Keeping too much? Some things never change

Twenty-first century office? Or retirement home for electronics?

My organizing colleague Susan Shankle is an avid student of history. Recently she shared a discovery that illustrates our enduring human tendency to hang on to things that don’t serve us. I get a smile every time I read her note, so with her permission I’d like to share it with my readers. Susan wrote:

I just finished a book about Homer’s Odyssey and the author mentions that one of the resources the historians were using were clay tablets inscribed with an ancient pre-alphabet. We’re talking 3000 years ago. They were hoping to decipher poems, letters, historical events, etc. but instead they were disappointed to find accounting records and lists. This item caught my eye:

“One pair of wheels, bound with bronze, unfit for service.”

Nothing ever changes! 3000 years ago somebody kept broken wheels and included them in a list. The label on the storage box probably said, “Might be useful for something someday”!

Are you hanging on to stuff that is, like those wheels, unfit for service? Tell us what it is, and why it’s hard to let it go.

3 Responses to Keeping too much? Some things never change

  1. What a great post! I guess our humanness shines through even from thousands of years ago. The idea of “someday” or “what if” can act as a strong enticement to keep things. But those ideas can be countered with “Has this overstayed its welcome?” or “Is this thing helping me or instead taking up valuable space?” Letting go can be tough. For me, the hardest things to release are books. I’ve had some success donating some to our local library or passing them onto friends or family. Releasing them slow in going and hard to do because books just don’t expire or stop fitting.

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