Saturday, April 24, 2010

U is for Useless (and Why I Keep Useless Things Around the House)

I hardly need to consult my trusty Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary to explain "useless." I found the following useless items around my house (and garage):

1. Erasers. I have a delete key. My eraser is an ornament.

I keep a few erasers around my office just in case the computer dies or the power goes out when I'm in the mood to write. I keep legal pads around the house for the same reason.

2. The landline telephone. I hate to talk on the phone so I rarely answer it. Most incoming calls are hangups, which means the call was going to be a useless waste of my time anyway. If callers leave a message on the answering machine, I can screen the call and answer immediately, or I can call the person back later...or I can delete the call and forget it.

The only reason we keep the landline is for emergencies. Although we have cell phones that we never turn on, one is kept in the car and one in my purse. If the house was on fire, it would be faster to grab the phone in the kitchen to dial for help than to track down my purse or run out to the garage, turn on the phone, wait for a signal, then dial.

3. Dead computers. We have several pieces of old electronic equipment that aren't in good enough condition to donate to a charitable organization.

They sit around the house gathering dust because we can't put them in the recycle bin. One of these days we'll load up the car and tote them to the dead equipment relocation of these days.

4. Big stupid shrub that keeps the front gate from opening all the way. When I have the tree guys come to prune the apple tree, the shrub is going to bite the dust.

It stayed as long as it did because we kept thinking magical gnomes would fix the problem while we slept.

5. Cardboard boxes. Lots of them. At first I saved the ones I thought would be useful for gifts and mailing. After I accumulated too many, I moved them to the garage to share space with bigger boxes (like the lawn mower box).

I'm actually making progress here because we recently transferred our garbage contract to a system with a bigger recycle bin on wheels. And I bought my very own box-cutter (with a pretty orange handle and a handy-dandy mini-cutter which I could carry in my purse -- which I would probably forget to take out before my next airline trip and therefore would end up marched away in plastic handcuffs surrounded by grim-looking agents toting automatic weapons).

Sorry...fiction writers tend to get carried away at the tiniest opportunity...

I am recycling more cardboard now, and I have not yet cut myself. I've decided to keep the mini-cutter in my office (not my purse).

6. A large plastic bin full of old T-shirts and socks that I intend to use as dust rags. Hahahahaha! Dust rags. For dusting. Hahahahaha!

I could come up with a lot more useless things in my house, yard, and life, but I try to limit the length of my posts. What about you? Do you have anything useless in your house?


Mason Canyon said...

No many things to name. I too have one of those "dust rag" bins that never seems to get used. LOL Enjoyed your post. Thanks for the smile this morning.

Thoughts in Progress

KarenG said...

So funny! Sounds an awful lot like my house! I can't even remember the last time I used an eraser. I want to get a landline phone however because if the electricity goes out, the cordless handsets don't work.

Slushpile Slut said...

Cardboard boxes and dead computers are stacking up in my house too! Also hundreds of index cards with random ideas for my WIP that litter my desk, I can't put them away cause I'll need them soon, I just know it! And God Forbid I can't throw any away! I'm Weird! Also too many books and clothes that don't fit....BUT hopefully one day they will :) Have a great w-end!

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

we kept thinking magical gnomes would fix the problem while we slept.

Wait... this doesn't happen?

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hahaha! I have so much useless junk sitting around, and then my mom, who is getting tired of her old useless junk adds to my piles by trying to convince me that her old, useless junk might be of use to me. And a part of me wonders if maybe I might not find a use for all of it, so I keep it hanging around.

We also have a landline telephone, but mainly because it's required to get the rate we do for our internet. It's annoying. And the cardboard boxes? Well, you just never know when you might need one.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm a bit of a packrat - so I have tons of useless things around the house. I figure if I keep it long enough I might find a use for it :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I can see I'm not alone. But I'm having one piece of luck -- right after I wrote this post, I received an e-mail from a friend that a recycle event for electronic equipment is being held this weekend to help support her kids' school. Hubby and I will gather items and haul them away tomorrow afternoon. Wonderful timing!

Linda L. Henk said...

Useless items are always free on Craig's list! My new gardening methods find me using old tires. I even begged the college guys that live next door for more. I hear I can build a tower of tires around my potato plants, stuff them with straw and spuds will grow above ground, meaning I can steal them all summer long. That's the plan! My biggest useless collection is over 200 collector plates that my parents bought in the 1980s. I need a suggestion for them...maybe donate them or take them to the auction.

Not enough hours! said...

When my son needs an eraser, I know who to ask for one!!!
And I have bags full of old t-shirts and socks that can be used for dusting. Erm, dusting?!

~ Rayna

Karen Walker said...

My hubby has clothes he wore in high school hangingin our upstairs closet. He's 58.

Ann Best said...

Not much that's useless in my two-bedroom (rented) duplex, mostly because I've moved so much in my life, quite often to a smaller place. Recently I tossed a few more useless items from my attic, but there's not much left. Hooray! Now on to more fun things, like writing and blogging. And thanks, as Mason said, for the smile today. You always write such interesting and lively posts.

GutsyWriter said...

My husband likes to collect camera and film equipment and it's gradually taking over my walk-in closet. It bugs me when there's clutter, as it clutters my mind and I'm quite happy with less.

Watery Tart said...

teehee--we have a lot of these same things we don't need, some for the same reasons. There is ALSO though, a large disparity in opinion between my husband and I on what we ought to get rid of. He'd like to be very spartan and only keep what we use daily, buying what we need otherwise. I am FRUGAL and can't bear to get rid of anything we might EVER possibly use again. Love your list though!

Grammy said...

Ha! Every time I look at something with the idea of discarding it, I think, "maybe I can find something to use it for one of these days." Mostly though, I just move stuff from one place in the house to another. ha ha ha.

Wanda said...

lol...I have the for storage bins and some how I never manage to store anything in them.