I don’t need more junk, but I always check the dumpsters just in case there’s something worthwhile. I found plenty of cool junk in my last complex’s dumpster, including most of the furniture I used for many years, and this complex’s weekly pick-up schedule allows for opportunities to see some weird junk. As I rifled through this rolling filing cabinet, with its sawed-off lock, this thought popped into my mind: I don’t need more junk.
My search is for good stuff.
Mostly, I look for items with some degree of use. If I can resell it or reuse it, and it’s not full of maggots, what’s the harm? EarthBound let us rifle through the trashcan of a burger store for food.
Let’s not limit ourselves here to just trash.
I still plan to go to thrift stores, bookstores, and I go to grocery stores almost weekly. It’s just now, instead of taking anything I can get that halfway catches my fancy, I’ll only acquire those items which can fulfill that “some degree of use.”
I don’t want to buy books I’ll never read anymore.
At bookstores, if it’s a book I’m interested in reading, it’s either next on the list to read or I don’t buy it. If that’s the rule, the exceptions are rare books or books I know I’ll read within one year.
Everything else is still tricky to pin down.
I still look, though, because there’s a certain thrill of the hunt from looking for stuff, which I guess exercises my subconscious hunter-gatherer instincts, and if so, we should focus our hunts on higher-quality rewards.
Let’s say we find a new favorite loaf of bread.
If we currently buy one brand of bread because of its consistent price, ubiquity, and sustenancy, then we find another that might cost more but has more favorful sustenance and is just as common, why not trade up?
I just don’t want to trade down.
I found a shelving unit near the apartment-mansion complex dumpsters recently. Local laws might disallow people from taking items near, and in, commercial dumpsters, but this complex doesn’t care. After I cleaned it up, I used it for holding empty boxes and bags.
There is a place for owning and acquiring stuff.
It’s just a matter of knowing what is useful for you and what isn’t. If it doesn’t make you happy, with no other qualifiers, why keep it? For things like that filing cabinet or console box, I have no need for them, whereas I can still use shelving units and the many empty clean boxes I’ve used for boxing up donations.
It’s also good to constantly assess your messes, too.
Do you need everything you own? Is some of it actually junk? Do you hold onto it because of obligation or something more pure? Many of the things I’ve donated were half-hearted experiments; no need to keep those experiments. Similarly, I don’t need a semi-broken filing cabinet.
I can get the next one I see.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: After skipping on this filing cabinet I might have tried to take with me years ago, I thought about the whys, and then came up with an essay about those whys.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: The filing cabinet to the left was what caught my eye, rather than the box to the right, which I only saw as I was looking at this photo later. My smile appears over the box that appears more than half the time in my apartment-mansion’s complex’s dumpsters.|
|Written On: August 19th [40 minutes [5:05am – 5:34am] [10:26 – 10:34am], mobile]|
|Last Edited: August 19th [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|