Living Simply as a Minimalist in The Cloud

posted in: Digital Minimalism, Digitizing Life | 1

I continue to plug-away at my “Operation Cloud” project, and am pleased that the (relatively) small amount of free time I’ve been able to dedicate to it has already resulted in tangible benefits.

Meanwhile, in other news….

One of the (other) topics that’s always fascinated me is the concept of minimalism, or simple living. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out to do a Gandhi thing, nor am I consumed with “owning fewer than X” things, but after (too many) moves, packing, unpacking, I’ve come to realize that I have more “stuff” than I need or want.

What does that have to do with Operation Cloud, and Digitizing Life?

For me, the desire to be more minimalistic is simply to get rid of the “stuff” that’s not necessary, and through Operation Cloud, I’m discovering that digitizing life is a fantastic start.

The past couple of weeks, for example, I’ve been converting all of our music to files, and uploading our (overly large) collection to The Cloud.

Last night, I realized I’d completely eliminated the need for close to 300 CDs, which now sit in a pile, ready to be shipped to my son (may the force be with him).

The space those discs used to occupy is now vacant, leaving us with a cleaner, less cluttered living area, and most importantly (to me), a lot less stuff to move-around, pack, unpack, and store, and the extra bonus is that I can now listen to our music anywhere, any time, on any device… Something I could never do with a CD I’d forgotten to bring-along with me.


For that, I thank Google Music.

google_musicAnother cool benefit of this project, related to minimalism, is the digitizing of “good, old-fashioned vinyl LPs.”

For anyone who remembers (don’t worry, my kids don’t, either) vinyl records were deceptively heavy in quantity. I can’t tell you how much our old vinyl collection weighed, but I can tell you that movers always cringed when it came to those countless boxes of albums.

And they took-up a LOT of space.

As part of this project, we got a “digital turntable” (with built-in A-D converters, and a USB connection), and “digitized” the ones that meant something to us. From that point-forward, they were files like anything else, and have since been added to Google Music.

When I was done, we sold the record collection to a gentleman who made three trips in a large SUV hauling the records away, and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I’d never have to deal with moving them again.

Between the CDs, the vinyl, and the four filing cabinets of documents that are now scanned, and in The Cloud, I estimate we’ve eliminated close to 20 cubic yards of (very heavy) stuff, and if that’s not a minimalistic, simple living accomplishment, I can’t imagine what is.