Lately, nothing has been safe around my house. Let me clarify. I have been on a rampage lately waging war against clutter. It feels great!
A couple of weeks ago, I watched this Netflix documentary called "The Minimalists". Now, it's not what you might think. These dudes aren't walking around in nothing but a loin cloth! This was a true story about two lifelong friends who successfully removed clutter from their lives and how they went about it. The one that started first had a goal to get rid of one item each day for 30 days. That last several months and he got rid of way more than one item a day.
The other guy wanted to de-clutter faster than a few months so he packed up everything he owned into boxes like he was moving. He meticulously labelled every box knowing the contents and each day, he removed only what he needed for the day. He did this for 3 weeks and at the end of the time period, he had about 90% of his stuff still in boxes. He decided all the excess had to leave. Seriously they each got rid of 80-90% of their "stuff" and are admittedly much happier.
Their philosophy was simple. Get rid of anything that didn't bring value to their lives. The junk drawers were brought up several times! I mean why do you need 4 of the same spatula? How about 22 pairs of underwear? Three toothbrushes? See where I'm going?
Over a span of three days, I watched this 56 min documentary four times. I was hooked and I knew I wanted to start immediately. So I did. I went from my closet to my office to eventually, my hunting gear getting rid of clutter.
The hunting room was a freaking disaster! I'd wanted to clean it out for a while but I was scared, really scared. I was scared I might get rid of something I might need one day. Some of this stuff I hadn't used in 5 years. You read that right. I had multiples of a lot of stuff. I had 8 different pairs of camo pants. I had full sets of layering systems from four of the major hunting brands, some of which I hadn't used in years.
How do you get rid of "stuff"? There are three main actions you can take:
- Throw it away
- Donate it
- Sell it
The first thing I did was reduce my hunting clothing by about 75%. I donated about 20 different pieces to a local charity that takes veterans hunting and fishing (Idaho Backcountry Veterans). Next, I started selling some other clothing on Facebook Marketplace. It's extremely gratifying to be de-cluttering and at the same time, either helping people or making a few bucks on a few items. Anything that I hadn't used in the past year was leaving. Any duplicates, triplicates, and beyond were all on trial. Why does a guy need four headlamps? Four pairs of gaiters? 5 Jetboils? 70-80 arrows?
This Is Ridiculous!
It had become embarrassing that I let my situation get that far. Even the guns in my safe weren't "safe". I ended up listing one of my favorite long range rifles on GunBroker last week. Got it sold. I went through each and every item in my hunting room and asked the question, "Does this bring value to me on a hunt?" If the answer was "no", it found a new home. If the answer was "yes" and I didn't have more than 1-2, it got to stay. I ended up selling, donating, or throwing away about 70% of all my hunting gear.
This whole process has allowed me to put more value on the 30% of items that are left. Getting rid of "stuff" allows you to put more effort into the experience of the hunts you're on. It also helped me get more organized. I have a labelled bin or container for everything.
It's time to look at your own cache of hunting gear. Do you find yourself in the same predicament as I did? Too much clutter? Take action guys and gals.
This is something I believe needs to take place each year in the Winter/Early Spring and it doesn't need to be limited to just your hunting gear. You'll find that you will not want to stop there. I've found that there are lots of folks out there looking for a deal and if I've got excess clutter, I might manufacture a few deals. Otherwise, give it to a good charity that supports hunting and the outdoors. YOU can make a difference in someone's life.