I have too much crap!! How to declutter/dehoard.....

by Muddy Waters 36 Replies latest jw experiences

  • GrreatTeacher

    Yes, I would think moving a lot would help to keep the clutter under control.

    I just can't part with my university stuff. Heck, I still have all my math notebooks from high school with perfect handwriting. Each class from community college is in a color-coded folder and each of my university level classes has its own binder, labeled by section number on the spine.

    It's neat and orderly and I have the space for it, so is it excessive? I refer back to it enough that I feel justified in keeping it. And, knowledge is important to me, so it feels important.

    I do need to get rid of old materials and lesson plans from the old curriculum which is a lot of sorting. It takes sustained mental effort to scan each paper and make a decision on it when the piles are very deep!

    But, yeah, I need to fire up the burning barrel!

  • Incognito
    Papers are a problem.

    I purchased a scanner that will scan 25 pages/min, both sides at one time. As most of us have computers, any documents worth keeping, maybe saved as PDF files which can be searchable if optical character recognition is enabled during the file creation process.

    Of course, good file habits are needed for digital files also as hard drives can quickly become cluttered. Outdated digital files need to be purged also but disposing of them is not so backbreaking and doesn't require much physical space.

    Most utility and other bills may now be obtained over the web thereby reducing the amount of paper entering the home.

    Home Depot will e-mail a receipt to your email address before you even leave the store. If you pay by credit card or debit card, your email address will be linked to the card and you will be prompted to accept the email every time the card is used.

    Receipts and business cards are easily scanned with a phone camera as there are apps for that purpose which will also create PDF files.

    Files maybe stored locally but need to be backed-up as hard drives do fail. DropBox, One-Drive, Google Drive are all also storage options, many of which include some space at no-charge. EverNote and One Note are also options for entering and keeping data directly.

    Here's a link to ideas on going paperless: http://www.documentsnap.com

  • Simon

    Get a decent scanner and shredder and get everything in the cloud. I can recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner - paper handling is great (yes, duplex and auto-sheet-feed are essential). You can set it up to scan straight to your Google account or wherever.

    Once you get on top of it then any new mail either gets scanned and shredded or just shredded. Sign up for paperless billing with any institution you can.

    The great thing is that the docs become searchable so you can find things you need in seconds.

    It's important to be secure your online account though - protect your account with 2 factor authentication.

  • OrphanCrow
    Greatteacher: It's neat and orderly and I have the space for it, so is it excessive? I refer back to it enough that I feel justified in keeping it. And, knowledge is important to me, so it feels important.

    No, it isn't excessive. If I had been stationary I would have kept much of my notes and such. Your collection sounds neater than mine was and probably takes up less space.

    I just was faced with some tough choices at times. I have lost, through damage, some valuable things - like some of my negatives and prints. One of my weaknesses is photographs. But, I now store them all in a big suitcase - I threw out all my frames the last move.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Good info on digital scanning. Yes, I am awful on purging and organizing digital files. We crash computers at my house and then lose flash drives and forget passwords, and, oh, it is sooo bad.

    But, it's a good direction to shoot for. Work is forcing a lot of things to happen sans paper now, so I can see digital information manipulation in my future.

    But, I have to disagree on the shredder. I'm definitely on team burning barrel. It's literally completely gone when you're done, has lovely ambience and you can even cook dinner during the process if you roast hot dogs and marshmallows over the open flame. Some things just provide a much better analog experience!

  • GrreatTeacher

    Also, with the photos. I have boxes and boxes of old ones, bought scrapbooks to put them in, but they are still empty. Now some of our photos are digital and they are neither displayed nor easily accessible. I have lots of photo frames sitt>ng around with multiple photos under them. Christmas photos from christmas cards, relatives' class pictures. This is another area I am in over my head.

    Then there's old VHS recordings of our wedding, baby showers, wedding showers, vacations. Then a little hi8 recorder from when my son was little, and now little sd cards everywhere. It's a huge task to think of transferring everything to digital. I really want my wedding video transferred. That's important enough to take the time to do.

    Should I transfer all my cds to a digital format to save space? What about my old tapes? Do I even still have them? Tough calls.

  • OrphanCrow

    Tough calls.

    Yes. I support keeping as much archival originals as possible. I still have a few VHS tapes that I made. Binders full of black and white negatives. And photos galore. I did a bit of a cull. But, those old formats are valuable. A photograph still has an "object" status - pretty special. I have started to scan my negs but it is a project. I also have scanned most of my slide collection. But, I keep the originals too.

    What my daughter has done is go through all her photos and make books of them through a photo store. Much neater and easier to look at. And then she threw the old ones out. She is a neat freak and a minimalist.

    And I agree about the burning versus shredding - if you can do it. I had two weeks of nightime flames in my backyard that one summer. It was great.

  • Incognito

    Photo prints, slides, negatives, VHS, Super8, Regular8 movies and other outdated formats, can all be transferred to DVD. There are services that perform the format conversions for a fee. While the actual process will not require your time, you still need to accumulate, sort and get the originals to the conversion service.

    Since no-one really knows how long a DVD or other media will remain readable or continue as a current technology, it would be best to also obtain a second copy on a flash drive or other alternate media. Make a back-up online also incase of fire, flood, tornado or other tragedy occuring at your home.

    While you may continue to want to keep some of the originals, they can be safely stored away somewhere as viewing the digital versions will be more convienient and more likely to be viewed and shared. Old S8 & R8 film becomes brittle over time and who continues to hold onto a VHS player, just because you have stuff recorded to tape?

  • Simon

    DVD's don't last - even "archive quality" face serious failures over extended periods and that's before you even get to whether the reading technology will still be available.

    Cloud storage, ideally replicated onto multiple providers, is the way to go. The backup services they offer are super cheap too - less than 1c per Gb.

  • JWdaughter

    Flylady.com has a system, online and free. It saved me and my sanity in a 3 bd 1 ba 1000 square ft home. 5 people. It was so easy to get ready to sell a couple years later, and super easy to make an international move a couple years after. . It was a system that starts slowly and simply.

    I also watched Sharktank the other night-you can hire someone to do that for you if you have the money. Majormom.biz has some suggestions, but she is more a business.

    I got down to bare essentials. Then added personality. One you get down to essentials it is easier to see life without the rest of the crap. Easier to get rid of the unimportant stuff. Short of an apocalypse, most every bit of info is out there online or can be saved to a cloud. So can photos of sentimental stuff that is worn or used up. Real treasures are rare.comfort and things that add beauty and value every day don't fall on your head when you open cupboards or closets. They don't attract mice, bugs or other critters. They aren't broken, unusable or redundant. You don't trip on them or bump into them. Real treasures were kept in good repair already.

    I am an unsentimental fool. I know. Once I made the break with crap, I became intolerant of it. I told my husband that and he stays useful😊

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