Tuesday, October 30, 2018 4:00PM
One of the things in decluttering your space that can help you transition to less of a mess is going digital. A few years ago my bedroom was full of papers and junk and that was attracting bugs. Basically paper is like a haven for insects as it mimics wood. That can bring silverfish and roaches and spiders to come roost and make a nest. I had a lot of training material over 3 or 4 years that I kept in binders that collected dust and it became inconvenient to vacuum and clean up the house. We became like pack rats. Finally something snapped in me and I’m not sure if it was finding bugs from customers or riding the bus but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I decided we had to get rid of clutter, paper, cardboard and get rid of this junk in order to keep vacuuming and keeping the house clean. Now as of the time of this writing I’ve eliminated a lot of stuff but there’s still recurring paper that constantly claws back. And that’s why you have to be constantly vigilant about what you buy, what you bring in to your house or into your workspace because it will make its way into your house and all over. We have plastic Ziplock bins which I love because they compartmentalize and isolate and allow easy quick access to my stuff but also offer the ability to move things quickly out of the way if I need to get access to the floor or vacuum. They are supposed to also be water proof and dust preventative. So I use that frequently.
I also had invested in a scanner and occasionally use my phone as a record keeper to make sure that anything that I need to keep or hold on to I have it. And that way all my records or memories or things I need to keep can be kept in a digital format whether on CD, hard driver or flash drive or SSD. It keeps away all the paper clutter and takes up much less space. So here are our tips to help you determine what to do with items.
– See if you can shred, donate, recycle, sell
– See if you have one too many
– Check to see if something is expired
– Check to see if it is invaluable or irreplaceable or sentimental
– Ask yourself if you use it regularly or not at all
– Ask yourself if you got it as a gift that you never really wanted.
What I liked to do is hold it in my hand and ask if I can throw it away or donate it. If not then I keep it such as a financial record.
If you must keep something informational then ask yourself if you can just take a picture and throw away the item. For example I had a shoe box that was nifty but it violated my rule of no paper products or cardboard in my room because I didn’t want it to attract paper loving insects that tend to want to hide in there and I didn’t want it to be another item with a surface for collecting dust that I’d have to eventually move around if I’m vacuuming. The only thing that I wanted in that box was basically a few photos I had store in the box. There were some magazines I donated or gave to the library and what didn’t get read or didn’t get loved by anyone went in the trash. But the items like shoe size and some cute cartoons I either scanned into a computer or took a picture of it with my phone if I didn’t think it was that important.
Now the thing about doing all this scanning and photography is to make sure you store it on some searchable type of media because if you store too much then it becomes a hassle to go back and find something and I found this to be true. In my case I found a cataloguing program that would allow you to catalogue and do a keyword search on a whole spindle of CD’s once you successfully archived your data. This was an excellent tool.
Another good tip is to use the Sticky Posts in Windows to create the equivalent of digital Post-It notes. This cuts down on paper. Actually a neat trick if you need to remember something and it stays on top of your desktop.
My process was scan, shred, discard.
Have any decluttering tips? We would love to know. Comment below.