While in the process of moving, and now as I unpack, I find myself willing to part with more and more stuff. I unpacked my bookcase this weekend and it didn’t have quite as many books as it used to. I unpacked my keepsake box and realized I had no idea why I’d won a plaque for Social Studies in the eighth grade. Seeing as the nameplate had fallen off, I figured I didn’t need it anymore. Of course, there were some things I would never part with, like my computer. But I challenged myself to come up with five things I could part with. Here they are:

Useless Kitchen Gadgets
It’s happened to anyone who cooks. You see a cool looking thingy in a catalog and you must have it. It gets used once and then stuffed in the back of the utensil drawer. When I found those items, I tossed them out. For example, the egg-beater my mom gave me when I moved. She fished it out of her utensil drawer and it found its way into mine. Thirteen years later, it had been used once, so I tossed it.

Old Bedding
We’d been saving old bedding for our next move, thinking we could use it to wrap furniture. Except that we hired movers to do the moving for us. A couple of the comforters could be useful for camping or as cushioning while painting baseboards, but the rest are now in the trash. I have no need for a ripped top sheet.

Books
I gave up a good 30-40 books during the moving process, which whittled me down to a mere ten boxes of books. Most of them had either never been read or I didn’t like enough to keep. Some will be sold, some were donated to the library, and some were so battered that they had to be recycled. I don’t miss them at all.

Clothes
I finally admitted that I will never fit into certain pairs of jeans again. Even if I got back down to the size I was at 18, my body isn’t the same so they wouldn’t fit right. It was tough, but I put them in the donation box.

Curling Blow Dryer
I don’t style my hair. I brush it and that’s about it. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve voluntary curled it. Yet, a hairdresser and my best friend both insisted that I buy a curling blow dryer to style my hair about a decade ago. This is a curling iron with a brush on the end and hot air blows out through holes in the brush. It’s supposed to style and dry at once. Except I could never figure out how to work it. My hair got tangled, I got frustrated, and it sat in a drawer for the next nine years. I did use it for about three weeks two years ago when I left my blow dryer at my mom’s house after a visit. It didn’t work well as an actual blow dryer. I don’t have that thing anymore.

Most of these things should have been thrown out years ago. I held onto them partly out of the idea that I could find a use for them, and partly from the sunk cost fallacy. If I’d paid for it, or it had been given to me as a gift, it must have a value. Except that something sitting in a drawer unused has no value. What do you have that no longer has value? What could you give up? My list is fairly inconsequential, and that’s the point. It’s a lot easier to get rid of the useless stuff first, then later you can get rid of the stuff you’re attached to but no longer has real value.

Comments

2 Responses to “Could You Give Up Five Things Easily?”

  1. Mneiae on September 10th, 2009 6:06 pm

    I’m only 18 and just starting out in a dorm room. What I really took away from your post was that I shouldn’t accumulate objects that have no purpose in my life. :)

  2. Aryn on September 11th, 2009 9:42 am

    Mneiae, that’s the right attitude. If you can avoid accumulating clutter in the first place you’ll be much better off than the rest of us!

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