Day 49: Stuff and Stuff – There’s A Name For It!

4,900 things gone, only 5,100 things to go

Squirrel came to me sheepishly last week and gave me this:

This was printed on the inside:

I didn’t know whether to crack up or cry. In one way, it’s brilliant – I finally have a name for these arbitrary collections. In another way it’s frightening how deeply embedded this behaviour is in his consciousness.

Squirrel was in fourth grade when he made this collection. Mr Hassard was his teacher and was, by all accounts (especially this eloquent one by Chris Stenberg) – quite a guy. He was the teacher that made Squirrel learn the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling and that makes Mr. Hassard more than alright with me. But, I digress. I think it’s clear that whatever Mr. Hassard was teaching, it wasn’t organization.

What did I do with this box of assorted treasures? The only reasonable thing a person could do in the circumstances. I sorted, catalogued, and photographed them:

135 thumb tacks, 36 nails and screws, 14 keys, 23 buttons, 5 golf tees, 4 alan keys, 2 crochet hooks, 3 coins, 2 pencils, 1 nail file, 1 elastic band, 19 pieces plastic, 12 metal, 11 wood, 8 uncategorized

Then I made this cool I-Spy for my kids:

I-Spy an earring, an aspirin, a match…

I know it seems like a lot of work for a box of things that ended up in the kitchen garbage, but I’m deeply fascinated by the thought process that allows someone to store an earring with a golf tee or a crochet hook with an alan key.

Or recently, an Ugly Doll with Dewalt bits:

Or a Scooby Doo poster with a Swiss Army knife:

Besides, I couldn’t shoulder the bewilderment on my own anymore  – and if one of you, just one of you, sees this post and cries out:

“Why? Why Squirrel? Why?”

…then I will feel like I have an ally and that makes all things (even Stuff and Stuff) infinitely more bearable.

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8 thoughts on “Day 49: Stuff and Stuff – There’s A Name For It!

  1. I’m a female version of squirrel. I love organization, but am fundamentally disorganized. If someone else organizes something, and explains the reasoning to me, I am able to understand and maintain. On my own, however, not a chance. I just don’t get it.

    Also, I’m afraid of squirrels.

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