In these trying times, it makes sense to get a little bit leaner, and operate with less clutter and less need for physical space. When you free up the physical space, you’ll find you open some mental space too.

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That stress reduction can put you on cloud nine, and that’s all the reason you’ll need to inspire you to start moving your stuff to the cloud! Here’s a list of five ways to get in the cloud.

1. Music

Music once took a lot of physical space in your home, in the form of LPs, cassettes, CDs, and stereo equipment. More recently it’s become huge files of digital memory on your computer.

Thanks to new streaming options with most music stores, you can buy tunes in the cloud and keep it there. This has also become more practical because bandwidth rates have speeded up, and data plans are cheaper (or at least, not more expensive).

So put your tunes in the cloud, and toss those CD cases into the recycling bin!

2. Dropbox

Dropbox and similar file-sharing services give you storage for photos, and other light files like resumes or sound clips.

3. Photos

Like music, photos now have a cloud storage option with Apple and other providers. They’re going to charge you an annual fee for it, but it’s cheaper than what you used to spend on prints and film, not to mention photo albums, and what you’d spend now in gasoline to go take the film in or pick up your prints.

Photo storage might seem expensive, until you remember the way it used to be!

4. Videos

Videos take a lot of physical storage space, so make use of sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and file storage zones to upload your videos and keep them there. The other big advantage is that you’ll be able to share them with others much easier, without having to gather around your own television!

5. Documents, receipts, and anything you’re storing in a file cabinet

Everything. All of it. You don’t need it in your office or your house, as long as it’s in the cloud, and backed up. So scan it, store it in the cloud, and forget about it. There are some really excellent online document storage companies, for example, Scantronix, which specializes in this type of service that’s become essential to lean-operating consumers and businesses alike!

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