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Thread: Household redundancy

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Household redundancy

    Yesterday' salt and pepper shaker thread brought to mind a larger (and frankly more interesting) topic, and that is redundancy in household goods. When I was growing up we had one televsion. When I was maybe 7 or 8 we bought a second television. It was a small tv set and my father bought it so he could watch tv in the other room (big tv was in family room) in the event my mother wanted to watch something on a different channel. I recall it being considered something of an extravagance and my mother urged my father to return the tv on at least one occasion. A few years later we ended up getting a second large console tv for the living room and the portable tv migrated to my parent's bedroom. That was the early-mid 1970's, nowadays it is considered not at all unusual having a television in just about any room of a house (except maybe the bathroom).

    I noticed we have four tool boxes: a large one in the basement, my 'automotive' one in the garage, and a small toolbox for each car. Our kitchen is an embarassment of redundancy, we have countless plastic spatulas, spoons and other utensils; we have two complete sets of flatware - one for every day, one for formal occasions and a smaller set of plastic dishes & cups for picnics. We inherited the formal dishware when my grandmother passed away and accepted it as a matter of course but I am now questioning the wisdom of why accepted it only to gather dust much of the time.

    I suspect this sort of thing is very generational in nature. Once upon a time a young woman might have filled her hope chest with a good set of silverware passed down X generations, and it was viewed as some sort of family treasure. I recall my (middle class up from blue collar beginnings) grandparents went to pains to ensure they had two sets of towels and linens; one for every day family use and one ostensibly for the use of guests (except they really didnt want guests using them). I suspect this sort of thing is tied in with early 20th century notions of upward mobility and every middle class housewife was expected to acquire such things.

    It is one thing to acquire multiples of something for collection purposes (model trains, clocks, radios, baseball cards, etc.) but it means something quite different to have duplicates of something purely out of convenience. How much redundancy is in your household?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Because we were both in our 30's when we got together, Mrs Cardinal and I have many duplicates in the kitchen, tool, linens, and other areas. We did sell off a number of items, though, so that we do not have extra furniture, only one TV, etc. There is also the problem that some people are unsure of what to give as gifts. For a guy, many people think about a set of screwdrivers or the like.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Good question. We have duplicates of a few things just because I can never remember where I put the original. For example, I have some tools in a kitchen drawer, a few in a toolbox in the basement, and most of them in the garage. Our attached garage is so small I need to move a car out to get to the workbench which make me rather own multiple sets than move the car. We have 3 TV which are used for their own purposes. You know what we have the most of - drinking glasses. We have formal sets, beer glasses, plastic cups, mugs, etc. It's ridiculous but somehow the collection keeps growing. Does anyone else have way too many drinking vessels?
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    We own two homes and have tried valiantly but without success to avoid unnecessary duplication. Somehow, it doesn't matter if you have one or even two of the same item; it or they are always at the "other" place when you need them.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    Does anyone else have way too many drinking vessels?
    Evidently you are not alone
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    I have too many dog beds. One for outside. One for the bedroom. One for the living room. One for the car. Spoiled puppers.
    Occupy Your Brain!

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I have escaped redundancy over the years as I have continually downgraded the size of my living quarters. Space is at a premium when you have 3 adults and a baby in a one bedroom apartment. Thankfully when my SO moved in, he didn't have much so it was fairly easy to make room for him. We purge often and try to select items that have more than one function. We own two TV's, the flat screen in the living room and a little 15" TV/VCR combo from RT's little girl days that is in the bedroom.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    We have two screwdrivers in a drawer in the kitchen, another matching set in both garages, a third matching set in the den, a forth matching set in my sock drawer in the bedroom, and of course many screwdrivers in the tool box in the garage. Heaven forbid I should have to walk more than 15 feet if I need one!

    Other than that, the only other household goods we have multiples of are silverware (one set from each of us before we were together and a set from when we got married, not to mention our fancy set) and a few sets of dishes. All of the large things that we had multiples of we've either given to other family members, donated to charity, or disposed of.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    You avoid it by not having a wife or a S.O.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I think I have an extra kid somewhere.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    With our kids moving out (for now) I have assembled a nice collection of about 30 lip balms

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    We have two screwdrivers in a drawer in the kitchen, another matching set in both garages, a third matching set in the den, a forth matching set in my sock drawer in the bedroom, and of course many screwdrivers in the tool box in the garage. Heaven forbid I should have to walk more than 15 feet if I need one!
    It is good to be prepared with the right tools in every room, in case you have the urgent need to screw. And yes, it does take two.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    I have assembled a nice collection of about 30 lip balms
    Why do I always buy chapstick but can rarely find it? Where do they keep going?
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  14. #14
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Three porcelain thrones.

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    Three porcelain thrones.
    One per person. Works for me!

    I gave away/tossed most of my furniture and household goods when the kid and I moved up here, but we still have a lot of redundancy:

    2 regular ladders (RJ also has an extension ladder)
    3 shovels
    3 rakes
    3 hammers
    his tool chest and my tool cart
    several dozen wine glasses
    4 corkscrews (2 regular ones, a small one for travel, one rechargeable)
    2 sets of kitchen knives/blocks (and yes, he uses his, I use mine)

    and probably a whole bunch more than that.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    and probably a whole bunch more than that.
    His and Her's Swiffers Wet Jet / cleaning mops for the White Tiled Floor.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    His and Her's Swiffers Wet Jet / cleaning mops for the White Tiled Floor.
    Smart-a$$. I had carpet and linoleum in my previous life, so no...

  18. #18
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Two step-stools for the vertically challenged--one in the closet and one in the kitchen.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    Two step-stools for the vertically challenged--one in the closet and one in the kitchen.
    Because I can't reach the DVD player or the top kitchen cabinets without the 3-step stool. They're really high.

    Lucky for you I don't also need one in the bathroom to brush my teeth...

  20. #20
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    Why do I always buy chapstick but can rarely find it? Where do they keep going?
    Doesn't that chap your a$$?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Doesn't that chap your a$$?
    Is that where you use your chapstick?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Is that where you use your chapstick?
    Just an old saying, not a personal practice.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  23. #23
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I have a house in Northern Michgan near an inland lake, that I hardly get to anymore. If that ain't household redundance I don't know what is!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #24
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    I have a house in Northern Michgan near an inland lake, that I hardly get to anymore. If that ain't household redundance I don't know what is!
    I hear ya. My rental house is definitely not an "income property" in the classic sense.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  25. #25
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I was driving home from work yesterday and while coming through my neighborhood, I passed a house with the all the window blinds open and I could see 4 different gigantic TV screens turned on (one may have been a computer screen). That seemed a bit redundant and reminded me of this thread.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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