Too Much Stuff

We’ve lived in our current home for 30 years and have managed to accumulate a lot of possessions. We have closets, drawers, cabinets and a storage shed filled with things, many of which we don’t remember buying or receiving in the first place.

I haven’t quite gotten into the Marie Kondo way of organizing yet, but I have made an effort to cut down on some of these items. For example, I have eliminated two-thirds of the physical books in my office, but I haven’t touched books stored in other areas. There you will find forty-year-old college textbooks and hundreds of sci-fi paper backs. OK, the sci-fi books are great and worth keeping.

We had a sewing machine sitting unused for over 20 years. I’m not sure if I ever used it, but my husband would not let me give it away. Finally, our daughter-in-law’s sewing machine broke, and he agreed to let her “borrow” it to make surgical masks. I’m hoping that she will need to “borrow” it for many years and maybe just keep it.

After speaking at so many events over the years, I now refuse to accept a speaker shirt. I have at least 20 nice ones in my closet after throwing away all the t-shirts. People always say, wear them while gardening – which I don’t do – but even then, there are only so many that I can use. In fact, I wear tech shirts almost every day since I work from home. These shirts are indestructible, and I could probably wear them for the rest of my life.

There is also swag from tech events. You know, that “stuff we all get.” I typically make it home from PASS Summit each year with less than I take with me since I will often have some books to give away. I won’t not pick up much from the vendor booths unless there is something extremely useful like a laptop camera cover or a toy my grandchildren might like. Even then, I seem to have a lot of this junk swag sitting around.

Recently, a drawer in my desk broke. This drawer contained small computing odds and ends like cords and hard drives. I realized that I should take a look at all the storage devices and see what is on them before destroying the drives. Or maybe I should just destroy them without looking. Do I really need Power Point slides from 2010 or old copies of the SQL Server media? On the other hand, there might be some family photos that I shouldn’t throw away. Probably the best idea is to start up a movie and then watch it while I go through these files just in case there is something worthwhile.

The bad thing is that I not only have files on old hard drives, I also have Drop Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive. And then there are those 1,500+ unread emails in my inbox. No matter where I look, there is clutter, both physical and virtual.