I was reading an Ars Technica staff member’s blog on de-cluttering when I stumbled on this comment:

Suggestion: round up ALL of your spare hardware (every last cable and PCI filler plate) and bring it all to a new sorting area such as a garage space, living room, kitchen, whatever. Take it away from where it is currently stored.

Now sort through it with new eyes and get rid of all your old legacy stuff that you haven’t touched in five years. Give it to a friend, donate it to a school or nonprofit, but get it out of your way. Put it all in boxes and move them to a corner, preferably near an exterior door.

Now make a wish list of what you’d like your dream computer/electronics setup would look like. Go through the Ars system-building articles if that helps. Now scrutinize whatever hardware you have left and see if it fits at all in your future plans. Do you still have old 10/100 Ethernet hubs yet want to run GigE exclusively in the future? Move those hubs to the pile near the door. Still have an old USB-1 hub? It’s worth about fifty cents at a garage sale now. Do this until you’ve pared down everything to stuff you actually want to use in the future. Put it all back in boxes, a little better organized this time, and put it back on the shelves if you have them. (Step 1.1, omitted earlier: Buy more shelves!)

Only by physically moving everything away from its current inertia well can you really sort efficiently and a bit more ruthlessly. It will also
give you a chance to vacuum up seven years of accumulated dust. Do this, and then set yourself a reminder for five years from now to do it all over again.

Oh. Now that’s something to think about.

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