Thinking Out Loud: Too Much Stuff

At the real danger of #firstworldproblems, and at the risk humble bragging, I have too much stuff. Most of it is not expensive, although there is far too much money for me to even contemplate adding it all up. I do live with the consequence of being a borderline hoarder for far too many years.

The issue is I don’t have enough junk, it is not old newspapers, or masses of old crumbling magazines, I have maybe 20 magazines waiting to be culled for my ideas book, and it is not what I think I see on TV programs. Nothing is dilapidated beyond being useful. I have lots of unread books, yes, and I do put those past utility up for sale on Amazon even though I make very little doing it because they go to a good home. Most I do intend to read, and am addressing the reasons I have been scared of reading (something for future thought). It is, like my ribbons, my tapes, my notebooks, my books, my paper and card, sponges, paintbrushes and paints, of actual utility. I have stickers, screwdrivers, in fact, things purchased because I had to use them that are now stored because they were used, and I think that the moment I throw them away, I will need to use them.

The other issue with not having junk is that while it is not expensive per item, add it up and it is a lot to replace. Like the tools I lost in my divorce, I built those up over nearly 20 years of tinkering first with motorcycles and then with cars. The thought of replacing them is too much, the simple cost of a 32mm socket is enough to put me off replacing much of what I had, it was not the most expensive, but it was not the cheapest either, but that decent midrange of the not professional, very dedicated hobbyist. The sort of thing I used to change suspension, turbos, headers, exhausts, radiators and that sort of item on cars I modified over the years. My decent trolley jack and stands, all gone, all those little lengths of pipe, laughably I even lost my collection of neon cable ties. These day’s I do little past change a wheel or put on a back box because doing other things highlights my lack of tools, where is my one person brake bleed, caliper piston winding tool, I literally give up when I haven’t even got my oil drain tray or my extra high stands to give a good working space under a car.

Perhaps lacking those is for the best, given I do not have enough space to store what I do have. Yet what I have, is definitely not junk, I have spend months since taking my office space from computer and storage, to creative space with specific desks for the specific activities. The biggest desk belongs to my computer set up, a big L-shaped desk with 2 screens, rather ridiculously I traded a 32inch TV for a 40inch one without spending a single penny, just a little petrol picking the big one up. This space perhaps typifies the issue, under my smaller monitor I have a little shelf, on which live pens, post-its, a cigar tool, a storm trooper key ring, lip salve, a qalo ring, sd cards and usb drives, under it I haimg_20170102_131811ve cable tidies holding charging cables, and to each side stands to hold items while they charge, and in front of that I have a small book stand, plus under the shelf are various different post it items, and I have a business card wallet, a usb light bulb, hot wheels car, a bigger scale Aston Martin, and the cast of Scooby Doo minus scrappy, ther is a crappy tablet, a paperwhite kindle, A3 printer, original Xbox, ps3, SAD light, I have led lights around the big monitor, my Filofax, my blog ideas book and my notes pad for anything I need to remember, think of, or generally write down, hemp hand cream. Pepper and George pig figures, my phone, a Bach remedy for concentration, another old tablet and keyboard combo, wireless studio headphones, copy of Elle, cigar, metal rulers, various fountain pens and their purple ink, a gratitude journal, and a mindfulness companion, and business card holder full of cards like my Costa loyalty card, and a Starbucks Card that needs money on it, the spare battery charger with battery charged up for my phone, my granddads brass submarine, remote for the tv, light bulb, Ventolin, 2 unopened scented candles, coaster with coffee cup, camera, sharpie, small shopping list pad, tweezers, You’re Special bear, stickers, bookmarks paper towel,  small metal plaque saying: he believed he could so he did.

The point of that list being, that is just the desk, I have 2 other tables, 4 books cases and a filing cabinet, a display cabinet, and a window sill, plus have 3 shelves coming, and I haven’t included the stuff under the tables like my wires tub, or drawer units that are being sorted and labelled, let alone the 10 drawer Bisley unit I’ve had for over 12 years. Everywhere there are things that have had utility, things that are for sale, things that are part of future projects. Did I mention I also have over 20 beanie hats.

I feel a little nuts, yet nothing, in my mind, is ready for the bin, everything I have could be picked up and put into service straight away, even the VCR I want to find a home for and hook up to watch my collection of old video tapes to slip down amnesia avenue some days. I have thrown away what feels like lots, I have things like 10 pairs of jeans I don’t need that are going on eBay, along with about 20 pairs of shorts that a really surplus to anyone’s requirements, especially in the UK.

The big laugh is, probably like many demi-hoarders, I have books on organisiimg_20170102_132711ng. I recoil massively at minimalism. I grew up with lots of ornaments, and I later discovered my mother kept the place tidy by stuffing things away. I may be untidy but in terms of organisation you have more chance of finding things in my office than anywhere in her place. Cost me a fortune because she lost her will. The other issue is that I am not like this in the public spaces of my house, my bedroom is like my office, and it is driving me crazy, the issue is that the Christmas holidays are time for a little writing when wifey catches up with her TV, and a lot of family. 2 weeks or so of being together, just being, slowing down and recharging ready for the next term and the next challenges and goals.

In this case the challenge of sorting, how do people manage minimalism, what do they do when they need a heart cookie cutter, a sponge heart, a bit of rhinestone tape, and doesn’t everyone have a Carl Fogarty Tribute helmet? I guess it’s not normal to have sticker books and a tin with stickers either! Most filing cabinets don’t have Darth Vader’s head on the side. I look at my things, and they do no harm, yet part of me is compelled to see junk, it is like while I acknowledge that I need no stuff to be happy, happiness has never been in the things I own, I have seen it thrown away and broken for 40+ years, it was never precious to anyone but me, having it makes me feel a sort of warm fuzziness because now it is all considered valuable and nothing of mine goes in a bin without my say so, nothing is broken without offer of immediate replacement, being upset when something breaks is okay, even understandable or appropriate

So, I sit thinking, on the one hand, I really need to clear this stuff out, but most of it would be a terrible waste in the bin but is not worth the cost of selling online. Which begs the question, why not a boot sale, but that means sorting pricing, and I guess I want a minimum work solution, and if I sell I want to feel okay at the price I get. And £1 for the jeans is not ok! But I can’t see them fetching more.

It is the excuses stage, I guess, the part of me that says get rid is talking to the part of me that does not want what is a decent serviceable item to go in a bin, or get mistreated or not seen as having value. Plus of course there is pain in breaking a collection is a bit too much. I blame the skip, my wife blames the skip reinforced by what happened in life after that which encouraged me to over supply because things went missing for months on end.

And so, thinking out loud, perhaps not best to suggest any good books, a website would be better!



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