Brass Tacks and Getting Down to Them


The Great Purge of Stuff continues as I selectively purge as much content as I possibly can from my studio living space. Despite my best intentions, in the past five years I appear to have accumulated so much stuff that I need to force a reduction of 40 to 60% of my objects in order to remain afloat amidst my belongings. The question is how did I get here and how do I avoid finding myself in a similar position again?

I do not own a house. I do not own a mini-van. I do not even own a couch or any number of large objects that tend to fill an average nuclear family’s living space. Instead, I own a lot of photographic, musical, culinary and literary objects. As my partner duly noted: I own a few objects that are duplicated exponentially throughout our home. I was initially horrified at this idea insofar as how could I not see that I did not need two espresso-makers and a drip coffee maker or that it was unnecessary for me to own four keyboards when I am not in the rock band Journey? Perhaps I was in danger of becoming that most terrifying of characters, The Hoarder, or even worse…The Collector.

After a few hours of steady reflection, I decided that I was mentally stable and that while I may own a substantial collection of Folio Society books in my personal library these were books I read or wanted to read in the near future. While I own six guitars, each has a very specific use and I do love to play each of them more and more these days. Perhaps I had too many pots from my work with Paderno Cookware, but these could easily be given away to friends at work who may not have a decent pot to cook in.

Once I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to liquidate all of my superfluous objects that I owned multiple copies of, then I needed to figure out how to extricate these objects from my space while not polluting the environment, not wasting what others might want, and not keeping the objects in the space too long so that my resolve to purge did not diminish. My first choice was to collect the books, CDs and DVDs that I will never have time to explore again due to time and take them to the local bookstore. Four boxes of content gave me $500 in cold, hard cash. Kijiji was my next step, and will probably be my only way to sell things like photographic gear (I have three Canon 580EXII’s for sale, for instance). It may require for me to be at home and willing to walk downstairs with the object, but so far the experience has not been too mentally scarring. A synthesizer that sort of worked brought in $50, and a loaded Strat pickguard left over from my recent upgrades brought in another $90. Not bad for things that would have been dumped out of necessity.

Next up is the charity dropbox…Value Village was not only happy to receive my unwanted clothing, bedsheets and tennis racket, but they were easy to access and most polite. Am I concerned about them profiting from my unwanted stuff? Not in the least, as I only care that these things do not end up in a waste site yet, and I am satisfied that these objects will end up in other peoples’ homes, which is all I could hope for.

To ensure that I do not find myself in a similar situation, I have decided that I can no longer buy things in the way I once did. Fortunately, I have not really done any serious hoarding for the past year, anyway. No, most of this weird shopping behaviour has come from an earlier time, and I have become a much different person since then.



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