This week I deleted over 50 000 emails and 20 000 text messages – a massive digital declutter.
Digital mess is different to normal clutter. For the most part it is invisible and takes up very little space in the physical world. I honestly didn’t know I was carrying it all around with me.
So let me tell you how it all started. I joined a group on Facebook called #Dream Life & Biz Creators Group. It is run by the fabulous Patricia Parashakti Lohan. She set up a week-long challenge and anyone who knows me knows that I am competitive so I was hooked. When I started it I wasn’t even sure what it was about!
Patricia is a Feng Shui expert and the challenge was around decluttering. I had already started on a big cleanse a few weeks prior so I felt quite smug.
First the handbag …
The first cleanse was your handbag – well I did mine the day prior so that was ok. And then I remembered my very bad habit of migrating from handbag to handbag with only the essentials and leaving the clutter behind. I cleared five handbags.
I found money and a few other things I had lost on the way and I threw out so much rubbish and it felt great. The biggest benefit of all – I spent some time going down memory lane, looking at receipts, business cards, train tickets and flyers. I let myself remember and contemplate and then I allowed myself to let the mess of scrappy papers go.
Then the emails and texts …
I digress though. The real whammy for me was when we were asked to clear out our emails and messages – day four I think. We carry our phones around with us all the time, our phones carry around much the same as our handbags, just in a digital form.
I started with the messages. Over a thousand messages from an old boyfriend. Why was I holding onto those. Delete!
I deleted junk messages offering me 60% off at a sale that took place years ago. I deleted work messages from a job I left over a year ago. I deleted and did a digital declutter of over 20 000 text messages.
I did take time to enjoy the memory of some of the messages. The message saying that my son had been accepted in his first choice course at university. The first message from my partner. The announcement that a friend had had a baby girl. The mantra was the same, enjoy the memory and then delete and make way for the new.
Facing the mammoth task of the emails was daunting. Gmail doesn’t facilitate mass deleting very easily and when I googled it and tired something as advised I landed up in a bit of pickle with new messages going into the trash.
The only option was to do it slowly. I trawled through emails with my finger on the delete button. It was really cathartic pressing down and watching the past wing its way into the digital dustbin. As I deleted I really did feel more energised and more positive about the future.
I have made some decisions about email, unsubscribed to emails that are no longer relevant and filtered my email into manageable files. I am now finding that a visit to my inbox is a quick pleasurable experience. I see the promotions I want to see, read the updates I enjoy and most of all I am more efficient.
The decluttering journey continues and I am honestly looking forward to it.
Patrica tell us that by letting go of the old we can make way for the new. I have done a lot of that in the last week and there is more to do. The bins (both actual and virtual) have been filled and emptied.
Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to comment if you have undertaken a digital declutter.
Thanks for reading.