[Downsizing Zeal] 56: Not “Just Because”

My-Yesterday, I donated a bag of things, then went into the thrift store to look at their tie collection. My tie collection, which I showed the spreadsheet for in the video portion that precluded the essay portion that I’m also recording, sits at a stately 25 ties. Seven of them are boxed up with the remainder in “display” boxes. Between this, my soon-to-be-new remote job, and wanting to ensure no clutter, I passed on these ties.

I rambled in the video portion of this essay substantially just now.

I talked about each of the ties that I was interested in the photo below, ranging from the one second to the left that has a cool paisley/buta/boteh look to it, but the blue wasn’t selling me at the price the thrift store wanted. They had a black-and-white tie that was something like $15! If I want to spend $15 on a tie, then it should have some significance, something maybe adjacent to value but not an external value but an internal, intrinsic value such as if I went to a zoo and bought a souvenir tie like the bear tie with the orange/yellow background, then I would be OK with spending a small fortune for that memento.

That’s where we will dig into some pathology by way of the bagged ties on the left.

That bag of ties seems to have been someone’s souvenir tie collection…

I would ruminate through my thoughts on why something like that, where there were a number of 80s-styled and 90s-styled ties from various zoos or cultural places were donated, although I think you can imagine why by way of how most of the items that arrive at thrift stores arrive: by donation. They are donated at no cost to the donator, other than time and energy. When I worked at a thrift store, ten years ago now, I was the main “production technician,” which meant that I received donations from drivers, handed out coupons, put donations into the various areas such as “miscel/miscellaneous,” “cloth/clothing,” furniture, books, and I was in charge of destroying donations that did not serve the thrift store’s agenda.

The bagged ties, then, once they go past their 50% sale, would probably be “destroyed.”

There are two ways that I would have destroyed your donations ten years ago. First would have been to throw the glassware, furniture, sports equipment, and anything else into the trash compactor, pressed the button, and watched as those items were destroyed. Second would be giving them to the extremely old man to put in the cloth bailer to be bailed and sold to “third-world countries” at a pace that would surely have killed him by now if it weren’t for the extreme need for people in these conditions to get minimal wage in our late-stage capitalism society, or otherwise put the maybe-salvageable donations into bins for other stores to try selling.

With that perspective in mind, it would be easy to want to “save” these ties.

That’s what got me in trouble so many years ago when I wanted to “save” these items that I now have cluttering up all areas of my life. Instead what I’m doing now with my stuff is deciding what I want to keep, why, and how I can do so efficiently. Of the 25 ties that I own, 7 of them are in boxes that store them well enough. They’re not fantastic storage solutions, but they are storage solutions. The other ties are in more of a casual display box environment where I can store 4 ties per display box. I can’t stack them, but the point is to see them, enjoy them, and wear whichever holds my interest the most that day. Cluttering up my collection with souvenir ties from places I haven’t been to, with designs I don’t like particularly well, doesn’t seem to make sense to me, even if they are nearly out the door, or if combined in the bagged tie collections would amount to a fairly substantial discount per tie.

And, no, I did not want to shuffle around the ties to steal any for a massive discount.

This shift in attitude for my tie collection is how I’m going to be approaching reality going forward, with some minimal degree of discernment, where I don’t want to buy something “just because” I’m there. That sort of opportunity cost makes sense if I’m buying, say, groceries that I’ll probably use up in the next week or three, but if it’s something like a tie in a design I mostly like but somewhat dislike, then there’s no point in owning it, because I will have plenty of opportunities to buy new-to-me ties over the years, and if I’m going to be working primarily remotely, then there’s no need to dress up with a tie, if no one’s going to be seeing me. When I do go into the office, then I have my nice collection of ties, vetted through a wearing or two, and the ones I don’t like I’ll be much more accepting in donating, or otherwise repurposing, because maybe a tie that I don’t like anymore can become the foundation for a new tie with new materials, whether as the backbone itself or as the drawn template for a new material, fabric, or other non-traditional material.

I’ve been thinking of making a cardboard tie for the humor of it.

Quotes or Sources: None
Inspirations: My personal experiences.
Related: Other Downsizing, Moving, and/or Selling Zeal essays. Playlist.
Picture: Video thumbnail
Written On: 2023 July 16 [6:54pm to 7:16pm]
Last Edited: 2023 July 16 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.