So let’s be honest. I’m not the only hoarder out here. Am I? Go ahead. Raise your hand. (I’m watching, you know).
But so much of the stuff we collect (or that gravitates toward us) is cool. Or memorable. Or meaningful. Because we attach memories to it. When we touch it, we feel connected to a past we cherish. A moment.
But let’s face it: how many times have you actually pulled that thing out–whether it’s a collection of things or just a single prized thing–and looked at it? And for how long? If you’re like me, probably not very often, and probably not for very long.
So what’s the value in it? The answer is–unless it’s a sacred family heirloom–not much.
That’s because the real value is in you.
It’s within our own memories that things acquire meaning. And stuff, on the other hand, is very much expendable.
You don’t own things, things own you.
My iPhone is glued to me. I almost feel naked without it anymore. Not because I like it (oh, it’s super cool, but sometimes I wish I wasn’t so dependent on it), but because of how much it actually does for me.
One particular day I was fed up with how much junk was in a certain section of my basement, taken up by cool old bottles I’d somehow deemed valuable along the way. Then the thought entered my head, “What am I ever going to do with these? And where would I display them? And who would care?” That’s when I decided to chuck them. But before I did, I remembered my iPhone.
And I took a picture of each of them.
Suddenly I realized their value was in my head, and the picture would stir that memory just as much as holding it. But without the physical space they’d take up. That section of my basement was purged, and I was free.
Likewise, when people are handing out copies of meeting notes, if they can’t email them to me I just take pictures of them on my iPhone and hand back the packet (to their astonishment). Because realistically those notes are just going to sit in my office and take up space; what I really need is to reference them later, a task much better suited for a digital image stored on my hard drive.
The pic above is of a conference promo card I got in the mail last week. I liked one of the design elements and wanted to save it for future reference. But rather than take up more valuable space in an already full morgue art file, I snapped a pic of it.
So what things in your life could you live with a picture of instead of the real thing? Tell us the juicy details below. I know, I know: it might be hard. But the sense of relief you’ll feel after throwing out all those things might just be worth the price (and then some). ch: