Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Weekend Project

In our pursuance of simplification, my wife and I decided to tackle our storage room this past weekend. What. a. mess.

Our life looked very simple, until that daunting task was strewn everywhere to be sorted through. We still are only about halfway through, but it will be well worth the time when all is said and done.

Here are some things that I thought about as we cleaned/sorted/organized/simplified…

  • Device Driver discs
    • With the advent of technology, there is no need to keep driver discs around, since you can download nearly everything from the web.
    • The only exception I make to this is the driver for my network hardware. I may be able to download everything off the internet, but I’ve got to be able to connect to it to download it.
    • And, if you are a belt-and-suspenders kind of person, collect all your device drivers in one folder, and burn the folder to a CD or DVD.
    • This little example cut 10-15 discs from our storage.
  • Old Program CDs
    • I had a photo program that would only work if you put the 3.5” floppy in the drive and had the CD in the drive at the same time. Since I no longer own a 3.5” floppy, there wasn’t much use in keeping either disc.
    • I had 2 full copies of Windows 98. 98? Seriously? Let’s see – that’s now 3 operating systems ago (wow. really? Millenium Edition/2000, XP, Vista... yeah.). Chances are slim that I’m going to need to install that on a computer. Especially since it wasn’t even a business-class operating system. I’ve done some computer consulting in my time, but these were two discs I could drop without losing any sleep.
  • Old Technology
    • I had an analog TV Tuner card for my computer. Unfortunately, it’s practically worthless, especially after the all-digital rollout next year. Best thing to do was freecycle it to over to somebody with more creativity than me on how to put it to good use.
    • I finally bit the bullet and got rid of my Nintendo 64. Actually – its still in the apartment, but its waiting on somebody to come by and pick it up.
  • Nostalgic
    • I have a box left over of things that I’m just so attached to that I don’t feel I can give or throw them away… But there was a limit to my nostalgia. If it doesn’t fit in the box, we are dumping it. Fortunately, my hockey tickets from 4 years ago have found a safe home for now. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll dump them. And I feel better since there’s a limit to it. The movie stubs from years gone by? Didn’t make the cut.

One of the most amazing things about everything I mentioned is how little space the individual items took up, but how much of a difference it made when we started getting rid of stuff.

Another thing we did was take all of our audio/video cables and computer cables, etc. and zip-tied them instead of just throwing them all in a box. The space we saved by having them individually tied vs. balled up in a massive wire conglomeration was significant.

I’m sure that other things will come to mind as we come across them, but these were the beginnings of the organization of last spot in our apartment that hadn’t already been gone through. Now if we can just get the rest of the house back in order, I’ll be happy. :-)

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