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.
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.
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.
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.