Last night we were in major straighten up mode at the house. We've lived there for 5 years or so but we still have stuff we haven't really gone through. Most of it is in one of our 3 bedrooms.
We each took one of the bedrooms last night and started going through stuff. For me this means throwing a lot of stuff away. I'm an IT guy and a musician plus I've got some packrat tendencies: old computer parts + band gear + random photos of people whose name I can't remember from college. All of this unchecked can turn a 3 bedroom house into a 1 bedroom flat.
So my strategy is simple:
- If I haven't touched the computer hardware in a year then it goes in the trash.
- If the music gear is broken and unused it goes in the trash.
- If the paper or book hasn't been read in several years an I have no plan to read it in the next 6 months it goes in the
trash half-priced books stack.
It is a pretty effective strategy. In 15 minutes I had several bags to be taken to our county issued trash can. After about an hour That can was full.
In spite of this I still ended up with a pile of computer equipment I thought I might use at some point. I decided to create a reverse time capsule - I placed the odd assortment of cables and adapters into a spare box, taped it shut, and wrote "DO NOT OPEN UNLESS IT'S AN EMERGENCY. THROW AWAY ON MAY 25, 2009." I put the box on the closet shelf and set a google reminder for next May.
I figure that if I haven't used any of that stuff in 6 months then it's not critical enough to take up any more space in my house and should be tossed.
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