June 6, 2014

Pearing Down Useless Stuff

The great purge of 2014 continues. Well, actually it’s more like the great purge of 2013 has continued into 2014, since we started purging in preparation for our move last year. I’m determined to get everything organized before Ziggy gets here, to make our lives easier when we move. Given that we’ve never had everything organized, and always had a junk closet of some kind, that means making up for the last decade of procrastinating in five and a half months.

Elmo Mat
Our former non-slip tub math

One of the items in the trash bag today: the Elmo non slip tub mat. The tub in our guest bathroom already has a non-slip coating, so the tub mat had nothing to stick to. We can’t use it here, and given the prevalence of non-slip bathtubs we probably wouldn’t be able to use it when we move.

Yet, I am torn about getting rid of it. It’s Elmo. Nicki loooves Elmo, or Moe-Moe as she calls him. She fell in love with the little red Muppet at daycare. A few days after she discovered Elmo, I pointed out the little Elmos on the tub mat. Even though we had been using it for months, it was like she was seeing it for the first time. With wide eyes she exclaimed “MO-MO!” (how she used to pronounce Elmo) and then proceeded to point to each and every Elmo on the mat. Her excitement went away after a few days. She didn’t seem to miss the Elmos when they disappeared. Still she once loved those little non slip Elmos.

It’s still really hard for me to get rid of anything, despite my best efforts. I develop sentimental attachments way too easily. The memory of Nicki discovering those Elmos is sweet, but now that I have it written down and the pictures, I no longer need the actual mat. At least that’s the theory.

To help make the call of what should be kept vs trashed or donated, Domingo and I started applying three criteria to anything we own that aren’t using now:

  1. Could I see myself putting it in a shadow box one day?
    With 18 years ahead of me to build up mementos, space is always going to be limited. Sure, there’s always the hypothetical garage/attack, but I think that’s better suited for objects the kids become sentimentally attached to. After all, I’m sure I’ll be sentimental about them too.
  2. Are we more likely to use it again in the future than not?
    The ‘more’ is key. Just about anything can be repurposed. Although, probably not a tubmat.
  3. Is it hard(ish) to replace?
    • Would I want the exact same one or maybe a different mat to go with the bathroom decor? A fish themed tubmat may be appreciated longer, and individual decals that can be spaced out more evenly may be more practical.
    • Would it be relatively inexpensive to replace it with another one? Even if I want the same one there are number of retailers who will sell it in the $10-15 range.

We decided to get rid of it a week ago and I’m just now working up the courage to follow through with that decision. Alas, I don’t think it’s going to get easier.

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