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Where do we put all the useless stuff?

June 10, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

At one point or another, we all find ourselves downsizing our belongings. Whether it's a regular exercise such as taking old newspapers or pop cans to a recycler, or selling those items you no longer need, we come to that point where the belongings can no longer fit in our homes.

I suppose it has just become a point of life in these modern times. We buy things over the years and, for the most part, just never think about getting rid of them. They stack up in some corner of the house, never to be thought of until you either do some major cleaning or move.

It might be clothes, comic books, toys from our youth, etc.

But what about those things you never really used after it was purchased, or even those things you never really needed in the first place. It's those novelty items you thought might look cool somewhere, but later realized you never really had a use for them, or they didn't go with anything, or perhaps you just didn't have the space to store it.

It's a thought that's been popping in my head some lately, but this week following a conversation with one of our reporters who saw a site advertising a reproduction of the throne from the TV show "Game of Thrones,"?for somewhere around $32,000.

I've never watched the program myself, although I've heard good things. Besides that, I don't have the $32,000, and even if I did I simply have no idea what I would do with a full-scale replica of this throne.

Then again, if you have the kind of money they're asking you probably also can afford to have a large enough house (or two) that it's not going to be a problem to find a place to display it.

Seeing this took me back to a few weeks prior while I was on vacation.

We were on six different planes during this trip, and as anyone who has flown can tell you there is one thing that just about every commercial airliner these days has in common. It's a publication called "Skymall," and it's usually tucked into the pocket of the seat in front of you, just within your reach and waiting for your perusal in the event you get bored while not being able to move from one spot for a couple of hours.

One more than one occasion I found myself picking up this magazine in between naps and beverage services. It's free, after all, and we can even take it with us when we leave the plane. (That makes me wonder how much airlines are paying for this publication. It's no wonder we're charged to check luggage these days.)

There were some interesting things throughout the magazine. The map showing the locations of all the stadiums in Major League Baseball caught my eye. It claims to have game-used dirt from each stadium included.

Then, there were the usual movie replica items from "Harry Potter" and a few other entertainment franchises.

But there also are the items that left me scratching my head a little bit.

There were the fake potted plants that were actually cat litter boxes.

I also noticed a selection of Moai statue replicas as tall as six feet. Moai are, of course, the massive, head-shaped statues found on Easter Island.

These smaller versions were being sold as lawn ornaments.

I don't know about you, but I personally would have some trouble moving one of these things through my yard, let alone having a place to put it when it's not put on display.

There was a family of skeleton gnomes, the $5 a day automated bank which costs almost $60 by the way, a replica deep sea divers helmet for $160, a plaque of an alien's head and hands to hang up on your wall and even large gargoyle statues to put outside.

Interesting reading if you're bored and need to kill some time, but does anyone out there actually buy any of this? And once you do, what do you do with it?

Do you have a special storage space for the winter months, or maybe some large closet?

Eventually it's all going to pile up to the point you pretty much have to find some way to get rid of it.

Collections are nice to have, and it can give you a hobby which is never a bad thing. But it's also just stuff most of the time, serving no real purpose except just to sit there and have people look at it.

There's no need to have a massive, life-sized replica of some chair seen on a television show. There isn't a point to a large Moai replica sitting in your garden.

How about using the money for something beneficial instead? Those thousands of dollars could help a lot of people instead of simply sitting in the middle of your house.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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