I’m in the process of my semi-annual top-of-the-desk clean-up project, which entails emptying enough items that I’ll single-handedly become a recycler’s best customer.
I’m in the process of my semi-annual top-of-the-desk cleanup project, which entails emptying enough items that I’ll single-handedly become a recycler’s best customer.
That’s because I have an aversion about throwing anything away I might use one day.
My collective nature stems from childhood, when my sister and I would get trinkets out of food containers.
We played with her toys, and I kept mine safe in a drawer.
A few months ago, I found some of those souvenirs and decided the Butternut Bread stickers featuring the U.S. bicentennial celebration probably wouldn’t be a treasure for my son, even though they’re in pristine condition and contain most of the “Peanuts” comic strip characters.
Now, thanks to television shows geared toward making me feel like I have some kind of psychological aversion about keepsakes, I’ll soon be shamed into kicking my collective nature and focusing on a whole new bunch of bad habits.
I’m certain my wife can hardly wait.
A few days ago, one clutter expert discussed that anything not used for two months should be eliminated, which seems to explain why some people keep Christmas lights fastened to their houses all year.
Actually, they are more forward thinking than I ever gave credit, because, while some might look at it as laziness, they’ve effectively eliminated clutter inside their houses.
One argument I’ve already used with my wife is that several items I own are specifically designed to use less often than once every two months.
For example, I only use my bug zapper light during the spring and summer when I wish to inhabit my deck without being accompanied by roughly 386 species of insects swarming around my head, hoping to share my drink. … Or drink my blood.
There also is an automobile battery charger and a set of jumper cables. While I hope I never need either, once every two or three years they become worth their weight in gold and much more valuable than the space where they set collecting dust and cobwebs the other 750 days.
I also have several other items I technically do not “use” every two months including a collection of baseball, football and basketball trading cards that one day certainly will allow me to retire prosperously. Of course, I’ll need to recall exactly where they are packed away in the basement before I become too senile to care.
An extensive collection of camera equipment dating back to when everyone photographed in formats of 35mm, 120, 620 and even 127 film take up one section of a shelving unit. And, while I haven’t shot portraits for several years, I continue to hold onto two sets of studio strobes and backdrops, just in case anyone needs family photos.
Numerous other items are equally important and I can’t think of any significant reason for eliminating them from their places in storage until I happen across another “clutter show.”
So, instead, I’m simply going to stop watching television programs intent on making me into some kind of nomad who could simply wander from place to place without overhead of “belongings.”
In fact, I think that would also be a great argument to my wife when she asks why I have all those boxes of stuff setting around.
I’m ready to reply … after I put up my Christmas lights, this evening.
Ken Knepper is publisher of The Newton Kansan and The McPherson Sentinel. He can be contacted at email@example.com.