I am always amazed at the amount of “stuff” a person can accumulate. I’m not talking “collectibles” one gets over a lifetime. I’m talking stuff a person can collect in a week, a month, a year or two or three. And, as long as a person has an empty space, a shelf, drawer, closet or even a part of a basement, stuff manages to make its permanent home there.
I’m an expert on stuff taking up space because Hubby and I have moved five times since we got married. It seemed with each move, we had tripled the amount of stuff that moved with us. Hubby is quick to point out that most of the stuff is mine. And yes, it’s true. I married a “minimalist” and he married a “collector of stuff.”
It’s an insidious thing when collectables sneakily take up space. It’s so easy to toss whatever into a drawer or shelf; after all, out of sight, out of mind never proved truer. As a writer, I love to collect bits and pieces of keepsakes, tokens, souvenirs and/or information that I can use for future stories. I’m sure there are thousands of us doing the same thing. If I hear an unusual quote or a snippet of conversation that can lead to a future story, it’s clipped or scribbled into a file and/or notebook. Programs from concerts and art exhibits; postcards from friends; road maps and street maps from various cities, clippings of fascinating people who may be a potential interview—all these and more were due for a “clean-out” from my catch-all basket. This was my basket for holding scraps of paper, out-of-date info and all manners of pamphlets that at the time, would be a possible source for background material. Some stuff got filed into a new folder, while others got pitched into the shredder. Files were tackled in the same ruthless manner–are these files useful or useless?
I love books and my tastes are rather eclectic. My resource shelf reflects this as it holds a number of helpful books that can inspire, help me out of tight writing corners, talk forensics and gives me all manners of information that may or may not help. Some of the books appeared obsolete with potential markets that were long-gone. In the end, there was space on my shelves and in my file cabinet plus a few new ideas percolating in my head.
It only took me 2 agonizing days to have less writing stuff, but give me a month–it’ll all come back. . . .plus all the other stuff to boot!