It's Friday, I'm in Love

...with my pretty pale pink nails mostly, so Thursday is the Treat Day that keeps on giving this week.

I've been decluttering my home like a demon recently (my mother visited a couple of weeks ago and proclaimed that she didn't know what I'd done with her really wasn't that messy before, honestly) and I'm really enjoying the peacefulness that having less stuff lying around, and having a place for things to go, is bringing me. I still have a list of projects - small spaces that need going through, boxes that I've put away for the time being, things that need taken to the tip or charity shop - but all my remaining clutter is at least contained and out of sight and I know that I can work on it in short bursts as time and mood allow without it taking back over (does anyone else get those hormonal peaks and troughs of what is probably a mild form of nesting? Just me? They can be very useful for bigger projects or deep cleaning). The extra energy that I have because I'm eating better and carrying less weight is having a huge, unforseen, affect on my life - I haven't exactly turned into a paragon of virtue or anything, but it's easier to be this organised person than it used to be.

Anyway, I was catching up on some of my internet sites on Monday night and one of the main ones I use was inaccessible so I found myself with a couple of hours blocked off for internet use and only about thirty minutes of catching up to do (I had visitors who were catching up on a show that they watch and I don't, I was sociably sitting in the same room on my netbook) and I came to the realisation that my virtual life is more cluttered than my real life ever was. I get a bunch of emails every day that aren't spam but that I always delete unread, my bookmarks are all over the place and I can't find anything when I want it and my twitter feed's full of people I skip over without a thought.

What a waste of my time.

Photo by Michelle Meiklejohn

So, I spent the remaining hour and a bit of internet time I had on sunday night organising my bookmarks (deleting things that were no longer relevant, making more comprehensible folders for those that were - I keep a lot of links for tech support purposes) and syncing them all up (I use Xmarks to backup my bookmarks and keep them straight between my netbook and desktop). I suspect I still need to purge a fair number but at least I can now find things without just giving up, googling for it and then realising I already have it when I try to bookmark it again. If I ever have another spare hour when I want to sit on my rear end and do very little I'll have another go over them but much like my contained real life clutter, things are at a stage now where they're not significantly impinging on my life.

I'm handling the email issue a little bit differently - not least because I don't know what I need to unsubscribe from until I receive it - I'm going little by little; clicking unsubscribe links from legitimate email newsletters (and ignoring the ones I need to email for now - 1 click's my limit), clicking "spam" on the unsolicited ones (the unsubscribe button on those is sometimes a phishing exercise so it's better to train the spam filter) and checking the accounts of anything that has an email-for-points type deal (I used to do a LOT of those in a previous tech support job as there was often significant downtime between calls. Now I'm too busy so they need to go). I discovered I had enough points to apply for a £10 M&S voucher on one of those accounts which was a nice surprise and I've gone through the rest I've received (so far) and made the decision to either totally delete my account or merely unsub from the email and keep an account and a bookmark to the site based on how many points I have there already and if there's a time limit on them. I've been doing this for three days and I'm already seeing a difference in the volume of pointless email I'm getting.

My next step with email is to set up auto filtering so that emails I want to read, but not RIGHT now bypass the inbox and go into their own folder so I can read them at a time that's more convienent to me (rather than during the 5 minute dash I have first thing in the morning). I already do this with the majority of emails pertaining to my voluntary job and the difference it makes is incredible. I don't need to see Jillian Michael's latest tip right away, but I do want to read it and see if it's something that I can apply to me, so I think this will work - I just need to decide if they need a folder per subject or just a "read it later" tag (and if any of the emails just stack up in there, then that's a reasonable indication that they need purged, too).

I haven't yet decided what to do with my Twitter feed. I'm considering lists for some of the accounts, or following from a secondary account, but I haven't worked out what will work best for me. I'll get there, this decluttering malarkey's an ongoing journey.

I'm linking up this post at A Slob Comes Clean's Decluttering Roundup for July because it's the only decluttering I've actually blogged about...

6 thoughts on “It's Friday, I'm in Love”

  1. Cleaning up your computer . . . is HUGE! I love my new(ish) laptop because it's so much less cluttered than my desktop. But really, that's only because it's new!

    I keep telling myself that I need to organize as I go with this computer, but it hasn't happened yet. (See how I act like it's supposed to just happen?)

  2. Well done on the cloud/computer decluttering. I started last year with the great goal of decluttering my favourites, emails etc but I only followed it for a little while - thank you for the reminder - I know my iTunes is entirely cluttered up with too many sermons that I'm never gonna listen to - decluttering it will give me a great start on my August decluttering.

    Well done on the weight loss also - isn't it amazing the difference even a few pounds makes to how you feel!?

    Keep up the good work!

  3. @Nony - but it IS just supposed to happen, it's on the computer (I'm sure this is what the TV told me, growing up...)

    @Yours hopefully... - Cheers - it's amazing how much extra time it's given me, actually; just shows how many moments the nonsense was stealing from me. Good Luck sorting yours out :). Thank you, I feel like a completely different person, it's wonderful :)

  4. I spent an hour last night cleaning up and organizing my emails - by the time I was done I only had 44 emails in my inbox! I started with over 300. Next I am going to reorganize my folders and *sigh* my digital pics. I am going to need a LOT of Pepsi and chocolate to get that done.

  5. @Dawn - that's some going, wow! And I'm with you on the folders and pictures (I'm not entirely sure there's enough caffeine in the universe to get me through that but we can but go little at a time, right?

  6. This is such a good feeling, I agree. I keep my Yahoo inbox to under 25 (things that are "pending" like amazon deliveries etc) and my home inbox gets cleared every month or so.
    I unsubscribed all the "newsletters" from internet companies in the last few months and my Yahoo mail is SO much speedier to check now.
    Digital clutter is a bit like mental clutter - not visible but still weighing you down, I reckon.
    Karen (Scotland)

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