cheats guide to...., decluttering, downsizing, rightsizing
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6 Ways to Use Technology to Declutter

Sentimentality is not a good thing when you embark on a major decluttering exercise.

This is why we still have over 120 music CDs cluttering up a bookshelf in our lounge. We haven’t listened to a CD since we signed up to Spotify five years ago, yet there are so many memories tied up in those little plastic cases that we have never had the heart to throw them away. Not to mention the investment that CD collection represents – 120 CDs at an average of $20 each is the same cost as 15 years of #Spotify membership.

However under the ‘Rules of Decluttering’ the CDs have to go. Finding a new home for them will be tricky – but I will persevere in an attempt to keep them out of the landfill.

Spotify has changed the way we buy, listen to and store our music, and is one piece of technology that reduces clutter. Here are five other ways technology can help:

  1. Cookbooks: I’ve never been a big cookbook user, yet somehow I’ve amassed a collection of over 30 cookbooks. These days I find the recipes I need online and keep my favourite recipes on Pinterest. There are also a few good apps out there can help with collecting and organising a recipe collection. Based on this review of top 10 recipe apps, I’m giving Big Oven a go.
  2. DVDs: Now that Streaming Video On Demand services like #Lightbox and Netflix are now legally available in NZ, all those unused and scratched-beyond-repair DVDs can also go. The DVD player itself has had a stay of execution as we do sometimes go old school and rent a new release DVD through a service like flixbox.

    Downsize your clutter by using technology

    No more recipe books.

  3. Books: Our bookshelf was also full of memories, but given we now have a substantial collection of books on Kindle it seems pointless to keep them all. However you can tell a lot about a person by the books they have, and as they say “A house without books is like a room without windows”. While my collection of pre-internet text books on PR and Marketing will definitely go, there are a few (ok, quite a few) that we will be keeping.
  4. Photos: We still have boxes of photos and video tapes from the pre-digital age lying around the place which need to be digitised not only to rid us of clutter, but to preserve them for posterity. Technology has provided us with so many options – digital hard drives, digital photo frames and cloud storage services like flickr and dropbox mean we can hold onto these memories without creating clutter.
  5. Board Games: most board games, and card games for that matter, are now available as apps for iPad and Android. Although there is something kind of nice about sitting around a table playing a board game the old fashioned way, having them on a tablet does make them a lot more portable. Plus it means no more missing pieces….

Technology is definitely the declutterers friend, although there is always a danger to having all your eggs in one basket so to speak. If you do go down this road then there is one other piece of technology you absolutely must have – a service that helps you locate a lost tablet.


  1. Julienne says

    I left all my record albums under the house in a flat by mistake. I was converted by the new CD ‘smallness’ – Maybe it was my subconscious decluttering for me…but I miss them now that I live in a house with a turntable. Would love to have played sweet dreams after seeing Annie Lennox on the Graeme Norton show last night…but then again the record would probably have had a million scratches from being integrated with the carpet at some party back then….


  2. I threw out all my old CD cases the other day and moved my entire collection of CDs into a fat CD wallet. I hid that in a drawer. At least the wallet doesn’t take up much space. I’ll probably throw out the full wallet in a few year’s time.

    I don’t have a huge collection of cookbooks (I’ve seen much larger collections) but one I constantly refer to is the Edmond’s Cookbook. It’s rough looking and smeared with stains. Just as it should be 🙂


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