Why I never throw anything away

Thread Starter

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,791
Today someone brought to me a toddler's car that was rescued from the dump to be fixed. (I am now the resident MrFixit for repairing anything in our Buy Nothing Project group.) One rear wheel was off, missing its axle and an end bushing.

red_car.jpg

I managed to print a new bushing on my 3D printer with no problem.

wheel end cap.jpg


bolt.jpg

But I needed to find a replacement for the missing 5/16" axle.
For whatever reason, I had never thrown away this 5/16" bolt that came with no thread. I found it in my jar of 5/16" bolts, of course.

That's one more good reason why I never throw anything away!
 

Dave Lowther

Joined Sep 8, 2016
146
I've been living in the same house for 35 years. I found that keeping everything didn't work because I had so much stuff I would forget what I'd kept and was running out of storage space. Even if I correctly remembered keeping it then finding it was the next problem. When I retired I spent a while making records of the contents of all my electronic component trays / buckets and the contents of my loft. Making a list of the contents of the garage are still on the to do list.
 

Thread Starter

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,791
I have tens of thousands of components hoarded. Things like nuts and bolts, resistors and capacitors, are easy enough to store in their proper storage drawers, jars etc.

Electronic components such as ICs is a totally different matter. I now have every item recorded in a database.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,097
My opinion is,
If your stockpile of extras proves useful so rarely that you feel the urge to create a new thread about it on ACC when you do use it, it may not be worth the time, effort, space and storage containers.
 

Thread Starter

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,791
My opinion is,
If your stockpile of extras proves useful so rarely that you feel the urge to create a new thread about it on ACC when you do use it, it may not be worth the time, effort, space and storage containers.
The alternative would have been, as is the case 99% of the time, that a broken toy that is easily repaired would have ended up in landfill. A new toy would be manufactured halfway around the globe with virgin non-renewable resources, shipped across the oceans and sold in a big-box store.

Here, I get the satisfaction of giving a toddler a perfectly usable toy at no cost to the family or to me.

To each his own.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,094
It is good to keep lots of stuff around. Where I first worked in Electronics the Chief engineer wouldn't let us throw out old prototypes. "Those are rainy day parts" Harvey would say. while acr-proofing a CRT display late at night I ran out of LM723 regulators (one of the victims of the arcs but found several good ones in the outgoing QA/Test department's box of "defective" components. That developed into a habit that is still with me. "Hey...are you going throw away that perfectly good tomato paste can?"
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,040
I am at a crossroads and have started passing on opportunities to bring home and ferret away shiny things that in the past I would have been all over like Gollum.

the-ring-guru.gif

I have hoarded so much stuff that it has become an encumbrance. It comes in handy all the time so I don't want to get it of it, but I'm well past the point where an inventory database would have made sense. I come across things all the time that I needed a month ago and bought, because I didn't remember I already had it or couldn't find it. Cataloging all of it would be the kind of job that takes a person at least 6 months off from work to accomplish.

I've come to be of the opinion that having the money these goods represent would be more useful than having the goods themselves, and I have tried numerous times to enlist various friends/family, anytime I hear someone complaining of being bored and/or broke and/or able only to work from home, to work on commission, listing my stuff on ebay. Seems nobody is really ever that hard up, to take up what apparently is an incredibly onerous task. Not sure why. I'm not talking about a box full of electronic components that are individually not worth the effort to sell, and/ or that a housewife wouldn't have the first clue about; I'm talking about a 3 car garage packed to the rafters with things like this...

Screenshot_20220130-103313_Google.jpg
Screenshot_20220130-104559_Chrome.jpg
Screenshot_20220130-105321_Google.jpg

...that are individually worth (used) anywhere from $5 to a few thousand, and that you could easily Google the part number right off the side of the thing and copy/paste the description, maybe even plug it into the wall and post a picture with the power on for a better asking price.

I think this is a perfect opportunity for someone bored, stuck at home, wanting to make a buck. But for whatever reason I'm the only one who thinks so. You CAN make money at this. There are companies that exist solely to do this. I've offered the gig to at least a dozen people and only 4 ever took it up and got started. Of the those 4, each of them posted no more than 10 items before the arrangement fizzled out of existence. And I was offering 100% commission to start, until they learned the ropes of eBay selling and could post listing that sell.

Once I decided to try a different tactic. I paid my out-of-work brother an hourly wage to list stuff, plus commission. He listed about 30 items and then quit.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
2,106
I cleaned everything out. I now have in storage a couple of boxes of tools. It came to me, that this growing pile of stuff, was in fact an albatross.
 

panic mode

Joined Oct 10, 2011
2,220
I paid my out-of-work brother an hourly wage to list stuff, plus commission. He listed about 30 items and then quit.
LOL, out-of-work people are out of work for a reason. :D

deciding what to keep and throw away is a hard thing. stockpiling everything is also not a solution. one should try to balance it and put some thought into life cycle of the product before purchase - how long will be used and where will it end up afterwards. people that habitually throw everything away are inconsiderate polluters. so I am trying to be selective at what i buy and discard.
the trap is volume discount. i have a collection of various things and try to find good use for them. many prototypes and working units were built from this. some i have donated so that others don't have to buy everything. right now i try to bring the stockpile down by using inventory parts in all new designs, i try to avoid buying new parts until this is depleted. time has proven that the key is keeping things organized and using database to track inventory. right now got another house and will have to spend some time renovating etc. will have a new lab there but i want to keep it really minimalistic and spend more time outdoors, fishing or woodworking.
 
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Thread Starter

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,791
I am trying to come up with a viable solution to hoarding. I can envision launching a community makerspace so that more people have access to components, tools and test equipment.

The current pandemic and restrictions present a serious challenge to this model and its long term financial sustainability.
 

panic mode

Joined Oct 10, 2011
2,220
sounds great...
btw. my solution is to have wife look at the space and then we compromise. it is better than having her throw things out that she does not recognize or know value or importance of, for example when those items were earmarked for a project and just before delivery date i find that those are gone and have to source them elsewhere and fast.
 
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GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
2,106
sounds great...
btw. my solution is to have wife look at the space and then we compromise. it is better than having her throw things out that she does not recognize or know value or importance of, for example when those items were earmarked for a project and just before delivery date i find that those are gone and have to source them elsewhere and fast.
Ha, I had to lay the law down. I have a route through my domain, along which is placed the instruments of my being. Don’t, for a minute, think you are going to alter that.
 
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