Thursday 19 January 2023

Don't give in to the tyranny of decluttering!

 Of all the recent fads, perhaps the one I find most irrational and irritating is the concept of decluttering. The argument seems to be that you'll be happier if you have less stuff around. To me this is completely bonkers. We buy stuff because we want or have a need of it. I'm all for giving used paperback novels to the Charity shop if you aren't going to read them again, or recycling yesterdays newspapers, but that is not what decluttering is about. It's about chucking away perfectly good stuff that you may use, so that the mantlepiece is clear and there is less stuff to look at. I know people who've chucked out vinyl worth thousands in their mad rush to declutter, as well as vintage cameras which are worth a fortune and all manner of other seful or valuable items. There seem to be countless TV programs extolling the virtue of this insanity.

Let me tell you, when you need a nail or screw because something has broken or fallen off the wall, you won't be so pleased you chucked the rusty tin of them out. When you've given your vinyl collection to the charity shop and you suddenly find that old Pink Floyd album from 1973 is worth £100 you won't be feeling so happy will you? About 20 years ago, I was chatting to a mate who was in the process of 'decluttering'. He mentioned that he was taking his record collection to a boot sale. I casually asked what records he had. To my amazement, there was a stack ofhighly sort after choices, including an original copy of Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, with a copy of the programme for the album launch show. I suggested he put that on Ebay before disposing of anything. He got £750 for it. 

One of the strands of our business is we run a music shop. We regularly get people come down with bags full of musical instruments, usually from dealry departed relatives that they haven't got space for, that they just want to get shot of. Sometimes this 'old junk' turns out to be highly valuable items that a cursory search would have revealed were worth a fair few bob. 

I've no idea where the concept that having nothing on the mantlepiece is somehow attractive or good for ones mental health, it is bonkers and I'd everyone to realise that it is just a part of the philosophy of our wasteful, consumerist society, getting you to free up space so you can buy more rubbish. 

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