Keep or cull

Just been helping my dad deal with all of my late grandfather’s stuff. He certainly wasn’t a hoarder, but he still ended up with a house full of largely worthless stuff for us to get rid of.


It made me think about what I keep and what I get rid of. Every time I keep something that I haven’t used for five years, I do so because I’m scared that I’m going to get rid of it, and then I’ll regret it when I need it in the future.


But here’s the thing I realised. In my whole life I’ve hardly ever had the experience of thinking I wish I’d kept that ab machine, I could really use that now. On the other hand I’ve had lots and lots and lots of experience of moving boxes of stuff around, storing documents, wading through cupboards of stuff that never get used, and keeping stuff for way too long.


It’s the same in my business. There are filing cabinets full of documents I’ll never use. A hard disk full of files that I’ll never need again.


I think we under estimate the cost of keeping things, and so we keep things too long. The actual cost of keeping something is not just the cost of the thing, but the amount of your attention it takes, and the amount of space in your world. It’s why I don’t ever take a discount coffee card … the space in my wallet, and the snippets of attention every time I’m trying to find the thing I actually need, are worth more than a free coffee every three months.


Love to hear your thoughts – where do you keep what you should cull? You can leave them below.