Episode 041 — Belafonte and Spring Cleaning

Jeff and Gabe talk about how important it is to revisit your messes on a yearly basis. Is it a good idea to hang onto boxes of books in your attic for years and never open them? Do we really need to keep the tour postcard for R.E.M.'s Reckoning Tour from the early 80's?

This is a seriously weird look into the minds of the hosts, as evidenced in Gabe's show notes listed below (Jeff scribbled his into a Field Notes and are illegible).

The hosts somehow manage to do all of this talking while sipping a superb Belafonte by Night Shift Brewing.

Belafonte by Night Shift Brewing


Gabe's Show Notes for "The Big Spring Clean-out"


If you don't use it do you need it?

  • There's a real sense of loss to disposal
  • What if I need it?
    • Amazon
  • What's that space worth?
  • How much is inconvenience worth?
    • More stuff means it's harder to find anything
  • Some things are worth keeping. Most are not
    • General purpose tools are good
  • "It's worth money"
    • Not in your attic
    • Merlin Mann
      • Do you treat it like it's worth money?
      • If it's not worth your time, how much is it worth?
  • Boxes from previous moves
    • Guess I didn't really need that stuff


  • Get a dumpster
    • Expensive
    • Short duration
    • So great to just get rid of junk
  • Task Rabbit for help
  • Donation pick ups
  • I always say I'll sell it on ebay but I hate ebay

Why Spring?

  • Some crap about "renewal"
  • Because it's hard to work outside with 8' of snow


  • Old manuals
  • BOOKS!
  • Software
  • Computer boxes
    • iPhones
    • Laptops
    • Monitors
    • I store them for resell and repair
      • Rarely NEED them


  • Getting off of my Dropbox dependency
  • The Documents folder is evil
  • The Downloads folder is where demons live
  • Use Daisy Disk
  • iTunes
    • Get the media off of your Mac
  • Makes apps like Alfred and LaunchBar better
  • Limit searching to stuff that's relevant
  • Stuff like DEVONthink is great
  • If you use Evernote, consider how well search works with all of that stuff


  • The Beast
  • I have an attic in my garage. That's bad.
  • Old paint cans are hard
  • Garden tools
    • Did you use them?
    • Are they fully functional
      • Dull shears
        • Will you sharpen them?
      • Broken shovels


  • Aspirational clothes
  • Take the money you save by not eating and buy new clothes
  • Shoes
    • I only need 3-4 pair
      • Dress
      • gym shoes
      • Snow
      • grarden
      • Sandals


  • How many colanders does a family really need
  • Recycle that plastic wear that looks like a fusion reaction was run in it.
  • Freezers are a pain
    • Very hard to track
    • Sharpie rubs off eventually
      • Write INSIDE of bag
    • Most things over a year old are going to taste it
  • Brewing supplies
  • Kid's dishes
  • How many coffee cups have you ever used at once?
  • Come to terms with the "I just don't want to wash dishes" syndrome

Attics and Basements

  • The Dream Catcher of our lives
  • Out of sight out of mind
  • It's a good training ground for getting rid of crap
    • Put it in the attic
    • If it's still there next fall then get rid of it
    • That's 15 months of not using it
    • It's not seasonal
    • Kid's toys
      • I'm a terrible person
      • Many bags of toys have been donated via our attic