Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reclaiming Your Mind One Mess at a Time - Day 7

It's the weekend. You have things to do. But set some time aside to prune a box and make it more useful. Today is the final project in my cleaning series. Join in.

My box of computer junkI know. I know. Some of you think that I'm anal retentive at best, obsessive compulsive at worst. I like things clean.

But if you noticed the before shots, my world is far from clean. I live with five other people and I can't have things as clean as I'd like. Not unless I want to do all the cleaning. The problem with that is I'd just throw everything out. I actually use that as a threat with my girls.
"I know how to clean this room and make it stay that way. You don't want my help. I promise you. You have 15 minutes or I'll do it for you."

Their pretty little faces become ashen white and their hands fly like streaks of light as they finally find motivation to pick up after themselves.

Meanwhile, I have my own messes to deal with. Case in point? The Computer Box. Oh, what a blessed little box. I've had it for years. I have a connector cable for every legacy PC port you could name. The box is filled with legacy debris. Dongles. Doodads. Doohickies. In fact, the detritus of years of PC ownership. And considering that I switched to Macs in 2000, I have legacy Mac stuff as well.

Parallel & Serial cables from the dawn of timeI had an old iBook power cable with exposed wiring. Glad I kept that for a rainy day. I had the innards of Palm products through the ages. Anybody need a replacement stylus for a PalmPilot Personal? I even had a parallel to USB cable for the brief moment in time when USB was new and printer manufacturers hadn't caught up with the times. All of it very interesting junk, but junk nonetheless.

Thirty minutes later I separated them into three piles of keepers and losers. I neatly wrapped up all the extra power, USB, and firewire cables I had, and put them back in the box. The rest I put into a bag and I'll donate to the local D.I. (Deseret Industries - a thrift shop subsidized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). You see, the local used computer warehouse didn't even want my junk. Dang. That was proof enough that I'd kept these items way past their expiration date.

Now the box is neat, useful, and I only spent thirty minutes. The point of this exercise was to inspire those of you who live buried in clutter — clutter that induces Depression and saps your strength. You can't get up and go if you can't find the door. And if you are carrying around the baggage of years with you, emotionally and physically, you won't be able to change the course of the direction your life is taking. You'll be bogged down. You don't have to be a neat freak to appreciate that it's better for you to have a clean home and an open environment. I won't go all Feng Shui on you, but a clean environment does free the mind. I can personally attest to it.

The Past separated from the PresentStop telling yourself you can't do it — that cleaning is too hard. Just break the projects up into small bits and you will be surprised what you can accomplish. Every project I undertook over this seven day exercise was done step by step. Some projects spanned over a few days. It didn't matter. I was determined to clean these eyesores and I persevered. Each one built my self-esteem. Each one gave me a sense of accomplishment. In turn, I inspired my oldest daughters and even my wife, the Queen of Qlutter. My youngest two daughters are the living embodiments of Pigpen and the Tasmanian Devil. Perhaps in time they'll come around to my way of thinking. Until then, they'll give me plenty of opportunities to threaten to throw their things out.

Day One (Corner of Car Junk)
Day Two (Camera Box)
Day Three (Photo Box from Hell)
Day Four (The Easy Peasy Refrigerator Top)
Day Five (Kitchen Storage Shelves)
Day Six (Studio)
Day Seven (PC Junk Box)

Edited to clarify statement about my youngest daughters

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