I have always found it very difficult to throw things away. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are important or not; receipts, birthday cards, magazines, usb-lights, hats, expired id cards, instruction manuals, broken tripods, really anything that isn’tclearly and unambiguously rubbish (such as a used tissue, or an empty milk bottle) usually ends up staying in my house until I am forced by someone else to get rid of it.
This would probably not be too much of an issue, if it weren’t for the fact that I am incredibly interested in old things, compact and precise mechanisms, ephemera, rare and beautiful (but usually cheap!) objects, and find it hard to resist buying them if reasonably priced.
Selected items I acquired in 2019 included:
A German document from 1917 detailing receipt of potato rations by the army.
A Wedgewood cigarette lighter.
A slide rule.
A Soviet stopwatch.
An antique meat grinder.
An Indian harmonium.
I still have all of these items. They have joined my West German military field telephone, my 1946 “Fujiboshi” mechanical calculator, and my Peavey T-60 guitar, in my storage unit, a luxury that is a huge drain on my finances but necessary if I want to have any room in my flat for living a normal life. (2020, while it has been a difficult year, has at least temporarily stopped me from acquiring more stuff)
I don’t mind parting with the items as long as they remain in the family and I would (theoretically) be able to get them back, so at the moment my youngest brother is looking after many of my mid-’90s vintage Macintosh computers, but to permanently part with these things would be too painful.
I tried Marie Kondo’s method, but unfortunately everything I pick up seems to spark joy. If it didn’t, I would never have acquired it!
This cannot go on forever, and there will come a day when I will have to part with my replica Chinese fighter pilot’s helmet, my bamboo saxophone, my Melodica, my almost complete set of 1988-1997 National Geographic magazines, and my Tabla drums. But it is not this day.