One outcome of leading a C.R.U.D.-laden existence is that it’s really hard to find things when you need them. Even when you have conducted exhaustive searches of your entire premises, some missing items elude detection. Consequently, often you’ll head to the store to find a duplicate of what you already own. It makes you wonder if organized people are not only neater, but wealthier to boot. While much has been documented on the downside of clutter with respect to self-esteem and emotional health, the economic aspects have attracted less attention.
In this instalment, our intention is to acquaint you with seven of most often replaced household possessions. Those on this list share some common characteristics. First of all, they are generally commonplace in nature. Many of them have a tendency to move, meaning they live in one part of the house, but get used in another and rarely return to where they belong. Thirdly, they are relatively inexpensive to re-stock. One does not mourn the loss in the way one would if she lost a piece of fine jewellery or a video camera.
Replacements do not conform to our orthodox definition of C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris) because they really are functional and essential. They are simply lost in an unruly sea of possessions, their whereabouts impenetrable. Replacing any of the following will not exactly put you in the poorhouse. However, making frequent emergency duplication purchases squander both your precious time and hard-earned cash:
1. Scotch tape – Often travels from the office or kitchen drawers to multiple locations: quick fix for sticking kids’ art on the walls or wrapping gifts on the way out to a party. Tape dispensers are rarely returned to home base.
2. Screwdrivers – You never know when you will be called upon to tighten a screw or even pick a lock. Screwdrivers come in multiple varieties and sizes, so invariably you won’t have the right one for the job.
3 Reading glasses – The problem with these should be obvious. If you cannot find your glasses, it is that much more difficult to locate anything else. Since reading puts people to sleep, reading glasses are liable to land wherever you nodded off – couch, recliner, bed, or bathroom.
4. Corkscrews -Pulling a cork out with your teeth is not really an option, particularly now that they make corks out of hard plastic. Corkscrews can get lost due to excessive alcohol consumption.
5. Staplers -Like scotch tape, staplers are usually kept in desks. They too go out on missions when a paper clip will simply not do. Closely related is the subject of staples themselves. They often wind up in a different location from the mother ship, rendering the stapling machine useless.
6. Flashlights – On how many occasions have you had to face the darkness without the benefit of the trusted flashlight? Power failures, suspected intruders and reading comic books in a room where someone else is sleeping, are all justifications for making multiple purchases of this lifesaver.
7. Postage stamps – Say what you will about the demise of snail mail, but from time to time, it becomes necessary to actually mail a letter, card or document. That is when you search in vain for the little sticky roll that stands between you and disappointing your mother on her birthday.
Is this all too recognizable to you? Would you prefer to spend your money on things you really want as opposed to serial duplication? The aforementioned items are but a minute-sample of a universe encompassing hundreds of products that people buy again and again. For you, the problem could be calamine lotion or picture hooks. Our advice is to become mindful about maintaining the permanent homes you have created for these essentials. Put them back. Pay attention and you’ll improve your retention