Home is where the heart - and all you stuff - is
by Ed Wendell
Feb 20, 2018 | 1069 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two Rocky action figure that were purchased at Jason's Toy Store in the last hour of the last day that they were open. Over 70 years in business and these were among the very last things they sold.
Two Rocky action figure that were purchased at Jason's Toy Store in the last hour of the last day that they were open. Over 70 years in business and these were among the very last things they sold.
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An old ash tray stand felled by years of rust. We were going to throw it out, but a friend suggested repurposing it as a plant stand, which is exactly what we are going to do.
An old ash tray stand felled by years of rust. We were going to throw it out, but a friend suggested repurposing it as a plant stand, which is exactly what we are going to do.
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The late, great George Carlin once said that the whole meaning of life was trying to find a place for your stuff.

“That’s all your house is,” he said. “Your house is just a place for your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. That’s all your house is, a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

This past month, we have started the long process of downsizing more than a half-century of accumulated stuff. Now, it wouldn’t be fair to call my wife and me hoarders; aspiring hoarders is more like it.

We’ve got stuff in our basement going back decades, stuff that belonged to people who went to their reward over 50 or 60 years ago. And we’ve got stuff that we bought and either never used, or stuff that’s used so rarely that it’s fair to wonder why we bothered to keep it.

The answer to that is that we had the space. If it fits, it sits.

Mr. Carlin also said that your house is just “a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”

Sure enough, more than a few times we’ve come across stuff that we could have used, except we didn’t know we had it so we went out and bought a new one. For example, I just recently saw a battery-operated light gadget in Home Depot. You can install it inside of a closet without having to hire an electrician.

It’s a nice item. Apparently, I thought that a few years ago when I bought the same exact thing. But I never got around to installing it so it ended up in our basement with the rest of our stuff.

So now we’re dividing our stuff into three piles. Stuff that’s getting donated, stuff that’s getting tossed, and the good stuff, the stuff we’re keeping. The goal is not only to have a smaller amount of stuff, but to go through our stuff to try and figure out what stuff we actually have!

Of the stuff we’re donating, the clothes go to St. Mary’s in Brooklyn. You give them a call, leave the bags on your porch, and they come and take it away. We’re really happy that a lot of our clothing isn’t going to waste.

The books and DVDs go to the Woodhaven Library, where we hope they will find second lives in the hands of local residents.

We thought about saving stuff for a yard sale, but that means we have to drag all our stuff out to the street, and then at the end of the day we have to drag all that stuff back inside. All our rejected stuff. That’s a little too depressing.

And a lot of our stuff is being put aside for the next recycling event on Sunday, April 28, at the Forest Park Bandshell parking lot sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Miller and Senator Joe Addabbo. That’s only 65 days away, right around the corner.

Overall, the goal is to get rid of as much stuff as we can. Because you know what Mr. Carlin says you need to do when you have too much stuff? You need to move and get a bigger house and more space for your stuff, and we don’t want to do that.

Some of our stuff is sort of interesting, and we might try to sell some of it on eBay, so we’re putting that aside for a later date. And as you can imagine, with an old house like ours, we’ve found some stuff that’ll fit nicely with a lot of the other items belonging to the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.

Some of these items, along with other items of local historical interest that have been donated to the WCHS, will be on display at our next meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, at the Avenue Diner at 91-06 Jamaica Avenue. We hope you’ll come out to see (and hold) some of this interesting historical stuff.

Got some historical stuff of your own that you’d like to show off? Bring it along, we’d love to see it.

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