Simon Kelner: I'm not ready for my life to get a digital de-cluttering

 

Share

We can be forgiven for feeling confused. One minute we're being encouraged by various television programmes that, among the old rubbish we keep in the attic, we may have items we can turn into cash. And the next minute, we are being advised to de-clutter our lives, or more specifically our houses.

Don't just chuck out the chintz; there's that hoard of football programmes, your old school reports and the teddy bears you had as a child. Oh, and while you're at it, what about your old lacrosse stick? A report yesterday from the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) focuses on the lack of storage space in the modern house, and looks at the measures some Britons take – like storing household items at another location.

You may wonder why a body as august as this is worrying about where the nation's ironing boards are being housed, but their findings are significant in that they will inform the way homes are designed and built in the future. We need more cupboards in our lives, the report determines. Either that, or we need to get rid of the junk we've amassed down the years.

The problem is that when we throw something away, we're waving goodbye to a piece of our lives or, just maybe, we're losing the chance to appear on Antiques Roadshow or Cash In The Attic to be told that an old painting actually might be worth a few quid. Of course, it never quite happens like that. I have a stamp collection that I've kept since I was a boy, and, just out of curiosity, I stopped recently at Stanley Gibbons on The Strand to see how much it might be worth.

I was given the relevant catalogue and I started looking for the stamps I had. Next to each was a price. One was marked 8, another 15, others were in the hundreds. I called the sales assistant over. "I never realised my collection would be this valuable," I said. "Really?" the assistant said, rather quizzically. "Yes," I said, "look at this – it says £75 for this one stamp." He peered over his glasses. "I think you'll find the pricing is in pence and not pounds, sir".

I went home disconsolate, but still couldn't face discarding my next-to-worthless collection. Another point made by Riba is that new homes need to take into account technological developments. Sure, we're going to need sockets everywhere, but aren't our lives being de-cluttered by the gadgets and gizmos that populate our possessions? Not only are they getting smaller and smaller, but they are designed to cut out associated items. In the house of the future, will there be a collection of records or CDs? I think not. And in years to come there won't be shelves full of photo albums. It's a memory stick that will house your memories.

It may be a generational thing, but I'm not quite ready for my life to be digitalised. Now, what happened to that beer mat collection?

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Phone and data laws to be passed in haste

Andrew Grice
The first lesson of today is... don't treat women unequally?  

Yvette Cooper is right: The classroom is the best place to start teaching men about feminism

Chris Maume
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice