• Sep : 29 : 2013 - The 1 Year Rule to remove your Clutter
  • Sep : 22 : 2013 - Time travel and making side money
  • Jul : 29 : 2012 - Introduction
The 1 year rule

“May the 4th be with you”

Here’s a quick rule you can

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apply real easily. Look around you. Look at all the stuff that you have. Go ahead – do it now. Did you notice the amount of stuff that you have? Mr. Smith recommends the Rule of 1 year which is if you haven’t used it in a year – I’m talking 4 seasons have passed – get rid of it! Whether it’s recycling it, giving it charity, putting it on ebay or craigslist – get rid of it. I don’t mean store it away and find someplace it should be. That’s organizing – which is another article – this is more about removing clutter from your life.

I’m always astounded by the number of friends and family that have asked me to help them move in the past and one thing that really is a killer are media collections. Whether it’s their Wired Magazine collection that goes back to 1999 or their CD collection that is making a dent in the floor or even perhaps the book collection that goes back to the age of 4 – if you haven’t used it in a year – get rid of it. Now, all things being fare – if you collect it and it’s your prized collection – then NO – don’t get rid of it. But if you have happen to have a comic book collection, a collection of costumes, shoes, CDs, college and favorite books along with other non-media collections – shot glasses, Steelers memoribila, toys, video games – things are bound to get under control. Prized collections should be unique items that say alot about you. It’s something that you truly care about – NOW. Not 10 years ago. Now. Now is such a short time in our lives yet we hold on to these past sentiments. These past beliefs we had and still follow to this day. I can’t tell

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you the number of friends I have in their late 30s who haven’t reduced their book or CD collection (what are those) since college.

Let’s start with music. Unless you have a prized vinyl collection that you would rather be

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buried with than sell or give away – your music should be digitally available. In other words, if you have an actual bookshelf covered with CDs and take pride in how it provides decoration – you’re kidding yourself. You probably haven’t opened one of those cases since 2008. Yeah, remember 2008 – the Chinese olympics. Yeah, that long ago. If you have a folder filled with CDs – you better get rid of that right now. How?

How to get rid of your CD collection in 30 days or less:

  1. Take out all your CDs and put a stack right next to your computer.
  2. Count the total number and divide it by the number of days you want to accomplish the task by – or simply (#_of_CDs/#_of_days) . So if you have 300 CDs in your collection and want to finish this in a month – just divide 300 (cds) by 30 (days) (300 / 30) and you get 10. That is your daily goal – 10 CDs a day. Weekends or what have you. Is the math simple, yes – but when you see a stash of hundeds of CDs –
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    you just give up. When you break it down to a number at 10 or less – it becomes easily understood. “Hmmm, rip 10 CDs, that’s like 20 minutes, I’ll do that while I’m doing my last emails for the day. If you have a cool company that you work at with a little privacy – do it there. Pack it with your lunch.

  3. Each day as soon as you sit at your computer – dedicate the time it takes to rip/copy that daily goal (10 CDs) into your digital music collections be it iTunes or Windows media or what have you.
  4. Every time you sit at your computer take out 10 CDs and put them in another pile. Neatly stacked.
  5. When you are done. Take a picture of that stack and post it in the comments below.
  6. Take those CDs and you make the call, either sell them on craigslist or Amazon, give them to someone, or give them to charity by either donating them to your local library or local homeless shelter. Last but not least, you can always
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    give them away to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. You can also arrange for them to come by and pick it up!

The same can be said for books, paperwork, comic books, or any collectibles that you’ve outgrown. There I said it – “outgrown”. If you were into something from the ages of 22-28 but it’s been 5 years since you actually did something related that you enjoyed – then you’ve outgrown it. That doesn’t mean it’s a childish past time but rather – it’s not a priority now.

Consider the alternative:

  1. This is stuff that will weigh you down. The Buddha said, “People cleave to their worldly possessions and selfish passions so blindly as to sacrifice their own lives for them.”
  2. Every time you move, those are additional boxes, additional runs, additional weight to bear you
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  3. The more stuff you have – the more boxes you’ll need. Boxes are a pure expense when moving. Oh, thinking about free boxes from local stores and restaurants and work? Better idea. Regardless – more boxes to move.
  4. Your friends will dislike moving these boxes over and over.
  5. You don’t have space for them so you put them in storage. Now it costs you money every month.
  6. Lastly, you find a place, you settle into it, you unpack all your CDs, books, DVDs – what have you – and organize them. Now every month – don’t forget to dust in that area if not you’re going to get that sick layer of dust after time. You’ll be reminded when you pull that yearbook from 15 years ago and when you look at your finger, you’ll be reminded what all this is – dust.
Jawas and their toys

Jawas and their toys. Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press: http://bit.ly/16CeE7q

Consider technology: Every year it goes down in value. If you have a piece of hardware that’s 5 years old and you don’t use – get rid of it now or you’re going to wind up someday feeling like you’re a Jawa in Star Wars surrounded by your old junk.

Lastly, reduce it if you can’t get rid of it. If you have a large collection, consider the pieces most prized and all else – bonus.

Hopefully this article jogs something in your life. Less is more – more opportunity for growth. You’re an ever evolving spirit – give yourself that room you need move on.
Want to read about other methods of de-cluttering your life:

photo by: Jim Bauer
Categories: Challenges, Latest, Less

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