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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The more time I spend working in the shop, the smaller it gets. Buy a new tool or some project lumber but there's no room and "I'll just move that over here in case I might need it", when in fact you have been moving it around for years and have yet to use it.

So when do you decide it's time to let go? Not of the stuff you might actually use but the stuff that, although it's perfectly good, you just don't use anymore?

And the junk! I've got stuff from 25 years ago that I held on to because I'd never seen anything like it and "Who knows? I just might find something to use it on!" :huh:

Anyone else suffer from this condition?
 

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Wood Snob
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I do. I so conservative I hate throwing anything away. But then I get into a jag where I pitch it all and start over. Just yesterday I needed some room and just started pitching it all. It was dark out so that helped a bit. If I have the room or place for it I keep it. After a year I should be tossing it. Sometimes I lay the item on my bench to remind me to get on with what ever I had planed to do with it.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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I have the same problem. I never throw anything away, ever! Right now I have every flat space I own covered with stuff that I haven't seen in years! I actually found a tool that I thought one of the kids had taken and not put back yesterday under a pile of cut offs....

I always have plans to use the stuff, but never seem to actually use any of it. I know that the minute the garbage truck picks it up and drives away, I'll need that one thing that I just threw out!
 

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Uncle Fester
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I've gone through the "if I haven't used it in the last 10 years it's time to go"

My first episode I decided to toss out junk that I need some day that had kicking around in my shop since high school that was given to me by a neighbor. This stuff was so outdated or just not safe. As a point of reference, I graduated from high school in the late 60's and my 80 year old neighbor graduated from college in 1911. Now that's hanging onto some really old stuff.

My last episode was much easier.
 

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Chairman of the 'Board
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I have had a number of hobbies over the years that seem to really take up space. I have had the foresight to give some of them away to good causes. When my son left Scouts, I found I had no need for the leathercrafting tools. I gave them to a Cub Scouter whose son just joined. Since my shoulder separation, I can't climb anymore, so I gave away all of my gear to a kid just learning. Now tools? I still have the Circular saw my mom bought for me in 1968 for my eleventh birthday. I have all sorts of outdated mechanic's tools as well. Carb tools for SU and Strombergs from the sixties. All sorts of last century scanners, and even a few engine overhauling tools like my dingleberry hones, various ridge reamers, ring gapper and other stuff that most of today's mechanics have no idea how to use.
 

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Uncle Fester
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Yep that's the type of stuff that could do better in another home
 

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I absolutely do, not only the shop but also the house. Worse, LOML is worse than I am. We moved about 4 years ago, and I found boxes from the previous move (1988) that hadn't even been opened yet! I'm trying to change that, but it's a tough row to hoe.
 

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I am the exact opposite of most of you I guess. I can't stand clutter, and I like as much room to move around as possible. 'Extras' from a project most likely either get immediately returned, donated, or thrown away. I too use the rule of if I haven't used it in a certain time frame then it's up for serious consideration of disposal, only that time frame is more like a month. This is something inherent in me and not necessarily my shop, as I do the same with personal/household belongings, work, etc...

Contrast that with my wife and daughter, who both love to hold on to things. We cleaned and painted our daughter's room over the thanksgiving break, and man was it like pulling teeth to clean her room. There were a few boxes she hadn't even gone through since we moved about 20 months ago.
 

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As you get older that hoarding disease begins to get well. You realize that if you have not used something in 25 years you probably never will.

George
 

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I have finally learned that if I have not used it in the past year, it needs to go! The problem is you can hold on to an item for 50 years and never use it, but as soon as you get rid of it you will need it in a months time. It isn't how long you keep an item (that is not the problem), it is when you get rid of it that you will need it, that is what makes me mad! I still stick to the rule that it needs to go after a year and when I need it, I just kick myself and move on.
 

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What bugs me is the left overs from bubble packs, need a door stopper but two come in a package, put other one away in case I need it, can't find it when I do so I buy another two and put the second one away, find both when I am looking for something else I can't find that I know I have somewhere because I bought two of them a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is funny stuff! Now I don't feel so bad. I know what I need to do is a thorough house cleaning. Take EVERYTHING out of the shop, throw away the junk, and re-organize it when I put stuff back. Last time I did that was about 15 years ago.

Al, I'm going to have to try that do it when it's dark trick. :laughing:
 

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I try to unload stuff on Craigslist and Ebay regularly. you'd be amazed how much $ can be recovered from your clutter, and they'll come right to your house to pick it up. That's exactly what the charities and the folks who lowball at your garage sale are going to do with it too.

I figure that if I sell it for fair market value now, I can always rebuy it for fair market value later if I need it, and I don't have to store it in the meantime.
 

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If you do this professionally, I'd recommend reading up on the 5S's of manufacturing. We've been implementing 5S at work and it's increased productivity significantly.

Curtis
 

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Uncle Fester
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Julie Mor said:
This is funny stuff! Now I don't feel so bad. I know what I need to do is a thorough house cleaning. Take EVERYTHING out of the shop, throw away the junk, and re-organize it when I put stuff back. Last time I did that was about 15 years ago. Al, I'm going to have to try that do it when it's dark trick. :laughing:
We did the same thing a few years back. We were thinking of moving to a larger house. My wife came up with the idea our current house is significantly larger than the house see grew up in with twice the amount of people. Her suggestion, get rid of everything and let's start over like when we first got married. Linens, dishes, glasses, towels, artwork, you name it went. The new stuff was hand picked at had its own place.

I did the same thing in my shop. I bought dozens of Plano boxes and built a pigeon hole cabinet to store the boxes patterned after the local hardware store nuts and bolt section.

Spent hours sorting and getting like items together in the same box. Sort long enough and you give up and pitch the junk. My wife now refers to my supply room in my shop as Al's Ace.
 

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If I may make a suggestion? Look for a hobbyist apprentice. That is the situation I am in now. My neighbor and friend is very old and can not do much manual labor anymore. He used to build houses almost by hand back in the WWII era after he came back from the war. I will go over work my tail off for a couple hours, he will toss me a beer and talk about the good old days. He will show me a couple of old school techniques and then toss me what he considers junk or just never used anymore tools or materials as " payment" for my manual labor. Some of the stuff he tosses my way really is just junk and I have to be the person to toss it but a lot is stuff that I use all the time. None the less I am there for more then just the hand outs I am there cause the knowledge this guy is giving me and the friendship is worth more than anything. None the less I am eternally greatful for all of it and he gets a young back to bust his hump in his shop once a week.
 

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Uncle Fester
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Gotspiccoli said:
If I may make a suggestion? Look for a hobbyist apprentice. That is the situation I am in now. My neighbor and friend is very old and can not do much manual labor anymore. He used to build houses almost by hand back in the WWII era after he came back from the war. I will go over work my tail off for a couple hours, he will toss me a beer and talk about the good old days. He will show me a couple of old school techniques and then toss me what he considers junk or just never used anymore tools or materials as " payment" for my manual labor. Some of the stuff he tosses my way really is just junk and I have to be the person to toss it but a lot is stuff that I use all the time. None the less I am there for more then just the hand outs I am there cause the knowledge this guy is giving me and the friendship is worth more than anything. None the less I am eternally greatful for all of it and he gets a young back to bust his hump in his shop once a week.
That is exactly what my 80 year old neighbor friend did with me when I was 17. Sure brought back memories and I did keep a few things I still use and their is other stuff I have no idea what it does. It's amazing anyone lived using the power tools back then with the lack of safety features.

I guess that's how they sorted out the herd.
 

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I think we all have that problem. Some deal with it by tossing or selling things every so often and some just keep building bigger shops. :laughing:
 

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Uncle Fester
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rrbrown said:
I think we all have that problem. Some deal with it by tossing or selling things every so often and some just keep building bigger shops. :laughing:
Back at ya
 

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I'm in the midst of a shop cleanup now. It's probably been 15 years since the last. I found wooden fixtures and jigs I'd made but can't remember what for. There are motorcycle parts that need to go bye-bye on ebay. Also found a carb and ignition set for a car I don't have any more. The point of the cleanup is to get to the "wood" on my wood rack and see if I have enough for a Christmas project... which I'd better start soon...


If you do this professionally, I'd recommend reading up on the 5S's of manufacturing. We've been implementing 5S at work and it's increased productivity significantly.

Curtis
I'm well familiar with 5S. I've taken the concept to my shop, and have been using a Brothers tape labeler for labeling boxes and parts drawers to save time finding stuff. It really makes a difference.
 
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