Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Confessions of a Downsizer

Action, inaction? Truly doing something or just in motion?

In order to get stuff out of one spot, I have moved it to another. Eliminating and sorting some things, yes. Another pile has slipped off to the thrift store. There are things in my car to deliver to someone and people promising to come by for things we offered them. It seems to be wasted motion just moving stuff about, but it does winnow it down almost like water abrading rock.

I continue to find keys that open I know not what and yet no key for the locking metal cabinet I want to give away. I continue to make piles of old computer accessories, cables, coax cable, phone cords, etc. that I'm getting rid of. (Still a 'parts is parts' box is essential around here and I'm keeping a few things. The computer guy looked around the other day and wanted a couple of Cat-5 cables to wire the iMacs to the network to speed up the initial Time Machine operation.)

I continue to fill boxes with stuff for 'found object' projects for school kids and to find caches of office supplies. Sometimes I feel if I get all the like items together (a flotilla of flashlights, a storm of staplers) that I can decide what to keep now and what to keep for the condo. And, yes, I'm moved to wonder when we acquired all the stuff.

Some days I think of what is gone. Coffee tables, bookcases (at least six or seven), a flat file, a handcrafted chair, an old clock, a chair and ottoman, an antique dresser, two recliners, a decades old TV, a small TV, two couches, a breakfront, tables and chairs, many knick-knacks and books. A few things to the parents houses, but others gone on their way in the supply chain. And that's just recent departures. Over the years we have shuffled many more chairs, couches, tables and little items through our clutches. Piles of stuff have left via curbside mall, giveaways and the thrift store. Where does it end? Well, hopefully, the condo will be less forgiving about accumulation. We will see.

The picture is a reflection of the window of Hog Wild with the abandoned Action Lock shop across the way.

By the way, I don't have much time to blog. I started this yesterday and finished it today while pondering what to do over my first cup of coffee. Back to moving stuff around!


deb said...

We're off on side trip of downsizing our trash.

Rockport is trying to get everyone to convert to a 'pay-as-you-throw' trash program. This means that instead of paying a flat fee for using the transfer/reclamation station, you would pay a lesser flat fee and then pay per bag (the town sells two bag sizes 14 and 33 gallon).

So we started an experiment. It seems that with serious recycling my mom can get down to one 14 gallon/week. Amanda and I managed about 1.5 14 gallon bag/week. So...when we do the math, it will cost us $15 more per year for the 'pay-as-you-throw' program that the town is propagandizing as money saving for not only the town but the residents. And we're just talking three adults, here. I can only imagine what a family with a few kids will be spending!

While I agree that payment should correspond with usage, I abhor that the town lies to the masses that it will save residents money. On top of that, it totally dismays me that the majority of residents will never question it (the math) or them (the DPW).

(Done irrelevant ranting)

Linda Ball said...

We have curbside pickup with cost based on size of container. They pick up cans, bottles, papers, magazines, cardboard, too. (As much as you like.) You can put a $2 sticker on additional bags. I think you have to have 'pay as you throw' to encourage recycling. You don't have to lie about it though! Austin is working toward a zero trash society. Many years away, though. Right now we fill our container every week with downsizing detritus and regular stuff. Sometimes I take stuff to Dad's where he has a large container and little trash. (I was too lazy to change it out!)

deb said...

I'm all for encouraging the recycling, I don't even mind if they went totally to 'pay-as-you-throw'. What bothers me is that they say that for most residents it will be less expensive, when for the vast majority it will be more. What ever happened to honesty? Just say, "look folks, we can't afford the program as it has been, we have to make changes, it'll cost more, but you can hope to control your costs by how much you recycle."

Part of the problem also stems from Rockport being governed as a town. Nearly everything has to go to public vote and the public being what they are, well....