I know I said on Twitter that I didn’t have any ‘real’ blog posts for this week, but, I had some down time today and decided to whip one out. Just for you.
Moving is like ‘spring cleaning’; it gives you a chance, while packing away your prized posessions in boxes, to go through and toss some stuff that you aren’t using anymore.
I’m getting pretty good at that.
I’ve always been a bit of a pack-rat, but a couple of cross-country moves taught me a very valuable lesson about recycling; do it often. Have too many coats? Donate a couple to the local coat charities – you’ll feel good about what you’re doing, and someone who needs a warm coat this winter will be grateful and warm thanks to you.
When I have to pack/move, I look at all my stuff and see what can be tossed and what can be donated. If there are clothes that I’m not wearing anymore, and they’re in good condition – I wash em and donate em. Same with shoes. I am tight-fisted when it comes to books – they’re about the only thing I won’t toss. But when I see all of these old cell phones lying on my dresser, I think, “Why haven’t you recycled those?”
As a caveat – you should always wipe any electronics clean of your personal data PRIOR to recycling. I know that most of these types of programs advertise a data wipe as part of the process, but why would you leave something like that to chance? There’s too many weird stories out there to feel absolutely 100% safe about it, so I just do it myself. Sure, it takes some time out of your already busy schedule, but it’s worth it in the end.
As for what I toss in the trash; I collect envelopes from bills. Not the envelopes they send to you so you can send back your payment – I’m talking about the envelopes that the bills themselves came in – I keep them. I don’t know why. My filing system is both complex and erratic and involves various and copious amounts of piles and shoeboxes (I wear size 13 – they’re fairly big shoeboxes…). I don’t think it makes sense to anyone but me and even I only half get it. Anyway, at a time like this, I go through and toss envelopes like that.
Magazines. The packrat/collector in me, wants to keep every magazine I’ve ever gotten. That little voice in my head (usually shown here in parenthesis), is always whispering away about people who find treasure troves of old crap in their attics and cash in for big money. You know what? Ain’t gonna happen to me. So these damnable magazines that show up in my snailmail box, clogging it up before cluttering up my coffee table – they’re gone. Where’s the recycling bin?
(Recycling is such a scam – the business, not the act of. I’ll talk about that some other time.)
Books are hard for me. I can’t toss, recycle or donate them. Think of me and my books as Gollum with his Precious. Got that visual in your head? Good… Now. Uh – oh, yeah. So what do I do when I come across a comic book price guide from 1995? It’s not any good anymore, right? Sure, there’s the cool articles in the front about Silver Age this and Golden Age that, but is it worth keeping? Seriously? (No.)
Or how about this golden oldie; Investing for Dummies. I bought this WAAAAAAAAY back in the day when I got my first 401K and went, “wuh?” It’s ancient history now, right? Time to toss it?
Php books, MYSql, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, one on WordPress, another on Flash, an Adobe Creative Suite Bible circle 2000, a similar book on Ventura Publisher, one on Joomla – don’t get me started on the UNIX books from the late 80’s early 90’s. All cost me a small fortune at the time and are now collecting dust. I don’t think I even reference them for stuff anymore – keep em or chuck em? Donating seems an option – but to who? It’s all out of date!
And then there’s the crap. The real crap. Unlabeled cd’s that have been burned. Do I really want to go through them all and figure out what they are? How about the stuff left over from the one and only Blizzcon I attended? Diablo 3 Sin-a-mints are getting pretty stale. Lanyard from some convention somewhere, don’t recall where. Various movie ticket theater stubbs that were tossed on the desk and then buried. A faded receipt from somewhere; I thought it was important enough at one point, but now I’ve no idea what the heck it is.
Trash, trash, trash and trash.
Spring cleaning (and moving day).
Even if you’re not moving, you should give it a try. You’d be surprised what you find that you don’t need anymore, and the space it frees up…