What Do You Do With “Stuff”

After nearly 18 years at my home in Morganville, NJ I am in the process of moving. The goal is to down size. Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have discovered how much stuff we have accumulated since moving into the brand new home in September, 1994. It is astounding.

We have made numerous trips to Goodwill, donating everything from old stereos, exercise equipment and clothes and have had Veterans organizations come and pick up box loads of books, household appliances and other items. We still have more to go before we hopefully close on the sale by mid-July.

In going through the process of moving it got me into thinking about work and how much stuff I may be accumulating?

While going through my old work files in the basement in my home, I discovered bins of news clips. I threw many of them away, and those I kept will eventually be put into protective plastic sleeves and incorporated into an album of memorable placements. I also had a bunch of old client files. Why? Since I could not answer that question I simply tore them up and tossed them into the trash.

Here in the office, I have begun to evaluate how to deal with office stuff. In doing so, I created a five-step process for getting rid of unnecessary stuff.

1. News clips are now scanned into PDFs. There is no need to keep bins of clips anymore.
2. Content for client files are kept to a bare minimum. If I am not going to require looking into these folders for information, why keep it. The only content worth saving is something we will need to reference back to.
3. Magazines and newspapers are now thrown out after reading. This was the easiest transformation.
4. Just like home if I pick up an item and wonder why it is there, that means it is worthy of being tossed.
5. The one sticking point is email. I notoriously create files for each account and even break those down into categories. But, do I ever delete old messages? Not really. Thus, my key learning from my home move is to start doing so immediately.

How disciplined will I be? I guess I will have to see if I have the “right stuff.”

Tom Cosentino


One Response to “What Do You Do With “Stuff””

  1. I hope you are not throwing out old sports pages with the rest of the newspaper. Have you lost your mind? I recall coming home one day and seeing boxes and boxes of Sports Illustrated and Sporting News sitting on my curb for the trash man. Luckily, I rescued them just in time…
    I hope you come to your senses Tom

    Jack M.

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