Have you ever thought about the things you have owned the longest and are still getting use after many years? I think there is something to be learned from the items that have stood the test of time in our lives: they tell us what is actually useful to us and worth investing in. I don’t replace my stuff very often and I tend to forget how many years I’ve actually owned specific things. I recently reached for a butane lighter and remembered the unusual circumstance of how I obtained it along with a bunch of other things that are still kicking around in my place, and I was shocked to realize that was 13 years ago!
I sublet an apartment back in 2006 when I was transitioning out of a home I had shared with my soon-to-be ex boyfriend. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to live or what my next step would be so the sublet was a perfect solution. I saw an ad on Craigslist and contacted the current renter, an actor and super nice guy named Joey. We arranged a time for me to see the place and I immediately fell in love with the hardwood floors and natural light. Here’s what it looked like:
Joey was moving to Florida for a gig and planned to start over down there rather than move all of his stuff from Syracuse. He generously offered to leave whatever I might find useful in the apartment, and I was so grateful because that saved me from having to buy everything I needed. When his lease was up I decided to renew it and by then had figured out what things I wanted to keep and what I wanted to replace, and I paid Joey for the things I wanted. All these years later I still have and use some of those things! They are:
4 basic white cereal bowls and mugs
2 stainless steel drawer organizers
Metal siverware drawer divider
Basic knife set
Random kitchen gadgets (slotted spoon, pasta fork, etc.)
I also kept a metal shelf like this one:
Interestingly, this was the first I ever came across one of these heavy-duty adjustable shelving units and now I recommend them to all my clients!
The point of sharing this story is to get you thinking about the things you own that have served you for years, and asking yourself what those things have in common. For me, these objects have remained in my life because they are practical, of good quality, and not trendy. Basic white dishware will never go out of style, and a sturdy adjustable shelf will always be useful.
What are the oldest things you own?
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