Should I Keep the Old One? Just in case?


Note #1: I’m sure I’ve written this same post with different objects at least once. Probably six times. 

Note #2: Yes.  I’m aware I have issues. 

The only thing I wanted for my birthday was a new can opener. 


I’m pretty sure I received my old one (on the bottom) as a by-request birthday present several years ago.  I loved it.  It was the kind that cut the lid from the side so there were no sharp edges.  It was also the kind that guests could never figure out how to use. 

Lately, though, it wasn’t working well.  I’d go all the way around the can only to have to go around again.

And sometimes again.

(Because it wasn’t the traditional can-opener, you couldn’t easily see if it had cut through the metal all the way around.)

I was happy to get my new can-opener.  It works great.  One time around the top, and I can dump out beans or corn or spinach or whatever.

And yet . . . I immediately put my old one back in the drawer with the new one. 

I mean, I might need it when the new one stops working.  Y’know, in another three years.

Then I’ll dig the old one out of the overly cluttered (because I’ve kept the old AND new versions of everything) drawer.  And I’ll remember how it doesn’t work either.

And then I’ll not only experience the frustration of one non-working can opener, but of TWO non-working can openers.

AND the frustration of having kept a non-working can opener for three whole years.

Don’t worry.  I threw it away.

Oh.  And lest you feel sorry for me, here’s what else I got for my birthday:

Cute and funny t-shirt, and my very own set of earbuds.

So I’ll stop borrowing Hubby’s . . .



The Amazon link to the can opener?  It’s my affiliate link. 





  1. 1

    No you should not keep it. I’ve had only one can opener for 4 years now. Turns out, I’m the only one in the house willing to open a can.

    And if this one breaks or gets lost…you’ll still need a new can opener, because the other one doesn’t work.

    Now, if I could just apply this principle to clothes that have never fit me right…

  2. 2
    Kelley G. says:

    This is too funny, I requested and received a new can opener for Christmas……..and was just getting after myself yesterday for still having the old one in the drawer. I put it in the donate pile, but I guess I should just toss it , who wants a semi working can opener from the thrift store, not exactly a hot seller 😉

  3. 3

    We now have a houseful of earbuds because my husband and I *both* bought 3 sets as stocking stuffers so our daughter would quit borrowing (and wrecking and/or losing) ours.

  4. 4

    I guess I should throw out my barely working earbuds when I get new ones, too?

  5. 5

    FYI: At least on normal, cut from the top type can openers, you can sharpen the blade by running them through aluminum foil. I have a can opener that my mom had most of my life and it still works wonderfully! However, when it starts to not cut right, I just fold up some foil and run the can opener through it. Not sure how that would work on the kind that cut the cans from the side though.

  6. 6

    Happy Birthday! i just wrote a blog post and included your ebook in it. Was a great read! And very helpful, thanks so much! Sarah

  7. 8

    I have two can openers. I had one of the ones that doesn’t cut through the side, but that just squishes it or something. I love it because it basically just removes the glue that holds the lid on and you can actually just stick the can in the fridge with the lid on it, fairly well sealed if you don’t need the whole can (evaporated milk or something). The only problem was that you couldn’t then use a tuna can lid to help drain the tuna because the lid didn’t fit down into the can. I just lived with that for several years, but then my nice can opener disappeared. After several weeks (months?) of just not using cans, I finally broke down and got another, but couldn’t justify the $20+ required for my special one again and got a $3 regular one (which drained tuna very nicely). Then my husband cleaned out his hiking backpack and my nice one returned. Both still work just fine and I have a specific purpose for each of them ($3 – tuna cans, $20 – all other cans), so I keep both. I want to say that’s a different situation though. If one broke, I’d totally toss it since I have a “spare” already.

  8. 9

    We have two because on occasion my husband will bring a can of soup to work for lunch. Instead of opening the can at home and taking it to work, he grabs a can opener and can and heats it up in a bowl from the cafeteria. On those days, I inevitably want to make a tuna sandwich and still can! Except for that one time when he left can opener #1 at work and brought can opener #2 on the next day only to find can opener #1 in the cafeteria’s lost and found. This must be fun for him because I have offered can opener #1 to him to leave in his desk. And for Melissa….Pampered Chef sells a little plastic strainer-type thing that works even better than the top of of the tuna can for draining! It’s my favorite kitchen gadget. It works great for draining and rinsing beans too. (I am not paid to endorse Pampered Chef,)

  9. 10

    When growing up my family did this with pens and pencils. The pens would work, sorta, and the pencils weren’t sharpened but we would put them back because we couldn’t just throw them away because they weren’t broken. Oh, the excuses we tell ourselves.

  10. 11

    We also weren’t alowed to get rid of clothes unless they were stained or torn. The laundry for our family covered my mom’s king bed up to the ceiling. Now I keep enough clothes for only 2 weeks of outfits.

  11. 12
    Stephanie Barnhart says:

    Our can opener just stopped working the other day. Mid-opening of a can. And of course I had thrown out all of the kinda sorta working ones. Now I have a can of dog food with a hole in it sitting in the fridge until I can get a new opener. Oops.

  12. 13

    I am so grateful that you work through the thought processes on stuff like this. It seems like a little thing, but it spills over into all kinds of other things. Slowing it down and really examining this stuff has helped me a lot in getting rid of clutter and illogical thinking to boot! so thank you!

  13. 14

    I feel weird and really guilty throwing things like this away. I am trying to talk myself into throwing away my old hair dryer away. It’s completely broken…as in, I picked it up and could hear something shaking around in there, and when I turned it on, something flew at my head and then it smells like if I leave it on longer than 2 seconds I will start a fire. CLEARLY broken (and a fire hazard). However, I try to recycle/reuse everything. So it’s RARE I have to throw something that I know is going straight to a landfill to sit forever. So even though I know there is no reasonable way to salvage this thing…I still hate the thought of throwing it away. Ughh….I know I’ll have to do it though!

  14. 16
    Lynn Jerguson says:

    I bought myself an electric can opener after using a manual one for years. I love the electric one, but put the manual one with the emergency food so I can open cans when the power goes out. Ice storms are bad enough, ice storms without food would be pretty awful!

  15. 17

    I was going through the garage the other day and realized i had an (hole filled) garden hose in there. I told Hubby i was keeping it for an emergency and then realized how ridiculous that sounded when spoken out loud. At what point would i have a garden hose emergency that only a holey garden hose could fix? (we have two perfectly good hoses already in use)

    so it got tossed. Yay me!

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