Light Enough to Travel

sawsWhether or not I end up moving (my fingers remain crossed it will happen), it seemed appropriate to begin divesting myself of stuff I don’t use, wear or need – and even culling those things I do use or wear, but have far too many of (T-shirts and baking pans, for example).

I’m chagrined to admit it, but the stereotype about women and shoes? Yeah, it fits me. So I’ve been going through my collection of footwear, determined to toss pairs if I’ve not worn them in at least two years. Note that as an excuse for hanging on to those I still like, for the last couple weeks I’ve been consciously wearing into the office shoes unsuitable for my job, then changing into “shop shoes” as soon as I get in. (Also, I’ve forgotten how to walk in high heels.)

I’m down from five to two springform pans, one bundt pan from three and four cookie sheets instead of eight. I now have only enough coffee mugs to last me two weeks instead of a month (that’s not hyperbole; I’ve no idea how I acquired so many).

I’ve even – gasp – started donating books to the library to sell at their annual fund-raising event. It took some serious talking to myself in the mirror, but I finally acceded to the realization that I would never again crack open Franz Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth” and that one general thesaurus really is sufficient. (I need to have another little chat with myself, though…there are still piles of books everywhere, some that haven’t been read since my undergraduate days.)

But I can’t seem to cull my collection of tools. I swigged deeply enough of the Anarchist’s Kool-Aid to build the chest, but it seems I need at least another firkin of the juice. No way am I giving up a dovetail saw.

Also, I’m keeping my cats.

p.s. “Light Enough to Travel” by the Be Good Tanyas is a must-listen.

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About fitz

Editor & content director for Popular Woodworking, ABD PhD focused on early modern drama, freelance content and copy editor/writer, ailurophile
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13 Responses to Light Enough to Travel

  1. Mark says:

    Selling off books and tools are acts which most certainly lead to other forms of depravity and undoubtedly help pave the road to hell.

  2. darn. i could have used a few more cookie sheets.

  3. blowery says:

    Build tiny packs for the cats. If they’re staying, they can carry some of the load.

  4. Bob Jones says:

    Clearly each of those saws has a purpose and is necessary for you to keep. There- justified. 🙂

  5. JMAW Works says:

    Isn’t there some rule about a girl’s backsaw matching her shoes? Pity you can’t use the maple handled one after Labor Day…. Regardless the kool-aid, you don’t have redundancies unless they have exactly the same filing.

  6. terry Colley says:

    Tool collecting is just a disease, the book by Chris was a cure for me. Sort of like AA ,get all that stuff on ebay and liberate yourself. If I have something a tool or a book say and have not used it in 3 years then I don’t need it. Making stuff is better than collecting stuff

  7. joemcglynn says:

    I *clearly* need more dovetail saws.

    • fitz says:

      Those are just the ones I actually own; there’s a few more on my bench at work that are in for testing. (And there’s at least one other that I covet and will some day buy if the opportunity to do so and the health of my checking account coincide)

      • Patrick says:

        Sell the ones you don’t covet to pay for the one you do.

        Try this to help you cull out anything you are on the fence about and let’s use clothing as an example. You take all of your clothes out of the closet and hang them on a temporary rack. Every day you go to the temporary rack to pick out our clothes for the day. Those that get picked end up back in your closet (after washing of course). afer a couple of weeks you will find yourself going to your closet instead of the temp rack. Once you reach that point give what is left on the rack to Goodwill.

        To do this with your tools, do several projects of different size and difficulty over the course of a year. Keep the tools you used and jetison the rest. You won’t miss them and you will probably have some extra green in your pocket to buy a new tool you really need. (Like a Northfield jointer similar to the one the Anarchist bought from Jameel 🙂 .)

  8. John Wolf says:

    A dedicated Tooligan can be quite deaf at Christopher Schwartz frequencies when necessary.

    • fitz says:

      I suspect Chris would say I’m often deaf to his voice frequencies altogether – not only when it comes to tools.

  9. Paul says:

    Can’t believe you parted with “The Wretched of the Earth.” Where are your priorities?
    A great book, if somewhat sobering.
    Nice collection of dovetail saws. I need to show it to my wife, so she’ll see my collection is not so big after all….

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