampoo on the ledge of her bathtub. Dozens of plastic bottles -- empty, just sitting there. And then she started crying when the guy told her she had to throw them out. It was all a little too weird for me.

Part of the problem is that the homo sapien is a collector by nature. I'll bet you collect something even if it is in a casual kind of way. Stamps, coins, books, beer bottles, anything with a dolphin on it. Something. You name it in this material world and somebody is collecting it. People just love to collect stuff.

The truth is, I don't mind throwing things out. Except shoes. I hate to throw out old shoes. They're like old friends, you just like them for all kinds of unknown reasons.

Now . . . socks should be another thing. But my throw-backs are still there, and probably will be for a long time.

(comments on anything you keep, but shouldn't, gladly accepted)


Jenn said...

My biggest problem is paper upon which my children have scribbled. It doesn't matter what they wrote, but it's especially hard to toss if it says, "I love Mama!" I have a frighteningly large stack of drawings in my closet. One might call it a tower.
I can understand the shoes a bit. Every pair have memories attached - be it vacations or weddings etc.

Lynn said...

I bought a pair of lovely new walking shoes a week ago. I'm keeping the ratty old ones until the 22nd, when I get to attend my first Habitat build, because I don't care if they come home all spackled and spatter-painted. And then they are *gone*! I am hanging onto my Franklin Covey planner cover, which is falling apart, because I don't want to shell out $150 for a new one, and so far I don't like the ones I've seen on eBay for considerably less. When I do find a replacement, I am picking this one apart and saving the red leather to make doll clothing. Right now there is a pile of junk mail on the end of the couch that is spilling off the end of it and needs to go into the recycling or the shredder. I wouldn't say I'm collecting it; I think it's breeding while I'm asleep...

Francis Shivone said...

Jenn -- Notes from kids get a full dispensation, no matter how many.

Lynn -- Good luck on the Habitat work. You know I spent most of my life in the "direct mail" business. We weren't allowed to say j*** mail. But just think -- you are doing your part for keeping people employed by treasuring the mail you receive. :)

John said...

My lovely spouse recently cleared mounds of material off her bureau: paperwork from a vacation 5 years ago, old receipts, paperwork from when our boys were in elementary school - heaps of the stuff. Some went to Goodwill, some the trash, some the shredder, some got file appropriately.

Afterward, when you could actually see the wood surface of her bureau, she commented that the lack of "stuff" depressed her.

As far as I'm concerned, the nice flat surface will give me more room to write stuff in the dust (which is a whole other topic).

Sunni R. said...

I have been told by my super organized friends that keeping gift bags and tissue paper (I smooth it out and roll it for another wrapping/stuffing)smells of hoarding behavior. But I like to give nice looking gifts and don't like to spend a lot of $$ making them look that way. I also save lengths of ribbon & fabric or anything I think I could use in a home dec way.

Francis Shivone said...

Makes perfect sense to me, Sunni.