Repurposing old items is a great idea. Reusing items is a great idea. It is a real satisfying feeling to fix something with parts you have on hand or mend a favorite pair of pants. However there is a fine line between saving a few items that may be useful in the future and hoarding. I am no expert on where this line is, but when I find myself holding on to something for months or even years, I wonder “Why is it that I am carrying this?”
I am an electronics guy. For years I saved every RCA cable that came with a new VCR (yes, those old things), DVD player, or video game system. I saved VHF cables, RF Modulators (points if you know what they are), Computer Cables, MIDI cables, Guitar Cables, Speaker Wires, adapters, plugs, and DC chargers in a couple of different boxes tucked away in my studio. I had every connection possible and several that were impossible since I no longer owned anything that would readily attach to it. The thinking was “I may need this someday” or “with a little tweaking I could build an effects pedal”. But since I take really good care of my equipment and rarely need to fix anything, most of this stuff was stuff I didn’t need to save.
I remember the day I decided to part with the boxes. I had all the gear I regularly use carefully packed in my bag ready for the next gig. My recording studio was up and producing music. All of the home theater equipment was plugged in. Everything worked. That’s when I came to a realization.
I began piling the contents of those boxes onto the floor of my studio. Things I had been holding onto since I lived with my parents. Things I had carried with me when I moved into my first apartment. Things I had carried into my first house. Things I carried yet again into my 2nd house. I realized that all of these things that I was saving for “Just in Case”, well, “Just in Case” wasn’t going to happen. I carried the boxes one last time to the swap shop at our recycling center. I left them there and felt an awful lot lighter.
Thanks for reading!