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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Day 14: Digitize

Digitize Your Stuff

Digitize Your Stuff

We are not big fans of “to do” lists. That’s because the inherent nature of those lists is busy work, work to fill up your day with mundane tasks, many of which won’t help you get the results you want (or any result at all). But today will be different. You know what your result is, and you will take some specific actions to get that result in one day. So, here is a list for you, not a “to do” list, but a list of action items: Note: You should have already purchased or borrowed a good portable picture scanner (not one of those big ones that is attached to your printer; those are a pain in the butt to operate and are not worth your time). If you don’t have one yet, you will need one for today.

Action Items

  1. Photos. Scan your photos. This sounds easy, but it will take time, even with the above mentioned scanner. Joshua had four boxes of photos to scan (including photo albums, loose photos, and the like). Ryan had an entire junk drawer of loose photos: family photos, photos of friends, etc.
  2. CDs. Store your CDs on your computer. We hope you already have most of your music on iTunes. But what about all those CDs that you haven’t listened to in forever? Well, you have two choices: you can spend the time to put them on your computer TODAY, or you can pitch them. Pick one. Whichever you pick, do it today.
  3. DVDs.Store your DVDs on your computer. Same as CDs. There are several converter programs you can find on the internet to get them to play on iTunes too.
  4. Documents. Take a look at all of your documents. Do you need all of them? Chances are that you don’t. But for the ones you really, really need, you can scan those too.
  5. Sign up for Online Backup. We use Carbonite Online Backup. It gives us peace of mind, and it’s only $5 per month. That way, if we lose our laptops or if something happens to one of them, then all of our important documents and files and photos and music and videos are backed up for us. It takes the worry out of storing things digitally.
  6. Trash. Now throw out or donate or sell all of the remaining physical items—the photos, the CDs, the DVDs, the documents, etc. Everything. No arguing. Just do it. If you need a reminder about sentimental items, then go back to Day 11.

That’s all. Time to take action.

Go back to day 13 of your journey

Move on to day 15 of your journey

Go to the main page: Our Journey Into Minimalism: 21 Days That Changed Our Lives