kerravonsen: Vila, worried, Avon, both looking off to the right: "We're lost, aren't we?" (lost)
[personal profile] kerravonsen

I have STUFF. It accumulates. Being a frugal, responsible person, I kept a lot of it because "it might be useful" or "somebody else might find it useful" or "I could give it away on Freecycle" or "I could sell it on Ebay". And I did none of the above. None.

The effort and stress of listing something on Ebay has obviously been too great for me to summon up the energy to do. Likewise for Freecycle. This gives me much guilt, because putting things into landfill when they could be recycled is BAD. BAD KA! BAD BAD BAD! I have thus been caught between feeling guilty if I threw it away, and feeling stressed if I didn't. Because Stuff Taking Up Space is getting to really stressful levels for me. I have all these craft materials! I need to put them somewhere! I'm running out of space!

I have finally said "enough!" (or "too much", really). Forget Ebay. Forget Freecycle. Forget them all. One phone call, and I have booked a Hard Rubbish collection. My hope is that people round about will take at least some things off the pile before it gets collected by the Local Council. Shove my guilt, the stress has just gotten TOO MUCH. Stuff it!

So. Hard rubbish. Today I've been going around the house gathering stuff and clearing away stuff. Hopefully my nephew will help me tomorrow to put heavy things outside on the kerb.

Here are some of my rules-of-thumb:

  1. If I haven't used or looked at something in five or ten years, I'm not likely to.
    • This includes my fireplace. I cleaned out all the old charcoal and ashes this morning. Lots of spiderwebs too. The fire-tools are going on the heap. Likewise the pile of unused logs. This will free up a nice tiled alcove that could be Quite Useful.
    • This does NOT include books. They are sacrosanct.
  2. If something is hidden away in a tangled mess in a box, I'm not likely to know that I have it to use anyway.
  3. If it's something electronic (a device, or cables, or plugs) I won't know whether it works or not, since even if it used to work, it may no longer do so. And if I need the thingie, I'm probably better off buying a new one.

Some surprise finds:

  • Going through the pockets of an old backpack, I found three pieces of jewellery (likely used for cosplay at some convention or other). I had completely forgotten they existed!
  • I had not realised that I still had heaps of old floppy disks (and old Zip disks -- does anyone remember those?) even though I no longer had any means for reading them! So now I have a couple of floppy-disk drawers that I can put something else into. Hmmm.
  • Found a couple of sets of playing cards I'd bought ages ago and forgotten about.
  • Looked in the box of computer stuff and was surprised to see a gunmetal-coloured sphere at the bottom. Turned out it was the ball from a no-longer-working trackball. So I've now put it with the "things that might be wire-wrapped and turned into pendants" -- it was very pretty.
  • My Onyx Boox e-book reader was in a box of junk, and it appears to still be working. This was the second Boox I bought (after the first one died). Both of them were far too expensive, but they did have features I really liked. However, I find I'm using my Pocketbook e-book reader as my default e-book reader, so I'm not really using the Boox. Anyone want an e-book reader?

Some of the things going on the heap:

  • old CRT TV. Still works, but incompatible with everything modern.
  • dead computer (box)
  • dead external hard disks
  • old HP Scanjet 5p; still works, just there was a yellow streak down one side of the scan. Best scanner I've ever used. Fabulous for taking "pictures" of jewellery. Lasted many years, too.
  • more recent HP scanner. Even out of the box it was utter crap.
  • a second-hand touchscreen (stylus-driven) that I could only get to work as a dumb screen rather than a touchscreen. I don't know if it was because it was incompatible with Linux or because the touchscreen part was broken.
  • fire tools (as mentioned above) Poker, tongs, fire screen etc.
  • lots and lots of computer/video cables; half of them I don't know what they are. Basically if it isn't being used right now, I'm getting rid of it.
  • my old cordless phone set
  • my previous netbook; I kept on hoping it could be fixed (something wrong with the electric plug) but never got around to actually asking anyone to do so
  • various bits and bobs of computery stuff, such as old modems and mice
  • the aforementioned floppy disks and zip disks. I took the zip disks out of their cases; figured I might be able to use the cases for small jewellery items. The zip disk cases are smaller and deeper than CD cases, but similarly flip-top clear plastic.

It will be good to get rid of it all.

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Kathryn A.

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