How I Got Rid of My T-Shirt Collection

T-Shirt Collection © 2014 Jens R. Woinowski, leanself.org

Do you take home t-shirts from your vacation or from special events? Then maybe you have an awesome collection of shirts. My advice: get rid of it, it is inventory waste.

Unfortunately, I had fallen prey to the endearment effect (I just can remember in which book I read about that effect): the shirts were much more worth for me than for anybody else. I did not want to give or throw them away. The collage above shows some of the shirts’ decorations.

Most of them held dear memories, for example the one with the Woinowski family crest:

The coat of arms on the shirt has a peculiar story. I had gotten hold of a small copy of the original crest in black and white. It was from an historical crest collection book. To enlarge it, I scanned it with a hand scanner (long time ago…) and printed it out.

Then I manually colored it according to the color code given in the crest book (no color printers at that time, at least no affordable ones with good quality). Finally, I went to a custom t-shirt shop.

While the black and white files are long lost together with some floppy disk, the photography of the shirt still exists.

Others I just wanted to keep because they were funny, like the Swedish moose (top left) or the comic inscription (bottom left), which translates to:

Here are five fingers… Alone they are nothing. But when they come together in unity, they are a weapon terrible to look at.

You see, all those memories, and so little space the t-shirts used.

I give you those two heartbleading pieces of my past to show how hard it was for me to throw them out. And I did that even before I discovered Lean Self…

I confess: my wife was much more helpful than my own considerations. She wasn’t a victim of endearment. Finally I gave up: I took a picture of each and every t-shirt before I threw them away.

Recently I stumbled upon the files, like in this xkcd comic. And you read it correctly – they had been untouched and unseen for seven years. They even were in digital camera raw format only.

Computer memory is cheap nowadays, so here is my trick how to get rid of memory ladden old stuff: take a picture, then throw the stuff away.

The nostalgia effect when finding those images years laters is exactly the same as with the originals.

Read something more about getting rid of old inventory in this post about red tags.

Posted in Action, Miscellaneous, Waste Tagged with: , ,

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