If I had a nickle…

We own an Xbox 360 but since the boys moved out a few years ago it fell into disuse (as I’m not a gamer) and sat gathering dust still hooked to the TV. The controllers however made their way to a plastic tote and ultimately to the garage some time ago in an effort to just get them out of the living room I suppose. Yesterday Amelia (our 13yo daughter) had Fable pop into her head for one reason or another – perhaps devouring Harry Potter night and day helped? – and wanted to play it. Easy enough task but we didn’t know where the controllers were. Well, not exactly. We knew they were out in the garage but that’s where the trail went cold. Combine that with the chokehold winter has had on us it was very cold Saturday and I didn’t have a whole lot of interest in going out there to hunt for them. I was able to avoid it then but when the mercury finally inched up above 20 degrees midday today we headed out.

It’s worth mentioning that I’m okay with the cold. I’ve been colder longer and can stand it enough to look around in the closed in garage but when you take the gloves off the fingers tend to numb up quickly so… But I digress.

As it turned out the hunt was a relatively short one and only required us moving a few boxes about until we found what we were looking for. What I couldn’t help but notice though as I peered into a few boxes of stuff was the sheer number of things that we own. This isn’t to say that we’re buried amidst thousands of things but then again it likely surpasses that number were I to count it all up. The downside of which isn’t so much that each and every item cost us money at one time but more that it’s costing us still today.

Sure, we could have kept the Xbox controllers tucked away in the house but even if this journey didn’t involve them the fact of the matter remains that with each item that comes into our lives we sign up for a life long chore of time spent with or for the items. Like children dropped off at our doorstep in the dark of the night these things need our care. First we spend the time researching the item to see if it’s worthy of our love, then hunting the best deal, then the trip to get it, etc. All in all it’s a long list when you think about it.

  1. Research – to know it’s exactly what we want and need (careful, the word “need” can cost you).
  2. More research – to find the best deal.
  3. Checking the budget to make sure you have the money before you spend it.
  4. Taking the drive to get the item – or pulling the trigger online instead.
  5. Unboxing the new thing and discarding the box or container it arrived in.
  6. Finding a place for it on your home.
  7. Getting rid of the original thing should this amount a a replacement.
  8. Caring for it once it’s in place – this lasts for as long as you own it.
  9. Insuring it – if it’s of high value.
  10. Protecting it from theft.

I concede that 9 and 10 could be lumped into number 8 (caring for it) but you get the picture. Multiply it by the thousands of items you own and before you know it they’re robbing you of your most precious commodity and that is time. Today as I peered in some boxes and moved a few about looking for the controller it was like reading court documents sentencing me to prison time, and I was not only the prisoner but the judge and warden as well.

Unfortunately, to free myself from this sentence I need to take action which while it is more time the payoff is huge which is more freedom! I’ve already adopted the lifestyle choice of less stuff when it comes to new purchases, I just need to eliminate more of the existing inventory to get to where I want to be which is a minimalist lifestyle. The full phrase that I used as the subject line in this article reads “If I had a nickel for every time that happened, I would be rich” but in my case I’d apply it to things. If I had a nickle… Perhaps I will as eBay beckons and spring approaches. At least according to the calendar anyway. ツ

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