When I was a child my mother would come knocking on my bedroom door about once every two years holding a large empty garbage bag. We would open up my wardrobe and stare into the packed space of colour and fabric. After a moment of silence the ritual triage would commence.

The triage was rather simple. Each item in the closet would be placed into one of 3 piles: Pile 1 was the “must have” items – core items that get a lot of wear and regular use, the wardrobe foundation. Pile 2 was the “not sure” or “nice to have” – a mixed pile of extra items or accessories that had occasional or irregular use or were in fashion at some time.  Pile 3 was “clutter” – items no longer worn, no longer necessary that were just taking up valuable space.

Much of what we keep in our cupboards and closets is often more for nostalgia than for real functionality and use. We hoard stuff from the past thinking it will get some wear or use again, typically clothes or accessories that you want to keep for those “just in case” moments.

As we cleared through the closet item by item, my mother would say, “You haven’t worn that for the last two years”, “I don’t remember seeing you ever wear that”, “This is much too small for you”, “This is in tatters – do you really want to keep it?” and “You’ve outgrown that style – you can definitely let that one go”.

My mother was dispassionate about my wardrobe but that’s exactly what one needs in an exercise like cleaning out a closet. Having her discipline in helping me sort out my clothes was necessary, since cleaning out the closet was an emotional exercise for me – I had an attachment to everything in there. Doing it alone never gave the same “tidied-up” results, as many items that should have been placed in Pile 3 ended up in Pile 2 – just in case.

In Pile 3 are the items you just don’t wear and will never again wear. They served their purpose but now are out of style, the wrong colour or size, or just not your personal brand now. These are items you bought thinking you might eventually use them or were such a bargain that you couldn’t not buy them. But you know, deep down, that you will never wear these items again, despite the emotional attachment.

The same process used to clean up your wardrobe can be applied to reviewing a portfolio of domain names. It makes sense to plan a regular review and put domains names into three piles to check if you own the right ones. In Pile 1 are the names you must own because they are the place where your customers expect to find you. In Pile 2 are the domain names to keep an eye on to see if they should be kept or allowed to elapse based on traffic, trademark protection, or business need. In Pile 3 are domain names you simply no longer need, some of which might be sufficiently generic to be sold. Pile 3 can then be turned into either recurring cost savings or one-off windfalls from a well-brokered sale.

Part of the portfolio clean-up process includes identifying domain names that you need to own or to acquire for upcoming business activities. Savings from Pile 3 can help in funding those acquisitions.

The first de-cluttering process is always somewhat painful – letting things go is not so easy – but the end result is worth the effort as your closet is once again in order and well-organized. You know what you have and why. The best part of tidying up is creating space for items that you should have, for upcoming occasions or events or for new fashion items.

Independent and dispassionate advice is worth considering when implementing a domain name portfolio review. It helps ensure that you will achieve the best results to free up capital, reduce infringements and improve both traffic and customer experience in reaching your website, which in turn will strengthen your brand and image.

Josh Bourne

Josh Bourne

Managing Partner at FairWinds Partners
A Managing Partner for the business, Josh draws on his experience with brands and blogs on business solutions for the domain name space.
Josh Bourne
De-cluttering Your Wardrobe … and Your Domain Name Portfolio

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