Today Brian and I went up to our friend’s house to help them move some furniture around in preparation for some new wood flooring. The house they’ve been gradually renovating came right out of the 60’s/70’s, and the old shaggy gold carpet and brown linoleum tiling had to go.
But instead of being inspired by this experience to go renovate my own home, I had the desire to run home and expel all superfluous objects from my own residence. Much of my work today involved removing various nick-knacks and scores of delicate drink ware, and then returning them after the furniture had been relocated to another room.
As we worked, I heard comments of “We never use these”, and “He says he has to have these for sentimental reasons.” As I helped packed wine glass after wine glass, beer stouts, and multiple sets of China, I tried to think of what we might have stuffed on our basement shelves, under our stairs, in drawers and cabinets, under the beds, on end tables, and in closets. What was the point of having all that stuff? Was there some innate human need to just have things?
I think these are the most dangerous words to any hoarder (or to any person trying to do some spring cleaning): “But, I might use this“. Like the cake storage container and muffin tins that I might use — if I actually baked. And the various single-use kitchen gadgets and ceramic containers that I might use — if I actually cooked. What about all of those Christmas ornaments and the Oaxacan pottery that I could display — if I were to start trusting my rambunctious cats? Then, of course, there are the random clothing accessories that might be useful for a future Halloween costume. . .
All I know I know is I do not want my things to tie me down. And if I ever need to move again, I do not want to be packing up and making space for objects whose only function has been collecting dust.