June 8, 2005

Is this where it begins?

We recently bought a new TV. Purchasing the new TV was an experience which resulted in us also “needing” a surround sound system, a new TV stand and a new DVD player. The result is that we are now the proud of owner of one too many of each of the following: a nearly brand-new TV and stereo, a TV stand, and a DVD player. I am giving the TV to my teenaged brother for his setup in the family room in the basement at my Dad’s house- I am contemplating giving him the stereo and the TV stand as well. He is a nice kid and well-worthy of having his own equipment to play with far from the prying eyes of my dad and step-mom. In a few months, we may very well be getting a new couch, which will leave us with extra furniture. Again, I am thinking I should give the furniture to my brother. Seriously, my brother is such a GOOD kid who was dealt such a very raw, creppy hand in the game of life that my giving him these nice things will certainly not spoil him. However, my sister’s theory is “why not save this stuff in the basement for when your own kids get older?” On the one hand, she has a point. On the other, why cram perfectly good things in my basement that won’t be used for YEARS when my brother can use them NOW? The probability is that we will MOVE before we would even use these things anyway.

When I thought about this even further, I realized with a rising panic that YES, YES - I MUST GET RID OF IT ALL. People, this is how it STARTS! Those of you with Pack Rat Relatives know EXACTLY what I am talking about -- the ubiquitous basement full of junk that one can’t bear to part with because it has some sort of perceived potential value. When I moved into this house last fall, I had made a goal for myself to not use the basement for excessive storage. I remembered the horror of seeing how the Previous Owners had things crammed in every nook and cranny when we had first looked at the house. So far, I have held true to my word – the basement currently holds an empty wine rack (BARE, I said - sniff, sniff), a not-so-empty kitty litter box, some borrowed baby equipment, Christmas decorations, and empty boxes we will need for the next time we move. I hesitate to have perfectly good stuff down there collecting dust.

Besides, this stuff is going to a basement where it will most likely be available for my own children when THEY go to college. So, all is not lost. There is something to be said for hoarding things in someone ELSE’s basement, don’t you think? (she said quite smugly).

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