Clutter -Free in ’23


The title of this post is taken from a comment I read a couple of days ago in a Facebook decluttering group.

My first task for the new year is not physical clutter but that insidious beast – digital clutter.

I have previously written on several occasions about trying to keep our emails under control. In fact, while re-reading past posts on the subject, I found mention of the ‘All Mail’ being between 1500 and 5000 emails at times. Over a number of years I have managed to consistently keep the total to less than 500, then 250 and even hovering around 150. The last few months have seen me cull them further to keep ‘All Mail’ to less than 100. Right now it is 66 which is very pleasing.

I found this post today which is a really helpful reminder of all the ways digital clutter can accumulate.

There are so many corners of your phone, computer and the internet where digital clutter may be lurking.

Every time I open WordPress to write a new blog post I am confronted by the fact that I have 73 posts in draft format. What?? But no more. Today I checked each and every one of those drafts that have accumulated over the almost 12 years of writing this blog and found that most of them were no longer even remotely relevant. The majority were not much more than a title or a few words. So, I had a great time deleting them all. I now have 3 drafts which I kept as I believe that they have the makings of posts worthy of publication in the future.

I do not keep thousands of photos on my phone as I regularly download them to the laptop and delete from the phone. However, I have not been as diligent as I could be with the next step of sorting and cataloguing them. The folder of ‘Camera Imports’ has multiple folders that have been downloaded in 2022 so I am working through organising them at the moment. Sorting a lifetime of photos is not a job for the faint-hearted so I try to break it into small blocks.

Keeping track of my ‘Contacts’ is another work in progress. I need to tidy and update them where necessary and check that the same information is on both my phone and the computer. Although it is not a digital issue, I do also have a physical hard-copy address book which I am not quite ready to let go of yet. I will cross-check the information in there with the digital contacts list.

I really think that the key to successful digital decluttering is a regular schedule of maintenance as outlined in in the post I linked above.

Do you have any particular tips to share on this topic. I would love to hear how you manage your digital resources.

The Long Haul

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I have begun a new project and as the title indicates, it is not something that will be completed quickly.

The sorting, cataloging and culling of my photos has begun in earnest.  The first step is the digital files, so there is really very little to show.  I had files duplicated on 2 computers as well as some of them on an external hard drive.  They are now all consolidated onto a single device.  There are currently over 17,000 files.  They include nearly 1,000 prints that I scanned some years ago.  There are still more to scan but they can wait until the next stage as I want to get all of the digital files sorted before I add any more.  Some of the files are duplicates and others will undoubtedly be culled.  At least I only have a handful of images on my phone as I regularly download those to the computer.

There have been several attempts to do this over a number of years but it was simply to big a job to tackle while I was working but a combination of retirement and an extended period of self-isolation has proved to be the perfect formula for tackling this task.

Previous attempts have helped me to come up with a digital filing method and naming convention that will allow me to find and access particular images with relative ease in the future.

There is lots of fun in finding some blasts from the past.

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I intend to try to do at least a little bit of this project every day but I also have plenty else to keep me occupied and interested.  Tomorrow I will be helping GMan with his latest garden project – building new compost bays.

Digital Declutter


Today I had a clean-up on the computer, most specifically, emails.

2015-10-30 01Our regular email address is with gmail and we also run one through Outlook.  I have been trying to unsubscribe from several sites which regularly dump emails in my Inbox as well as deleting ones that are no longer required but clearly that strategy was not working terribly well as in the category of “All Mail” there were 4,443 items!!  It was time to get ruthless so GMan and I set to work.  “All Mail” now contains 273 emails – a reduction of 4,130.  This will be further reduced in a couple of weeks as I am holding quite a number of emails until after we have been to Adelaide for the memorial service.

The Outlook mail was a much smaller bundle but it is now down to less than 50 items.

As always, one thing leads to another and I have also sorted/deleted/filed the bookmarks and downloads as well as our documents on the computer.

However, before you start thinking how virtuous I am, let me remind you that the photos are still a huge work in progress along with dreams of cataloging the music.  They are still ‘one day’ projects.

Just like physical decluttering, my efforts today make me feel much better.

Decluttering 101


I have been decluttering for over 10 years now but I am not really sure when I started.  In fact, I had never even heard of the word until, perhaps 5 years ago and the concept of minimalism only entered my consciousness even more recently.

There are as many ways to approach decluttering as there are people on the planet.

I have heard of instances where people have decluttered their whole home in a weekend.  They ordered a skip, almost stripped their home bare and threw the excess in the skip.  I do not know what their long-term success rate was like but I suspect that it was a bit like a crash diet. The rebound effect brings you back to the same point as where you started or worse.

The slow and steady approach is my way and it also fits with my philosophy of minimising waste and making do with what I have.  I had numerous mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser from hotel visits.  I have gradually used them up until they are all gone.

I have no doubt that the key to successfully decluttering your home is to stop bringing more stuff into it.  Unless you can get rid of the endless stream of possessions coming in, nothing is achieved.  It is time to alter your mindset and cease the constant inflow.

Although I do not write regularly about what I have decluttered, rarely a day goes by without me moving something out. It may be physical items or even that very insidious junk – digital clutter.  When was the last time you checked your email inbox?  Is it overflowing with offers, freebies and emails that you haven’t even read?  Get set with the delete and unsubscribe functions!

Here are some of the things that I have re-homed recently.

Large chest of drawers – sold on Gumtree
2 suitcases – given away via Freecycle
Mirror in frame – given away via Freecycle
2 zips – sent to a friend
Paper napkins – sent in response to an online request
3 men’s polo shirts – given to op shop
Skirt and 2 tops – given to op shop
4 cookbooks – given to op shop

What have you decluttered recently?