Monday, June 20, 2011

Easier Said Than Done

     Ah, unsolicited advice, how I despise thee.  Mostly because it doesn't really offer a solution to the problem.  Typically unsolicited advice is full of ideas that are easier-said-than-done, or really-easy-for-the-person-who-doesn't-have-to-to-it.
     I've been dealing with an easier said than done piece of wisdom for quite some time now.  The problem: I have too much stuff.  The solution: get rid of it.  Easier said than done?  Yes.  A lot.
     When you're not the one getting rid of a lot of stuff, it's really easy to just say "get rid of it" without putting much more thought into it.  Hell, even when you are the one getting rid of it, it's an easy thing to say.  "I have all this stuff.  I don't want all of this stuff.  Therefore, I should get rid of all this stuff."  But then comes the hard part: how do you get rid off all that stuff?
     It's a process and the process sucks.  You have to separate things; you figure out what's donate-able, what's sell-able, and what's pitch-able.  Sometimes you stand at the door of your storage unit kind of wishing an arsonist had their way with your stuff.  This phenomenon has occurred to me more than once.  Last year when I moved down to DC I had a moving truck full of my things parked on the street.  I wasn't looking forward to unloading it and hoped it had been stolen over night.  It would have saved me a lot of time and effort.  Well, it would have saved the movers I hired a lot of time and effort.
      Getting rid of everything is just not as easy as it seems.  You start by trying to see the big stuff that you think is still worth money.  But people don't want old tube televisions, even if they are in perfect working condition, or entertainment cabinets, even if they are really well constructed.  You update the post every week, lowering the price, until it eventually ends up in the free column.  Still, no takers.  What to do?
     Goodwill only takes so much stuff, plus, I have no vehicle, so the transport of these large objects becomes a factor.  It takes renting a truck and the help of some strong friends just to donate a handful of things.  What a pain.
      When going through the stages of actually picking out what to keep and what to get rid of though, I recommend enlisting the help of a really mean friend.  A friend pretty much devoid of sentimentality who isn't afraid to just yell "throw it away" at everything you show her.  Usually, that friend is me.  So I may have to be my own best friend when sorting out my storage unit, but I've made rules for myself and as long as I stick to them, I think I'll be ok.  The advantage I have this time around is I know I haven't looked at all the things in my storage unit for an entire year.  This makes it easier to throw them away, knowing I've already broken most of the sentimental attachment anyway.
     It's still easier said than done, however.  I have an old stereo that nobody will want.  It's not old enough to be vintage and therefore cool but it's too old to be considered useful.  Donation centers won't want it because it's missing the remotes.  You can't throw it in the trash because it has that trashcan with a circle with a line through it symbol on it.  You can't light it on fire because, well, you just shouldn't light things on fire.  It's a stereo- it won't burn anyway.   What will I do with it?  Just get rid of it, you suggest?  Yes, thank you for your help.  

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