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Cleanup Day

David Nunez
David Nunez
2 min read

Two days left in the year. Counting the minutes. (I’m leaving for Houston at lunchtime tomorrow).

Today is officially CATF cleanup day.That means two activities:

  1. We’re cleaning out, organizing, and clearing common areas (like the supplies closets)
  2. We’re individually going through our offices and archiving/purging documents which we no longer need, organizing stuff we decide to keep, and tie up loose ends we’ve been procrastinating on (i.e. send out a bunch of email saying things like, “I know we promised to get together, but let’s try to schedule something for January.”

They ordered pizza and we’re all in jeans and t-shirts… it’s a great teambuilding activity, suprisingly, because we’re all simultaneously “getting a load off our backs.” It’s an activity I’d love to replicate in any of my own businesses.

Purging the clutter, streamlining, etc. removes some psychological burden so that we can go into the holidays light and slim and worry-free (i.e. we can really enjoy our vacations).

I will probably end up taking some work home anyway, but it will be a small amount… just enough so that I can hit the ground running in January.

I’ve been shocking myself with just how much JUNK I’ve managed to accumulate in about 8-9 months! My awesome system with email is supposed to carry over to the physical world as well, so there’s no excuse for accumulation, really.

I do have one little trick for those of us who tend to be pack rats: Get a couple of boxes and label them “Purgatory” or “Holding Pattern” or “Staging Area” or whatever other cute metaphor you have for a waiting place. Put items that have no immediate action associated with them and no forseeable reference value in these boxes. Finally, you can set these boxes to stew in an out-of-the-way spot. After a while (say, 6 months), go ahead and ditch those boxes without looking at them again (because if you don’t need anything in that pile in 6 months, then you don’t need them to be handy). You can always call or request additional copies of the stuff if you do run across a need for the stuff. For me, that’s a way to cope with my pack-rat tendancies.

This process should also occur at home… definitely have boxes of junk that maybe I could live cleaner without.


David Nunez Twitter

Dir of Technology at the MIT Museum • Writing about emerging tech's impact on your life • Speculative insights on the intersection of humanity and technology 🤖


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