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I have too much of it. One of these days I should just have a "everyone come in my room, or the tv room, and take away what you want" day. I could consider declaring some of it off-limits, but really, what would the fun be in that? Imagine someone saying "How about this laptop?" and I say "yes, it all must go..."

No, that's definitely going too far. But it's an interesting thought experiment.

A yard sale is called for, though. So. Much. Stuff. Bins of old computer parts that might actually be of use to someone. Motherboards? Ethernet cards? 20G desktop hard drives? Yep.

Outcrufting is, I think, the first step towards managing this thing I've been laughingly calling my "life."

I still owe LJ several Chicago posts. Hrm. How can I catch up?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
I so understand this. Really. I'm in much the same position. I've been working on outcrufting myself, lately.
Aug. 27th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
I could consider declaring some of it off-limits, but really, what would the fun be in that? Imagine someone saying "How about this laptop?" and I say "yes, it all must go..."


Part of my brain is jumping up and down and saying "yes! yes! that is a powerful thought! don't let that one get away!".

This requires thinking. :)
Aug. 27th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've been overwhelmed with stuff lately. I've gotten better at not bringing stuff home a while ago, but I'm only now getting rid of the stuff I don't want.
Aug. 27th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
You might have more luck at the MIT Flea Market than at a yard sale, depending on the nature of your stuff.
Aug. 27th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
Aug. 27th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
reuse@mit.edu is also extraordinarily good at taking things off my hands, though getting people to come out to your house is a harder sell than "Take this thing, I'll interdepartmental mail it to you", which is what I do. :)
Aug. 27th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
What to lose
If I were doing this, my main concern would be "What if I actually wanted that?"

Start by putting things away. For me, when I feel like you describe the problem is simply that stuff is lying out. There isn't space to do anything.

If, after you've cleaned things up and a day or more has passed, consider:

Find a spot which can hold two plastic bins (such as floor of your closet, perhaps); get three such bins. You'll start rotating through them.

Pick a day, say Saturday. Every Saturday morning, you take a plastic bin and start putting things you think you don't need in it. Set as a goal anywhere over half full.

At any point, if you want something in one of the closet bins get it out.

Remove the oldest bin from the closet; put the new bin in. The oldest bin contains stuff you haven't wanted for two weeks. Go through it and consider your options:
1. Store it in the basement.
2. Sell it.
3. Get rid of it.

There is nothing inherently wrong in having stuff! A reference book for a game you no longer play, for example, is a perfectly good thing to keep.
What's wrong is when that stuff gets in the way, mentally or physically.

For most electronics, even the trivial cost of storing it in the basement outweighs the possibility that you'll ever want to use it again. That video card? Probably doesn't run modern games. That hard disk? For $50 you can get one with twice the space, new and less likely to fail. That random circuit board? Do you even know what it is....

I find a good measure of "do I want to keep electronics" is "is it either being used, or hooked up to the computer?"

If it's "going to be used but my life hasn't gotten there yet" that makes it a candidate for basement storage (because your basement is cleaner than ours). Revisit it in six months, when you may discover that it's still not being used and can be replaced when your life _does_ get there.

Dunno. Maybe what I'm suggesting just won't work for you. But if you give it a try, you'll know if it works in about three weeks when you have to get rid of your first set of "stuff".
Aug. 27th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: What to lose
I have about five of these bins in the basement.

Every once in a while there's a thing I need and I think to myself "it is probably in the basement" and I promptly give up on needing that thing, choosing to work on something else instead.

I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing; should I get rid of the bins, or try to actually make progress on those projects?

I should probably just get rid of the stuff in those bins.
Aug. 27th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
got any SCA hard drives?

Aug. 28th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
I am getting a mood to purge clothes again, and now have a bag of stuff to go to good will, but I go back and forth on the accumulating and getting rid of stuff. :)
Aug. 28th, 2007 01:31 pm (UTC)
purge is good
I would vote towards the "get rid of stuff" camp. In our house, it's childcentric stuff that is being purged at the moment. And it is so incredibly good for the soul to send friends/relatives/neighbors home with stuff that they will need and you don't. Or donating it to a cause of people who need it and don't have it. Sell your stuff and make a donation to the Red Cross for the SE MN flood relief. It's a very positive thing for your soul to free yourself of stuff (particularly of the electronic nature I've found and heard tell about) and end up far less encumbered in the end, both physically and psychologically.
Aug. 31st, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Paring Down
Moving is a good way to get rid of unwanted stuff, I find. That may be too drastic, though (and beware the ``last minute throw everything in a box'' style of packing).

Reuse has taken a stupendous amount of electronics from my households over the years (some of which was once yours, even). It might just be my roots, but back when I was a student, free leftovers of that type were true boons (some for actual utility, others simply for the chance to play with stuff).

Once I moved too far away from MIT, getting rid of actual computers was much harder -- while there probably were people at UCSD who wanted my old computer{s,parts}, they were hard to find. I'd recommend Craigslist or FreeCycle, but you do have reuse, so...

While you've probably heard all of the sentiments before, I'm a fan of Paul Graham's writings, and he wrote about this topic recently. Reading it, plus planning to move made me (again) want to become a nomad. The real problem, for me, is the books. Maybe your co-workers can solve that problem for me, someday? :-)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )