Decluttering is something that we in this modern (developed) world must do all the time and virtual clutter is the worst. An invisible load on your shoulders.
My reading list on my ipad/iphone is out of control. My bookmarks! And don't mention my pins!
My focus this month though has been my emails. I follow most of the blogs I read through email updates, but with the low concentration joy of recent depressive periods the backlog of unread emails was overwhelming. So I set to work and followed a variation of the two basic rules of decluttering:
1. Is it USEFUL information that I do/will (be likely to) need?
2. Is it or is it likely to be BEAUTIFUL/inspiring/uplifting information?
Then I followed the two basic rules of organising:
1. Put like with like.
2. Sort things into separate containers (read folders).
Then I went to town!
I started with my inbox and "to read" folder and then siphoned off into newly created folders all emails from blogs I wished to continue reading (but had fallen behind on). I took this opportunity to unsubscribe from those blogs whose emails I just could never bring myself to read, no matter how worthy or seemingly useful the information. I stopped hesitating and moved on with my life. I didn't stop to read at this point, I merely marked all emails unread and assigned them a folder.
My inbox emptied of blog updates I then sifted through my actionable emails and either sent them to a new folder home or actioned them.
My amazon, paypal, ebay type folders were next as I deleted automated order responses going waaaay back and receipts for things I'd forgotten I'd bought.
Phew! I'm sure in all I deleted thousands of emails (I didn't stop to count, pretty big step for this slightly OCD girl I can tell you).
Next I chose a blog and caught up, deleting swiftly through manys a post and enjoying a revisit to a post I thought worthy of a reread. I did create a couple of keep folders (worthy of a reread / homeschooling information / recipes I'd actually attempt / uplifting posts to help combat my depression) but I was much more discerning about what entered these sacred spaces.
I still have many posts to read and delete but I'm working them through them with no pressure to "finish," I have a vague timeframe in my head of about six months, afterwhich any leftovers will just be deleted - no reading, no hesitation, just extra memory and much less clutter.
My inbox has stayed mostly clear ever since though complacency will inevitably set in, but I know the next planned declutter I do in April will be an altogether more simple affair (which won't take a week of evenings).