To be blunt, most homes have too much stuff. As a consumer-driven society, we are constantly accumulating possessions. We update our technology but do not have the heart to part with the old. We hold on to old documents, filing them away in case we need them someday. We fill our shelves with books, both read and unread, thinking that we look at them another time. However, the ability to digitize can help us move much of this clutter to the cloud. Here are four rooms that can be decluttered with digitization.
From Grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe to cookbooks purchased during an experimental vegan phase, your kitchen can become disorganized. With so many recipes available, it can be hard to find the exact one you wanted. Now you can get your cookbooks in a digital format, searching them quickly and displaying your favorite recipes on a tablet. New recipes abound online as well as instructional videos to help you make the perfect meal. As for older recipes, scan and preserve them digitally. If the original recipe has sentimental value, you can store it safely, away from your food preparations.
The Living Room
Over the last few decades, media for entertainment has taken several forms. Depending on the age of your household, you may have VHS tapes, DVDs, audio cassette tapes, vinyl records and CDs. Not only does the media take up space, but the equipment to play the media also takes up extra room. Today most of the music and movies you love can be found in a digital format. In many cases, there are tools available for converting physical media to digital media. You may find a few collectibles here and there, but for the most part, all this media can stop taking up space in your life.
The Home Office
Your office is often a dumping ground for papers that are important, seem important or just might be important someday. In the past, this meant file cabinets, manila folders and some kind of sensible filing system. It also meant cluttered in-boxes and piles of papers looking for a home. Contemporary document management software can help you get organized and remove this clutter. By scanning documents as you receive them, you can store them in digital files. If you use a cloud-based resource, you can access these documents wherever you are. Make sure that you are shredding documents with personal information as you scan them.
Digitization can also help with other objects that are taking up space in your office. The contents of a Rolodex or address book can be entered into your online contacts for easy reference. The shelf of maps and atlases can be recycled and replaced by the navigation map on your phone. The sticky notes you leave for yourself can be replaced by digital reminders on a calendar app.
Over the years, each generation passes on memories to the next. Photographs, slides, film reels and home videos can take up a lot of closet space. More importantly, these objects will break down over time, especially if they are not kept in a climate-controlled environment. Eventually, those important memories will be lost. Thankfully, all these memories can be scanned or converted into a digital format. This will make them easier to view and easier to share. Since you will not be accessing the originals as frequently, they can be stored more carefully in an environment designed for their preservation. As you digitize your pictures, remember to give them distinctive file names to make them easy to search.
By using the power of digital media, you can get the clutter out of your house. When your documents and media are organized online, you will also save time as searching becomes a matter of a few keystrokes. Through digitization, you can simplify your life.