Friday, April 8, 2011

Project Simplify - Week Five

If you've been keeping track, no, I didn't skip Week Four - it was pantry/fridge declutter time and since we keep up with this pretty regularly I didn't have much to do.  About 1/3 of a kitchen trash bag of freezer burned opened & partially used foods (french fries, chicken nuggets, etc.) that my darling offspring left in the bottom bin of the freezer made it to the trash. I had already reorganized the shelves following a shopping trip the week before.  So before/after photos would have looked identical.  Therefore, no post.

But here we are at Week Five - which was a "choose your own" hot-spot.  And I chose the one thing that has been bothering me the most lately - the excess virtual clutter on my computer! I was just getting way too many gigabytes for one girl and knew I needed to let some go.  The beauty of this kind of clean-up is no mess - nothing to sell, donate, or put out at the curb on Tuesday morning.

I started with my email in-box.  It went from this:
 See how far down that scroll bar is?  I had about four screens worth of "stuff" just sitting in my in-box!
To This - aaaaahhhhhhhh - white space!  As you can tell from the calendar, I did this on Monday.  I'm happy to report I've kept it clean! My in-box still has white space!
After the e-mail folders, I moved to my "C" drive (the internal computer drive).  I try to keep as little personal stuff on this drive as possible because the computer actually belongs to my employer and I have to give it back if I ever leave.  Still, just like with physical "stuff", virtual "stuff" does seem to accumulate where it doesn't belong!

On the "C" drive, specifically "My Documents" I started with 6.5 GB of data in 1296 files, 179 folders.  After some ruthless deleting and transferring my online class files to my external drive, I ended with 4.5 GB of data in 409 files, 140 folders.  I even defragged the drive!

Next stop - Kay.  or "K" drive - my external hard drive. She houses all my photos, digi scrap supplies, online class materials, completed albums and digiscrap layouts.  In other words - my life. Everything important to me.  I use ACDSee to tag and organize all this virtual wonderfulness. But when I lost my first beloved external hard drive  last year, although we were able to recover all the files, all of my tagging and organizing was gone. Gone! Countless hours of work vanished into thin air.

I never had the heart to go back and recreate all that work.  Which also means, I really haven't done much digiscrapping in the last year.  In fact, my last art journal layout coincides with the loss of all that tagging.  So Kay was in dire need of some love and attention. I have spent the last three days tagging with kit name and author and starting to tag with categories. It is a long and tedious process and right now I'm still in digi kits. I haven't even touched photos yet.

I have also been ruthlessly deleting digi products that I know I will not use (I used to download every freebie that came along - kept Kay fat and happy). As a result, Kay has lost some virtual weight, going from 150 GB down to 134 GB. Not bad for a few days work. Wish I lost weight that easily! Where is the button that deletes fat cells???

Final stop on my virtual Spring Cleaning was my Google Reader. With Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers class, my Google Reader subscriptions had soared to well over 200.  I had been slowly deleting throughout the course, but was still at 175 this morning.  After about an hour, I am down to 75 blogs in my reader - which is still 25 more than I usually allow at any given time (I have to keep this in check as my time for blog reading really is limited).  But I've added some great new blogs to my "tribe" folder and will continue to cull what is left in the BFS folder over the next few weeks.

Now cross your fingers that my computer's virtual loss of excess fat will help it gain some energy. The sluggishness of late has been infuriating! :)  What about you? Do you keep your computer on a healthy weight limit? Or does it prefer to be fat and happy?  If you go the "save everything" route, how do you keep it all organized so you can find files when you need them?


Jo.C said...

You have my greatest admiration - my email looks like your before, the work email I cull but it seems to fill just as quickly. My task is to sort the itunes and use CS4 bridge to label and tag photos. Think scrapping will come first this holiday :0)

Heather said...

Wow thats some serious de-cluttering Cheri! Hope you have a faster & more energised computer now :))

Anonymous said...

Brilliant decluttering. And I love your witty parallel with losing weight! It's on my list of things to do. Until recently ACDSee was only for PCs I think but I've just discovered there's a Mac version so you may well inspire me to do something about it. :) Thank-you!

humel said...

Oh, well done you! This is a job I need to do but have been putting off through fear of the scale of the task.... Maybe I'll bite the bullet this weekend? xx

Ginger said...

Well who knew one could create so much space! I loved this post and it has given me some incentive to start cleaning my mailbox, seriously, we are down to 1 GB left on our computer. Hubby is suppose to be getting a bigger external HD, wouldn't he be happy to see me create some space :)

furrypig said...

great decluttering! I was so pleased to learn about google reader from BFS. I now have 3 'next' buttons, one for must read, one for follow and then a general one. So I read them in order so the general one is the last to be read and sometimes I move blogs out of one folder to another, I got so many from BFS!! Including yours which has gone into my must read folder!

Unknown said...

I salute you! Right now I have 3324 UNREAD emails in my inbox. Thousands more of read emails, tons of folders, 853 unread posts in my google reader (828 coming from BFS class). Yes, I need some intervention! LOL At least I need to start unsubscribing from some blogs. I like the idea of limiting myself to a particular number of blogs in the reader. Just need to decided what it will be :)

Kelly Miller said...

I usually burn all photos and important docs to CDs and then store them a in filing cabinet. That's all the photos and only a few docs. Most of those I email myself so that Gmail holds onto them for me.

You've done some hard work here!

Melissa said...

WTG Cheri! You really accomplished a lot in your "hot spot"! I do a pretty good job keeping my computer clean & organized. I process my inbox every day and have folders set up so some emails go there automatically. I'm tagging and rating my photos once a month, so all my digital photos are in great shape (I've only been digital for 3 years now.) I should probably take a little time to run through My Documents to see if there's any accumulated junk, but overall I think I'm in good shape. My Google Reader is a little full also but I'm weeding out a few from BFS each day also.

Cheryl said...

Wow well done you, this is something I realy should do but never get round to it x

Anonymous said...

I work hard to keep my email pretty clean, but the rest of my computer is a huge mess. Every week I put it on the "to do" list, but somehow it just gets shoved aside. You're an inspiration, but I know it's going to take days to straighten it out, and I'm not wanting to spend the time with it.