Do You Really Need That?

As budding minimalists, we have been steadily decluttering our home and our lives. Today we cleared out about half of what was on the “work bench” in the garage. Several boxes will go to the thrift store, one box will be saved for the “estate sale” next summer, and we ended up with a dozen bottles and cans of car care products and a complete tool box. Lots of stuff went in the garbage or recycling. The question we kept asking was, “Do you really need that?”

While clearing out the junk, we came upon a box with a bunch of music CD’s (which we don’t use anymore since we have iTunes on the computers and phones). Along with those CD’s there were at lease a dozen or more DVD’s with home movies. Of course, we realized that we hadn’t watched them in a long time, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to throw them out. This was history!

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So the rest of my day is spent re-encoding the videos and uploading them to a private channel on YouTube. That way, we can watch them whenever we want, share then with family, and get rid of these DVD’s that are taking up space in the garage. I found out that, if you are in good standing with YouTube, you can upload movies up to 12 hours in length. No copyrighted stuff here, folks! Just your own stuff.

In keeping with the DVD declutter, I posted a list of most the movie DVD’s we still owned on our family Facebook page and am sharing them with family members. The rest will go to the public library.

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I am feeling really grateful for the digital age we live in now.  All these home movies can be stored on a cloud and retrieved and shared whenever we want and wherever we are.

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Tame the Paper Monster Once and For All

The paper was stacking up something fierce and it seemed that the boxes of old photographs were multiplying in the garage.  It would be a bit overwhelming for most people, but for a beginning minimalist, the task of decluttering all that paper seemed impossible!

After doing some research and watching a bunch of decluttering stuff on Youtube, I decided that scanning and storing digital copies of all of it was the way to go.  Now, how to do it?

We have always had a flatbed scanner as part of an all-in-one printer, but it is slow and is in an inconvenient location for an extended scanning session.  I figured there had to be a better way, so it was back to the internet for some more research.

Enter the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i — my new best friend!

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The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i is the answer to the minimalist’s paper dilemma. It’s small, so it doesn’t take up a lot of storage space (It fits perfectly in the bottom of my Hex computer duffle, along with all the cords).  It is fast – I mean fast – and, it has a variety of options for document type and storage location.  My favorite is to scan and link into Evernote to make searching easier, but for the photographs, I just scan them all into one folder and then upload to my online cloud storage.

My dining room table is the best place to setup.  I just plug the scanner into the wall outlet, then to my Macbook Pro.  My computer recognizes the scanner right away and then it’s ready to go.  Did I mention how fast it is?  Not only fast, but it scans both sides of the paper at the same time.  Brilliant!  I power through stacks of receipts, warranties, personal papers, genealogy docs, and photographs in no time flat.

Another great feature that I haven’t tried yet is powering the scanner through my laptop.  The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i comes with a regular power cord, a converter brick with cord and the USB cord to connect to the computer.  As an alternative to plugging into the wall outlet, it also comes with a USB to BUS power cord which powers the scanner from your computer.  So, as my husband, Mark, says it, “You can scan anywhere!”  Yes, well, anywhere you have a laptop too, but that IS a rather convenient feature.

Like a lot of tech gadgets, this is an investment.  There were cheaper scanners out there, but without the good reviews.  ScanSnap also makes other models, and I was looking at a larger one, but it was a whole lot more money and I was concerned about storage and mobility.  As I mentioned, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i fits neatly in the bottom part of my Hex bag and is ready for action at a moments notice.

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Need more tech specs and feature info?  Visit the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i web site for all the juicy details, then head on over to Amazon for the best price.

Do you have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i or other scanner? Let me know your thoughts.  If you have any questions about this scanner or getting rid of paper clutter, just leave it in the comment section below.

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