Box Full o’ Utensils

I don’t remember who said it. Maybe Alton Brown? Somebody suggested that a great (albeit slow) way to clean excess junk out of the kitchen. Take every kitchen utensil and put them in a box (or boxes). Label appropriately, and place in a separate room apart from the kitchen. Somewhere inconvenient. If you really need something in that box, you’ll walk out of the kitchen, find it, and use it – after which, keep it in the kitchen. After six months, take whatever’s left to Goodwill.

I’m kind of miserly with following people on Twitter (or most any social network, for that matter). I’m a Twitter completionist (yes, I really try to read everything), but even while keeping my Following list to around 100 people, I noticed a substantial amount of noise over the past year in my Twitter stream. I use Twitterrific (my fave), which allows me to “muffle” accounts, hashtags, and such, so that helped a bit. But some users just tweet too high a ratio of irrelevant stuff for my taste. Fear of missing out kept me from unfollowing these folks for a long time, but I eventually thought of a solution. This has been working well for me, but your mileage may vary.

Rather than completely stop paying attention to certain accounts, I created a couple of Twitter lists. One for entertainers that I admired but tweeted/retweeted way. Too. Much. Another to keep track of what’s going on in the Richmond food scene. I unfollowed every account in these lists knowing that I could simply add the lists to Twitterrific or view on the web.

What I’ve found was that, over a period of several months, I went from checking those lists multiple times a day to barely at all. The “box of utensils” is aaaaaaaaall the way over on another tab. So I may only check my Richmond food list, for example, when I want to see the buzz around a new restaurant. Ultimately, I spend less time catching up on Twitter because I’ve shifted most of the noise to a place that feels more comfortably optional.