Over a lengthy career, which includes many contracted projects wherein we could keep any approved hardware so long as we were careful about what and how much, I acquired too many boxes of computer equipment. Mainly spare cables and peripherals. As society moves away from needing as much spare troubleshooting equipment and personnel, I too must adapt. How many power cables do I need? Network cables? How many spare computer parts should I keep around?
My answer depends on my focus.
I have four computers I’d like to get back up and running. They were the four main computers I used growing up, so I would like to clean them all up, boot into them, grab all relevant data, and if there’s no further need for them, donate them to an organization where their parts can help others. Unless any one of them strikes me with a strong enough nostalgia to where I will want to frequently revisit it.
That’s the end goal.
To get there, I must first shuffle my spare bedroom to afford the space for a troubleshooting desk. This would require power, a monitor, peripherals, and tools. I have all of these. I have so much of these that the room is clogged and almost unnavigable. That’s where the question of how many I need is answered by the scope of the work: I will focus on one computer at a time.
Easy, right? Just keep one of each…
Except… part of troubleshooting is keeping multiple known-good items around for testing. I won’t need more than a dozen of anything, however, and the nice thing is that these items are not rare. I can stop into a few stores to buy anything, or order it online.
The problem becomes centralization.
Most of the boxes in my spare bedroom storage room have no labels. When I was moving everything around, I didn’t want to spell out the specifics of each box. I might adopt some sort of “packing slip” option to vaguely list out the contents of each box on this first round of unpacking and repacking boxes. I did some of this with broad strokes in terms of labeling some boxes with a code in their lower left corners, but only just realized the value of specifics.
I could digitize these sheets, too.
Say I had a box of computer equipment. Its label could be ZCRJ1, it could have a packing slip with the details listed out until I move in early 2020, after which I digitize then shred the list, so the box has some degree of anonymity throughout its next few moves.
If it even gets that far along.
Listing out the contents with enough detail will help with downsizing, too, because I might keep a half-dozen cables in one box, then another, and not even need more than two of them. I just kept them because it was easier than critically deciding what could go.
Step one: inventory and pack boxes of only the necessities.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Exploring the biggest clutter points of my collection while away from the apartment-mansion is useful, because then I can think about solutions while in traffic.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: The mess of cables, somewhat organized, taking up space.|
|Written On: May 23rd [26 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|