May 13, 2021

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Scot: All right. None of it matters. It doesn't matter. I am getting distracted by bunny rabbits that I don't need to be chasing. Okay.

Mitch: Hey.

Scot: Hey.

Troy: Hey.

Scot: Troy, you look so relaxed. You must have gotten out to that garage and just cleaned the heck out of it.

Troy: I didn't. I did not. That's what I have to admit today. I never made it.

Scot: Yeah, it's the check-in for the Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Brain challenge. So we started the challenge four weeks ago. Dr. Chan has not been here the past two times, so I don't know if he got rid of his bed or not. I don't know if that's why he's not here. He's ashamed.

Troy: He's ashamed.

Scot: I was feeling bad because . . . I'm going to go ahead and give my update first. This is the last day, of course. I started off really well and ended just kind of with a "pfft." But I'm here. So I'm better than Dr. Chan.

Troy: At least you're here and you'll face up to it. You will admit it. But you sure started strong, Scot. You were just going for it, and then I think it was probably overwhelming as you looked at those numbers.

Scot: Yeah, it got overwhelming. This is another one of those things. We had the episode with Jay a couple of years about there's a difference between resolving and being resolved. And I guess I'm not at a place right now where I feel like I'm able to do this. So I resolved, but I wasn't resolved. I don't know.

Anyway, I do have one update. I did get rid of that Mac Air. I did get it sold, so I made a little bit of money on that. It's shipped. Some of the other tech that I was going to get rid of, which I have in boxes, it's all ready to go. I've weighed it out, I've measured the boxes, and I've listed it on eBay. Neither one of those sold, so now they've relisted.

Troy: So no one wanted your stuff. What was your . . . did you start your basement price too high, or was it just you just opened it up and no one even wanted to bid a dollar?

Scot: Nobody bid . . . well, no, I didn't put it that high. I didn't do that. But it's, again, this notion if you think you're going to sell some stuff. And I think for me, anyway, I've got to be really selective about that because it can take a long time to get rid of stuff when you decide to put it on eBay, because it might have to go through another couple of rounds before the right person finds it. And then it's still cluttering up my life. Now it's causing a different kind of stress. It's just like, "I just want to get rid of this." So I might have to make the price much lower. I think maybe I got a little greedy.

So overall, not a bad experience. I've been through this process before. It's been fun watching especially you, Troy, kind of learn through this process, make some of the observations that I have and some of your own observations. So let's move to Troy next.

Troy: Well, Scot, I said I was going to make it to the garage. I did not make it to the garage. It's funny. I really wanted to do it, but then I got distracted. But the thing I got distracted by was a good thing to do. I basically had this box that had just stuff in it that I've been collecting for at least seven years now. And these are those things you think you want to keep. You think, "Well, this is going to mean something to me someday." Sporting event tickets, birthday cards, Christmas cards, thank you cards, playbills from plays. We've gone to different events. All this stuff in this box, and I've always been scared to even open the box, to look back at things that might mean something to me, because there's so much stuff in there.

So I spent a couple of hours just going through this and trying to find the stuff that I didn't need, I didn't care about, I didn't need to have around, and the stuff that actually meant something to me. I was able to get rid of most of that stuff, so it was a really productive thing.

And it was really nice too, because I actually found stuff in there that I was like, "Oh, wow, that's really cool. It's nice to see this." Some of these are numbers from races, like things you wear when you run a race. Some were cards from people, and it was nice to read those people who . . .

In one case, I found a card in there from my grandmother, and she passed away many years ago. This was a birthday card she had sent to me, wow, it must have been 25 years ago, and probably the last card I got from her. And I just happened to find this in there with all of these other things. It was really nice. I took a picture of it and sent it to my dad. It's his mother, and I think it meant a lot to him to see that as well.

So it was a nice process to go through to really kind of get rid of this stuff that was cluttering everything in there, and then find this stuff that really meant something to me and discover some cool things in there too. So it was kind of a good way to end this decluttering challenge, to go through that.

And I think, too, it was kind of a nice way to sort of set the stage going forward, that this has been something that's been a positive experience for me, and hopefully it's developed into more of a habit for me where I can continue to do this and hopefully get to the garage here within the next month.

Scot: Did you take pictures of the stuff you got rid of in this treasure box of yours, or did you just let it go?

Troy: I just let it go. I thought about that, Scot, and it's a great way to let go of things I think. But so much of it was just stuff like . . . Let's say we go to a show or a play or a concert or something. You just throw the ticket in there. It's just like, "Oh, I'll keep the ticket," or, "I'll keep this sort of thing from it." So much of it was stuff that I just saw and I was like, "Eh, it doesn't really mean that much to me. I'm not going to keep it around." So I did not take pictures.

Quite honestly, there's a lot of stuff in there. If I wanted to do a second run at it, I could take pictures and get rid of it. I figured this was a first good initial stab at it, and I got rid of most of it, so I was happy about that.

Scot: What I found too with a box of stuff like that is if you take a picture of it . . . the fun is, like you said, going down memory lane maybe a little bit, right? So if you take that picture, you can stumble across those pictures. Of course, then you run into the problem that Mitch is trying to solve. You've got a lot of digital clutter all of a sudden, right? It does go somewhere. But that's a great story. So overall this was a good experience for you it sounds like.

Troy: It was. We talked a little about this last week, but I think it was good. It's not just about the decluttering, and we talked about this before. Every time I've done this, it's been because I have to. It's because we're moving, we're remodeling, and I just don't want to deal with it. This has been more about just saying, "Hey, keep the stuff in your life that brings something to your life at this moment, and if it doesn't bring something to your life at this moment, you don't really need to keep it."

So it's been a good mindset to really work on that and try and think about that each time I'm looking through these things and hopefully carry that forward.

Scot: All right. Mitch, you were the one that . . . so Troy started skeptical but finished fairly strong I think. I think you really got something out of this. Mitch, of course, he' an overachiever and all. I think he had a calendar, and he had it scheduled out. I think he hired some planners to help him, and he was all in.

Troy: Mitch has been strong from the start. He's the A++ student.

Scot: Yeah.

Mitch: Well, I had to go through this whole kind of coming to terms with all this a couple of years ago. I mean, it really was . . . I don't know how else to explain it, but I really was in a very dark place, and there was something about removing stuff and unburdening myself from these material possessions and the potentials and blah, blah, blah, that really helped me move forward.

So I actually really enjoyed this exercise because of a couple of things. Number one, it had me do it again. I think that every few years you should keep those kinds of mindsets and things like that. But number two, it helped my partner get into it.

So I've got a couple of little announcements. Number one is I finally was able . . . let's see if I can share this. Boom. I finally sold the guitar, and this was probably the hardest thing to do the whole time. I had had an initial offer. It didn't quite work through, whatever. This was my punk rock years. This was my childhood. This was my formative years, and letting it go, even though I earned quite a bit of money off of it, still was really hard. It was really hard to let this thing go. Probably the hardest of anything that I did.

But in the end, I actually came out with $1,400 in my pocket between selling the car, an old television that we had, some odds and ends furniture, and this thing. We are taking all that money and putting it back into our space, so upgrading things, improving things in one way or another. It's kind of a little rare boon to have a little bit of extra cash by getting rid of things you're not even touching.

Troy: That's a nice guitar. Did you play it one last time before you got rid of it?

Mitch: A little bit, and I'm so rusty. That was the thing that kind of solidified it at the end. I'm like, "Oh, man, I remember these days." I haven't played it in years and years. I have an acoustic that I fiddle on every so often, but this was my guitar. So it was kind of cool. The original owner is the one who bought it too, so there was this kind of "returning" that was cool.

Troy: That's cool. Nice guitar.

Mitch: Thanks. The second thing that happened is . . . check this out. Boom. So if we look at the original numbers . . . I did my digital decluttering this past weekend. Cracked open a beer and opened a whole bunch of computers. I opened up an old Mac that had two terabytes of stuff and I downloaded all this software that found duplicates, etc. I was able to back up and delete over three million items between everything.

What I didn't realize is that video files, in particular, just escalate. Every little time you open the program, it creates a new thing or whatever. So I was able to actually find my old projects. I was actually able to find all of these little things. I haven't done it forever, and I was able to get this little sucker . . . this is a little 10-terabyte, and everything is on there now. And it's in a structure that I actually know. So that's really, really helpful.

It was really kind of cool finding some of my old films I made in high school that I haven't seen in years and years and years and I want to keep. I mean, it's not taking up space in my life, but I had no idea where it was.

Scot: Yeah. Do you have a backup of that backup?

Mitch: I sure do. Guess what this one is for?

Scot: Good.

Mitch: So I've got a backup of a backup. One is a new machine, and one is an old machine.

And then the final thing is Jonathan started. It took the whole month of seeing me doing odds and ends, and this weekend we've actually blocked out some time to start going through his stuff in the back. We're going to renew our lease here and really make this space our own. So it's kind of . . .

Scot: Wow.

Mitch: Yeah. It's kind of cool. He's got all the shelves in the back that he's like, "We're never touching those." And now it's like, "Well, we have some cash now, and we can maybe buy some new furniture or something nice. Let's make this space our own." So it's good. It's good to kind of get back into this.

Scot: Good.

Mitch: I appreciate the opportunity.

Scot: Well, gentlemen, a success? Everybody giving this a thumbs up?

Troy: Thumbs up. Mitch, I love that you just run out of other stuff to get rid of so you had to go digital. I love that.

Mitch: I did.

Troy: I'm sure there are some super organizers out there who are thinking, "Well, I don't have anything else to get rid of," but I'm sure you've got digital stuff.

Mitch: Yeah. Oh my god, that digital . . . whoa.

Troy: I don't even want to go there, but that seems like a great place to go next.

Scot: Yeah.

Mitch: I was very embarrassed. It's one of those things where you look back and it's like you've made 20 versions of the same project file and been like, "Final. Final for real. This was my untitled session. I promise this is the final . . ." And so it's just like . . .

Scot: "I'm serious. This is it."

Mitch: Right. Why do I have 20 versions of the same file? Let's consolidate them.

Scot: You and I read the same file management book apparently.

Mitch: Yeah, "So-and-so Reloaded."

Scot: Yeah, exactly.

Gentlemen, a good month. Let's go ahead and wrap it up here. That was pretty cool, the Declutter Your Life, Declutter Your Mind, Improve Your Mental Health Challenge on "Who Cares About Men's Health."

If you are stumbling across this a little bit later, maybe a month later, maybe a year after we've finished, you can go back to the beginning and play along on your own if you'd like to and come up with your own system. The system we proposed was one thing you get rid of on the first day, two things on the second day, three things on the third day, and so on, or you can come up with whatever system you want. Just have to stick with it for the 30 days as best as you can.

Gentlemen, thank you very much.

Troy: Thanks, Scot.

Mitch: Thank you.

Troy: Thanks for prodding us to do this. Like I said before, I didn't think I could do it, and I got through it. I'm done. I'm just going to start hoarding now.

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