Making Progress

So all was going well in my pursuit to declutter my life. Until life got in the way. On February 18th I was in a head on collision – a woman literally drove right into my car on a quiet street on a beautiful Southern California day. Needless to say that it put a stop to my weeks of organizing frenzy.

Here is what I did until then:

1. Consolidate. I took everything I wanted to review, scan, shred and keep to my garage. Emptied out my office file drawers, cupboards full of photo albums, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and even floppy disks and put it all in one place so I could see exactly what I was dealing with. And yes, it was initially overwhelming.

Everything in one place.

2. Review. I did this quickly and tried to leave emotions out of it. I set up 4 areas:
a. Keep
b. Throw away (I had garbage and recycling bins right there)
c. Shred
d. Donate/Sell

I did slow down when I got to 4 boxes of old notes, letters, mementos and photos so I put them in a separate area to review more thoroughly later.

Important stuff to review later.

3. Scan. Using the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M, I started by scanning important documents and photos. I was frustrated at first but then read the instructions (duh!) and it was super easy to get everything digitized.

Getting ready to scan.

4. Donate. While I was recovering from the accident, I couldn’t tackle the garage so I decided to go through my books and see if I could give some away since there were books everywhere (outside of the library) and the bookshelves were buckling. In an amazing burst of energy, I managed to find 500 books to donate. I made piles on the dining room floor and had them picked up by American Book Drive a few days later. They even brought the boxes. I must say that I haven’t missed a single book.

Books to give away.

5. Sell. This project too was stalled but I did manage to sell some camera equipment (tripod and audio) which will help pay for all the media scanning ahead. I have taken photos of all the stuff I want to sell and plan to put it up on Craigslist and eBay shortly.

Stuff to sell.

Was it hard work? Not really. It was actually fun to go through stuff and relive some memories and moments I’d forgotten about. And get back in touch with people I’d lost contact with.

I’m happy to say that I’m on the mend and will be getting back into it full force soon. And providing all the details to boot.

What’s left:

15 file boxes to scan
Media to digitize
Stuff to sell
Boxes to shred – there will be 26 in total after I’m done scanning
Digital files on Mac and PC

More to come…

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