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I've written in the past about the joy of stuff, the comfort of stuff, and the burden of stuff. This week I'm faced with the challenge of finding a place for stuff. A place other than "in boxes and bags piled up around the edges of my office." Those piles have been slowly (and not so slowly) accumulating for the last couple of years.

The usual motivation of cleaning and clearing before company comes didn't work before fmsv and cowfan visited in April of last year, nor did it work before I hosted a NESFA Other Meeting last June. Ditto that for Gavi's visits in November and March, the latter including three of her housemates, and her longer visit in May. All the while, and for the year before, there was a steady inflow of things that followed me home from Daddy's house in Battle Creek.

I've done the easy part of emptying five banker's boxes, one bheer case, three smaller boxes, and six or seven reusable shopping bags. Fanzines and convention publications are sorted into one box to be added to the chaos in the basement fan room. Another box is half full of work samples...this after recycling an equal amount of excess copies. A truly ridiculous number of to-do lists and notes is clipped together for further procrastination on the fanzine article or blog post(s) I keep thinking they might somehow make.

Part of the sorting task included rereading the birthday and Father's Day cards I sent Daddy in the last couple of decades of his life. Sue saved all those and handed them over to me during one of those Michigan trips. Most of them went into recycling. See? I don't actually save everything -- it just feels and looks like I do.

There are several bags of paper recycling awaiting my next trip to the transfer station, three of them filled with shredded matter. So, yes, progress.

Now comes the second, harder 90% of the work. What do I do with the remaining one foot stack of papers I want to save, but don't have an established place to save them? I don't want them to become the starter set of the next dozen boxes and bags that need sorting.

Not that I'm done with the current set. No, instead I'm down to the other hard stuff. The Squier family and Twinzy Toy files. The 8mm movies that I plan to have digitized when time, energy, and money coincide. The tax records requiring more space than is available in the file drawer. And so on.

Here's to more joy and comfort of stuff. Here's to less burden.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
Best of luck with your sorting! I am not looking forward to similar activities when we move to a new place in (hopefully) October.

(BTW, you have a space before "a href," which is why your link isn't linking :-> )
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:26 am (UTC)
Link fixed; thanks!

I'm delighted to hear it's likely the two of you will be moving to a new place soon. A larger place, I trust.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed sorting through (and discarding) things during the summer, fall, and early winter of 2003. I'd lived in Toad Hall for 20 years, and there was a lot of storage space -- more than there is here. Paying for the move myself was a great motivator; I came in a couple thousand pounds under the lowest of the three estimates I obtained. I still moved too much, of course.

It's hard to believe that move was a decade ago; surely it's only been three or four years. Okay, five; I'll give you five. But from the amount of stuff piled up, it might as well have been 20. The garage is the worst, and that's mostly thanks to stuff from Michigan...and because it's easier to simply put a broken paper shredder in the garage than it is to take it along to the transfer station and pay to get rid of it. A few years ago, I took several old inkjet printers and similar electronic kipple to an electronics recycling event in Brimfield. I could probably come up with another load by now. It seems a shame to recycle my Dell 4-color laser printer, but the razor'n'razor blades pricing meant it was hundreds of dollars cheaper to buy a new laser printer than it was to buy a set of replacement cartridges.

And so it goes...or rather, so it goes into the garage and there it sits.
Jun. 28th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
Ah, thought you'd heard: Stephen found a development on the edge of one of the neighborhoods where we'd been looking where getting two apts merged into one was cheaper than the houses we'd been seeing so we're waiting for them to finish construction, which we're hoping will be in October. I of course purged a lot of stuff when I moved here (still mourn The Most Comfortable Recliner In The World) but things have accumulated again, plus there is all the stuff Stephen had in the place before I moved in. I also have stuff in storage that I haven't seen in 7+ years!

I can't believe your move was more than a decade ago either!

Edited at 2013-06-28 04:49 am (UTC)
Jun. 28th, 2013 07:43 am (UTC)
Moving continents, even with someone else paying the moving costs, and moving into a substantially smaller place, really helped me cut down on my "stuff". I still keep too much, though I don't think I'm as bad a pack-rat as you. I keep trying to go as much paperless as I can, though I'm still buying a fair number of dead trees for both fiction and non-fiction (work) reading - for the non-fiction it's often not available in e-form, and for the fiction I'm refusing to pay more for bits than for dead trees.
For the non-sentimental paper type stuff, I heartily recommend scanning that as well. Depending on how much of it is unbound paper in standard sizes like USL, a scanner with document feeder is great. If it's unsorted in the boxes, then does it really matter if it stays unsorted in the electronic version as well?
Jun. 28th, 2013 01:36 pm (UTC)
If we did away with all of our books (and I mean ALL of our books), we'd have a lovely, spacious apartment and one very small storage locker for seasonal stuff. The fact that we keep acquiring more books has necessitated that we keep getting rid of more stuff to make room for them, so we're pretty trim by now. There are a few old computers and printers and scanners in storage that we need to just bite the bullet and pay to recycle, but it would not be difficult to get rid of the non-book stuff in a hurry if we had to. It's just...The Books. Oh, The Books!
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Instead of paying to recycle that stuff in storage, keep an eye open for local, free electronics recycling events. The event I went to behind the Brimfield Elementary School was one of those. Or, see if there's a service like Northeast Computer Recycling in your state. (These folks appear to cover just MA & RI.)

I'm likely to put together a pile of stuff for them; if you're going to be down this way in the next month or so, you could add your computer stuff to mine and get rid of it for free that way.

I'm downright non-fannish when it comes to books. At a guess, I'd say I have well less than 2,000. Maybe even less than 1,000 after going through my SF last year finding books to donate to the Science Fiction Outreach Project. I think books belong in every room of one's abode, but I rarely re-read anything. Yet I somehow need considerably more shelf space than I have...and considerably more places to put additional shelves. Hmmmm.
Jun. 28th, 2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Stuff that isn't sorted and accessible falls into the Burden of Stuff camp. Stuff that can be easily located is both Comfort and Joy.
Jun. 28th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
I am dealing with Burden of Stuff at the moment. I feel for you.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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