Stuff & Clutter – Ready for the Garage

It’s been a good few weeks since my last post on my stuff-shedding project. I planned for this hiatus but it’s still a bit of work to get back into the right headspace to write down my thoughts.

I have one main target remaining in the house: the garage. I’m planning a trip to both the recycling facility as well as the hazardous waste facility. Happy Earth Day? It’s not as bad as it may sound, it’s just the appropriate way to get rid of the latex paint that’s been out there for years and isn’t even a color that lives inside our home.

Alongside the shed project is a parallel initiative of limiting the amount of things that come in. It’s the genesis of the shed ratio. Looking back at the numbers, I’m quite happy with the slow pace of things coming “in” to the house. I still intend to get a post out for anyone interested in what qualified for “in” and “out” as it may be useful to someone embarking on this same journey.


Stuff & Clutter: Week 11 Recap

Week 11 is where I have slowed down. I definitely fell short of the weekly targets I’ve been able to maintain. Why, you might ask? My time this week was not my own in the way it typically is. Even in a busy work week I’m typically able to make time for my personal projects. However this week was definitely not the typical case.

I was at Microsoft Convergence, a business conference held in Atlanta, all week. Most of the things that fall into my “self improvement” category took a back seat during the week. Then my priority during the weekend was catching up on things for the upcoming work week, more so than catching up on things to sharpen the saw. Not a habit I want to get (back) into but sometimes it has to be done.

This week’s going to be a doozy as well, unfortunately, but I’m taking measures to make sure the scale isn’t tipped quite so unevenly. One of those measures includes a reprieve from the shed project this upcoming week as well as the following week. The goal during this time will be to target a Net Shed of 0, effectively making sure I don’t undo the work to date, but at the same time recognizing that I’m still well ahead of my original targets and this is a place where I can ease up to get other things in line.

I’m adding a couple of data points to the table below to show a little more of the overall progress, rather than just the weeklies. Looking at the progress below leaves me feeling happy about the journey so far.

Looking Forward

Gross Shed Net Shed
Week 10 Target 28 25
Week 10 Actual 11 11
Week 11 Target 0
Project-to-Date Target 248 211
Project-to-date Actual 307 277
Total in Excess of Target 59 66

Stuff & Clutter: Week 10 Recap

10 weeks down of this project down and still going strong. Wow. I expected the pace to drop off before now but I’m still finding stuff to shed. Not to say it’s as easy as the first couple of weeks, but now that I’m in more of a habit I’m sticking with the pace.

The inaugural chiminea fire comes early this year. You can see stormie's eyes shimmering as she stares at it.

The inaugural chiminea fire comes early this year. You can see stormie’s eyes shimmering as she stares at it.

This whole last week has brought amazing weather. Temperatures in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and for some parts of MN the 70’s! Practically no snow remains. We started out the weekend with a woodfire pizza party (hosted by our longtime friends Dan and Kelly of WildEarth Woodfired). Good times and great pizza as usual. Saturday night we got a fire going in our chiminea. We stayed nice and warm as the sun set and temperatures got down into the 40’s again.

With all of the nice weather, I got out into the garage to get a sense for the upcoming spring projects that await. Some good shedding opportunity. I’m looking at you: paint cans for colors painted over long ago…why are you sitting there so smugly?

We also took the opportunity to walk over to a nearby new-construction house that’s part of the Twin Cities Parade of Homes. We were more impressed than we expected to be. New houses are usually “nice” and all, but the floor plan had some nice variations and it had a great feel to it. The price tag, however, also exceeded what we had expected it to be (not that we’re looking to move).

Looking Forward

Gross Shed Net Shed
Week 10 Target 28 25
Week 10 Actual 28 25
Week 11 Target 28 25

Stuff & Clutter: Week 9 Recap

Week 9 is now in the past and it’s another week on target for the project. This weekend brought some 45 degree weather (maybe higher, the highest I saw on my phone was 45). Great, springlike, walking weather and good golly did our dog enjoy it.

While we were out and about on Saturday, we made a big drop-off of the last few weeks’ shed items at Goodwill. Jess was excited to get it out of our staging area in the basement. The collection down there was getting pretty big and I found out (after we made the donation) that it was starting to stress her out.

This led to a conversation around the difference between simply “getting rid of stuff” and “sending things to where they are more likely to be used.” Plenty of the things that we’re passing along are quality items and very serviceable, and it would be a waste if they were simply sent out with the trash. Hopefully some of our earlier donations have already found good homes.

Looking Forward

Gross Shed Net Shed
Week 9 Target 28 28
Week 9 Actual 28 25
Week 10 Target 28 25

Stuff & Clutter: Week 8 Recap

Exceeded the target this week thanks to Jess’ large contribution. This week marks a couple of notable items departing. One is my original XBOX. Well, actually it was my second XBOX but that’s just being technical. This is the one that I had a high schooler mod back in the mid 2000’s with classic game emulators and the XBMC (XBOX Media Center) platform.

The other is Jess’ original PS2 (her actual original one). We talked about how big it was, especially considering the lack of hard drive inside.

It’s funny, we thought these had already been sold/donated but sure enough they were in a box on a shelf in the basement. They’re “donate” items. The original NES and TurboGrafx16, with games and controllers for each, will be target items to sell here in the coming weeks.

Looking Forward

Gross Shed Net Shed
Week 8 Target 28 25
Week 8 Actual 30 29
Week 9 Target 28 25

Stuff & Clutter: Week 7 Recap

This week was a bit tougher. Instead of simply looking around for some lesser-used stuff, I actually had to go to the basement to the storage room and choose some stuff to go through. This is a notable milestone because this means the low-hanging fruit has been picked and now we’re having to search and gather. That said we still hit the target this week.

What did I decide to dive into you might ask? Two boxes of cords, cables, connectors, dongles, wires, power strips and extension cords. Mind you, these are the extra ones that sit in boxes nearby “just in case” we might need them. This happens maybe once every 3 months. The process involved dumping all of them out and finding:

  • Multiples of the same thing – how many extra USB cables do we really need?
  • Extraneous cables – why are we still saving firewire cords?

The net result was that we could cut down to about half the stuff that fit into 1/3 of the container space. I wish we could get rid of more but I’ve had a fair share of cables need to be replaced for one reason or another so at least here we have slimmed it down.

Grade This Week: A

Still on target.

Overall Grade: A

Feeling good about how this is going.

Looking Forward

We’ll be in town this week and it’s looking like it will be cold outside (actual MN cold). Stay warm 🙂

Gross Shed Net Shed
Week 7 Target 28 25
Week 7 Actual 28 25
Week 8 Target 28 25

Stuff & Clutter: Week 6 Recap

So far most of the 2014-2015 winter has been pretty forgiving. Reasonable temperatures, a fair amount of snow without a ton of ice, and some good sunshine. This week, however, was cold, snowy*, and cloud-covered. You’d think that this would mean a chance to really focus in and get rid of some stuff. Instead the week disappeared and by the weekend I thought the week’s goal was out of reach. Fortunately, Jess came through big time this week with the majority of the stuff that is now destined for Goodwill.

A couple of notable big ticket items went out the door this week: my 5-string bass and my “big” bass amp and cabinet. These are now at a local music shop where they’re being sold on consignment. I’m absolutely keeping my 4-string bass and gigging amp setup so nobody start worrying about that. Find our upcoming shows at

stingray5I picked up the 5-string about three years ago when I was in a country rock cover band that played several songs in dropped D and even a couple that needed a low-C. It was a great instrument for me but I’ve probably only picked it up 3-4 times in the last year (compared to my 4-string that I play weekly). The amp and cabinet are “extras” that would come in really handy in case I play an outdoor festival that doesn’t have a PA…which is not coming up any time in the near future.

Grade This Week: A

Right on target for net goal.

Overall Grade: A

We’re still well ahead of pace.

Looking Forward

It’s taking more focus to find stuff to get rid of. In only a few more weeks here we’ll likely need to lower our target. The plan this upcoming week is to head to the basement and go things like the box of miscellaneous cables and box of mish-mash. Who knows what I might find!

*Note that the “snowy” weather this week was really only meagerly snowy for MN at this time of year.