We’re putting our lives on a diet

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After decades of acquiring and complicating, I’m going in the opposite direction. I’m downsizing. Uncomplicating. Uncluttering.

This week, my wife and I started a major spring cleaning. (You can do that in February in California.) We’re going through closets and storage cabinets, file boxes and dresser drawers.

It’s astounding to see how much we have collected. We’re not pack rats. We’re pretty good about “not buying too much” and “not keeping too much”. And yet we’ve already gone through and disposed of (trash, re-cycle, give-away) more than I thought we even owned.

Simple. Clean. Minimal. Relaxing. That’s the feeling I want to achieve.

I donated over thirty boxes of books to my library bookstore. They were taking up room in storage. If I want to read any of them again, I’ll replace them with an ebook version.

Lean. Light. Uncomplicated.

We’re getting rid of TVs we no longer watch. (We cancelled cable two years ago. If there’s anything we want to see, we watch it online.) And furniture we no longer use. We’re going through everything, drawing hard lines about what we will keep and what we won’t.

Less. Fewer. Modern. Efficient.

One of my goals is to become paperless this year. We’ve already converted most of our billing accounts to online. We no longer carry subscriptions to newspapers or magazines. We print very few documents anymore. We prefer to save them to Evernote where they are searchable and safely stored in the cloud.

I work from home. My wife and I agree, we want to live and work in an environment that is simple and uncluttered. Sometimes it’s difficult to get rid of possessions we’ve had in our lives for many years, but once you begin, it gets easier. And since we began, I can tell you it feels great.

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Comments

  1. Way to go David! Our 12 year old son came down stairs after homework last night with a big smile on his face. He told us he just spent the last 45 minutes cleaning off his desk and it made him feel really good everything was neat and organized. Looks to me like whatever the age, it just feels good to get organized and simplify things!

  2. That’s great! Going paperless sounds amazing–but oh, so hard! What kind of steps are you taking to get to that point? Although I mostly deal in emails, there are so many clients that prefer paper.
    New Jersey Product Liability Attorneys

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Going paperless is a process, not something I’m trying to do overnight. First, you reduce the amount of paper coming in, i.e., ebanking, ebills, ebooks, etc. Next phase is scanning and shredding incoming paper. I store these in Evernote (See my book on the subject at http://organizedlawyer.com). Last phase is one I may never get to and that is going back and scanning old files and papers in storage. I might just let those “expire”.

      As for your clients, you can generate paper for them for them (or email pdfs they can print). That doesn’t mean you have to keep your copy on paper.

      Take it slow, Jennifer. I think you’ll find it feels great!

      David

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