I have seven keys on my key ring. I only use two of them and have no idea what the others are for. I should probably just throw them away but I if I did I’m sure I’d suddenly need one.
In our house CarolAnn and I have a lot of stuff in rarely opened drawers, on tables and counter tops, stuff we never use but don’t throw away. Pens, for example. Many have dried up and don’t work but do we throw them away? Nope. We just put them down where we found them believing, I guess, that they will eventually heal themselves and be good as new.
We also have batteries lying around, though not as many as when our boys were still living at home. Our youngest had a weird compulsion to remove batteries from every device in the house and then lose the little plastic covers designed to keep them from escaping and sneaking off inside and under the furniture. Eventually we had to tape down all new batteries in toys, cameras and TV remotes.
The problem with loose batteries is I have no idea whether there’s any juice left in a stray Duracell so I throw it away. Sure, it’s a waste of money but it avoids the aggravation of trying three or four dead batteries the next time I need a live one.
In our kitchen we have a junk drawer where we keep stuff we don’t want to get rid of but have no immediate use for. I think junk drawers are standard features in American homes, probably in homes all around the world. In Alaska you’d probably find a lot of rusty fish hooks and blubber jar lids. At our house it’s rubber bands, business cards and bent paper clips. I think I have a yo-yo in there, somewhere in the back. Really.
“Junk drawers are the perfect resting place for the random assortment of items that you want quick access to and use often,” says organizing expert Tova Weinstock. – Huffington Post, April 2015.
(Some expert. She doesn’t even understand the definition of ‘junk’. – Moi, today)
Modern technology is adding to our pile of unusable stuff that never gets thrown away. We have a million cords and cables, old cell phone chargers and even old computers that are prohibited in the landfill. You have to find a hazmat disposal site to get rid of a computer these days.
Occasionally I’ll go into someone else’s home and know immediately that something is very, very wrong. They have no stuff in sight. Everything is neat perfection. It looks like a model home; the only thing missing is a little sign on the kitchen sink reading, “Decorator item”.
I worry that the people who live there have very neat and quiet lives.
Some day, probably a Saturday morning after I’ve had an unusually long and deep night’s sleep, I’m going to wake up energized and filled with a burning desire to finally deal with all the stuff and junk in our house.
I’ll take it all out to the garage.