Digital Declutter


I think I’m becoming one of those people obsessed with clearing out stuff but I’ve realised one of the reasons it takes me so long to get stuff done is because I do too many things at a time and so have spent the best part of the year so far scaling back and getting rid of stuff not just physical items but also in other areas. I’ve scaled back my work to just one shop because I realised running two was not over ambitious, it can be done but spreading myself too thin means some stuff always get pushed aside for later! So I’ve been setting myself up to clear the path to be able to focus on the stuff I really want to do. And with that I will now be able to focus also on this blog a bit more and make it what I want it to be, a place to talk about creativity and living a more mindful life. It will probably be mostly about clothes though! Anyway this post is being published earlier than usual in the week because I’m in over acheiver mode right night and taking full advantage of it!

Despite pretty much finishing the physical clear out, you’ll be surprised how much digital baggage you accumulate here, there and everywhere. I found this was mostly due to the ease of signing up to things just by using an FB or Google Plus log in. So last weekend I started a social media clear out and started getting rid of sites that I no longer used or wanted on the web!

I’m also on a drive to spend less and save some cash. Running a business has its ups and downs, highs and lows. Sometimes there are lots of sales and some months are drier than the Sahara, so it makes sense to cut back on subscriptions and also do some tidying  up like making sure your accounts are up to date, working on updating business plans, making new plans etc. I also decided to update my blog with a view to add a shop directly within in for a later date, I also gave it a refresh with a new template, stripped out all the dead and irrelevant posts, updated all my tags, categories, broken links, slugs and reinserted any missing photos.

I finally deleted my FB account last year, I won’t lie it was the best thing I ever did in regards to social media! They make you believe that you cannot live without it but to be honest the people I really want to keep up with I will by other means, sounds harsh but people from my past can stay in my past, reconnecting is not always a good thing. Plus t has become a breeding ground for negativity and pity parties. But the other thing I noticed is how many of my other accounts relied on a FB login! I will also say that FB do not make it easy to delete accounts. A lot of accounts offer the deactivation service first in case you change our mind, to delete you literally have to jump through and in the case of Instagram go off to another page. They make it difficult for a reason because they need you!

But the list of the accounts I did end up deleting included Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ profile, Ello, Soundcloud, Grum, Picmonkey, Depop and the ill-fated Vero which someone accurately described as the Fyre Festival of social apps. It never stood a chance really, though I go on record as stating the other apps are not run any better and some of the excuses people were using to delete Vero meant they should have really just deleted all their social media apps! I also went through my phone and uninstalled the apps off there as well.

I also deactivated two of my instagram accounts with a review to delete in a few months, one is a business account, the other just a fun account but whilst I’m working on my creative business I want fewer distractions, so I might go back and use them at a later date.

Subscriptions – It’s easy with the auto renew option to forget to cancel any subscriptions, I got stung by one and I vowed to start using it more for my blogging. But it prompted me to cancel some other subscriptions that were handy but I can live without, so I said goodbye to Grum and Picmonkey. I also moved the subscriptions I have decided to keep over to my debit card as I’m trying pay off my credit cards at the moment!

Which lead me onto deleting my credit card details from shopping sites like Amazon, Etsy etc. If the payment is coming straight from my main account, I’m more likely to think about whether I actually buy it or can afford it more. I also shredded one of my credit cards!

Oh and I deleted any tempting subscription emails, I have enough fabric and clothes to keep me going for a while. Here’s a weird thing though my email app stopped pushing notifications through and I was actually glad because it’s easy when your self-employed to fall into the bad habit of answering emails at all times of the day, even on your day off. I try hard to keep set working hours especially when it comes to admin based stuff, creative stuff I’m less strict with. But admin tasks are now relegated to office hours only and emails/messages don’t need to be answered straight away.

Other things I did included tidying up my Pinterest boards, removing any dead pins that were driving traffic to the blog for posts that were no longer there. Clearing out my browsers saved login, cookies and caches. Updating my IFTTT recipes to reflect the changes and deleted accounts. Clearing out my hard drives, mostly of photos of vintage stock but kept a file for the handmade stock and moved all remaining files to a central shared storage that we use rather half on the lap top and half on the desktop etc. And Clearing out any cloud storage. that includes google photos, Dropbox, etc.

It took about a week but it was worth it and now I can move forward a bit more freely and less distracted. I’m not saying that this will drastically improve your life but it will make running your business a little simpler. The thing is as social media evolves it has become less about sending out your work across as many platforms as possible to reach new audiences and more about finding the platform that works for you, and it doesn’t have to be one of the major platforms. Some of the smaller platforms work just as well in finding your audience especially if your work is niche. It is easy to get caught up in the waves and lose sight of the end goal, we’re made to believe that the bigger the numbers the better we’re doing and that’s not true. I see lots of accounts with very high numbers and still struggling to make ends meet. Always aim for quality over quantity and you’ll find your audience no matter how big or how small.