De-cluttering story # 2 : Why I struggled to ditch unused stuff

In the past few years I have come to the conclusion that much of my “stuff” is mere clutter. It’s detracting from my life – not adding to it. It’s consuming physical space and mental space.

Dave Bruno – in his inspirational book – The 100 Thing Challenge describes the anguish he felt in getting rid of his train set. He knew that it made sense – but he had a bizarre internal struggle in letting it go.

My “train set” was my film SLR camera. Once my pride and joy it had not been used in 12 years. I first started “seeing other cameras” when I got a whiz-bang 35mm mini camera. Point and shoot. Great for travel. Then of course it was various digital cameras.

I’d shifted the camera unused throught 2 house moves. It went straight to the junk room. Why not – I knew that I wouldn’t be using it. But somehow- bizarrely I found it very difficult to let it go.

It was a fine piece of engineering in beautiful condition. Nearly mint. The case smelt nice. It held great memories. It was kind of retro chic. But – the reality was  – I was never going to use it again.

Our council had a special “Technology” hard rubbish day. I put the camera in the box and put it out on the street. But – I couldn’t do it. It just didn’t seem right. I went and fetched it from the roadside.

I really wanted it to go to a good home rather than landfill. Could it go to some aspiring photographer in the emerging world ? Well – no – they would want a digital camera.

I took it to Cash Converters. The bloke was polite but I could tell that he was suppressing his laughter. They didn’t want it –  at any price. But I got some valuable market information. A camera much better than mine with better lenses and automation could be had for about $80.

This helped me. If in the very unlikely situation that I needed an SLR camera – the disposal of my current camera would be -at worst an $80 mistake. I estimated the odds of this at less than 1%. So the “present value” of my loss was < 80 cents. I could live with that.

I put it up on E-Bay. If I have whetted your appetite – sorry -It’s too late. It got snapped up for $26.
Good luck to you “edsbus”. I hope you like it. I loved that camera – but I feel “lighter” now that it’s gone.

See my previous post :
De-cluttering Story #1: Portfolio Effect Illustrated

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