Rejecting the Hoarding Gene

It looked brand new. What was it? A 1.3-megapixel digital camera. These were big before smartphones.

I swear I have about two audio mixers for every room.

I've got two phones even though I haven't had a home phone in about 5 years. Why?

My brother and I were talking about it. It might be genetic. One of my father's favorite saying was, “I might need this someday.” He was frugal. We didn't know until after he died, but he was a straight up hoarder. Maybe the dozens of nuts and bolts in the garage should've been a tip-off. On the other hand, when you needed a nut or bolt, you could find one in the Jackson garage. When we went into the basement after he died, he had boxes and boxes of mail. You know all those coupons that expire? Tens of boxes of those. The fun thing was we knew where his will was, but there might be something important in one of those boxes. 

I found multiple computer monitors. One was a 14″ flat screen. Was probably the bee's knees back in the day, but now we have phones that are about that size. It's perfectly good. It seems like a crime to throw it away. I just have to realize that in today's world, it's value has moved on. It really isn't worth much, if anything. Even if it still works great.

So it had been months since I had run a vacuum cleaner in my office. My living room was better, but I still have a corner of clutter filled with musical equipment. It was somewhat funny as one of the ways I cleaned my office was to move things into my bedroom. So once the office as clean, I went to the bedroom. I had a drawer full of dark socks that were overflowing. At this stage of my life I will be lucky if I wear dark socks five times a year (depending on how many people die or get married). So why did I hesitate to throw them out? Many of them were, for lack of a better word, stale. They didn't have holes, but the elastic made weird noises. I thought about it. I could throw out most of these and keep five pairs. If I ever get into a position where I need more dark socks, I can probably by six pairs for 10 bucks. It's not like a need a second mortgage to get more socks. Yet, still, I hesitated. There were completely usable. Should I donate them to Goodwill? I finally threw them away. It still felt weird.

I had magazines that were never taken out of the plastic wrap. I will read them someday.

I had audio mixers that required a special electrical cable that had been lost. Gone. I've got plenty. Yes, all I needed to do was order a cable, but it's been years and the cable hadn't been ordered.

One of my characteristics is getting 98% done with things. My brother used to laugh when I lived with him. When I got cereal in the morning you could tell. All the cereal was put away. But ONE of the drawers would be open. Either the one for the cereal, the bowls, the spoons, something would be open. I was on to the next thing: eating my breakfast and I would close anything that was open later when I brought the bowl back.

So as I get ready for 2019, I'm going to attempt to apply the discipline of not moving on until whatever I'm working on is finished. It's hard. I'm always trying to grow the school of podcasting. I'm always trying to lose weight. I'm always trying to spend time with my family. I may someday want to start chasing skirts, I'm in no hurry, but for now, I'm trying to make a nice CLEAN starting point.

I know walking into my office, I already feel better about myself. I am worthy of a clean office. I hope I can keep it that way.

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