I decided that there was no better place to start blogging about my Conscious Consumption Challenge than by talking about some decluttering on the blog itself!
I love my "cloud" of tags on the right hand side here - it makes it easy to find posts on a particular theme easily, but over time the cloud had become rather more widespread, let's say. Sometimes I blog something that needs a particular tag because I'm joining in with others. Sometimes I start a tag thinking I'll do more round it, then in my usual style get utterly distracted by something else and never blog about that thing again. Sometimes I forget exactly what tag I might have used before for something and use something that seems about right - only to realise afterwards what the "standard" tag for the subject was. Either way it has meant that I had quite a lot of tags over there that had only one or two posts on them, and quite a lot of others which while they had a good few posts, duplicated almost totally with another, similar tag. So in a few minutes of spare time I sat down and began methodically working through the tags, getting rid of quite a lot, and adding additional tags to some posts where I felt they would fit better. It's a bit of a work in progress really - there is more to do, but already it is starting to look a bit less cluttered.
In the process of working through the tags I also found posts with expired links which I have deleted, and even a few full posts which for various reasons are now irrelevant, so those have been deleted as well. Again - a work in progress, I suspect there is more to do, there is after all 10 years of posts on here, even if some of those years have been less prolific than others!
Another task I undertook while I was at it was to go through my reading list - some of the links on there were to old blogs that no longer exist and look unlikely to ever make a reappearance. Others are from people who stopped blogging some time ago, or now blog elsewhere. Then the real nitty gritty and where the value in this exercise lies - those blogs that I still have on my list because I enjoyed them at one stage but now I just skim past. Some others that I followed out of duty to particular people who were in my life at the time, but who I have now drifted away from, removing the need for a "loyalty follow". That done I added a few new ones that I had gleaned from the sidebars of other blogs that I DO still follow, to add value to my list. This should mean a less cluttered reading list and blog feed, and not missing stuff that I actually want to see amongst a tide of stuff that sparks no joy or interest whatsoever.
It's another step towards remembering that decluttering can happen on all sorts of levels - a while ago a friend told me how she manages a "zero inbox" for her emails - and while I've not managed to get mine to zero, I drastically cut down the amount of stuff sitting in both my personal and work emails, and do a weekly "filing session" tidying up both and making sure that anything that needs attention, gets it. The result is far less clutter, less stress over the possibility of missing something that needs a reply/action, and items being put in folders meaning that they are easier to find later if needed.
While the classic perception of decluttering is about physical "stuff", the virtual clutter can also serve to drag us down mentally, and should probably be considered as worthy of attention as the books, CD's, clothes etc that we usually picture in our minds when the concept comes up. when was the last time you undertook a virtual spring clean?