Sunday, May 18, 2008

Unnecessary Stuff Cluttering Up My Life

Patty here…

I have too many things--things I don’t need and often don’t even want--but once they’re in my possession, that’s where they seem to stay.

Here are a few examples I found in a bureau drawer.



I can’t remember when or why I bought that combination lock. I only know I haven’t used it in at least 15 years. At least I had the presence of mind to write down the combination.

I once dated a guy who brought me something red each time he took me out on a date. Inside that red heart is a candle. The wooden box also contains a red heart. I thought he had potential until he gave me a red dishtowel. Gong!

Those sunglasses are so vintage they’re probably back in style.

The round item with the embroidered flowers is a sachet my grandmother gave me in a birthday card. The scent is long gone but I still keep it. Guess where it was made. Nope. Switzerland.

And why do I keep a holder for a cell phone I don’t have anymore?

I bought this hors d’oervres kit from Martha Stewart’s catalog back in the day. I wrote about it in my second book Cover Your Assets, because Tucker has one, too. You can tell by the dust on the cover and the packing paper that neither one of us ever used it.



I have oodles of kitchen gadgets. I’m not even sure what some of these things are or why I bought them. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Some items I use occasionally, like the cherry pitter and the shrimp deveiner. The green thingie takes the papery layer off a clove of garlic. I use it at least once a year, but I'm not sure that justifies keeping it.



For those of you who have one of these...



...do you actually use it enough to justify the space it takes up in your kitchen?

Then there’s the unnecessary stuff hanging in my closet, and the scrapbooking supplies I no longer have time to use, and the books I’ve read and will never read again, and my college essays that are so brilliant I can’t bear to part with them, and the 40 million gift-with-purchase lipsticks that I will never wear because name one person who looks good in any shade of magenta.

And those unnecessary tools in the garage and the garden shed? Don’t even get me started.

So, do you have any unnecessary stuff in your life that you can’t seem to part with?

Happy Sunday and Monday, too!

39 comments:

  1. I have two drawers full of cables and AC adaptors. I have no idea what most of them are supposed to go with.

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  2. patty smiley5/18/2008 12:39 PM

    And yet you hang on to them. I know. I know. You're just researching your next novel. Right?

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  3. In our house, Roanne is totally brutal when it comes to clutter - she's got a 12 month 'use it or lose it' rule.

    The rule guarantees me at least one shag a year though I spose.

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  4. patty smiley5/18/2008 1:32 PM

    Oh, Marcus, could I ever use Roanne. My problem is I keep thinking somebody else might want my unnecessary stuff if only I could find that person. Anybody need a garlic peeler?

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  5. Is it me or does that green thing look like some sort of elaborate condom? I guess it's me and I need to track down my husband.

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  6. patty smiley5/18/2008 2:21 PM

    OMG! I've obviously been using it INCORRECTLY!!! Now I can't remember if I bought it at Williams Sonoma or the Hustler store.

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  7. Oh right, the green thing in the TOP image looks like a condom - I thought you were referring to the garlic peeler thing and was thinking I must lead a way too sheltered life if condoms were now made to look like spikey tubes!

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  8. Marcus, you obviously haven't been to your local Hustler store lately. Spikey is in.

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  9. Go-lo, living in a small New Zealand city, I can't even rely on the local BOOKSTORES to successful carry or order the items I want - can you imagine what a Hustler store would be like here? Blow-up sheep for the lonely farmers on city visits, and bugger all else!

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  10. i won't ever be able to peel garlic again without getting hot flushes!!!

    sybille

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  11. Sybille, this would have ruined me for garlic forever if it wasn't for the whole vampire thing...

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  12. "A place for everything and everything in its place" My Mom

    Mom had a much shorter "use it or lose it" protocol.If something was in the fridge for more than a few days....it was discarded. This was almost the case for anything that wasn't carrying its weight = taking up space for "no good reason." Perhaps she owned stock in WasteManagement, not sure.

    On a serious note: last week felt like an opened faced sandwich. I COUNT ON Go-Lo and our J to be the slices of bread which hold the blog sandwich togeteher. What happened to J last Friday?

    Jon

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  13. I am amazed that no one has asked the really important question........where does the grease from the hot dog in the hot dog cooking thingy go?

    If you ever decide to get rid of it, drive to your nearest colleg campus and hand it to the first 20something guy you see...it will have a good home...lol

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  14. James O. Born5/19/2008 7:55 AM

    I have the same kind of Master lock from a highschool locker which I haven't used since.

    Jim

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  15. My mother has been known to throw away the current tv guide when she's going through the magazine stack on the coffee table. If there is more than one we don't need both of them right?

    I also have to make sure I hide the newspaper in my room if I'm not going to be able to read it until the next day.

    Who still has a George Foreman hanging around-do you actually use it?

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  16. Our J? Where are you?

    I have a theory that the world is broken down into two classes of people: savers and tossers. I'm a saver. It's part of my DNA. I can't tell you how many times I heard my grandmother say, "I'll just save this for good." WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

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  17. But Doug, what will happen to the minds of the next generation. DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S IN A HOT DOG!!!!!

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  18. I've been living in my house for 17 years, and have accumulated vast amounts of clutter. At the moment, my guest room, which used to actually be usable by guests, has been renamed The Room of Terror. You can't see the bed, the cats got lost in there for days, it's astonishing in its badness.

    Most of my unnecessary stuff is clothes and shoes, although there's some flotsam and jetsam of other types, too. For instance, my grandmother's mortgage payment book from the early 1920s - it's an interesting artifact ($20 per month for a really nice house) but should I keep it? Don't think so....

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  19. patty smiley5/19/2008 11:57 AM

    Rae, you made me laugh! I have a storage room that looks like that. I call it the stand-and-throw room. You have to toss stuff in and close the door fast. Otherwise, the avalanche will get you.

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  20. Patty,

    Were you watching Sixty Minutes as you wrote this? More specifically, were you watching Andy Rooney? Not that there's anything wrong with that....

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  21. Mims, I wasn't but on hindsight it does sound awfully Rooneyish. Are the eyebrows far behind?

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  22. just the one room? oh you lucky things. my whole cellar looks like that! six rooms full of books, broken toys, prams, travelling cots, kitchen gadgets, tvs that don't work in germany, you name it. my husband even had to move his motorbike out of the garage to make room for the stuff our kids - the next generation of savers - don't want to throw out.

    sybille

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  23. patty smiley5/19/2008 3:42 PM

    Sybille, maybe you, Rae and I should open a consignment shop. We could make a fortune selling our "collectibles." Anything left over would get tossed out by Roanne and Norby's mom.

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  24. Patty, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here ... caught up in the clutter of life! Sorry, all, about Friday - what with the dog to the vet, my parents visiting (and how things change - they leave the house and I find myself yelling, "And don't forget to look both ways when you cross the road!"), and - naturally - the serious deadline that has me sweating buckets right now.

    I loved this post, Patty - very Andy Rooney-esque. Of course I have clutter - a whole garage full, to say nothing about the old stuff in drawers and closets. My big project - I promise - when I finish this ms, write papers for two events I'm doing in the next month, and blah, blah, blah other stuff, is to have a MAJOR PURGE of unwanted and no longer used items. I will be so ruthless, I will be the Sheriff of Nottingham of useless bloody clutter. I'll give the lot to the Animal Spay and Neuter clinic - they can sell it to help stop unwanted dogs and cats.

    I'll be back again on Friday, promise.

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  25. Okay, now Jon can sleep tonight. Greetings to your mom and pop. Hope your "pup" was just in for a routine physical.

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  26. PS,

    When I embarked upon my current "great nomadic journey", I pruned from my life a great many things that I didn't actually "need"--which included a great many clothes that I hadn't worn since the Eighties. The early Eighties. That said, there are still a dozen boxes stashed in storage somewhere...which would include my ragged-eared, one-eyed teddy bear. How can you possibly say good-bye to Teddy?

    I have to say, how can you know what you might actually need again one day--buying something twice is a waste of money-- and do you know how much these things will be worth when they're antiques? :o)

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  27. "...and do you know how much these things will be worth when they're antiques?"

    Jeff, you must mean those vintage sunglasses of mine.

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  28. oh jeff, you're my hero!!! antiques, what a brilliant idea. now i have a reason to hang on to all this stuff - they will make my kids filthy rich.
    patty, i've already tried to sell some of the things in my shop but my customers just laughed at me.

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  29. "Jeff, you must mean those vintage sunglasses of mine."

    Can you say, "Ebay"? ;o)

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  30. Maybe we should sell our unnecessary stuff on Naked Authors and donate the proceeds to Save the Polar Bears????

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  31. I've been trying to be ruthless for months about getting rid of stuff. Everytime I say "there! Another two feet of floor space." It rapidly gets filled up again. I have a box by the front door for books to go to the second hand dealers, but it doesn't look like I've made a noticeable dent. urk.

    Still, I've managed to clear a lot of little stuff, and one or two big things. It really is an ongoing project. :-D

    Patty: love that green jagged condom. :-D

    Hey Our J. - great to see you. :-D

    Hope your parents are having fun and holding hands when crossing the road. And your puppy is better if he is feeling down. :-D

    Cheers, you lot,
    Marianne

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  32. Thanks Go-Lo for facilitating a response from "our J."....and, J, I'm glad to hear that you are holding up well under all the pressures...Haven't seen comments from "one wing lefty Levine"....maybe the garage sale proceeds should go to the Rotator Cuff Rehab Center

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  33. Jon, hopefully Lefty Levine will get the message and weigh in. Let's all pool our thoughts.

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  34. Marianne, just don't throw out the fruitcake recipes...

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  35. Oh, do I! My husband and I are expecting our second child in November. We also live in a 580 sq. ft. home with one bedroom. :) Needless to say, a definite urge to purge has taken up residence in my heart. I've even set up a day when family and friends are coming to help me purge! Three weeks and counting...

    (Thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one.)

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  36. patty smiley5/23/2008 6:02 AM

    Lindsay, you are SO not the only one :o)

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  37. I love those old school vintage sunglasses!

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