I am a hoarder. Well that is what I am told, and it certainly feels like it at the moment as I go through my personal things, throwing out a lifetime of memories and “stuff” I have accumulated.
It is my personality, my way of living, never throw anything away that can be of use. It could be a nail, a piece of wood, a nut and bolt. I would need many hands to count the days gone by when I was a “handyman“, a “DIY” person, where the whole project would have been impossible to complete for the sake of that screw I had not thrown away, that I had kept for that “rainy day”.
How many times have I gone into the garage, and from bits and pieces, constructed something useful, something of beauty? Many times. The trouble is I have not had a garage for years.
How many times has something gone wrong, broken, and I have just the thing to repair it, taken from that old thing in the back of the cupboard.
How much money have I saved through repairing stuff by using other stuff I have saved?
They say you should not throw away old bills, invoices, bank statements, you should burn or shred them, as naughty people can steal your identity, so perhaps that is why I hoard them, I have literally taken-on their instructions.
Yesterday, as I was shredding some of my old bank statements (twenty years old, from a bank I am no longer with), the shredding machine I have been using of about a year, yes I do destroy things, broke down. I tried to see if there was anything stuck in the cutting teeth jamming the mechanics, I checked the fuse by changing it with an old fuse taken from a plug I had saved from two years ago. I check the internal electrics and connections.
I had to go out and get another shredder, another twenty pounds (£20) down the drain, and I threw the old shredder into the waste bin, but not the collecting bin that the old shredder fitted into. It may come in handy in the future.
The new shredder works fine, and I can continue in my sad task of getting rid of my past, my history, but I still wonder this morning, if only I had checked a little bit more on that old shredder, maybe, there was a solenoid, a hidden switch I missed, I could have repaired it.
What about those old magazines I will read when I get the time, there will be some interesting articles. Yes I know, I will never get the time, so out they go.
What about those computer discs, containing the computer software I developed for customers when I worked for the computer manufacturers NCR, Sperry Univac and Texas Instruments? Many times after I had left the employment of the manufacturer, I was asked to go back and help solve a problem or make changes. I was the only one who could do it. I needed to keep the data.
But will I ever be asked again? No chance, after forty years, how many NCR 399 or NCR 499 machines exist? How many TI DS 990 computers churn out facts and figures? How many PC computers from 1983 are still sitting working on an office desk?
How many of todays computers will be able to read a CRAM card? Haw many computers will be able to read a magnetic cassette with my programming on it, or the floppy discs of various sizes? Even the small floppies cannot be read as they have been superseded by CD’s, and new computers do not even have the facilities to read them. Next? Memory sticks and cards? Each storing more and more data, as they get smaller and smaller.
Progress in computer magnetic media.
Out they all go. Well I have kept one or two for historic reasons. How else am I able to show you examples in the above photograph?
But what is different to me and others?
People collect old photographs, cut glass vases, books, old used postage stamps, CD’s, ornaments, cutlery, diner sets. Diner sets and cutlery which will only come out for that special day that never comes. A cut glass vase, just in case a loved one gives them some flowers. Now will that ever come?
I am no different to others, and it is difficult to throw out my special things, my history, but it must be done, I have no room to hoard more things.
See Collecting becomes Hoarding.