Saturday, 27 September 2014

So today I went hunting.

We have a walk-in storage space under the stairs, which is neither large nor grand, but it IS useful.

And used.

It's floor to ceiling with 'stuff'.

I was looking for some picture frames that had been donated sometime in the last 25 years (probably in the 90s) and although I knew roughly where they were, because of the sheer quantity of things in there I had to 2/3 empty it before they could be accessed. This wasn't a bad idea anyway, because the last time everything came out was about 18 months ago, and the front area, where tools and electrical items that are needed regularly get stored had become a mess.

This will sound funny, but I get really down, depressed, when I see how much stuff I own.

It feels like I've passed that peak, where it's so good to accumulate (actually it went by a while back) and now I like things to use, but not things to just 'own'. I've always been a bit like that (you won't find any nicnacs in out house* - I loathe them, and they're too much work for Chris) but there was a time when just owning something felt good. That time is well past, and now if it doesn't serve some practical function then it no longer warrants the space it occupies.

It would be very easy to get rid of all the junk.

It would be a terrible thing to get rid of all this useful stuff.

Some things, like the burned out computer power supply that was stored so I could raid it for components sometime has been thrown. Likewise the last bathroom fan heater that I kept 'in case I could find a way into the sealed case' to repair has gone. I have a lot of radio controlled aeromodelling stuff in there, 3 camera bags including my Bronica ETR outfit (and a horrible Practika outfit belonging to a friend, who kind of dumped it here - he also owns one of the planes in that cupboard).  There's 3 decent size combo amps and a tower of 1X12 cabs and speakers, a couple of guitars (some in bits) and the boxes for the Roland guitar synth plus other processors. There's a large pile of (good, useful) tools including several drills, belt & orbital sanders, electric and hand planes, heat guns, soldering irons, jigsaws (the circular saw is in the shed). Right at the front is the vacuum cleaner. :-)

I could go on.

It's all away again now, and that leaves me feeling happier. It just seems wrong to own so much when there are so many poor people.

*re-reading this, I realise I do have things that are meaningful to me from times past. There's a tiny magnifying glass with a silver frame that has been 'mine' since I was a boy, along with a couple of old toy cannons. There's a brass 'tortoise' desk ornament my mother gave to me 20+ years ago. Probably a few other similar bits. They all sit there, tucked away, brought out occasionally. Maybe it's self-justification, but they seem different from just having 'stuff' on display because of the meaning they possess.


  1. I hit the point, about two years ago, of being weary of buying more stuff. The realisation for me was looking at all my music gear, tools, etc & realising how far beyond the wildest dreams of my teens I had come.

    Of course, I could always justify another tool, guitar or lens. But, I don't need it, either emotionally or practically.

  2. Thanks for commenting Fern - somehow your comment ended up in 'spam', hence the delay in publication.

    A tricky thing for me, with the increasing acquisition of stuff is that I actually find it hard to sell for a meaningful price. A lot of the time I don't actually want to keep the stuff for the sake of keeping, but it's also hard to just give things away for a pittance when they are still good and worthwhile.I've been trying to sell guitars, speakers, pedals and lenses for ages, mostly without success. Some guys clearly have the ability to flip, but that's never been me.


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