Random header image... Refresh for more!

Mental Sampler 2

So this comment by Kasey really nailed a big reason why I keep my “what if” clutter.  I am very aware of the money I spent (or that someone else spent) to get that item.  Throwing it away, especially when there is even the slightest chance that I may need it in the future, feels like throwing money into a garbage can.  I wouldn’t do that with dollar bills, so it’s hard to convince myself to do that with an object that cost money.  In that sense, the sweater or travel mug or name-your-object is money.

It’s impossible to track how often it happens; that something I would have gotten rid of turns out to be useful down the road.  There are plenty of things that I use only occasionally, but once I use them, the clock resets.

So not knowing the likelihood makes me hold onto things just so I won’t need to spend the money a second time.  Especially when it costs me nothing to hang onto the item but would cost me money to replace.  Even though storing the item makes me miserable because it takes up space and creates clutter.


Yes, we’re going to get JK Rowling’s new book.


I’ve talked about this before, but we used to have a neighbour growing up whose parents had a floating holiday where they would decorate the tree outside their house with lollipops and invite everyone in the neighbourhood to harvest the tree.  You never knew when it would happen, so every morning you’d get up to look for the lollipop tree.  It’s not that I didn’t get lollipops from my parents at other times of years, but THOSE lollipops were so exciting because they were so unexpected.

All the Dirty Laundry was lamenting how you get to the end of the weekend and feel as if you just need a few more hours in order to feel like you’re on top of things or fully relaxed.

I mused that it would be nice if the universe gave us 12 extra hours every once in a while.  You’d never knew when you’d get them, but suddenly you’d be sitting there and the clocks would reset and you’d be given an extra 12 hours to fill at your pleasure — either to get ahead with work or to finish a project or to get a little relaxation time.  Anything you wanted.  Just 12 extra hours, popped into your week.

How would you spend those 12 hours if you got them this weekend?


1 TasIVFer { 03.08.15 at 7:53 am }

I have no idea how I’d use them – squander with coffee drinking, bushwalking, and cooking no doubt – but I felt so emotional just reading about the idea of it that I wish it could happen. Imagine that: 12 extra hours. Would I be boring and do practical things or enjoy the only life I’ll have?

2 Catwoman73 { 03.08.15 at 8:28 am }

I would spend those hours binge watching Suits. I am thoroughly addicted. That might sound like a ridiculous waste of time when my bathrooms are in desperate need of cleaning, and I have a mountain of laundry to fold, but unexpected time is way to great a gift to squander on housework!

3 Nicoleandmaggie { 03.08.15 at 9:05 am }

Hitting reload on the internet of course.

4 a { 03.08.15 at 9:32 am }

My husband does a lot of mental calculations on things to see when it’s worth it for him to replace something. So if he’s had a car for several years, and it annoys him for some reason, he’ll say “well, I got it down to $250/month, which is reasonable.” Cost of ownership goes down when you have things for a while. Try reselling them, and you’ll figure out that you’ve already thrown your money away. (This is why we don’t buy a lot of stuff, and rarely buy anything expensive.)

What would I do with an extra 12 hours? Nothing useful. I might have washed my car yesterday, since it was nice out, but I usually don’t find myself overscheduled. Probably more naps…

5 Noemi { 03.08.15 at 11:26 am }

I would argue if keeping things makes you miserable then it is costing you something. Something precious. It may not be money, but is money more important than the contentment you might feel if you didn’t habe all the stuff stored or all the clutter? In our culture we tend to give money more value than other things (maybe because we think we can buy anything with money, even contement), but if you really explore that idea you may find it lacking.

6 deathstar { 03.08.15 at 1:55 pm }

I’d paint, watch movies, drink coffee, talk long distance, take a nap. The End.

7 Queenie { 03.08.15 at 5:28 pm }

This was a birthday party weekend, so if I had 12 extra hours, I would relax, drink tea, read a book, and take the girls to the park. Instead, I spent HOURS doing errands (everything takes forever here, because just finding ordinary things is hard), and prepping for the party, and hosting the party, and now cleaning up the party. I am EXHAUSTED.

8 Justine { 03.08.15 at 9:49 pm }

Taking tea with a friend, of course. 🙂

And oh, yes, how much I spent on something I won’t use … I guess that’s why I try to freecycle things to people I know are going to use them. Then I feel like I’ve made a donation, given them a gift. So it’s a little easier to justify possibly having to purchase it again, because I’d have purchased it to give to the person I know, too. (On the other hand, I am constantly reminding kids of how much things cost, and how they shouldn’t throw away things that we spent our hard-earned money on. I don’t know if that counts as bad guilt; it probably does.)

9 Sara { 03.08.15 at 10:16 pm }

If I had 12 extra hours I would get caught up on my grading and spend time with the family. Right now I would just be happy to get back the hour we lost, I feel like I accomplished nothing this weekend but I know I did, well except for those chemistry tests I need to grade….

10 Geochick { 03.09.15 at 11:32 am }

I might steal the lollipop tree idea. How fun!

11 Tiara { 03.09.15 at 12:59 pm }

I’ve been reading Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling & am really liking it the deeper I get into it. I wanted to get a taste of her writing style prior to the Potter books.

12 SRB { 03.12.15 at 7:44 am }

I was stuck thinking “But I spent $$$ on this!” and that would stop me from getting rid of certain items. This is especially true of clothes and CDs. Then a friend of mine reminded me that the money is already spent. Holding onto the item then, is still costing me in terms of space and emotional energy. If the only feelings I have toward an item are negative (guilt being a big one) then WHY am I keeping it?

I *might* need it in the future, but would it really be so terrible to *maybe* have to spend a little money again in the future, or to *definitely* be made miserable by it (and have it take up space) in the meantime?

It is hard to let (physical) things go, but the true challenge is to let go of all the thoughts and feelings we attach to essentially meaningless objects.

13 Kasey { 03.26.15 at 11:17 am }

Today is blog backlog commenting day. SRB has it right, I went through a lot of this decluttering process when she had her whoneedsit project going.
If I had 12 extra hours I would use it to create something fun. Sew or paint or build. Guilt free for 12 hours. I dream about this a lot.

Leave a Comment

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author