Category: Declutter

Digital Declutter – March and April!

I know I’m a bit late to the party, posting my March sum-up being we’re in May and all… but here it is anyways 😉

As my shoulder wouldn’t allow me much time on the computer since the last March update, there isn’t really all that much to tell. So this one will be short and sweet 😉

E-mails:
Even though March decluttering was mostly about cleaning up my hard-drives. I couldn’t quite leave the e-mails alone 🙂

05.03.18 – 26.03.18 – Outlook file no 13 – From 10228 to 0 = 10228.

10 228 deleted e-mails – minus the emails that have ended up “permanently” in File no 1 (yeah, you have to read February’s update for this) which are 1527 added e-mails.  That makes March/April = 8 701 decluttered e-mails 

Hard-drive declutter:
Since my mid March update, I haven’t done much on the hard-drives either. You might remember I started out with about 1,001,766 files and 2,20 TB of data!

Today this is what my hard’drive is at:  

That’ s 620 GB and 339 140 files deleted so far 🙂 Still way’s to go – but it’s gonna have to wait for a while.

Adding it up with this years total and we get:

Bookmarks – 1625
E-mails – 44 496
Files – 339 140 (620 GB)

That should make the total so far this year = 385 261 digital “items out-the-door”. 

Yup, that’s it for this time.. told you it would be short 😉

Data Devices galore!

As you all know – or at least some of you know – I’m working my way through my digital life.

After having deleted 35 360 e-mails in February, I decided to put the e-mail decluttering on hold for the month of March.

At the beginning of the year I wrote a little piece about ALL the data I have 😦 Stored on 8 external hard drive’s, 11 memory sticks, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, computers etc.

Since a lot of the data are backups and backups of backups… I know a lot of the information is the same.

I needed a game plan: So I decided to put most of the data onto one hard drive. I’m thinking that this might make it easier to consolidate and find duplicates.

And this is what I did earlier this month. I consolidated data from all my memory sticks, 6 of my external hard drives + my Dropbox and iCloud photo storage.

This is what I ended up with – one drive with:

Oh boy! That’s 1,001,766 files and 2,20 TB of data – and that isn’t even everything!!!! I think I need to lie down :-/

You might notice I only consolidated 6 out of 8 hard drives.. the reason?

  • One of the extra hard drive which has about 201 774 files and 95 Gb of data – will in it’s entirely be deleted – so no reason to add it to everything else 😉
  • The other one has my 2 computers Factory Resets + Image backup from when I installed windows 10. So these files will stay… this is non generational as I will need them if anything (God forbid) should happen to my computers.

Over the last couple of weeks.. Iv’e been chugging along, deleting a little here and there… and I’m currently at:

That’ s 600 GB and 330 748 files deleted so far 🙂 But as you can see.. I have a long way yet to go, before I’m done (sad face).

At this pace it might be months before I’m done.. but hey! This is my ONE big project this year, to get my digital life somewhat in check 😉

How are you dealing with your digital life?

Digital Declutter – February

It’s time for another digital update. 

I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately… but as some of you know.. I have limited time I can sit by my PC (health reasons). So guess what! My allotted computer time has been spent roaming through my digital clutter.

I have mentioned before that I have a shit load (pardon the french) of data to sort through. There are music, videos, documents, e-mails, bookmarks, software… you name it, I’ve got it.

Three weeks ago I decided to tackle some of the mountains of e-mails I have lurking around.

You see, not only do I have a lot of e-mail hanging around in my daily used e-mail accounts. But I also have a bunch of backups. Backups going back to when I first started using e-mails in the early 1990s. Not only do I have backups of my personal e-mail accounts, but I also have a few backups from my work mail account (as I had a bit of personal stuff going into my work mail).

Believe or not – my last count wielded about 34 backups equaling 12,8 GB of data. Yeah, that read tens of thousands of e-mail (probably more like around hundred thousand e-mails)

A lot of the backup files has the same e-mails… mostly because I did a poor job at deleting old backups when I made new ones 😦

I know there are software out there, that will let me consolidate and find duplicates. But I don’t have any of this type of software on my computer, so I’m going about it the old fashion way.

I use Microsoft Outlook as my main e-mail program – and one of the finesses of that program, is that I can open old Microsoft Outlook backups (.pst files) within the program. Opening a .pst file as opposed to importing it.. means the file ads itself as a separate mail “account”. I like this because I can work on the attached file without mixing everything with my current daily e-mails.

Example of added files

To keep some sort of control this is how my process is:

I started out adding one file (File no 1) – cleaned the heck out of it (from 6687 down to 756).

Then I added a new file (File no 2) – cleaned that one down to what I wanted to keep. Then, since I knew some of the e-mail in file no 2, was the same as I already had in file no 1, I had to find a way to easily find the duplicates.

To find my duplicates – I do the following in the file I’m currently cleaning (e.g. File 2)

  • I mark all e-mails as unread
  • I mark all e-mails with a category color (red or blue or green….)
  • I change font color on unread e-mails to the color red.
    This is how to do that; Go to  View, View settings, Conditional formatting, “choose color/font style for your unread e-mails”, Click OK, and OK again.  While you are still in the same view – go to Change View, Apply current view to other mail folders, Mark the outlook file(s) you want this to apply for, Mark of “Apply view to subfolders”, and Click OK – and presto all unread email is now the color and font style of your choice 🙂

When all the e-mail left in File no 2 was marked with the color of red and with a category color, I moved the e-mails from File no 2 to File no 1.

Since a lot of my e-mails was already organized in a folder structure, I moved it to the equivalent folder in File 1.  Then all I needed to do was go to the respective folders, sorted it according to date, and I could easily compare File 2 mails with File 1 mails as File 2 mails was the color of red and marked with a category color. The duplicates then was deleted.

As you can see, it’s easy to find the duplicates according to e-mail topic and date.

I’m using File no 1 as my default catchall, and as I’m going through and “nulling” out mailboxes, I am moving the keepers (well at least the current keepers), to File no 1 for comparison. Since not all e-mails are duplicates, File no 1 is slowly growing in size. When I am done going through all the other backups and extra mailboxes, I will perform a final cleanup of File no 1 to get rid of the “trash”.

Decluttered e-mails:

Now that I’ve semi explained my process – it’s time to get back to how I’ve been doing with my e-mail decluttering:

  • 14.02.18 – To ease into it I started with my G-mail account (which was in desperate need of decluttering) – deleted 2421
  • 17.02.18 – 20.02.18 – Outlook file no 1 – From 6687 to 756 = 5931 (this is my default move and compare file)
  • 20.02.18 – 21.02.18 – Outlook file no 2 – From 6786 to 0 = 6786
  • 21.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 3 – From 5166 to 0 = 5166
  • 24.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 4 – From 377 to 0 = 377
  • 24.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 5 – From 238 to 0 = 238
  • 24.02.18 – 24.02.18 – Outlook file no 6 – From 1707 to 1121 = 586 (really, really old stuff – I’ll leave the rest for later)
  • 25.02.18 – 25.02.18 – Outlook file no 7 – From 441 to 0 = 441
  • 25.02.18 – 25.02.18 – Outlook file no 8 – From 1464 to 0 = 1464
  • 25.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 9 – From 7568 to 0 = 7568
  • 27.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 10 – From 550 to 0 = 550
  • 27.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 11 – From 279 to 0 = 279
  • 27.02.18 – 27.02.18 – Outlook file no 12 – From 441 to 0 = 441
  • 28.02.18 – 28.02.18 – Outlook file no 13 – From 14187 to 10228 = 3959 (had a break – I’ll dive right back tomorrow)

By my calculations that should be about : 36 207 deleted e-mails – except – I have to deduct the amount of e-mails that have ended up “permanently” in File no 1.

File no 1 – new total 1603 minus old total 756 = 847 added e-mail

Which brings my total for February to – 35 360 decluttered e-mails 

Adding it up with January’s and we get:

Bookmarks – 1625
E-mails – 35795

That should make the total so far this year =37 420 digital “items out-the-door” 😉 

Now – wish me luck as I dive right back into e-mail hell!!!

Digital Declutter – January

Happy Valentines, everybody! 

I was thinking it was time to give you an update about how my digital declutter is going. 

It’s taken me a while to post this January status, due to my head playing up again.  When my headaches gets bad, I tend to cut down on my computer time, as hanging around the computer makes it worse.  Which means I pretty much haven’t been on my computer, since… yep, you’ve guessed it, since last time you heard from me.

I had all these elaborate plans for showing you pictures of before and after for each bullet below… but for the sake of getting this post out there, I’m going to take a cue from John and Barb, at Decluttering the stuff and just write it all out.

      • E-mails – I’ve got a ton of emails to go through (thousands of emails) as I have a bunch of e-mail backup files (more on this later). For now however I’m just going to be digging into one of my everyday accounts, my main account. I started out with 2065, and are now at 1630. That’s 2065 minus 1630 = 435 e-mails decluttered.

     

      • Bookmarks – Deleting bookmarks turned out to be a bit of a pain –
        I started out with almost 3000 bookmarks! I chipped away at it a little every day, and after a good week I was down on the 1200 level – and then – a hiccup!
        Something went wrong with a synchronization between iCloud, Google and Internet Explorer.. and suddenly I had 3332 bookmarks in my Favourites folder. Noooooo!!! Guess who had to start over 😦
        Thankfully I remembered some of the major deletes, so within a short time I was down to a more manageable number to chip away at.Today I’ve got 1375 bookmarks sitting nicely in my Favourites folder. So I guess that makes 3000 minus 1375 = 1625 bookmarks decluttered  (decluttered twice.. mind you 😉 )

     

I have to admit, it’s been kinda fun cleaning up old bookmarks. It’s been fun, because the bookmarks shows where my interest and focus has been. I’ve been roaming through topics like cars, IT user equipment, minimalist wallets, DIY sheds, house stuff (for when I was building my house), travel, golf ++ just to mention a few. It’s almost like looking at old photos.. it takes you down memory line 😉

So here you have it – total decluttered =2060 digital “items”

Hello 2018!

It’s amazing how fast time goes… 2017 went by in a whirl… and here we are, 2018!

I know a lot of people make elaborate new years resolutions, and they make a long list of plans for what they will be filling the new year with. Me, I have only a few things on my list;

Outside of my health, my goals are to travel and get my digital “life” under control!

My health I seem to have absolutely no control over! Even so.. I’m forever trying to figure it all out, and off course, that won’t stop, regardless of what year we are in!

Since I got sick, I’ve had to put a lot of my travel wish list, on hold. This year (health permitted) I am planning on checking off a couple of boxes on that list. More on this later 😉

The one task I probably have the most control over, is sorting out my digital life/clutter.

In today’s society there is so much that is going on in a digital form. There are social medias, emails, internet banking, different memberships, blogs, you name it.. it’s there!

A lot of us store files in some sorts of Cloud storage and some of us have a lot of data stored at home on physical media.

Over the next weeks and months, I will talk about the different digital areas, that some of us might want to minimize.

Today however I want to talk about the data I have stored at home… I have a mountain of it!

Between two (or really three, old one I don’t use anymore) PCs, eight external hard drive’s, 11 memory sticks, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud and three different email accounts, I have tons, and tons of files.

Not only are there thousands of files, but I have backups and backups of backups, I’m sure there are even backups of backups of backups… you get the drift.

I have several hundred thousand different files like; software programs, videos, photos, documents, emails and more. I did a count… you won’t believe me.. but there are around 1.155.825 files, and that’s only my external hard drives.  I’m not even taking into account what’s on my computers, in my cloud storage’s and individual emails… I think I’m gonna cry 😢

I have singles, duplicates, triplicates and I’m sure, even some quadruplicate versions of files, documents, photos, videos, you name it, floating around.

I think it’s time to get it all under control 😉

On those before mentioned hard drives, the ones that totaled up 1.155.825 individual files…. there are 2217 GB (gigabyte) of data.  Now add my PC’s, memory sticks and cloud storage’s – we are talking something  around the border of 2350 GB, and I’m sure something else I forgot is gonna pop up somewhere.

I have a large goal for this clean up.. and I’m almost hesitant to tell you all about it, because I’m not even sure it’s achievable, considering I have a lot of music, videos and photos I want to keep… but I’m gonna throw it out there anyways.

OK.. here goes…

Hang on a minute…

“Taking a deep breath..”

OK…

No wait!

OK.. I’m ready…

My goal is to get down to 500 GB or less.

I know for some this doesn’t sound like it should be hard at all.. but for me.. this is huge.. I have decluttered my data before and removed a lot of stuff, so this is not my first time around.

And I can’t be heavy handed either, when deleting stuff, as I have to be careful about not throwing out important documents that I need to keep, like files related to my health, insurances, work ++

The thing, I think will be the most tedious part, is when I start consolidating files, to make sure I only have one copy instead of a gazillion copies.. it’s going to take forever! But this I’m sure you will hear more about when I get to it.

So there we have it.. reduce my digital stuff down to 1/5 of what I have today!

Oh boy.. this is gonna be hard.. good thing I have a full year 😉

And guess when I’ll be starting this? Yep.. there is no time like tomorrow!

See you then… 🙂

 

Adding to the numbers!

Christmas is over, and the new year is only a few hours away (at least here in Norway).

B and I spend Christmas in UK this year. Hanging out with my brother, his wife, his wife’s uncle and my mum 🙂 This year we tried the best we could to keep our “gifts” to usable/edible items, things like chocolate, marzipan, candy’s and kakemenn (for my brother.. he loves them), stuff that you can pretty much only get in Norway (as most of them are made here). I think we left them happily munching on stuff when we left to go home 😉

We have been back a couple of days, and as we are nearing the new year, I decided I needed one more run towards a declutter goal I had this year, that I haven’t told you about before!

When I finally finished this year’s 21 day challenge in August, I was thinking;

“Hey I’m almost at a 1000 items, I should be able to shed a few more during this year. I have another 4 months to go… ”

And I thought out this elaborate plan that maybe I should shoot for decluttering as many items during 2017 as I have written about on this blog since I started my declutter journey in 2014.

So how many items would that be then missus Anne?

Well, lets see now – that would be 634 items in 2014, 561 items in 2015 and 437 items in 2016… (mumbling and calculating under my breath… ) – that’s 1632 items!
I should be able to do that!! I still have 4 months to go.. no problem!!! (remember.. this is what I was thinking in August.)

Well here we are, at the last day of December and my total for the year is at 1508 – that’s 124 items away from my imaginary 1632!

I’ve been thinking about this, and it probably didn’t matter if I did it or not… but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.. I really want to get to the 1632!

I have a lot of digital decluttering that needs doing, something that will be my main focus in 2018.  I decided to cheat and start early, and what better place to start than my iPad mini, which I use every day.

So that’s what I did!

I knew I had way, and I mean way to many apps hanging around on my iPad, and that I could really do with a cleanup. I checked (Settings/General/About) and found that I had 468 third party apps residing on my iPad. I know.. crazy, right! Who need that many apps? Well I certainly don’t… even so.. I found it harder than I thought to whittle down the apps. For the purpose of a count of items, I’ve decided 5 apps = 1 item

 

From 468, to 318 = 150 apps less
= 30 items

 

Getting some of the apps out of the way, I decided to move on to my iPad emails! One of my challenges with e-mails is that, with my e-mail provider, they sync to the iPad, iPhone, PC and remains on the server. Problem is, when I delete something, I need to do it on all 4 places 😦 (haven’t figured a way around this yet). So safe to say, it’s a pain keeping up on it all, and it shows…

To find out how many e-mails I had on my iPad, I marked all emails with a flag, so the total would show in the Flagged section of my email program (now.. this is probably not a good idea, if you already have a lot of flagged emails for later reference – I had some, but I checked them first to see if any was important to remember anymore, and they weren’t). For the items count, I’ve decided that 10 emails = 1 item

From 2007, to 1296 = 711 emails gone
= 71 items

 

Just to throw in some actual physical stuff – I figured that shredding a pile of papers that was waiting to go, probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

I have a portable shredder that I use with a specific trash bin. I can typically shred around 200-250 pieces of paper before the bin is full. Food store receipts? Well then we are talking probably 700-800. Since I’m counting items, I have decided that one full bin equals 10 items out-the-door. This time around, it was a mix of regular paper and store receipts, which equals a lot of single pieces of paper. 

I shredded 3 bins full
= 30 items

That’s a total of 131 items for today! 

And my new grand total for 2017 = 1639!

I guess I passed my silent goal of 1632, yayyy 😉

That’s it for 2017 – no more decluttering!

Until next year 😉 

 

 

Double 7 – turned into a triple 7!

I’ve finished my my double/triple 7!  

I have to say, I’m a bit surprised how well it went. I decluttered more than my goal. I wrote on my blog every day!  And I added one more 7 day that I finished today.

One more? I thought you were doing two 7 day tasks – decluttering and blog! 

You are right, those are the two I told you about, but Monday night (day 1), I decided to throw one more into the mix to make it a real 7-7-7.

Since my health has been really up and down for a while, I have become quite a couch potato.

So I had a chat with B about maybe doing one more 7 day task. A 7 days activity task, just to get out of the house.

Wouldn’t matter what weather it was, we were going for a walk or at least, get out of the door, even if it was only for doing errands or walking around the house.

If nothing else, regardless how bad the weather was, we were at least going to put outdoor clothing on and walk outside!!!

We started Tuesday! And today our 7 days are up! And we did good!

We have been out, ever day. A few days the weather has been terrible, so those days we pretty much ran errands, in all sorts of stores (plant places, food places, Christmas gift stores). Outside of shopping, we have done stuff for my step-mum, we have tidied up a couple of graves for Christmas and we have gone for walks, short ones and a little longer ones.

Yeah, I know it’s nothing impressive like running marathons or biking 10 miles every day, but hey, we have been out and about – every day! That’s better than staying on that couch.

Now I just have to keep it up, and hopefully turn some of the errands into proper walks instead 😉

A sum up!

And hey, this is my 8 day of blogging – so maybe there is hope?

See you soon!

 

Double 7 – Sunday!

It’s Sunday and we are at day 7 of my 7 day thing.

This is what we woke up to this morning 😉

The rumor is it’s only going to last a couple of days, so rather than spend time on decluttering, I started my day shoveling snow. Gotta clear those pavements!

 

It’s been a beautiful day, we have been out and about, inhaled way too much fresh air, and I’m all tired now 😉

So I’m sure you’ll forgive me for making this declutter post short and sweet!

All I’ve got for you today, is a bunch of random stuff from around the house.

A few things from the bathroom, a few things from the kitchen. A little here… a little there… Before you know it, it actually adds up!

2 clothing covers
1 suitcase
1 handheld vacuum
1 pair of shoes
54 items of random stuff
=
59 items out-the-door!

My 7 day tally  = 477

Guess i did it then.  Goal 343 – result 477
I think I nailed it!


And my new grand total for 2017 = 1508

Not too shabby, if you ask me 😉

Later gator!

Double 7 – Saturday!

We are at day 6 of my 7 day thing,

Unge Spor (Young Tracks) – is a voluntary organization who works with kids, youth and young adults, to spread the joy of performing arts.

As part of their organization, they have a group of regular members (age 14-25) who are the backbone of the organization.  This group of “kids” gets to participate from A to Z on Unge Spor’s projects. This includes organizational work, music, dance, drama, scenography and more. The “kids” gain indispensable knowledge, and at the end of the projects they put on exceptional shows and performances.

You might say that “Unge Spor” (Young tracks), has established themselves as an important cultural force in my region.

Since they are a voluntary organization, they don’t get much support from the state/region. Which means, they rely on sponsorship’s, donations, and other gifts.

A few weeks back, they posted a request for an old used iPad, in one of the buy/sell Facebook groups I follow.

As both B and I had a couple of older iPads, that we no longer used, we decided we could help them out.

I called the groups leader, and, oh boy was he happy.

He popped by a little while later, and not only did he leave with 2 iPads, but he “ran” out of here with a couple of extra bags.

Turns out they could do with some extra props for their theater shows, and I just happened to have a couple of suitable items they could use as props + I had one more item!

A little backstory:

I used to be an avid “Nescafe cafe au Chocolat” drinker. They sell them in boxes with 8 pouches of instant mix – just add water.

Well, since these are ridiculously expensive, I would always get a bunch (and I mean a bunch) when they had exceptional good deals (like 50% off or more). So last summer, such a deal just happened to be in my neighborhood store, and I shopped, and shopped 😉

Fast forward a few weeks after my mad shopping spree, I changed my diet (health reasons) and stopping with gluten and milk protein products all together. And guess what! Yep, there’s a lot of milk in my beloved “au chocolat” 😦

The boxes of coffee have been sitting around ever since. I’ve been holding on to them in hope of finding someone who would drink the stuff (as opposed to me throwing it away),

And you know what, a group working with a bunch, as in a big bunch of kids… yeah!

“Absolutely, we can take these of you hands”

So off he went, with iPads, props and a bunch of coffee 😉

37 boxes of Cafe au Chocolate
2 pillows
2 pillow cases
1 lamp
2 bamboo plates
1 decorative plate
1 iPad mini (yes only mine.. can’t count B’s iPad stuff)
1 iPad mini charger
1 iPad mini back cover
1 iPad mini front cover
1 regular sized iPad protective cover
=
50 items out-the-door!

7 day tally  = 418

And my grand total for 2017 = 1449

Until tomorrow!

Double 7 – Friday!

We are at day 5 of my 7 day thing!

My head is playing up like nobody’s business, so today’s post is short!

For as long as I have had my blog, I’ve been working on downsizing my book collection.

Back in 2014, I started reading myself through my bookshelves, and called it my “Read a book program“.

The idea; read one of my books, grade it, and depending on the grade, either keep it or get rid of it.

I didn’t do too good with this task during 2016, and started it up again this year.  My 2017 goal? 100 books.

So far I’m not doing good on my goal at all, as I’ve culled only a few, and I doubt I’ll make my 100… But even so – a little here, a little there is still helping!

Here is another batch making it out-the-door!

8 books out-the-door!

7 Day tally = 368

Grand total for 2017 = 1385

See ya tomorrow!

 

PS.  I just found a blog post in my drafts folder from June this year, that I never posted. It was all about books!

I remember it well! It was all written up and the only thing I needed to add, was the photo (which I needed to take first). Somewhere in the mess of things, the books got delivered to the recycle exchange place, and I forgot completely all about the blog post.

Even though I have no proof  (read photo) –  I’m just going to add those books to my tally. So here it is:  14 books out-the-door during June. 

New Grand total for 2017 = 1399