After four days (!) of decluttering your closet, it’s now time to declutter your media. By media, we mean books, magazines, papers, DVDs, CDs, etc. This is one of the hardest areas to whittle down, so we’re giving you tips to help. Let’s get started with Day 8 of the MVMT 14 Bags in 14 Days Decluttering Challenge.
DECLUTTER YOUR MEDIA
First, separate your media into categories. Put all the books together, all the DVDs together, and so on. After you’ve done that, it’s time to decide what to keep and what to give or throw away.
DECLUTTER YOUR BOOKS
Unlike most items, which you keep only if you have used them within the past year, books build a personal library that is timeless. This does not, however, mean that you must keep every book you have ever owned! Assess your book collection and decide which categories of literature are important to you. Do you want your library to reflect your interest in the classics, your love of biographies, or dedication to self-help? Set aside the books that fall within your main categories and then look at what’s left. You may have really enjoyed that paperback romance novel when you read it on the beach, but do you need to keep it for all time? Eliminate the books that fall outside of your main categories.
Looking back at your main categories pile, are there still just too many books? Ask yourself if the title or author can help you achieve your life goals. If yes, put the book back on the shelf. If you’re unsure, put it in another pile. Once all the books are either in this new pile or on the shelf, it’s time to look at the pile and ask yourself if you will read the book in the next year. (Like, for real, for real.) If not, put it with the other eliminated books. If yes, put it back on the shelf.
DECLUTTER YOUR MAGAZINES
Magazines are definitely more time-specific than books. You do not need a fashion magazine from 2002, trust us. If there is something special about a magazine (if it is a special collector’s edition, for example), then you can make a case for keeping it. Otherwise, throw out any magazines that are more than a year old. If there is a particular article that you want to keep from a magazine, check to see if it is available online. If not, you can scan the article and save it on your computer or clip the article and save it in a binder.
DECLUTTER YOUR DVDS
As with cassettes, floppy disks, and VHS tapes, there simply comes a time to say goodbye to dated technology. When you declutter your media, ask yourself if the DVDs in your collection can be easily accessed on a streaming service that you already use at no extra cost. Do you still watch the DVD or has it languished in its case for the past decade? Is the definition quality of the DVD still good or would you be better off watching the movie in 4K?
SO MUCH PAPER
Decluttering paper can be overwhelming, so the major tip here is to organise it as much as possible as soon as it enters your home. Junk mail , for example, goes straight in the bin.
If you’re past that point and need to declutter your media now, look at the papers and decide what is necessary to keep. You might need to keep bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, medical bills, pay stubs, and insurance paperwork on file for at least a year. There are certain types of paperwork that you will need to hold onto for a very long time, such as contracts, loan documents, lease documents and paperwork related to your home and/or vehicle ownership. Make sure that these important documents are stored safely. Most critically, birth/death/marriage certificates and other legal documents should be kept in a fireproof safe or, alternatively, in a safety deposit box.
Once your important papers are safely filed and stored, look at what’s left. Any non-personal, out of date paperwork can go straight into the trash. Papers with identifying information should be shredded before disposal.
Congratulations! You’ve filled up your eighth bag of the MVMT 14 Bags in 14 Days Decluttering Challenge!