Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I Have a Lot of Crap

One of the things you start to notice when you're slowly gathering everything you own into a pile and deciding what to keep and what to throw out is how much stuff you inevitably accrue over time.

In some ways, I'm better off than some folks because my wife and I have never been the type of people that feel the need to buy a bunch of useless knickknacks, although that's not really because we're taking any sort of stand but more because we are incredibly lazy/forgetful people, and we almost always forget that we bought stuff. In two years of living in our house, we have yet to fully pull the trigger on either the "fat chef" motif of the kitchen, nor the "movies and cinema" motif of the living room, despite buying a few things to fit both of those themes.

A lot of the stuff that we've acquired were things that I was REALLY INTO for a brief period of time, only to have that interest wane or evaporate entirely. (My brain is sort of weird, and gets all obsessive and globby on one thing for a period of time and that's all I can think or talk about, and then POOF it's gone and I'm onto my next new obsession.)

In spite of all of that, we still have lots of weird decorations and thingamabobs that just sit on shelves and take up space. And part of me looks at all this stuff and thinks: do we really need all this?

Just as an example: I have, to be scientific about it, a metric fuckton of books. In fact, and this is completely true, when we hired movers to move into our house, one of the movers said that my giant tub o' books was actually the heaviest thing he had to move of our stuff--and he actually picked up and moved both our washer and our dryer inside without a dolly.

I mean, he moved them separately. He didn't, like, stack the washer and dryer on top of each other or carry one under each arm or anything. Bust still, the fact that he was able to carry my full-sized washing machine but found it difficult to carry my tub o' books says a lot about the number of books I have.

And that was only one of the books. I had at least one other, and possibly two--I can't remember exactly, tub o' books, admittedly smaller but no less full.

My personal library is an eclectic mix of genres, styles, and subjects--especially recently, as I've become much more interested in nonfiction. But still, sometimes I look at my shelves of books and think, "I'm probably never reading most of these books ever again. I should just get rid of them to make room for more books." But then I look through the stacks and find that--NO I JUST CAN'T WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO THIS YOU MONSTER???

And so the books stay. And grow. And overtake the house.

Featured: unpacked books part 1

Featured: unpacked books part 2
I managed to bite the bullet this time around, when faced with the harsh reality of a dramatically smaller living space, and gathered up two boxes of books to donate to Goodwill. And yet? The shelf is still full. In fact, at this point in packing, the big gray tub o' books is completely full, and my bookshelf is still full.

The tub goes above her knee. It's, like, mid-thigh on her.
This is true of movies as well. I have three boxes full of movies, and this was after the Great Movie Purge of '11, wherein I got rid of a bunch of movies, TV show seasons, and video games to get enough money for two tickets to see both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Winnie the Pooh--two movies my wife reeeaaaally wanted to see.

All full of movies/tv shows.
And I still find myself going over to the movie shelf and going, "Wait...didn't I used to own that? GAH! STUPID! WHY DID I GET RID OF THAT??"

And none of this counts the extra furniture that we got over the several years of living in houses that we seem to have gotten mostly to...fill up the empty rooms we rarely used.

All of this packing and moving has me realizing how much wasted space we really had all this time. I mean, our house wasn't particularly big, and yet we still had an entire room that we only stepped into probably 10 times in the entire time we lived in this house. And we had a similar situation in the last 2 houses we lived in. And my friends--until they had a kid, at least--had the same situation.

What did we use that room for? To fill with crap that we didn't know what to do with. It was like that junk drawer that everyone has, only this wasn't a drawer, it was an entire room.

Anyway, those are just some of the weird places my mind went as I packed today.

Do you have a lot of useless crap? Do you decorate your house? If so, with what?

Also, do you have a room and/or drawer of useless crap that you don't know what to do with?