Today makes my 100th blog post! Who knew I had so much to say?? A huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to read what I’ve written and comment with thoughts and suggestions. I really appreciate all of you and it means a lot to me that you’ve joined me on this journey. This community really is the best and I’m so happy to have found it 🙂
For today’s post, I thought I’d share the main ways that technology has made the path towards minimalism easier. It’s rare that I’d advocate for spending money, especially considering how expensive some items are, but these are expected to last over the years and not become obsolete too quickly. It’s amazing how much use I’ve gotten out of them.
The main focus is around reducing physical clutter, rather than the financial impact. In fact, you could make the argument that some of these items waste time and money, but that’s up to you to decide based on your interests and priorities. I’m aware of it but I’m ignoring that side for now. That being said, let’s get started.
**Just a sidenote to mention that I don’t use affiliate links in any of my posts (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I’m including links to the items I use as informational only**
Investing in a scanner has been life-changing. I’ve been working through all my files and I’ve scanned all my photos, as well as most of my parents’ photos. So far I’ve gotten rid of more than half of my paper files and now I keep photos in photo boxes instead of bulky albums. Everything is neatly organized on my (backed up) laptop and is super easy to find.
If you want to attempt this, a feed style scanner is a must. While a flatbed scanner will work, it’ll take so much longer. What I like about my scanner is that it has an SD card so it’s easy to scan a lot at once and then insert the card into my laptop to download the images. Also makes it easy to scan items as soon as I get them and download the images every month or so.
This is the big one. Think of all the amazing new technology related to entertainment. Now think of all the things you no long need because of that. Of course the huge disclaimer is that high speed broadband internet is required to make this work.
Since I use an antenna (rather than paying for dish or cable and the associated services), I use a DVR to record broadcast shows. My device of choice is a TiVo with lifetime service. I have a Roamio (now a couple years old), which records 4 shows at once. This device also allows me to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and some other services that I don’t use. While I also have a Roku, I use my TiVo 95% of the time. Roku is great because there are additional (free) channels that I can’t access with TiVo. My favorites are Crackle, NASA, Animal Planet, and Lifetime.
Using a DVR and streaming device has allowed me to greatly reduce the number of DVDs in my house. With so much available on streaming services, there isn’t need to own the DVD anymore. I only have a few left, but I rarely watch them, so it might be time to get rid of those as well. They’re my favorites so it’s a little harder letting them go.
I’m a huge music fan and once owned around 200 CDs. On my computer is iTunes, with almost every CD I’ve ever owned copied to the library. This has allowed me to whittle down my CD collection to only my very favorites – around 35 total. I have an old school iPod with enough storage (80GB!) to hold my entire library so all my music is at my fingertips.
I’ve always liked the idea of video games but have never really gotten into it. I used to have a Wii gaming console but rarely played with it, so I gave it to a friend so her two kids could enjoy it. With all the cell phone and tablet games available from iTunes or Google Play, I no longer need a gaming console, and all the discs, if I’m looking for a time waster. If you have any recommendations of free games, let me know in the comments. Not that I should be spending my time on this, but sometimes it’s helpful when I need a short break from something.
Like many people, I used to hoard books. For some reason, I thought I’d read them more than once, which rarely happened. Now I have a Kindle. Yes, I still hoard books (mainly the free ones found via Book Bub), but it takes up far less space. The only physical books I still have are those signed by the authors and, believe me, there are A LOT. I met the authors at book signings so I’ll hold on to these forever.
There are so many ways that technology makes minimalism easier, especially as cell phones and tablets gain more functionality. I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves and what other items I’ll be able to clear out of my house in the near future.
How has technology helped you to downsize? Are you still hanging on to CDs, DVDs, and books even though you don’t use them?