Here be Space: Collector of Collections

I’ve been home since Saturday. But I’m still getting used to it. Like I said before, it feels like I’ve been in a different airport (and hotel) every week. And indeed, I pretty much have. It’s nice to get home and know you’ll be staying there for at least a little while. Our next trip isn’t scheduled until August, so I have at least a month here before I have to use a suitcase again. Gah, I’m so tired of putting stuff into suitcases.

But you know what I’ve found about being back in the house? Well, besides the fact that when you’ve been gone for a week you get to see what your house actually smells like. I’ve found that it’s too big. You know, 7500 square feet can just get overwhelming for a guy like me. No, seriously it’s only about 2500 square feet, but when you’re home alone, it feels like a whole helluva bunch of wasted space. Of course, when you’ve been living out of a suitcase in a hotel room every other week, you start realizing that you’re doing just fine without all your big luscious space. And furthermore, all your stuff.

I never really watch television. So of course, the four TVs in my house seem useless to me. My children use them, but I almost never do. The computer? Well when you’re traveling, you’re on a laptop, typically. So I’ve been using that at home too. The eleven other computers running in my house now seem like a bit of an excess. I use the one in my bar for music, and the one in my BrewStation for brewing beer and checking timers and recipes and whatnot. And my red-haired wife uses the one on the kitchen counter for cooking recipes and music. But the rest of them seem ridiculous now.

Even the couches seem wasteful. I use one spot on one end of one couch when I’m working from home. The rest of the time I’m in a fold-up chair outside on the deck or on the driveway with a Cold One on a small metal fold-up table beside me. The lamps? They’re always off because we have a lot of windows downstairs. The dining room table? We eat our family meals there, but during the summer, the kids are mostly gone. The bookcases are full of a bunch of books I’ve already read. Could I live without them? Almost certainly.

What it boils down to is that we go out and buy a bunch of stuff that we really just don’t use on a day-to-day basis. So it becomes like that old adage: if you put it in storage (or in the attic) and don’t touch it for a year, you don’t need it. Now I’m not saying I live a life of excess. Because I really don’t. But how many of these luxuries could I live without entirely? Most of them, I presume. And I think the only thing keeping me from downgrading to a tiny house on the beach is that I have kids running through here using all the stuff. And leaving it all on for me.

So what does all this mean? I need to sell my stuff? Well, yeah, but that’s out, right? I have kids. But it’s depressing that all these years I’ve thought I needed all this stuff. And indeed, I may get back to a point where I feel I can’t live without it once the travel wears off. But it’s sobering to realize you’ve had it all along and have scarcely touched it for the last several months – and haven’t missed it a bit. I’ve gotten along just fine in these hotel rooms. Hell, I don’t even need my dressers. The suitcase has been working just fine.

So I’ve decided to do a spring cleaning of sorts. I’m going to go through every room and plop down on the carpet in the middle and just look at everything in the room for a while. Do I really need that treasure chest full of pirate coins? Well, yeah, I guess I do need that. And my other treasure chest full of dice. And my old collection of skeleton keys. But my gun rack full of all those rifles and scatter guns? Well, I guess I do need those for the imminent zombie apocalypse. But my knife collection? And all those guitars? Those forty-plus Rubik’s Cubes and twisty puzzles adorning my chester drawers? Well, okay. Yeah I guess I do need those things too.

But seriously, this is why I have so much junk! I can’t get rid of anything! Oh well, maybe for another life. When I die, the people who go through my house are going to think I live in a reliquary. What treasures do you have sitting around your house that serve absolutely no purpose, but that you cannot get rid of no matter what?

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