The Quantified Self
is a Web site where "self-trackers"—people who record, and look for patterns in, the empirical data of their lives—can post their findings. One self-tracker, Hulda Emilsdottir, detailed the methodology she and her husband, Josh Klein, used to clear out their Seattle apartment before moving to Iceland a few years ago. They logged every possession on a spreadsheet, then assigned each item to one of five categories: "I love this thing, and I use it all the time," "I love this thing because it's a good memory," "I love the way this thing looks, and I'm going to keep it," "This is useful but it's lacking somehow," or "This is useful, but I don't love it." Anything in the first three groups stayed; everything else went. "We got rid of about half of what we owned," Emilsdottir says. "And we get more joy out of what we kept," Klein adds.