Monday, April 13, 2009

Mission #4 - Defragging the house

It's so amazing having the house back again!  It's still messy, but it's messy like a normal, lived-in place.

I've got a dual track going now:

On the first track I'm starting to do normal home maintenance and repair - like patching holes in drywall and painting.  I can take an afternoon once a month and knock out a major room redo of that nature and have the whole house freshly painted by the end of the summer.  So cool.

On the second track I'm about to "defrag" the boxes in the erstwhile family room (aka storage room now).  There are over 200 boxes there now.

Some of you may remember the old days, when we would be asked to defrag our hard drives - a task that took about an hour, during which the tech support on the other end of the line would be collecting some kind of pay.  It was a great deal for them.  And defragging (defragmenting) a disk did usually help performance, even if it wasn't the primary cause of whatever problem caused us to call tech support in the first place.

When you first started to defrag the disk, the screen would show you a map of your hard drive, with the hard drive map colored according to the type of file segment found in the portion of the drive represented by each pixel.  At the beginning it would be a mess of different colors filling the whole screen.

Over time the bits and bytes would get shifted around, until each section of the hard drive contained similar "colors" of files. Best of all, there would appear a large chuck of white, representing hard drive space that was free and "available for tasking."

Along those lines, I now have these 200+ boxes.  Some of them are full of books.  Those boxes I will label as "books" and collect together.  Other boxes are full of my spouses papers or precious items (games).  Those I will label as his papers and set together.  Then there are the boxes filled with random stuff.  Those are like the confetti-colored bits of hard drive.  I will sort those boxes into "keep/fix," "donate/freecycle," and "recycle/trash," and dispose of the contents accordingly.

By the end of the process, I expect to be left with just under 100 boxes that can remain full of books or my spouses papers.  I've set a goal to get through 5 boxes a week, so it will take about 20 weeks to get to that point.

For today, I freecycled three items and located the first five boxes of books in the temporary holding area.  I'm on my way!

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