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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Junk - trash or treasure?

Junk, generally, is thought to be items that are of little value or use, cluttering and taking up space that could be better used.  Dust collectors, evidence of a hoarder in training, Piles of newspaper articles, magazines, letters, bits and pieces that you really mean to get around to reading.....someday.

Anyone who does crafts or art work will certainly have bags, jars,boxes, cabinets filled with dribs and drabs of old useless (and therefore useful!) stuff.  An interesting old label you pulled off a jar, a length of shabby old lace found in the bottom of a sewing basket, buttons you pulled from an old sweater because you just know one day you will find the perfect new clothing item for them.

Clothes - well, I can't bring myself to toss that red sweater I wore on the day I met my husband. It's my lucky sweater. Maybe I will wear it again one day. The fact that the sweater is a size Medium, and I think size Medium left my closet somewhere back in my 30's (which is almost 30 years ago!!!) is totally irrelevant. I might be a size Medium again, one day, in the future, when pigs fly, chickens have lips and well, you get the point. But! The sweater stays!!!

Don't let me get started on the treasure trove of the arts and wonder-works of our children.  I have a box filled with just such masterpieces for each of my children.  Of course, they have not looked at this stuff, well, pretty much since the day they brought it home from school.  I may not have seen it in years either, but that is perfectly fine with me.  Why? Because I know it is there, up in the attic - just in case I need to produce proof of the brilliance of my progeny at some point in time!

Books? Dust collectors though they may be, books are a delight to me.  I love them.  So much so, that I have bins and bins filled with them  - (they have a place right next to the kiddie art in the attic).  Why am I saving books that my kids haven't read in years.  I'll tell you why. Because I am saving them for my grandchildren.  So far, the only grand I have is a cat that is a misery.  He would perhaps use my books as a litterbox liner, but, since he hides from everyone, including my son and DIL 2B,  literally 23 and 1 half hours of each day, he does not come to visit too often. (I just hope the grandchildren don't pick up on this hiding habit!!)

I come from a family of three - 1 mother and 2 daughters.  Both of them read their mail standing over the trashcans. A quick flip through any intersting catalogs, then plop it goes into the can.  As they finish each piece of mail it either gets put on the desk for immediate attention - as in write the check and return mail the bill or a letter of reply is written and sent off the next day. Any thing else? It gets tossed into the trash bin where it belongs.  Me? I still have letters that were written 20 years ago.   Piles of catalogs sit ready to be viewed.  Magazines?  You have to pry them out of my hands.  Every once in a while I toss some out, but, usually it is because the new Christmas issue has come out and the old one can finally be relinquished to the garbage man.  Mother and sister do not have one magazine, one book, one anything sitting on their coffee tables, on shelves, in a basket. None. Zip! Nada.  (I do notice that when they are here, they both look at my magazines though!)

So, we have two who follow the 'a place for everything, and everything in it's place' rule and me, who believes 'there's space for everything and everything can fit in someplace'.    My husband's secret dream is that one day he wakes up and finds me standing over the garbage can, reading and tossing mail before it gets past the kitchen table.   He dreams of a day that every book, magazine, bag of art stuff, is filed, sorted, shelved, boxed.  Every clothing item that I haven't worn in (at least the last 10) years is  hanging in the Goodwill, far far away. It's good for people to have a dream, don't you think?

Over the years, if I have learned nothing else from my junk collecting, hoarding, packrat behavior, I have learned this -

Junk is generally considered usless stuff of little or no value, that hangs around your house for weeks, months and years, untouched, unused.  BUT!!!  The day after you throw it out, is the day you will go looking for it because you NEED it!
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J is for junk, and for many other interesting things.  You can join us at Jenny Matlock's AlphabeThursday to share your adventures, thoughts and ideas by clickin gon the link to the right!


  1. Oh man, we are two peas in a pod! Every time I actually get rid of something, I find that I did, in fact, need it!! I did finally get tough and recycled my magazines (after going through each and tearing out what I wanted to keep -- let's not even talk about the recipes I stashed away...)!! My hubby would have a heart attack if I actually got rid of some clothes -- so to prevent that happening, I have lots of clothes, but in the wrong sizes....! And of course, we won't speak of the skeins of yarn I am hoarding!

  2. very funny! It all sounds very familiar. But I don't have children, so no school artwork here. And I have gotten rid of a lot of books over the years, to city book sales! {:-Deb

  3. I see myself in this story...so I'm giggling. Great job writing, as always!

  4. as I once heard, 'we don't need things, we want things' - which is very human. I, too, saved things I don't need and even packed them away but that's not such a good solution as some things don't age well and there's the trouble of finding them later. I suppose I would like to be like your mother & sisters, tossing things away right away instead of holding onto them. who's to say what's junk and what's treasure? you do of cause.

    hope you have a sweet day.

  5. My philosophy is if you don't use it lose it. I just cleaned out my basement. It's amazing all the stuff I accumulated in just the last 6 years. Glad to be rid of things that I no longer use, but gave to others who can use.

    Great post.

  6. This is eating my comments.



    What a jewel of a post for the letter J.

    I often find, too, that when I get rid of something is exactly when someone in the family will ask for it.


    I just really, really need a bigger house.

    Or perhaps a warehouse would be better.

    How much fun would THAT be to fill up!


    Thanks for the great link.