For the past 5 weeks we've been living away from our home so that earthquake repairs can be undertaken on our house. The work involves jib and paintwork to most of the internal walls and ceilings, so it's been in everyone's best interests for us to be living elsewhere.

My family of 4 has spent 1 week in a small motel unit, another week in another small motel unit, and the last 3 weeks in a full size family home. We decided not to take all our stuff with us, but only take what we needed. So, what do you really need? Well not much actually, and not having all that other "stuff" around is actually good for the soul. We've lived a simpler life and enjoyed it – simple benefits like less stress. 

It's surprising how little you actually need. It's also surprising how much stuff is no longer needed as it's been replaced by technology. For example, if I bring home a new cut of meat for dinner my wife doesn't look up the 50-odd cooking books for a recipe, instead she quickly searches the internet, prints out a good looking recipe, and starts preparing dinner. In years to come a computer touch screen will be the stoves splashback, meaning our cookbooks will be opened even less. They may as well go straight out the door. The same applies for the encyclopedias, the atlases, the maps, the art and craft books, most of the board games, most of the kids toys, and much of the other clutter in our home.

Being away from home also makes your realise that you don't really miss a lot of things that get picked up and dusted around most weeks. I used to be obsessed with barefoot waterskiing, then wood turning, then rod and reel sports fishing, then spearfishing, then underwater hockey, then soccer reffing, and so on. I don't want or need as many reminders of each as I did. So, when we move home, most of that memorabilia be heading out of the house or into storage. A simpler life for us.

And lastly most busy parents have a swag of projects that they hope to finish one day. Books to read. Things to repair. Arts, crafts, hobbies and sports to get back to. In the cold hard light of day most of those things aren't going to happen in the near future. If they were "A" priorities they'd be done by now. Most of them are "C"s. Being reminded of our inability to get them done achieves nothing positive in our lives, so we're better off without them.

Fortunately for me, the founder of The Glass Racking Company is not a hoarder so our factory has very little old "stuff" piled up. We have very few half finished projects, and very few slow moving stock items. It keeps the factory clean and tidy, and allows everyone to focus on the now and the future – where we should be focussed.

Most glass and window companies keep any sizeable or spare offcuts and extrusions so that they can be used on a future job. Many are more effective at keeping items than they are at using them, and they do pile up – not all factories, but certainly some more than others.

If you have piles of surplus stock I challenge you to focus your business on using it all up within the next 4 weeks, and throw-out half of what's left, keeping only the stock which is genuinely worth keeping. 4 weeks gives your team time to advertise and sell what's immediately saleable, make it into something saleable and sell it, or decide it's just worthless clutter. 

You may find you make a few dollars out of stuff that's been sitting around – maybe enough to buy my wifes cookbook collection on Ebay!