May 14, 2005

Keepers, Tossers and Clutter.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 2:14 pm

Some people are “Keepers.” They find it very difficult to throw things away. By contrast, some people are “Tossers.” They believe that anything that hasn’t been looked at, touched, or smelled in a year can and should be tossed. Keepers, of course, inevitably run into a storage problem, which can only be managed by occasional tossing.

For Keepers, this is never an easy thing to do. I know; I tend to be a keeper, and I only toss things following an exchange of words that usually begins with something like, ”Do you really need this shit? You haven’t touched this shit in years? I mean REALLY!” For example, I only recently and (and mostreluctantly) tossed a bunch of my college textbooks, many of which, I hated to concede, were seriously out-of-date. There is just no getting around it. Pavlov and the conditioned reflex really is old news.

I have several large containers of record albums and 45s (the small records with the big hole in them), which have not seen a turntable in years and may well never see one again. The same goes for reel-to-reel tapes. They sit in a box in a basement awaiting that “some day” when I get my hands on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. I still have all my books and notebooks from Law School, and, at this point, tossing them is non-negotiable. So far, I have managed to successfully protect my collection of beer coasters from Germany that have been sitting in a box for decades awaiting the “some day” when I have a bar in the house.

Still, the basement remains a bit of a cluttered mess. It’s the sad lot of Keepers.

However, the Keepers with the most serious problems are the “Accumulator-Keepers.” Unlike the run-of-the-mill Keepers who accumulate things in the normal course of living, the “Accumulator-Keepers” are aggressive acquirers of things. They are the Home Shopping Network, QVC, eBay, and flea market junkies, who simply cannot go a day without buying stuff – and lots of it.

The Accumulator-Keepers face gargantuan storage problems, which often result in clutter that works its way up from of the chock-filled basement and spills out from the jam-packed garage into the house.

TigerHawk linked to a series of photos of a house that belongs to a World Class Accumulator-Keeper. It may be the worst case of clutter I have ever seen. Now I know that you are thinking, “Yo, Jimbo, I’m surfing blogs here, and I really don’t think I need to take up limited blog-surfing time to look at a cluttered house. What’s the big deal? It’s only a house with a bit too much random stuff in it, right?.”

WRONG. Go look.

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