They say that any box you haven’t opened in 5 years probably contains nothing you really desperately need. There is wisdom in this, and I have, at the top of my back closet, three boxes, labelled "Rob’s Desk", which were packed when we moved into this apartment in 2007, and have been sitting up on the top shelf untouched ever since.
Because of the above axiom, it was tempting to just take the boxes down, and toss them in the dumpster. But I knew there WAS one valuable thing up there, which was the boxes themselves. So tonight, pulled each one down and went through them, sorting the (very few) keepable things from the trash. Most of it was the usual assortment of old bills and papers that should have been discarded years ago and instead wound up in an increasing strata of desk drawer until it was transferred, unsorted and unexamined, into a box on moving day. But there were some things unearthed that, while of varying levels of value, were at least amusingly interesting and an insight into my packrat nature. They included:
- A Consonance 2007 program book and song book
- D&D character sheets for a campaign that ended when the Suttons moved to Indiana
- Cheques with our old address, obsolete since 2007
- Family photo from reunion in 2004
- Two envelopes of Kitanzi’s pay stubs, some dating back to when she lived in New Hampshire
- A Hercules 3D Prophet 4500 video card (with 64MB of vRAM!)
- A strand of Mardi Gras beads
- Christmas card/Family photo from J., dated 2000, featuring one more wife and one fewer son than he has currently
- A compact tool kit
- A variety of CDs, both labeled and unlabled
- A menu from a restaurant that closed some years ago
- A laptop-sized ram chip with 256MB of PC133 ram
- A Radio Shack branded widgit that looks like an S-Video to RCA adapter
- 2 USB to PS/2 adapters.
- A Microsoft Windows Services for Unix 3.5 CD
- A map of Paragon City from the original 2004 release of City of Heroes
- Program books from Gafilks 3, 5, 7 and 8.
I seriously need to do something about my packrat tendencies. *examines state of current desk* And, like, soon…
Kinda fun, though.
Oh it is. By the time I’m done, there’s gonna be a lot less clutter around here. *nods sagely*
I like the song reference.
I’m always amused when people say that, because I habitually pack things I know I’ll not want again for 5 years, or 10, or longer. Maybe it comes of being both a mother and a medievalist. At the most pragmatic level, that means keeping most of what the kids outgrow — because there’s no point in replacing it if you can just re-use it for the next one. 5 year gap the first and second times, 3 year gap the third time, worth it each and every time. At a less pragmatic level, it means preserving all kinds of heirlooms and just-plain-neat-stuff for the next generation. K is going nuts because I can’t find all the parts to the Atari, for instance, though I know I have them somewhere — she and C both absolutely loved playing Atari before our last move, and will be *so* happy when I find the right boxes to get that working again. (Not to say I don’t have a lot of crud not worth keeping in boxes, too. We’re slowly whittling away at that. My general rule of thumb is, ‘Would you pay for this at a yard sale?’ If I don’t need it enough to pay what I think I’d have to spend on it if I needed but didn’t have it, I donate or pitch it.)
A while ago I did that with a few boxes, not because the boxes themselves were of value, but because I thought that one of them contained some useful paperwork. In the end, I believe I wound up salvaging two marbles and discarding everything else: but there was a point where it had been useful for me to know I had those papers. I’m not the person who needed them, anymore, so they went, but I’ve hit other, also old, papers and notebooks and such that I wasn’t ready to toss.