Andreas Happe: Cleaning Up

December 29, 2013 in life

With the year’s end comes the time for reviews and cleanups. Reducing cruft allows your mind to be free, with it comes a sense of closure and empowerement. Otherwise all my possessions would drag me down.

Stuff I really like to do at this time is:

  • review existing bank accounts and service contracts (like phone/internet/power plans). Reduce them to maintain some sense of control.
  • Books: I hoard them even if most of them are not exactly Pulitzer-price materiel. I’ve read each of them but won’t read most of them again – so they’re mostly dead weight. There are places like public libraries or book sharing (i.e. Wortschatz in Vienna, Austria) places that love (and need) new books – sharing is caring. Add your books to the BookCrossing Index before sharing them and see where they have traveled and what people reading them think.
  • Clothing drives. I try to make my garderobe work: so far I’m having far too many tshirts and am lacking other stuff (there’s not too much sense in having tshirts for four weeks when I’ll have to do my laundry every two weeks due to my trousers count). So I’ve imposed a new rule: when buying new clothes I have to donate at least on old cloth.
  • old paper work: depending upon the jurisdiction you’re living under you might have to keep old (business) paper work. Here in Austria you’re allowed to discard paperwork after seven years – so each time at the end of the year I’m going through the archives and find stuff that is not needed anymore but still wastes space.
  • There’s another problem: I hoard stuff. For example I own some rare bottles of whisky that are (by now) too expensive to drink. This is stuff that won’t go away easily. My solution is to give them as presents upon special occations. To prevent this situation from happening again I’m imposing some new rules: I won’t buy new Whisky when my existing collection is worth more than 600 Euro.
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