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Saturday, June 12, 2021

    I Need to Declutter (Again)

    Tony Tone
    Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently serves as Muscatine Community School District Communication and Community Outreach Director and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

    Muscatine Living

    My boys (Henry & Theo) discovered an old Talkboy in our house that is remembered from the movie “Home Alone 2; Lost in New York.” I believe it belongs to my brother-in-law, Nolan, but has been in our house for some time now.

    Anyways, Theo was very curious about, “what type of DVD goes in there?”

    He was, of course, referring to a cassette tape, as the Talkboy was a recording device used by Kevin McAllister during his adventures in New York City. I knew exactly where a cassette tape would be in our house. Down the basement steps I went, rounded the corner, and opened the closet door (that is beneath the stairs). To my horror, I found myself looking at what had to be four large storage containers with my stuff. If you’ll recall, prior to our move from Climer Street, I discovered that I had nine storage containers full of stuff in our old basement. I took it upon myself to sift through the containers, and by the time we moved, I had that number down to four.

    One in particular is literally filled with DVDs and Blu-ray’s. We do not even have a Blu-ray player hooked up to any TV’s in our house. Everything we watch is streamed via Hulu Live, Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, or Prime Video. What should I do with that giant container of movies? It doesn’t seem like anyone is buying them, right? I digress. Back to the hunt for a cassette tape.

    I continued until I was nearly stuck in the closet as more containers toppled on top of me. I emerged victorious with a cassette tape in hand. You see, I still have several of my college radio shows that I recorded back in the day (shoutout to KALA/St. Ambrose radio). Theo and Henry stared at the cassette tape as if they had just unearthed dinosaur bones.

    “How does that work?” Henry asked with a puzzled look on his face.

    I popped four double-A batteries into the Talkboy, opened it up, and inserted the tape. Hitting the play button transported me back to 2004 and served as a reminder as to how rough I sounded on-air way back when.

    The boys tried their hand at recording themselves and listening back but the, “tape is too slow,” declared Theo. A few minutes later, the Talkboy was cast aside and left sitting on the table in our basement.

    Why do I continue to hang on to these storage containers full of memories from the past? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a super nostalgic person, but I haven’t opened these containers since we moved and we’re coming up on two years in our house. The problem is I know that, should I take the time to pull out the four containers, I will start to justify to myself the need to keep certain things.

    Has this happened to you? What process did you use to help declutter? Email me: [email protected], and in the meantime, if you’re looking for me, check the closet under the stairs; I just may be stuck in there reminiscing.

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