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Getting Rid of Stuff I Don’t Need

April 2, 2013

I’d hardly even started checking out the blogs in my Big List of Aussie Blogs, when I found Colleen Madsen’s 365 Less Things. It’s all about decluttering and living simply and dealing with all your stuff. She challenged herself (and her readers) to get rid of one thing every day, for a year. She started in January, 2010 and she’s still going. That’s impressive.

I kept a few of those simplicity/minimalist kinds of blogs in my feed reader for a long time, read them occasionally, but never really got into it all.

I don’t want to be the guy who lives in a perfectly clean, perfectly organized, ultra-modern, minimalist 400 sq. ft.  apartment. It’s never gonna happen. On the other hand, while I sometimes imagine myself as the guy living in a house crammed with books, tools, and ancient bits of technology, kept around on the off-chance that it might come in handy…some day, I don’t think I really want to be that guy, either. And my wife damned sure doesn’t want me to be that guy.

So it’s time to get rid of a bunch of the crap I’ve been carrying around from house to house, some of it for years or even decades. I started with something that’s been right in front of me for years. My desk has a built-in CD rack, from back in the days when you needed to keep software CDs handy, I guess. I filled those slots up with CDs when we got the desk, and every time we’ve moved to a new house, I’ve packed them in the box marked “DESK”, then unpacked them and put them back in.

But tonight they’re going into the bin. If it turns out that I really need a copy of Google Video Player, MS Money 2006, or Windows 98SE, I might be screwed. There were some floppy disks jammed in there, too. Windows ME Boot Disk. With debug! And MemTest86. None of our current computers have floppy drives, but I’ve got a couple out in the garage that do. If they need emergency booting and debugging, I’m totally screwed.

I’m dumping my copies of Dreamweaver, Acrobat 5, and Photoshop 6. Dozens of CDs that I haven’t used, or even thought about, in years. But they’ve been stacked in the slots on my desk, covered in dust. Out of all of it, I’m keeping two games, and the software for my webcam. The rest of it has got to go.

Declutter Day 001 - CDs and Floppies

I didn’t count it all up, but if I threw them out one-by-one, that would take care of my decluttering exercise for the next couple of months. But I’m pretty sure that’s not how these things are supposed to be done. So it’s all been bagged up and put in the bin.

I’m glad all that stuff is gone, because it’s been bugging me for a while. But the downside is that because they were in the built-in CD slots, it’s not like the desk feels any cleaner or more organized. There’s really nothing else I can do with the space, except fill it up with more CDs, and I have no interest in or need to do that. Now it’s just empty, wasted space. But it’s a start, and if I keep at it, I could end up with a very clean, uncluttered d desk by the end of the week. And that would be pretty damned sweet.

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