Category: Simplify

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”

Digital Corner – Bookmarks/Favorites!

Last week I talked about cleaning up the Desktop. This week, we will be dealing with Bookmarks/Favorites.

I don’t know about you, but I seem to amass bookmarks left right and center. Between two PC’s, several different internet browsers, iPhone and iPad, I can’t keep track of them all.

You know the drill… You bookmarked a site – it had a really cool video, and you want to show it to your friends! But when you pull out your phone to show it, you just can’t seem to find it, regardless of how hard you try, it’s just not there… and your friends are getting sick of waiting for you to search your phone for it… and then it hit’s you – the darn link is on your computer at home!

I have run into this scenario once or twice 😉 And this year I’m all about getting my digital life sorted. So cleaning up my bookmarks, is definitely on the agenda.

The last couple of days I have consolidated all my bookmarks, into one big list.

I use Chrome as my main browser on my computer, but most of my old bookmarks are from the time I used Internet Explorer (IE) as my browser. So for this particular cleanup job, I’ll be running everything through Internet Explorer.

Since my old bookmarks backups are from different “sources”, I have had to use a couple of different ways to consolidate them.

  1. Through Windows File Explorer:
    Most of my old IE bookmark backups were copies of old Favourites folders – and all I needed to do was use copy/paste or move, from old backup media to current Favourites folder (which is located here:  Local disk C:\user\{username}\Favorites )

    Be aware that on Windows 10, it’s only IE bookmarks that are located in the Favourites folder. Browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge store their bookmarks in a database format, which means you can’t do much directly through File Explorer.
    .
  2. Using the Import and export function in Internet Explorer:
    Some of my bookmark backups are in a “.html” file format, and the best way to add these, is to use the import function in Internet Explorer.  How to import: Go to Internet Explorer – Favorites – Add to Favorites (down-arrow) – Import and Export – Import from a fileNext – Check Favorites check box, Next – Browse, select your file, Next – Select folder where you want to put the imported bookmarks, click Import – Finish.  You will find similar functions i other browsers.

After an initial quick cleanup (removing around 1100 or so), it was time to add some of my newer bookmarks.

The last few years, I have moved over to using iPad (and iPhone) for most of my internet surfing. And as will happen, I’ve racked up quite an impressive amount of bookmarks on these devices as well.

Since I’m doing a proper bookmarks declutter, I wanted to add the iPhone/iPad ones, and the best way to consolidate them all, was for me to install iCloud for Windows on my machine. With iCloud for Windows, it’s easy to synchronize photos, videos, mail, calendar and files between your iPad/iPhone and Windows PC. Installation is really easy.

So now I have all my bookmarks under the same umbrella, all located in my Favourites folder on my computer. It’s time to clean up for real 🙂

And this is after I have removed around 1100 !!!!

 

One of the biggest issues with old bookmark links, is that some of them don’t work anymore. Since there is no way, I’m going to individually click on 2982 bookmarks to find out if they work!!! I needed to find a software that would test this for me!

I looked online, and most of the recommendations seemed to gravitate towards a program called:  AM-DeadLink – this software will find your duplicates, check your links and mark all broken ones with the color of red and error code.

Unfortunately on it’s latest version it is no longer possible to delete broken links directly from within the program. Even so, I’ve found this software really useful as it will do most of what I want. It lets me sort my links by folder, by error code, by name and so on.

Even though it no longer will let you delete directly inside the software, it gives a clear idea about where I need to go in Windows File Explorer\Favourites or on Internet Explorer/Favourites to find the broken link.

The way I have done it so far (for the first 1100), is to have one open window, with the bookmark checker program, on one side of the screen, and one open window, with Internet Explorer or File Explorer, on the other side of the screen. It’s made the hunt for broken links easier.

 

I’m sure there are other programs out there that will help you, and I might (depending on how tedious this is) try another software.. but for now, I’ll give this one a try. If you should have any such program to recommend, please let me know. I need all the help I can get 🙂

Since I’m linking to 3 party software I’m just going to go ahead and add a disclaimer: I am no way affiliated with, nor am I receiving any benefits from links in this posting. I can not guarantee the software’s will do what you want/expect. Nor can I guarantee that they are 100% safe to use. All I can say, is that I have had no trouble with the software’s so far. All information are my own, I am not a professional, any action you take upon this information is at your own risk. 

Now that that’s out of the way 😉 It’s time for me to get on with it, after all, I have 2982 bookmarks to go through 😉

THIS WEEK’s task:

  • consolidate all bookmarks
  • clean them up
  • sort the keepers into a sensible folder structure for easy lookup later

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… 🙂

 

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

Double 7 – Thursday!

We are at day 4 of my 7 day thing,

I haven’t ever heard about a home that doesn’t have a junk drawer or two, and this house is no exception 😉  I have more than one…

Today’s task; declutter my living room catch all.

Here it is in all it’s glory – yeah, I know, not pretty!

FROM THIS

Well.. I might as well get on with it – hang in there, folks – I’m going in!

(a hours or so later..)

All done. Oh, that’s looking a little better now, isn’t it?

TO THIS

MINUS ALL OF THIS:

2 picture frames
1 diploma from Microsoft
1 calculator
1 remote control
1 notebook
1 lanyard
1 US simcard
1 Micro memory card
6 pens
1 pink marker
2 cd covers
5 umbraco’s
Bunch of paper to toss – count as 2
Bunch of paper to shred – count as 2
1 empty box
7 unused Valentines cards
8 envelopes
15 Ziploc’s and small plastic bags in assorted sizes
2 packs of memo cards for old diarys
10 plastic items
2 journal covers
1 reusable net
1 box of cool looking paper clips – which are horrible to use
(goes to show, just because they are cool don’t mean they are practical)
2 boxes of push pins – leftover from my office days
Bits and pieces – count as 2

 = 

78 items out-the-door!

7 Day tally = 360

Hey! Didn’t I just pass my goal? Nice!
Still have 3 days to go. I wonder what number I’ll end up with 😉

Grand total for 2017 = 1377

Until tomorrow!

Double 7 – Wednesday!

We are at day 3 of my 7 day thing.

Since I started my blog, I have been slowly downsizing my closet. (it seems to be the thing we women do 😉 )

I’ve probably gotten rid of about 50% or so, since I started my declutter thing on this blog in 2014.

Since I left the workforce (soon to be two years ago – my how times fly), I don’t have to dress up for meetings or change from work stuff to everyday wear everyday. These days, I pretty much live in the same type of outfits all the time – jeans, t-shirt and a sweater (weather depending).

Since I changed my diet (for health reasons) last year, I lost about 15 kilos or so. It took quite a while before my weight stabilized, and since it was fluctuating quite a bit there for a while, I only got new pieces of clothing when I absolutely needed something new that fit me (it’s not that fun walking around in clothing that is way, way to big).

I’ve stabilized now.

It’s hard though, to downsize, as I have clothing that are good quality for those special occasion like party’s, Christmas and other meet ups. Even though I only use about 30-40% of my closet on my daily outfits (remember – jeans and t-shirt kinda girl). I still need to keep the other type of outfits around.

Since I happen to be kinda picky about what I wear (even when it’s only jeans and t-shirts), I’m having a hard time finding suitable replacements that fit my current size. Which unfortunately means, I’m still hanging on to a few items to many of my old stuff.

I have not given up hope that I one day will have this beautifully curated minimalist wardrobe… and the only way I’m going to get there is to forever chip away at it.

Which brings me to today’s declutter write-up!

I have found a few more closet items, to say good buy to 😉

8 t-shirts
2 workout tops
3 fleeze
sweatpants
longjohn
2 pars of thick socks
2 sleepwear
2 caps
1 wool jacket
1 sweather
bandana
1 pair of flipflops
1 pair of boots
=
26 items out-the-door!

7 Day tally = 282

Grand total for 2017 = 1299

Guess that is it for today, see ya tomorrow 🙂

Double 7 – Tuesday!

We are at day 2 of my 7 day thing, and today is a pretty easy one.

Earlier this year, I got quite a few used interior magazines for free (which is great, since I have stopped buying my own). I’ve enjoyed reading them, but I’m all done, and I’m ready for them to leave the house.

I piled them all into one of those banana crates/boxes – and looking at the half filled box, I decided I was going to fill it up! (a girl gotta challenge herself 😉 )

So I’ve been adding all sorts to the pile; old magazines, new magazines, manuals, catalogs, travel brochures and my tiny little nemesis – articles I have ripped out of magazines/newspapers etc to keep. I have written about this habit before.

Guess what, I have filled the banana box (woohoo), and there are hardly any magazines left in the house, with the exceptions of a few keepers for a rainy day 😉

I still have a stack of manuals, but they all belong to items I own. So I guess they’ll be sticking around a little bit longer!

I just tallied it all up, and here are the stats:

113 magazines, manuals, travel brochures and catalogs
114 individual articles I have torn out to keep

=

227 items out-the-door!

My 7 day tally  = 256

See.. I caught up, and now I’m ahead 😉

Oh, and my grand total for 2017 = 1273

Until tomorrow!