I donated about 69¢ worth of books last week. If I look over the list of what I donated, which is something I did mainly because 69 is a funny number and the theme of trying to sell things to get more of the funny numbers in our bank accounts or wallets, then I feel some tinges of regret which is natural for any recovering former hoarder. That number now is closer to $2.49. Why not sell them?
First reason: I don’t have easy access to a printer.
Second reason: What’s the point of going through all the efforts involved with shipping an online order out for that little of money? It would cost more money to drive to the printing place, pay for paper – I used to print at the library but in a phrase that still seems crazy to write, “all the libraries are shut down” – then drive to a drop-off location.
I’d do it if I enjoyed it.
Instead, I’ll donate these items and leave them for someone else to chase down their values, or, if the place I donate them to doesn’t feel they’re worth anything, then that’s their business. I’d rather have the flexibility of having space in the apartment-mansion, along with having sorted through a box of DVDs that I now have an accurate listing for my later use. The way I figure it, if I know exactly what’s in any given box – which is where the pictured code “ZMDV8 and 2020 Oct” – comes in handy. ZMDV8 means nothing at a glance. It means “Zeal Movies DVD #8.” 2020 October is when I last organized that box.
The way I figure it, as I start to sort through boxes, I’ll update their dates.
If I have the ability to do so, I’ll try to clear out as many items I don’t care about as possible from my storage room and donate or sell the items I can. I have one box of DVDs and a few boxes ready to donate. This box of donations should help motivate me to get out and maybe meander around places as I can. I don’t know if I’ll do that tomorrow or in the next few days, but I don’t like going out without a purpose. Whether it’s to the supermarket to buy more coffee filters or even exploring a random thrift store to relieve existential anxiety, I guess I focus too much on the effort involved with going out compared to any pleasure from having gone out.
Sorting through collections might also help reinvigorate my interests.
When it’s “just a random box” of DVDs or whatever, then that box becomes like an anchor that weighs down my physical space. I suppose it’s easy to consider why. If I’m thinking about all the craziness that’s going on in my life and how much easier life would be if I didn’t have to worry about finances so much, that includes the cost of storing things. If I can go through a box or two of DVDs and find enough DVDs to fit a small box for a donation run, even if those DVDs might potentially be worth $2.49 to someone, they aren’t worth that much to me. I would gladly pay someone $2.49 to take that box off my hands.
The least I can do is get some final value out of the donation box.
Now that I’m physically feeling somewhat decent, I hazard to say well because that’s not entirely true, it’s nice to move around boxes of inconsequential weight. This ZMDV8 box was the heaviest thing I’ve moved probably since April. When I moved in, I could move two of these milk cartons, even though it was heavy. When I move out, whether that’s in 4, 16, or 28 months or I don’t think I could or should. If we’re looking further out, would I even have as many of these boxes? Although I kept the naming convention with #8, I suspect that by the time I fully sort through these DVDs here at the apartment-mansion, rather than at my previous residence, I might not have a #1.
For some reason, #8 isn’t in alphabetical order, too, which is weird.
This is a low priority project, of sorts, since it’s still difficult to access my DVD collection, but as I clear out space, I’d like to give them the once over, at least twice, to be more honest with myself. In the years of the height of my hoarding tendencies, I would buy everything I could if it looked halfway appealing or seemingly expanded my identity. Owning some media means that I can meander through it, right? Well, having meandered through it is more important to me than potentially being able to meander through it, so if I have too many objects around, all that does is weigh me down.
With my list digitized, I can decide when and how to parse through my collection.
During this first post-move pass, I’m sorting out everything that when I consider whether I want to watch it, the answer is a firm no. Not that I would never want to see the movie ever in my life, but just that for the next five years – a random time period that encourages me to put a timeline on this, I don’t consider it a movie I would want to watch. If I watch less than a dozen movies a year and in one of these boxes I have forty-some boxes, then that might take me four years to go through one box alone.
Do I want to keep something for 32 years before I watch it?
I imagine that there will be a significantly easier way to watch that 32-year-old DVD by the time I decide to watch it, so why keep it in my possession to wait? Well, there’s the identity portion of it. If I own it, then I can possibly, potentially, meander through it. That’s fine if I enjoy it or think I’ll enjoy it.
However, if it’s junk, even $2.49 junk, donate it.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: The cost of ownership versus the cost of driving around to make a buck or more.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: The box I’m keeping. The box I’m not is an average box that once contained the boxes for some food.|
|Written On: 2020 October 20 [10:28pm to 11:02pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 October 20 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|