Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ack! more stuff found!

Digging around my automotive parts area in the storage unit lead to a discovery of forgotten stuff!! Well, not really a discovery but at least a surprise.

After getting rid of (given away) some tie downs, work rags, some fluids, rope and other misc stuff, I came across the box of brake parts for the van. This box contains two front brake rotors and a rear brake drum. I had it sitting on top of my bar clamps, underneath the workbench, which was obscuring my view of the smaller box below it. It is a box of books. All very good and useful books that I will have to go through and thin out but not right now.

Right now I have to deal with the brake parts and fix my drill.

The brake parts have an interesting problem associated with them. First off, are they useable? To determine this I need to do some measuring with calipers to see if the metal thickness is enough to reuse but also need to determine if they are warped or not. Second, if they are useable, what am I going to do with them?

The net value of these parts new would be about $160. Is it worth the time and effort to deal with these parts or do I recycle them and free up some more of my life? Probably the latter because they are heavy and bulky and after 6 months of storage unit fees I could buy the new parts. Plus it hampers my mobility as a van dweller.

**Update 1: I can take the drums/discs to an auto parts place and they will measure them. If they are still good then it will cost $25 per part for the machining. Assuming all are still machinable, it would cost $75 $50 per update 2**

**Update 2: Parts were taken to the shop and determined that they are still good and can be machined. The rotors need machining but the extra drum has already been done. Of all the parts I have, I would have thought that these used rotors and drum would have been trash and I could simply recycle them. Just my luck that they can still be used.**


  1. Tough to balance being a minimalist and having stuff for "just in case". I'd say try to predict how soon you would need those parts and if it's over a year I'd get rid of them.

  2. It is rather difficult to balance, the storage unit is acting as a crutch for the "just in case" scenario.

    On my to-do list: Go through the spare parts and inventory/photograph everything. Then I can either sell or keep.

  3. Can you get rid of enough stuff to have a smaller cheaper storage unit? Or one day no unit?. It's amazing the stuff I keep for just in case, but I'm living in the same size house either way so there is not much benefit financially.

    -same anon

  4. Ideally, I wouldn't have a storage unit, but right now, it is the only way I can get through the slow process of minimizing my stuff.
    If I had tried to minimize before moving into the van I would have paid a lot in rent payments over the past 6 months. The 5x10 unit costs 30 per month, so instead of $4800 in rent I've paid $180.

    Just-in-case stuff can be eliminated, it takes time and effort. If you can afford to repurchase a just-in-case item for say $20 or less then a lot of items can be thrown away, recycled, or donated.

    There may not be a direct financial benefit to getting rid of unneeded items but the psychological benefits are significant. Without clutter, it is easy to clean the house and easy to find the items you want.
    When I first moved into my apartment, all I had was an air mattress and clothes. Vacuuming the place was so simple that I would make patterns in the carpet. I would even lift up my air mattress and vacuum under it just for fun.