This is hardly a revelation, but everything you own and everything you do takes up space and time.
I just purchased a new toaster oven. After years of owning a traditional toaster, I decided to try something different. My move was prompted by a bread recipe. I make this bread that doesn't contain whole wheat flour and hence, no gluten. Gluten gives structure to bread. I like gluten, nothing wrong with it, but I started to make this quinoa/oatmeal bread to broaden my nutritional horizons. The issue is that the bread tends to fall apart in a traditional toaster. It just doesn't have the wherewithal to stand upright and to be subjected to the toasting process. So, laying the bread flat in the toaster oven works really well. The toaster oven works great for this purpose but now, what do I do about that toaster? (My husband still wants to use the regular toaster so it has to stay.)
The answer is that I had to make room for it on the shelf in the pantry. That means that I had to move items on that shelf elsewhere which also means that I had to create space in another place. Furthermore, I now own two toasting appliances. Granted, they do different things but I own a traditional oven too. It uses propane. My toaster oven is electric. We pay a whopping amount of money to fill up our propane tank so using the propane powered stove for all of my cooking makes the best monetary sense. It just goes on and on.
Many years ago I read a book about simple living. In it, the author discussed what it means to own a lot of things. Every time you buy something, you must care for it in some way. Make room for it, clean it, service it, etc. It's there, taking up space in your home and it requires your effort and time. The author's point is not just about dealing with your possessions. Her larger point has to do with how you choose to spend your time. The more things you buy, the more you have to deal with those things and the less time you may have to do something else.
That broader concept of what you choose to spend your time and energy on has stayed with me. These days, I tend to ask myself this question: How would I spend my time differently if I wasn't doing ______? (Fill in the blank.) My purchase of the toaster oven reminded me of this idea and the need to question where my efforts go. Are the activities and tasks worthwhile to me? Are they going to further one of my goals? It sounds a little mercenary and maybe it is. Asking questions is OK.
Am I sorry I now own two appliances that do similar things? No. I spent time researching the toaster oven and I am satisfied with the results. It's a luxury to own two appliances that will toast your bread. The experience has made me think though about how I want to spend my time. I am reminded that time is precious and how I choose to spend it matters. Do I want to take care of one more thing or could my time be better spent doing something else? I think I know the answer.