It’s a new decade, y’all…which means its time to purge the unnecessary sh*t from your life, without guilt.
This obviously means different things to different people. But all in all, it’s about purging the items you no longer want, need, or find sentimental, with a solid argument to back it up.
Although, this blog post is going beyond that. Here we’re talking about the items you probably forgot about anyway. The items that are hiding out, taking up valuable real estate, and collecting dust. Living deep within the cabinets and drawers of your home, because you moved onto better things.
Which can also be referred to as the ghosts of Technology’s past. In a world where you can work smarter, not harder, why wouldn’t you?
1. HOME MANUALS
Imagine your dishwasher is leaking water at a tsunami pace and the kitchen is flooding. Your three-year-old is screaming in the background, while your six-year-old has decided to rip off his shirt. Now they are both jumping in the puddles. Would you bolt from the scene in search of the instruction manual?
Considering most of us are attached to our phones, you’d probably say screw it and just GOOGLE IT. There is a disaster in your midst and TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!! Luckily for you, the brand and model of the appliance are usually on the front, which is the only information you need to get anything done these days. Most warranties are done online, too. If you truly can’t part with your manuals, scan digital copies and save them in a designated folder on your computer.
DVDs and CDs are the Beanie Babies of technology. People like to think these items will be worth more someday, but the odds are slim to none. They would have needed to be kept in pristine condition anyway and your husband’s copy of Dude, Where’s My Car? is already a lost cause.
Clear out your collection and donate to your local library or second-hand store. You can find everything you had, plus more, on a streaming app, which is more efficient anyway. You don’t even need to get up off the couch! And let’s be honest, even if you don’t have a Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Amazon Prime account, etc. I’m sure you can find someone to loan you their son’s friend’s mom’s sister’s brother-in-law’s username and password.
If you refuse to purge the discs, at least get rid of the bulky cases and store them in a carrying case instead.
3. OLD ELECTRONICS
Speaking of outdated technology, desktop computers walked so iPhones could sprint. Here is a list of previously-useful electronics and a more efficient replacement. If you own any of the latter and don’t use the former, it’s time to recycle your old devices or donate or sell them to someone who will actually get some use out of it.
GPS Navigation Systems (Garmin, TomTom): Waze, Apple Maps, Google Maps
DVD players: Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Amazon Prime, Roku, and other streaming services
CD players, iPods, mp3 players: Spotify, iTunes, and other streaming services
Digital Cameras: Newer iPhones or Samsung phones with professional-grade camera lenses
This is in addition to any cords or accessories that came with your devices. The remotes, the cords, the manuals, everything. It’s also important to keep in mind that technology is evolving at the speed of light, so continue to edit when necessary.
4. PAPER FILES
* Are you a Clea or a Joanna? Or in this case, are you a digital everything person or a paper sometimes person?
Hi, it’s Clea. Joanna (a paper sometimes person) conveniently left the room to grab a snack, which means I can now spread my digital gospel in peace. (To all the other paper sometimes people, consider this my challenge to persuade you otherwise.)
A stack of paper is a slippery slope that can lead to a full-blown clutter catastrophe. I believe that anything that can be scanned, should be scanned. Unlike a traditional system, a digital system gives you an opportunity to pay little attention to space restrictions.
1. Create categories per usual, but on hard drives or secure websites like Dropbox instead.
2. You can group specific categories, like taxes or medical, and create subgroups within them. Since you won’t be rifling through the actual paperwork, you can be more specific. Once you are finished with the hard drive, label it and store it in a bin for easy access.
3. Digital file systems also allow you to search for your files by date or keyword. The way you name your files plays a large role in how easy they will be to find, so be consistent.
4. There are some files that you rarely need to access but still need to have for safe-keeping. Rather than wading through what you don’t need, archive them within the filing system.
5. For certain files, it helps to create a category for working documents that need to be completed. Once you are finished, you can upload it to its correct category.
5. LOOSE CHANGE
Great timing, Joanna’s back! So, where were we? Oh, yes…
Coins have an uncanny ability to make their way into homes and never see the light of day. They can be found wedged between couch cushions, haphazardly thrown inside junk drawers, and hanging loose at the bottom of purses.
Coins, in general, are a nuisance. They are bulky and jingle all the way—and that’s something only Santa Claus can get away with. Now that virtually everywhere takes a card, including parking meters and toll roads, the need for loose change is obsolete.
As you go about your daily routine, round up all the coins you see and store them in a designated jar. Get your kids involved and call it a fun new game. Then head to the bank, deposit the coins, and be on your merry way.
Have a great new year!
xo, clea + joanna