Around the house, in the office and even in the car, I like a bit of clutter. I am not one for minimalism. I need stuff around me. That stuff mostly has its place and gets put there. Tidy clutter I suppose, is what suits me. I know what’s where.
Digital clutter is another story altogether. Unread e-mails, newletters, reminders, offers. They weigh on my mind. I click away the notifications on my phone, telling myself I will sort it all out when I get home. Once home, I avoid opening my e-mail on the laptop. Nothing much important is done by mail now anyway, is it? Not much chance of a message from a friend. It is all whats apps and social media messaging. My inbox is mostly admin at this stage. Buy online, pay online. My order has been processed. My parcel has been shipped. Would I like to rate the service provider? Here’s the latest offer.
The trick, I used to think, was in ignoring the spam and promotions. Its not. The fomo creeps up on me and I click the clickbait. Can the holiday offer really be as good as the subject line suggests? Oh a sale in my favourite dress shop! Maybe they have the perfect dress for half nothing? They rarely do though, do they?
So I have started a digital declutter and here’s how.
Looking through the newsletters and offers, I realise that there are very few that I want to keep. I choose to keep only the ones that make sense for me. The airlines that fly to Ireland, my favourite glamping company, my go-to shop for household stuff. On everything else I scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe. It feels good.
Being a blogger, I like to read blogs. I susbscribe to my favourites but don’t always get the chance to read the posts. Guilt creeps in when I click away a post I simply haven’t time for but I know I will most likely forget to go back and read it later. Where possible, I choose now to reduce the frequency with which I receive new posts – once a week, once a month – depending on the output levels of my blogger pals. It makes the catch up easier and lessens the guilt.
With the unsubscribing and reducing done, there are still up on 900 unread e-mails. A mass deletion is called for. I enter a searchword, choose select all and delete. Over and over. Tedious but worth it. A tidy inbox, a free mind. A fresh start.