I might need that

On sewing day, Enelda finished cutting out the fabric for a tote: a rectangle with two corners cut out. She picked up the four 2 inch squares and said, “These are too small for anything.” She headed toward the trash can.

 “No, don’t.” I stuck out my hand.  “I’ll take m them. My sister makes quilts that sometimes use little squares like that. She might be able to use them.”

 She laughed. “For a quilt. Those are small pieces.” She gave me the scraps. At home, I added them to the dozens of other small squares I have saved for my sister.

 The pile of scraps grows a bit every week. I have to keep them, we might want to use them someday.

 So goes the rationalization of every craft or project person. We must keep that bit of wood, lace or any stray nuts, bolts, washers or screws. If we take apart a sewing machine, a broken toaster or worn out appliance, we set aside all those items. They might be useful someday.

 Hubby has done this for decades. When a repair project needs bolt, he says, “I think I have one that will fix that. I’ll go look.” It might take longer to sort through his collection than it would to run into town and buy one from the hardware store, but he will find one of those “mighy need it some day” bolts.

Thousands identify with the “save it, you might need it” syndrome. Many of them responded to a Facebook posting with a picture of a board with the caption, “I saved this board for 20 years because it might come in handy someday. Today I used it to prop up the end of the table.”

 One commemntor responded with a picture of the odds and ends of wood stored on their garage’s rafters. “I might need this piece of wood someday.”

            It is such a quandary for some to know whether to keep or to toss.

 My cousin evidently has no problem

She does not tolerate clutter. She showed me a very neatly organized collection of family memorabilia, including a picture of a safety badge from World War II that our grandparents might have received for watching enemy planes.

         “Wouldn’t it be neat if we had that?” she asked enthusiastically?

 “If you had had it, you would have tossed it long ago,” her housemate observed dryly.

         That’s the quandary every time we clear out excess: “What if I might need this someday?” Unfortunately, many have experienced the phenomenon of “,the day after” need. As one man commented on the Facebook post, “After 40 years of my brother complaining about a car radio I had saved for years, I finally gave in and threw it away. I decided they were right. I had not needed it for 40 years, I never would.” Within a week, the man found and bought an old car. It needed the radio he now no longer had.

 It’s stories like those that reinforce our rationalization, “it might come in handy some day.” 

So I save odds and ends of cloth and sewing notions to enhance a future unknown project. Hubby saves odds and ends of leftover wood. For decades he carefully stacked it in his shop until I could not walk through without fearing for my safety

Finally, I said, “It’s time. We do not want to leave our children a heap of junk to sort through after we are gone.”

 Reluctantly he began sorting through the odds and ends of wood he might need someday to brace up a table. He reduced his pile of boards by about 75 percent. Most looked just right for roasting hot dogs. So that’s what we did with it. We had finally found a use for every piece.

ReplyForwardAdd reaction