How Many “Shit-nacks” Do You Own?

What is a Shit-nack, you might ask? A Shit-nack” is an item in your home that serves no real purpose, has been in the same spot for going on 10 years and is usually decorative in nature. They are most likely covered in dust bunnies, as no one is allowed to pick them up. This excludes picture frames and books, as they usually hold fond memories and can be handled.

If you haven’t figured out my dual meaning, I will make it easy for you. I am referring to Knick Knacks.

You know all those useless ceramic display pieces you have on the mantel or a bookcase. Do you have a curio case full of collectibles? How many items are on your coffee table, excluding coasters? Do you have a bookshelf full of beanie babies or Coca Cola memorabilia? How many doilies do you have around the house? All of these items are considered Shit-nacks.

When I was a kid, I would visit my grandmother in Florida. My grandma’s house was like a Shit-nack museum! Remember those old, metal TV stands that were designed to look like wood, but failed to do so? They had wheels on the bottom and chrome handles to maneuver them. It had two shelves and the TV was on the top shelf. The bottom shelf was for storage.

On the bottom shelf, my grandmother had an array of colorful, ceramic kittens of all shapes and sizes. No one could touch them, as evidenced by the three layers of caked on dust on the kittens and the dust bunnies on the shelf that were as big as clouds!

In and of itself, this was not all that bad. The funny part was that most all the ceramic figurines were broken in some way. Some kittens were missing an ear or both ears. Some did not have a right paw. Others just had significant cracks down the middle that would fall apart if touched. There was one kitten that was laying on its back with a ball of yarn on its tummy that was missing its face. They were all hideous and looked like they came out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I would not stay alone in the same room with the kittens after dark!

A couple of times I tried to gently point out to my grandmother that her kittens were broken, horribly dusty and somewhat spooky. My grandmother’s response was a cold laser, Cherokee Indian stare down until I changed the subject.

What causes people to feel the need to clutter their entire house, in every nook and cranny, with useless decorative vases, figurines, coffee table books, that no one reads, or silk flower arrangements? The only thing that I have found is that you must continually dust these items and yell at kids not to touch them. Seems like a whole lot of work for nothing.

If your house is full of Shit-nack’s, please do not take offense. I am sure you have your “own batch of crazy” reasons for having them. I bet you spend a fortune on Swiffer refills trying to keep the dust off them.

I did learn a lesson from my grandmother about clutter. House clutter causes “brain” clutter. You spend too much time cleaning it and moving it around the house.

To me, too much crap in the house keeps you away from the more important things in life. I am known to be a neat freak and I have learned to live with that label.

Conversely, I am not a “pack rat” or a hoarder. I abhor clutter and crap on the floor that does not belong there.

My husband always jokes that if you leave things sitting around our house too long and you do not use it, I will get rid of it while you are at work. Unfortunately, this is an accurate statement.

I won’t mention how many blenders we have gotten that “mysteriously” vanished around the six-month mark of ownership. I would probably not have gotten rid of them if my husband had plugged them in more than twice. I’m just sayin’.

I’ll give you a challenge. One room at a time. Really look at what is in that room and recall the last time it was moved from its current position, except when dusting it. How much dust, mold or mildew has accumulated? I will not even ask you to look in any closets as people tend to freak out when they see how much stuff is just jammed in there. You know what I mean. Open the closet doors slowly as who know what is going to come hurdling towards your face at mock two from the top shelf!

So, the next time you are out shopping for your house, consider these questions. Where am I planning on putting this item? What purpose does it serve? Am I going to do anything with this more than dusting it? What item currently at home am I going to give away to make room for more item of crap that I do not need?

If you own more than three ceramic kitten figurines that have missing body parts, you are too far gone and my logic will escape you.


As the great comedian George Carlin once said, “If you own a storage unit, it is God’s was of telling you that you own too much shit.”



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