Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

28 Jan 2008, 10:21 a.m.

Clutter-prevention And Decluttering Tips

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2008 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

as I just commented on Rivka's blog (she's going to have another baby and she's moving to a better house, yay!). [Edit three days later: condolences, Rivka.]

If you have a decent digital camera and electronic storage space, or the ability to burn data to a CD or DVD, then taking pictures of things that you kinda-sorta want to keep can enable you to toss them with little regret.

It feels more doable to toss drafts and paper backups when you feel secure in your electronic backups. Set-it-and-forget-it automatic backups help a lot.

BookMooch is helping my husband get rid of books and knowing they'll go to someone who actually wants them.

The best way for me to feel okay about getting rid of semiuseful things, e.g., envelopes losing their gumminess or a folding chair we never use, is to feel rich. I am now confident that we will never feel so poor that we can't afford to buy a new one yet SIMULTANEOUSLY need it immediately or else terrible things would happen.

[I forgot to tell her about Cost-Per-Wear Charts but I think she groks that without me, as does flea from One Good Thing. But family members appreciated it a few years ago so I thought I'd mention it again. And those are fun links.]

The Staples MailMate shredder is a good, durable, stylish-enough cross-cut shredder. And it can swallow junk mail whole, as well as CDs/DVDs and credit cards and paper clips. And it automatically turns off if you pull the shreddings-bin out and expose the sharp bits. Keep it handy.