Things I Found While Looking for My Guitar Picks

dresserI am a pack rat by nature and as such I have to go through my life and clear out some of the junk. However, when I do these periodic junk-clearings, I have to make the decision about what to keep and what to throw away. And I have ended up keeping some really weird shit, as I quickly realized while looking for the guitar picks I was sure I had.

Here is a short list of things I have repeatedly decided to keep over the years:

-hair and teeth (both mine)

-confetti from a KISS concert and my senior prom (two separate events)

-coins from various countries as well as some state quarters from select states

-artwork that hung in my locker during my senior year

-artwork that hung on my bedroom walls during my senior year

-four yo-yo’s, five bouncy balls, three marbles, and one jack (toy jack not car jack)

-a Micro-Machine car

-five lighters

-a nut and bolt from my high school graduation

-notes from an old girlfriend, but none of them in the same place

-airline tickets from every plane trip I’ve taken as well as the train tickets and bus tickets from the BCE Chicago trip

-a Hello Kitty plastic ring

-a bat plastic ring

-my Taco Bell name badge as well as a Taco Bell Hot Wheel car, but they were in different places

-more sunglasses than any person should own

-more condoms than any person practicing celibacy should have

-So. Many. Keys.

For the record, the guitar picks were found with the bouncy balls, two of the three marbles, jack, and Taco Bell car because, of course, where else would I keep them?

The De-Cluttering Project

I have a problem with accumulating stuff. Not a hoarder-level accumulation problem, but it’s a pack rat problem, nonetheless.

I come from people that don’t get rid of things if there’s still some use for them. We drive cars until they won’t run anymore (mine’s a ’93 and I’ve had it ten years now). We’re the kind of people that wash out and save butter tubs for storage and keep cloth scraps just in case. We do our best not to rip the wrapping paper so we can use it again. And don’t forget to save the bows!

So, I acquire things that I end up eventually not needing or using, but I have trouble parting with them for various reasons. You know the ones. So-and-so gave this to me. What if I need it? I might use this eventually.

Last year, I started lightening this material load by selling most of my action figures on eBay. Yes, they were nice to have, but they were just sitting in some tubs upstairs. I had no room to display them. They were going to waste. So, I made the tough call to sell them. I cleared out some room in my storage, someone else got something they were looking for at a bargain price, and in the end, I realized I didn’t miss them.

I have once again begun de-cluttering the material portion of my life and I’m using eBay as my garage sale. Do I need the money? Sure. Do I need the space more? Yeah. There’s no sense in me keeping these things when someone else can get more use out of them. And there’s no reason to let these things continue to take up space in my life if I’m not going to make the most of them.

It’s a thought process that’s kind of hard for me to get used to, especially since I am such a pack rat by nature. There’s nothing wrong with saving things for later or trying to make the most out of what I have, but I need to put a limit on things. Consider it service-time limit. If I haven’t gotten my use out of it by a certain time, then I need to put it in the “get rid of” pile. And then follow through with the getting rid of it.

I’ve got a tub full of wrestling magazines. Stacks of writer magazines. DVDs I never watch. Books I’ll never read again. Clothes I’m holding on to for no good reason. Boxes in the basement filled with mystery contents. Why should I let this stuff rot in my house? I shouldn’t. And that’s the way I need to look at it, particularly with some of the items with some sort of sentimental value attached to it. I have to measure that value very carefully. What’s it really worth to me to keep this item?

Eventually (I’m hoping sooner rather than later), I’m going to get out of this house and move into my own place. I have to ask myself how much of this material life do I want to take with me? Do I want this stuff cluttering up my new world? Do I really want to move this stuff (the lazy person in me screams “no” when it comes to that question; I hate moving)?

It’s best that I start purging now. And it’s best that I get into the habit of purging now. I’ve got to get out of the rhythm of looking at something I’ve had for twenty years, forgot that I had, and then put away once again, just in case I might need it.

I won’t need it. But someone might.

Time to let it go.