2022 Tool Clear-Out Update 3


Earlier this month, I posted about how I keep too much stuff, and I how I had started working to remedy this.

For years, I have collected and accumulated, and I am finally putting everything to order. Many of you have and do the same, and so I figured I would share another update to potentially inspire or motivate you. At the least, it’s helping me keep motivated.

Shown above is a Craftsman 4-in-1 laser lever and laser-guided measuring tool kit. It came with a laser level and an assortment of wall mounts, plus a distance measuring tool.


This isn’t a laser distance measuring tool, it’s a laser-guided distance measuring tool. I bought this at a time when laser distance measuring tools were much more pricier than the inexpensive models that are readily available today.

It’s an ultrasonic measuring tool with a laser pointer for aiming. Not to mince words, I have zero use for this.

I brought it to the DPW (department of public works) yard last week. This is something I no longer have any use for it, but I’m sure somebody else will get use out of it. And if not, they have electronic recycling right there.

Goodbye Craftsman 4-in-1 LaserTrac kit! This is one less thing cluttering up my storage area.

I have unused wire shelving parts – shelves and poles. I’ll bring them to the public works tomorrow. The DPW guys tend to put shelving parts aside from the scrap recycling dumpster, and so I’m sure everything will be put to use.

I also have 2 garage-style wall cabinets that I will be parting with. I bought a couple a while back, and then received a couple more for review consideration. I have 6 mounted (3 in the basement, 3 in the garage), and 2 sitting on my basement floor. I prefer floor to ceiling wire shelving across the other walls, and so there’s no other place for these 2 unused wall cabinets to go.

For the cabinets I have in use, they’re okay, but I do plan to eventually replace them with DIY wall cabinets made from plywood. Not that I have the space to build a set of cabinets right now – which is partially why I’m purging non-essential clutter from my life.

If I wanted them, or could use them, wouldn’t I have installed them by now?

There’s another wall cabinet in outside storage that I really don’t like. I’ll donate/part with that one too.

I gave away two flashlights today – Olight S2R Baton II lights, new-in-box. These were part of the titanium collection released for the 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales event. I purchased these with gift certificate funds provided by Olight. How many flashlights do I really need?

On the personal side, I’m working on decades of bad habits. This week I recycled sheet music from junior high school and magazines from 5+ years ago. I donated DVDs and box sets to the library. I gave away an unopened Milwaukee Fastback utility knives and blades bundle.

On the professional side, I’m making changes to my mentality. I don’t need to keep an archive of test samples. It’s okay if I cannot answer very specific questions long after a review. If a tool is important enough to future content, I can request another copy or buy one off the shelf.

Part of the problem is that I sometimes begrudgingly give time and space to things I never requested and in truth don’t want. But what if I can’t get another sample in the future, or when I want/need it? And so, I might feel the obligation to wait for an editorial opportunity.

I had a window at the end of 2021 where I was going to work on a big project. I moved things around and cleaned up. And then a massive 2-stage snowblower arrived on a pallet. I hadn’t requested it – I was already working with the one snowblower I did request for testing. That unrequested tool wasn’t from a sponsor, and I didn’t receive any notice.

Cordless drill kits, power tool combos, accessories, or hand tools are easy to accommodate. A large 2-stage snowblower takes up floorspace. I was convinced not to refuse delivery, and although I arranged for a tester, it took up just enough workshop space and for long enough time that I missed my window. Other things showed up in January and February, and maybe I’ll get to my big personal project next month.

I don’t feel guilty about tossing crappy tools I can’t recommend to anyone into a “maybe I’ll get back to this eventually” pile. So why do I feel guilty about wanting to immediately donate or give away tools I have am unable or unwilling to immediately work with?

There’s only so much I can do.

If Brand X sends me their newest leaf blower without my asking? Great – I love the brand and am likely to immediately put it to use. But then Brand Y also sends me their leaf blower, but it’s part of a cordless platform I don’t use. Still maybe I could maybe try to find a way to test it. Wouldn’t you?

This kind of thing happens a lot, and I usually love it. But, as mentioned, certain tools are easy to accommodate, others aren’t.

Clearing tools (and all manners of personal clutter) out now is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. But, it’s giving me the breathing space, clarity, and motivation to make long-term changes.

Most of the people I know keep too many things. With me, it’s become an impediment to my work and personal enjoyment – both literally and figuratively. So now I’m doing something about it, and so far I’ve been making great progress.

If you’re thinking “this is something I need to do,” there’s no time like the present. “When I have the time” is partially how I got into this mess.