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Decluttering My Electronic Life

My 1000 Item Declutter Challenge is off to a good start.  I’ve shipped off bags to Goodwill, have ditched several larger items on Craigslist, returned a dress I bought recently that didn’t fit quite right, and have thrown away some things that were just past their prime.  There’s a long way to go yet of course but I’m feeling pretty good about my progress.  My declutter bug seems to be contagious as well as Jesse and I finally cleaned out and reorganized the garage this week.  Should be able to even park a car in there soon.

In thinking about ways to declutter, let go, and simplify, it occurs to me that most of us today carry around a lot of electronic baggage.  I confuse to being a tech junkie – I love gadgets and spend way more time on my computer than I should.  Somehow I’ve ended up with 7 currently functioning email accounts – what??  Sure I need one for junk (that email addy you give when you have to but don’t want to clutter your good email inbox with spam), one for school/professional life, one for the blog, one I maintain for my local babywearing group, one for personal email…not sure what the rest are for.  Some days I get literally hundreds of emails, the majority of which are junk, don’t get read, and are quickly trashed.  I imagine I’m not alone in this.

But why invite all this electronic clutter into our lives?   Nearly every time you shop online or visit a retail website, you are given an opportunity to join a mailing list – Sales! Deals!  News!  Oh My!  And then there are organizations I just find interesting or that I’m a member of.  Some of these send out emails weekly or even daily.  And even though I do usually hit delete pretty quickly, I totally get suckered in once in a while (ok, maybe more than that) to the “50% off summer clearance!” or whatever the deal of the day happens to be.  Like many of you, I click over…just to see what there is, of course…and inevitably end up finding something that’s “just too good to pass up.”  How much money have I spent, how many things have a bought just because that deal flyer in my email got me?  Probably best I don’t know!

Don’t get me wrong, if you are going to shop having a coupon or catching a sale is the way to go.  And I’m sadly not ready to leave the world of consumerism altogether.  But I realized that my rational self should be the one to decide when I “need” something, not my impulsive response to an advertisement.  So that means hitting that little “unsubscribe” link that’s required by law to be in the fine print of every mailing list type email.  When I am really in need of something, it’s not hard to find a deal – maybe I’ll even resubscribe to that mailing list for a day or two so they’ll send me a coupon 😉

In the meantime, my inbox is looking a bit clearer.  The few mailing lists I’ve decided to remain on are those for organizations I’m interested in (I unsubscribed to those that aren’t near and dear to me).  I’m even thinking I can shut down my junk email altogether.  That’s a little time saved scanning email and hitting delete, one less thing to clutter my day.  Of course, I’d love to hear from you any time 🙂

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Published in Simple Living