Still Downsizing

Or Resizing, whatever.  Trying to get rid of crap in my life that has no use.  Last week it was clothing.  I did an inventory of the clothes I had, and by others’ evaluation of the numbers, I had an excessive amount of clothes.  I had enough shirts to not wear the same thing twice for two months.

So that was the new project and the plan was to establish a baseline and institute a one-in/one-out policy to prevent that from happening again.  First thing I did to make sure I didn’t start sneaking in extra pieces was to buy new hangers.  Nice, wood shirt hangers and wood pants hangers.  I bought a 24-pack of shirt hangers and two 4-packs of pants hangers.

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This ensured that I had a finite amount of hanging implements.  Now I was limited to 24 shirts and 8 pants, which some would argue is still excessive.

Then I had to get ruthless.  I started pulling out my favorite shirts and putting them on wood hangers.  24 hangers went by pretty quickly.  I then started pulling out the remaining shirts and evaluating them against the selected ones.  Some got swapped out, a lot didn’t.  I kept a few extra shirts intending to take them on “a final ride” before disposal.  I filled out a large garbage bag that will be headed to charity soon and my closet actually has breathing room now.  I followed up with tee shirts and socks, realizing there’s some things I am never going to wear, and some is now obsolete because it doesn’t have a match with my reduced wardrobe.

Two things of note:  I think back (like it was forever ago) about picking my clothes for the day and paging through shirt after shirt until I eventually settle on one I wear all the time.  It’s nice to be free of that useless exercise.  The other is noticing just how long you can hold on to some things.  I had shirts that were years old.  Sometimes many years!  Part of my reassessment process is to start being more fresh.  If I’m wearing the same clothes for years, that probably could be keeping me in a certain pattern in some aspects of my life.

So now today, the bookshelf was the target of resizing.  I’ve collected a bunch of technical books and presentation materials over the years and kept telling myself, “I might need that someday.”  It’s been somewhere between 5 and 10 years and someday hasn’t come.  It’s time for these books to go.  Of course, there is the obsolescence factor as well with technical books, so I’m not missing much.  There’s kind of a psychological resistance to letting things go when you always remember the cost or the value of the object, disregarding the time for depreciation.  You look at it and always think “That seminar was worth $1,700”, even though that company is now out of business and you haven’t used those tools for a decade.  You need to remind yourself “that seminar is currently worth $0.00.”

Looking around my office, I see more and more things that will need re-evaluated.  My collection of wires: audio, video, computer, networking; my computer components (Do I really need a zip drive?  Do I need 3 keyboards and five mice?); even my computer DVDs, they could be ISO’d and stuck on a hard drive.  If I really needed a physical disc, I could burn it to a recordable DVD, then erase it when I’m done.

So much has been done and yet so far to go.

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