How to Streamline Your Life

Consolidate Your Gear

One of the barriers to streamlining your life is clutter. Clearing clutter from your life can help you create an ordered routine that gives you more free time to do the things you enjoy. And while clutter comes in all shapes and sizes, technology is a major contributor to the problem.

Take a look at your devices. How many of them duplicate the features of your other devices? If you were to take a trip, how many gadgets would you carry with you? Here are just a few electronic devices you might find in a typical tech geek's luggage:

There are devices on the market that are capable of performing all of these functions and more. It's true that no device is perfect at everything -- for instance, you may find a smart phone that's also a great MP3 player but has a substandard digital camera. But in some cases, you may find that the consolidated device is good enough to perform the functions you want. If it isn't, you may require a second device. But it's still better than loading up with half a dozen gadgets.

The same can be said for computer programs. You may have several different programs that all perform the same function. That's not efficient and it can cause confusion when you need to find a particular file at any moment. A single application or software suite may have everything you need to produce the files you typically use.

Hardware manufacturers are blurring the lines between small laptop computers and handheld devices like smart phones. Choosing a single device that can meet most or all your technological needs will help you avoid unnecessary clutter. Of course, it also means if you lose that device, you lose everything.

Remember that ultimately you are the most important element to streamlining your life -- no gizmo is going to do it for you. But a little help never hurt!

Find out more ways to get the most out of your devices from the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Bohl, David. "Get Prepared to Streamline Your Life." Dumb Little Man. Dec. 4, 2008. (May 14, 2009)
  • Collingwood, Jane. "Streamlining Your Life." PsychCentral. April 1, 2008. (May 14, 2009)
  • Levit, Alexandra. "Use Technology to Spend Less Time Working." Forbes. March 17, 2009. (May 13, 2009)
  • Segal, Rachel. "Get Organized! 7 Ways to Streamline Life." March 3, 2009. (May 13, 2009)