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 😉
Month four! Sorry it’s a bit late, I almost forgot about it for a second, but here it is 😉
Let’s see, what I have I been able to shed this month?
APRIL TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 58 items and about 4500 emails
- PC nicknack’s – I forgot to count out the items when I did this job, but what I can see from the picture I got rid off:
- 2 mouse
- 1 laptop hard-drive
- 1 wireless adapter
- 7 converters (Europe to US and the other way around) (count as 1)
- 1 Bluetooth headset
- 1 Apple charger station
- 1 FM radio sender
- Bunch of USB, firewire cables (count as 1)
- Bunch of other stuff I have no idea what was (count as 1)
- 2 bundles of sticks
- 18 books
- 1 bottle of port 😉
- 1 compact camera with chargers, extra batteries ++
- 1 handbag
- 8 clear plastic boxes
- 1 old broken cooking thermometer
- 15 vases and other flower related stuff
- 1 screwdriver set
- Around 4500 emails at my work mailbox (still working on the 5000 I promised)
Month three! My gosh I thought I had spent February focusing on my digital clutter, but February don’t even hold a candle to the month of March.
Unfortunately, getting that focused on digital clutter, have taken away some of the focus on tangible decluttering, and it’s time I step it back up in the month of April!
Looking at my monthly tally this month, you’d think I’ve done nothing. I might not have been decluttering to much, but I have still been up to a couple of things 🙂
MARCH TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 12 items and 7535 emails
- 1 ice cream spoon
- 1 leather vest
- 10 bottles of hotel “candy“
- 7535 emails at my work mailbox
So what else have I’ve been up to? Well let’s see, there is:
- Cheating on Spring early this month with a lot of plants at the front area
- The Liebster award 🙂 I still can’t believe it..
- Starting the spring cleaning in the yard.
- Unpacking my garden furniture,
It’s been a month since I posted my email declutter challenge article, where I stated I would try to de-stuff my email at work by at least 7000 emails in 30 days.
Actually, it’s probably been closer to 10 000 emails de-stuffed, you see I did a little “boo-boo” in the middle of my clean-up. I wasn’t sure if I had consolidated all emails into my outlook mailbox, so I moved the folder I wasn’t sure about.
Turned out I had already copied it before, so suddenly I had two examples of a bunch of emails! I sure really appreciated getting another 2100 extra emails to clean up… (yes, that me being ironic!)
But anyhow – I did it, I did it 🙂
There were moments it didn’t look like I would make it, I was forever staying put at about minus 1500 emails, but I just carved away some dedicated time, and this morning, I managed to sort out the last ones, that got me past the 7000 mark.
I went from 19592 email down to the current 12061 emails I’m at right now. Thats 7535 less than when I started. Yu hu!!!
As you can see – I’m still not done, and I don’t think it’s going to get any easier, but since I’m on such a good roll right now, I think I will continue with fase 2 of my email declutter challenge.
What is Face 2 you’re asking? Well, let me tell you, it’s another 5000 emails be-gone!
And when am I gona be finished? Another 30 days from today…!
I can’t believe I just promised 5000 emails in 30 days – oh well, now it’s down on paper – so I guess I’m commited 😉
I’m two months into my declutter challenge! It seems like I have focused mostly on digital clutter during February, but even so, there are a few other items that went out-the-door!
Below is an overview. You will see that some I count as one item, and some I count as individual items.
FEBRUARY’s TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 45 items + 2200 bookmarks and 2450 emails
- 1 laptop
- 5 outdoor jackets
- 1 picture frame
- 2 picture mat’s (count as 1)
- 16 sheets of paper cut outs (count as 1)
- 2 manuals (count as 1)
- 7 magazines
- 27 catalogues
- 1 bottle of floor wax
And then there are the non tangible items – the digital deletes:
- 1900 web bookmarks
- 1500 emails at my work mailbox
- 950+ emails at my personal mailbox
- and another 300+ web bookmarks (Feb 28)
I believe I need an email declutter challenge.
I’m completely into email overload, especially at work. I have lost all control, and looking at the 1211 unread email is just about to drive me nuts (yes, even more so, than I already am 😉 ) Talk about stress factor.
Enough is enough, I’m going to give myself an email declutter challenge for 2014. I’ll be deleting and archiving as best as I can. I know I can’t delete everything since I need to keep some for work, but hopefully I’ll be able to archive most of those, to our digital storage, so that my personal mailbox at the office no longer overflows. And I definitely have some old and “mouldy” emails I should be able to loose with not too much elbow grease 😉
As I write this I have 1,45 GB worth of emails in my work mailbox, amounting to 19592 individual emails! What on earth!!!!
My goal for this year – reduce to less than 500 MB worth of emails – how many individual are this? I don’t have a clue! Guess we’ll find out as I go along. I’m hoping that brings be down to less than 2-3000. That’s loosing 17 000 emails.
How? – Using the Inbox Zero concept.
I will be implementing the Inbox Zero system by Merlin Mann. What is the Inbox Zero, you might ask? It’s a simple but great concept of how to handle emails that comes your way. In short it is an system to help you take your email box from overstuffed (like mine) to zero – and then keep it that way. The system cover the skills, tools and attitude that helps you to accomplish this.
I just about “kissed the ground” when I came across this system a while ago. I had ever intention to start my 2014, implementing this system, but as soon as I walked into my office that first day after new year’s, all “hell” broke loose, and I have not found the time to actually sit down to do this yet. But tomorrow a new day is born – and it’s finally happening 😉
This concept might, or might not, be for you – but regardless if you have a small or a HUGE mailbox, I strongly recommend you reading about it anyway, even if you believe you have everything under control 😉 There might be an idea or two that could help you in your everyday email life!
I could do a quick write up of the concept, but I think I’d rather leave you in Merlin Mann’s capable hands on Inbox Zero instead.
As part of implementing this system, I need to de-stuff my horrible 19592 mail mailbox. So through 2014 I’ll give myself a couple of 30 days challenges to accomplish this. I’m starting tomorrow, and my goal for the first 30 days is no less than 7000 emails. “Starting a Tuesday in the middle of the month? Why not start the first of the month or at least in the beginning of the week?” You might ask. Well, why not? There is no more perfect day to start, than NOW 😉
Since the intention is to get rid of old emails all together, any new emails will not count against the 7000. By the time my 30 days are over I have to be down to no more than 12592 email left in my mailbox. (Oh my!! That’s a whole lot of deleting and archiving…)
For the fun of it I made myself a template, that I printed out. It is just a simple sheet, that you can easily make yourself, or you can print mine 🙂
Why don’t you join me? I’m sure you have one or two, to many…
Lets get started!!
You know how sometimes to get rid of one item, you need to do a lot off work first. Today’s item falls into that category.
I got a new laptop computer for Christmas. My old one do not function properly any more. In addition since I’m the designated computer help for my mum and step-mum, I need one that works. So what does this have to do with decluttering you might ask.
If any of you have ever changed over from one computer to another, you probably know there is some work involved. Like transferring stuff between the computers. That takes time. Well today I’m going to throw one more computer into this mix.
In addition to my old worn out one, I’ve borrowed a computer for one specific task that needed to be done a while ago. And that’s the computer I will “clean” out of my house during this weekend. My old one I will have to get back to after I’m done with this one 😉
This weekends’s task is – transfer my installed SW and documents from the borrowed computer to my new one. Clean up the borrowed one and get it out of the house. I know, it doesn’t sound much.. but I can promise you, it’s a bit of work, especially since it’s also two different operating systems and I might have to change some stuff around to make everything works as intended.
How do I go about this?
I do a little preparation first:
- I move all documents I want to keep so they are located in under the “My documents” folder structure
- I make sure all my pictures, videos, music are located in their respective “My Pictures/Music/Video” folders. You’ll find all these under “Windows explorer/Desktop/Libraries….”
- I put all downloaded software (SW) files into my “Downloads” folder
- I go through the Start/All programs overview and write down the SW programs I use that I need, to make sure I install these on the new computer
- If I use outlook or any other mail program that downloads the mails to the computer, I make sure I have a copy of the e-mail file, and the address book, so I can import it onto the new one
- I make a copy of my “Favorites” folder, so I don’t have to recreate this later
- When I have everything sorted and I’m sure I have everything I need, I use an external hard-drive as my transferring media. I use this type of transfer media because I think it’s easy. It gives me a copy of everything just in case. And it means I can choose what to install on the new one right now, and I still have everything on a drive, should I need it later.
- When I’ve gotten a copy of everything I want to keep, on my external hard-drive, then I’m ready and
I start the work on my new one.
- Depending on how much space is available on my new computer, I transfer the most important stuff from the external hard-drive I just copied everything on to. I put the copied files into a similar folder structure to where I saved them (Documents/Pictures/Music etc.)
- I install the programs I need, hopefully I can use the SW I already have, if not I try finding updates online.
- After installation, I activate whatever needs to be activated, so that I can use the programs I’ve installed.
- I add the old “Favorites” to the new “Favorites” folder
- I set up my new email program and import my old emails and address book
- Then, if there is any bits an pieces left that needs sorting. I’ll do this
And then I’m ready to go…. I hope!
As you can see.. there is a few things to do. So, I better get started 😉
Wish me luck will you…
Email clutter stresses me out, and I’ve decided I need to get it in check this year. I’ve tried and tried before but never quite made it, but this year I’ll be ruthless!
I’ll be writing a series of posts regarding digital clutter, and a big focus will be on email clutter.
I’ve come across this great website, about how to clean up and keep your mailbox in check, called Inbox Zero It has inspired me to make a proper try this year, since I have as many as three mailboxes and they are all overflowing.
Here is my first instalment in reducing the amount of mails that come in:
Over the years I have signed up for things, bought stuff using my email address and signed up for newsletters. Unfortunately leaving your email address out there also generate spam (I’m sure we have all been here) in addition to what you signed up for, and before you know it you’re overwhelmed with emails, and not all of them relevant.
Today I have used a little time unsubscribing from a whole lot of stuff in my two personal mailboxes and I believe I should see a reduction of about 90% incoming. In addition I have deleted and cleaned them down to respective 9 and 51 emails. Not bad, if I must say so myself 😉
Now all I have to do is start tackling my work one.. And that a whole different story that is left for another day…..
How are you doing on unsubscribing and lightening the load of incoming mails?