The LRU Room
Copyright © 2017 Robert A. Albert All Rights Reserved
Title: Amphitheater Lake Trail
Author: Robert Albert
Pete and Mary had moved into Sparrow Woods just a couple of years ago. Their garage was still full of ‘STUFF.’
“Mary, I can barely get through the garage into the house.”
“Pete, I’m not the only one who lives here. Your kayaks take up a lot of room. Then there is the bikes and fishing equipment. And the roller blades and golf clubs.”
Pete looked at all of the Christmas decorations but didn't say a word. That space- consuming 'STUFF' was not negotiable. He knew from painful experience.
“Well,” said Pete, “it doesn’t really matter. Stepping around and over things keeps us as fit as yoga classes would. I will admit there are things in here that I never use, but as soon as I get rid of them, I’ll suddenly need them. After all, the definition of what you need today is what you tossed out yesterday!”
“Be quiet,” said Mary. “Quit your bellyaching. We have plenty of room. You can always put more flooring in the attic and move things up there that can take the heat.”
“Maybe,” said Pete, “we can quit walking through the garage to get into the house. If we use the front door instead, this same old discussion would not be repeated over and over again.”
“True, that’s a good idea! ‘Hear not the muffled sounds of clutter, see not the twisted confusion of clutter and speak not the language of clutter.’” Mary used hand jesters to drive the point across.
“Good grief. I give up and will not talk about it again until next time you whine on the way through the garage,” declared Pete as he left the cluttered garage and walked into the house.
They didn’t talk about clutter again until Pete received this pop-up while browsing the Internet for another garage shelving unit,
“Is your garage cluttered?
Let us install, ‘CLUTTER FIXER,’ in your house where you can keep the things that you don’t often need. Why use an attic when you can store things in air-conditioned space on your first floor?
It cannot be filled up. In fact, the room can automatically move items from your house and garage into itself, based on a Least Recently Used (LRU) algorithm. Telekinesis will do the actual moving silently while you sleep. LRU means that the items that you use less often will be moved first to the LRU room. If two items have the same LRU index, the larger one is moved first. On average one cubic yard of seldom used items will be moved into the LRU room every week.
After a certain amount of time, the older items kept in the LRU room will be sold on Craigslist, eBay or propertyroom.com.
If you decide you need to use something stored in the LRU room before it is sold, simply get it out and use it. Return it to either the LRU room or somewhere else in the house. We are keeping track of how often the item is used and the cost of maintaining it, based on its size.
“Hey Mary, take a look at this. This is exactly what we need, isn’t it?” This was a rhetorical question and Pete didn’t wait for Mary to reply. “All sorts of artificially intelligent robots are under development today. I’m going to give ‘CLUTTER FIXER’ a call. I can’t wait to witness the telekinesis facility that makes this work.”
Pete arranged for the LRU Room construction. Within days the room had been added to their house and commenced operation. They could enter the room from their living room or bedroom, through a door that was installed in the common wall between the living room and the bedroom. The new room was quite large. But they could not find any indication that the bedroom or living room had become smaller. In fact, the room did not add anything to the floor space in their house. This fact made no sense at all, but nonetheless, this was the way it worked.
It was like using computer cloud space on the Internet. Files that do not reside on your computer are kept on special computers on the Internet. You have access to the files, but no additional space is taken on your computer. In the same way, the LRU room held belongings that you no longer wished to keep anywhere in your house and/or garage!
Pete and Mary were instructed to take no action by moving things into the LRU room on their own. So they didn’t.
Suddenly, on the first day, an old set of golf clubs appeared in the LRU room. The next week an empty suitcase moved. Week after week, seldom used items were automatically moved from one part of the house into the LRU room. The telekinesis process was so fast that Pete was not able to witness it.
Pete and Mary almost never had to go into the LRU room to fetch something. Once in a while, they did. For example, Pete had to fetch his electric drill several times. Since tools were infrequently used but were needed once in a while, they were added, via a smart phone app, to a list of items that were never again moved to the LRU room. In this way, the LRU room service was a learning system.
One-week Mary’s great grandmother’s antique tennis bracelet appeared in the LRU room. Pete and Mary received an email whenever an item was moved into the LRU room. Mary, after reading the email about the tennis bracelet, immediately moved it back and placed it on her do not move list.
On another week a seldom-used old, stuffed chair was moved to the LRU room. The email that Pete and Mary received displayed the estimated value of the item and compared it to the cost of the space in the house to keep the stuffed chair based on the space requirements and the cost of the same amount of space in the house. The chair was worth only $100 and the space required to keep it was worth over $650. So, it was an easy decision to let it go to the LRU room and eventually be sold.
The results were dramatic. Within a few months, the garage clutter had been reduced significantly, enabling them to put their car in the garage! Free space in the other rooms had also increased. No Christmas decorations ever reached the LRU room!
Having witnessed the dramatic results of, ‘CLUTTER FIXER,’ Pete asked Mary what she thought. “Hey Mary this ‘CLUTTER FIXER’ really works, doesn’t it?”
This time he waited for an answer, but she didn’t respond. He raised his voice a bit. “Hey Mary this ‘CLUTTER FIXER’ really works, doesn’t it?” Still, Mary did not respond.
This went on for some time until, finally, Startled, next to him in bed replied, “Pete, I was out cold. What is so important that you had to wake me up at 2:00 am?” Pete didn’t respond at first, so Mary repeated herself again until he also woke up.
Pete told her what he had dreamed and they both laughed for some time. The next day they started using their own version of the Least Recently Used algorithm to begin un-cluttering their house. They have developed a spreadsheet to keep track of larger items. When an item is used they update the spreadsheet.
They have saved enough space this year to keep their car in the garage and have created a dance area inside the house.
Have you ever looked at your garage, attic, or infamous storage room, and said to yourself, "What a blankety blank confused mess"? Of course, you have. We all have that same problem. We all have a room or area that everything collects in! Here is the solution taken from IBM's first really big computer.