22 June 2009

Useless Household Objects

In The Guardian today, Tom Meltzer fantasizes about some new household tools. The item from his list that I really want to bring home: "The silent blender: For people who love smoothies but hate excruciatingly loud noise." Other items on his list: a folding wok, a remote control that responds to "Accio Remotus," an ironing board that won't collapse.

On the other hand are all of those truly useless items we have lying around the house. I don't think I'm talking about the inkwell on my desk -- my Aunt Helen's doubles tennis trophy from 1921 (badly tarnished) -- that holds one of my quill pens made by a friend from a goose feather. These are useless, it's true, but each has sentimental and aesthetic value.

There are the weights next to the bed. At various points recently I've been ready to get rid of them, but I've used them twice in the past month. Maybe they're worth it, after all.

Kitchen appliances? Rice cooker -- used today. Blender, waffle maker, food mill -- within the week. Mortar and pestle, mixer, grain mill -- all within the past few weeks. Actually, yes, I do cook.

Clothing. Hmmm. There are, in fact, a few items in the back of the closet that I haven't worn in a long time, but haven't been willing to get rid of. I might, after all, get invited to a cocktail party one of these years, and want something decent to wear.

So, how about you? What's the most useless item in your home? Why do you still have it around?

(The green point of this post: keeping excess stuff makes us buy bigger homes, which take more energy to build, heat, cool, light, maintain, and so on.)