I’ve been on a bit of a crusade to de-clutter my digital life. I’m not sure how it ends up happening, but eventually you end up with a load of gadgets, laptops, cables, and hardware. I know some people would think this is a great thing. Look at all the possibilities! I used to think this way, for sure. I’d see an old piece of hardware and think about all the neat things I could do with it. Well, it turns out that I never did anything with it.

I am no hoarder by any stretch of the word, but I do have a hard time letting go of things that have served me well over the years. Old GPUs, laptops, motherboards, cables, you name it. So, I decided to de-clutter everything digital in my life, but where to start?

I plan on doing some cleaning up in both my hardware and software life. I decided to start with the hardware as it seemed the thing that was giving me the most grief. So, when I mentioned that I kept things that had served me well in the past, I still remain attached to these devices. So, there are times when I think, “Wow, that thing really worked well for me. I’d hate for it to sit there and rot simply ’cause I moved on to a new shiny thing.” It seems silly when I say it out loud or write it down, but there’s a feeling of guilt for not using the things that I bought and enjoyed. So I have a roster of devices that make me feel guilty for not using them, and that’s not healthy. So, time to clean up things.

I cleaned out all of my old PC components first. I went through my GPUs, memory, motherboards, and CPUs and decided that the majority of these things can go to someone who might enjoy them. So I donated them. I sold a couple things, but for the most part the items were donated.

Next came the video games. I have an extra Xbox One S and PS4 since I had upgraded to the One X and the PS4 Pro. So, I gave my PS4 to a close friend, along with all the physical games for it as I hadn’t played them in a long time and have since switched to digital games only. I was glad that someone who couldn’t afford the PS4 could now enjoy many of the games that I enjoyed on it. The Xbox One S is going to my parents for my nephews to play when they visit them. I gave my oldest nephew all the physical games that I had for it as well. (Only one of which his mom denied him, GTAV) I sold my PS Vita and the games along with it. I am selling my Xbox 360 and all my physical games in a lot on eBay, but no buyers just yet. Same will happen for my PS3 and games. These are cool to have on a shelf, but realistically I don’t play them and someone else could use them more than I could.

As for laptops, I had a few that I am not using. I’ll be real with you for a second, though. I am not able to bring myself to get rid of my 2014 MacBook Air. It’s a base model with only 4gb of ram, but it’s still an amazingly capable machine with great battery life. There’s something special about Apple hardware in my eyes, and I just can’t get rid of it. I did, however, donate my Thinkpad T420 to a friend’s mom to replace her horribly slow and aging laptop. I know the T420 isn’t very new, but with 8gb of ram and a 120gb SSD, it’s plenty of machine for her. I have a fairly recent Chromebook, a Samsung Chromebook Plus v1, that I will be donating to my dad. His Dell laptop met an early demise when it hit the floor really hard and put him in a situation where it wasn’t worth the repair. I know he’s used to Windows, but I think for his uses the Chromebook will be great. Plus, no annoying updates!

Honestly, I’d love to be able to downsize my desktop computing life as well, but that’ll come when I can get the money to do so. The new 2018 Mac mini looks really promising for what I need, and I can always augment it with an external GPU if I need the extra power. This desktop has been upgraded several times over the years, so much that it’s not the original machine in any way aside from case. My obsession with minimalism is a very new one and I’m hoping that I’m not kicking myself if I choose to purchase something that may not live up to my current desktop. My computing needs have diminished quite a lot over the years as I’ve moved away from playing PC games more and more. There are times that I want to play a game, and for that I will have my Alienware laptop. (which I forgot to mention I’ll be keeping ’cause it’s useful for when my brother visits so I’ll have something mobile to play with him)

I have already felt a marked difference in the stress of having too many things. It’s no massive transformation, but it certainly is nice to know that the things that have served me well will now live on in someone else’s life. I still have the matter of tackling my software life, but I think that’s coming together as a plan so far. More on that at another time!