Juan Man’s Trash…

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Is my inherent belief that whatever item I come across I am bound to have a potential use for a genetic condition?  Is it normal to be so certain that someone I know will benefit from my “finds” even if I can’t?  Or is this presumably flawed thinking part of our collective consciousness?  Does it run in la familia?

If so, then maybe it can help explain the many times our moms and tias would say things like, “Aye dios, Chencha would love this!” or how about, “Mijo, if you get taller, you can wear this.”

I never thought this was a problem until my collection of “stuff” got so big that I had to get a storage unit (and the monthly bill to go along with it). Really, are these “treasures” worth $75 a month?  Sure, I might have albums galore and an actual phonograph in there, so that, in theory, one day I could have a fine listening party kicking back in my La-Z-Boy recliner.

I house dozens of old cigar boxes waiting to decorate the Havana-style smoking room I’ll have … one day.  Sports equipment, basketballs, footballs and somehow an official Mexico soccer ball when I really only like futbol during the World Cup.  I even have an actual ASU football helmet that one day I’ll muster the courage to wear to Sun Devil Stadium.

And what about all of those boxes and boxes of who-knows-what that I will probably never organize?  And the pictures … you know, the ones I’ll show my kids one day.  Why can’t I throw at least some of them away?  If I toss a photo of someone, why do I feel like I’m killing them?

This desire to accumulate things may explain why some of us can’t resist a good yard sale and the urge to buy things we really don’t need.  Why, oh why, do I want to buy everything I see?  Is that spatula really only a dime?  Orale! Break out the Aunt Jemima!  What, this tire from a Honda Civic is only five bucks?  Hey, my neighbor has a Honda.  I don’t know him, but maybe this can break the ice and I’m sure it fits!

That’s when I realized that I was heading down the cluttered road to compulsive hoarding.  In order to avoid this I had to do some serious spring cleaning, and I don’t mean bleaching my Chuck Taylors, again.  I’m talking wholesale discardation. I know this may not be a real word but drastic times call for drastic measures.

For starters I came up with a rule for clothes: if I haven’t worn something in the past two months, gone.  They say a year but nah, it’s not like we have seasons in the desert to worry about.  Same rule applies for shoes, except for my football cleats that I swear I will wear again one day.  As for the records, if I don’t want to take the time to actually play the damn things right then and there, then off to Goodwill.

Books, they’re not for decoration unfortunately, so I’ll keep a few to actually read.  Old computer monitors and cables, seriously gone.  Why was I saving them?  Mismatched furniture, enough said. Towels, I’ll keep the ones that match, one or two for washing the car and toss the rest. Whew, I feel better already!  And muy spring cleaner!

I do this now because I don’t want to, “one day,” be forced to carve a path through my stuff just to find el baño.

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