Clearing Clutter

Wood rack
Wood rack

Every fall I go though my shop and garage to reduce the clutter that happens though the year. Clearing clutter is an ongoing process but every so often I need to do a more thorough job. My wood shop is in my basement and the garage houses my mechanical repair shop (sometimes a car).

What does this have to Sustainable Saturdays? Plenty. Clearing clutter is an important part of living in a sustainable lifestyle by not letting stuff control your life.

On nicer days I work in my garage. I tend to acquire metal scraps from projects and parts for my equipment. I like to keep things organized from the scrap metal to repair parts so I can access them when needed. The key is to keep things organized and not piled up on the work benches or floor. I have a lot of equipment and it needs to be accesable at all times. This time of year I bring the winter equipment out of storage to get them ready for the season. I also go though my summer equipment and make sure it will be ready to go next spring.

In my wood shop the wood scraps are the toughest things to deal with. I have a cart that holds what I want to save and it needs to be gone through every year as my projects change. With my new furnace and water heater I needed to move equipment around so I am doing an in depth cleaning.

Clearing clutter out of the shop is essential for me to be productive and safe. I try to keep up with the ongoing materials that I move in and out of my shop but it is always good to go through everything occasionally. I do not stop with my garage and shop. I go though the kitchen as I tend to cook and bake a lot more this time of year. And then there is the pantry, I try to keep that organized but it needs to be gone through and make sure stock is rotated properly and find things that may have been shuffled to the back. Do not forget the freezer (if you have one). I am good about dating things but like to reorganize it a few times a year.

Clearing clutter is an important part of living a sustainable lifestyle. It is easy to save things you might use eventually but the opportunity costs can be significant. The key is to decide what is important then sell or donate the rest. I have spent many hours with clients who try to keep way too much stuff making it an unhealthy environment. I have found that once the tough decisions are made I often do not miss the stuff that cluttered up my life.