My roommate spent a significant amount of time in the garage last weekend going through various boxes and containers that he has stored out there and he was surprised by some of the junk and other stuff that he rediscovered.
What gets packed away
At one point he called me out to the garage to ask about some boxes of mine that were stashed in one of the cabinets. Those cabinets are typically hidden behind his large red toolbox and an unstable pile of boxes, plastic containers and other “stuff”. We pulled out the boxes and I was amazed by what I found stored in them that I had forgotten about – old tax returns, bank statements, the orientation package from 1991 for my full-time job, books from my bachelor’s program at the University of Maryland University College, etc. For his part he found a desk calculator that he’s been trying to find for a couple of years, assorted pillows, sheets, lamps, and books. One box had various software packages advertised as capable of running on both Windows 95 and Win 3.1; the installation programs were spread across multiple 3.5” floppy disks. I no longer possess a computer capable of accepting a 3.5” floppy drive, yet these software dinosaurs were carefully stored away and using up valuable garage space.
Programming has never been my forte and I had struggled through my C++ programming class and yet I had kept those textbooks for some reason (I had struggled even more through my Java programming class but thankfully hadn’t kept those books as a reminder). I work in the technology world so I’m very familiar with how quickly programming languages can change over time yet there I was, standing in my garage staring at these C++ textbook relics. They may once have value but now were just collections of outdated information.
Return the past to the past
It’s still early enough in the New Year that I was able to approach this situation with fresh ambitions and throw these unneeded items in either the trash bin, recycle bin, or the ‘to be donated” pile, thereby returning the past to the past. The IRS doesn’t care about residential tax returns older than 7 years so why am I holding onto that material when I could have shredded it years ago?
How do you deal with the natural tendency to store stuff that you know you’ll likely never need or use again? Comment below and let me know.
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