If you’re over 40, there’s a really good chance that you own at least one metal coffee can filled with various nuts, screws, bolts and nails, accumulated over the span of your adulthood. If you don’t, that makes me sad. For that can is a time capsule of your life.
Last week I got a wild hair and decided to cull and collate my own collection of hardware, which is much larger than a coffee can. Along with my four-decade compilation of junk, I had inherited two other hordes of crap from my family. Let the sorting begin!
It’s amazing what we keep. The alternate woodgrain pull-chain for the ceiling fan I bought for the first house we owned. The brackets for my daughter’s bunk-bed rail (she’s grown and gone). The (possibly pilfered) toolbag I carried around on the USS Southerland for over three years, when I was technically an adult, but jeez, I was such a kid way back then. A dried-up can of adhesive for some school project from when my kids were, well, kids. Way, way, way too many extra Ikea fasteners.
My organization style is unique and not recommended, but it works for me. Since I was sorting through hundreds of individual and often highly specialized pieces, I reverted to the “small, medium, large, and trash” method.
The longer I was at it, the more things ended up being trash. I donated a bunch of tools and still have pretty much two of everything. The surface of my workbench even made a brief appearance.
It feels good to walk past that part of the garage now. No more averting my eyes from the shameful mess. Clutter be gone! I did keep one box to stash away. The aforementioned chain, bunk-bed rail and toolbag (but not the glue) along with a few other worthless but priceless treasures. I guess I have to leave something for the kids…
Jar Tip: Here’s a clever way to avoid going nuts looking for that one bolt, screw or nail: Sort them into glass jars, nail or screw the lids to the underside of an eye-level shelf or cabinet, then simply screw the jars into the lids.