Taking Stock - December 2016

Welcome to the last 'Taking Stock' post for 2016. In case you missed any, you can read all of my Taking Stock posts HERE. Pip from Meet Me At Mike is the mastermind behind this, so be sure to check out her blog. This is something I have done since I started blogging and will continue to do next year - I love looking back at previous months. In a nutshell, it's simply taking a step back and 'taking stock' of what's currently happening in your life. 

Here's what's been happening in the month of DECEMBER...


Welcome to 'My KonMari Journey' series. This year I have been sharing my progress, as I make my way through the KonMari Method, based on the best-seller book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Japanese organising enthusiast, Marie Kondo.

Today I am sharing: My KonMari Journey: DIGITAL CLUTTER

If you are new to my blog, Welcome! In case you missed it, be sure to read my Introduction and Getting Started post, so you know what the KonMari Method is all about and the reasons why I am doing it. You can also read all of my KonMari posts HERE.

In a nutshell, Marie Kondo has four rules she recommends people follow when doing the KonMari Method:

1. Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible
2. Sort by category, not by location
3. Selection Criterion: Does it 'spark joy?'
4. Order of tidying: Clothes, Books, Documents (Paper), Miscellaneous items (Komono), and Mementos (Sentimental)

As suggested in the book, I will start doing the KonMari Method with my own 'stuff' first, then I will work through the kids items, because I am too sentimental and would find it hard to part with their things right off the bat. I also need to get my head around this new process of de-cluttering, tidying and organising, so hopefully when it comes to purging my kids stuff, it will be a lot easier (well, let's hope so).


Now that I have organised my Clothes, Books, Papers, and Komono (miscellaneous) and Sentimental items - CARDS & LETTERS & Journals, Awards & Achievements Keepsakes & Photos, it's time to tackle the category that everyone tends to put in the 'too hard basket' or 'I will do it "later"' pile, that's right...I'm talking about DIGITAL CLUTTER.

Digital clutter has been, hands down, the hardest category to date. I have had a love/hate relationship with this category and wanted to throw in the towel a few times because it was just too darn hard. However, I snapped out of it and powered through it, and you know what, I am really glad I tackled it. This post has been in my draft folder for almost 3 months, and today I finally clicked the 'PUBLISH' button and it 'sparked joy'! I get to share with YOU my journey of using the KonMari method on my DIGITAL CLUTTER...here we go.


Before you begin, I highly recommend you do these TWO things:

1. Back up your computer
Regardless of how organised or disorganised your computer is, there are going to be many changes, so take a moment to ensure that there is a current back up, once that's done, pause them while you are doing the KonMari method, otherwise it will try and sync everything as you go and you will be chasing your own tail. If you use Time Machine, iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive etc to back up your devices then pause these too.

2. Make a note of your hard drive usage stats (e.g. Storage)
This will be your token 'BEFORE' photo and hopefully by the end of this process you will see how much free space you have once you completed the KonMari method. Also it's a good time to empty the 'Trash', so you are starting with a clean canvas.


I can't believe I started with over 60,000+ items on my computer and over 50,000+ of them are photos!

Before I started the purging process, I took screenshots and wrote down the stats of what was currently on my laptop (note: I have an Apple MacBook Pro). I have had this computer since 2012 and I rarely delete anything from it, 'just in case' I need it one day - but we all know that ONE DAY never comes, right? I have been an Apple user for 7-8 years, due to the schools I worked in used them, and I quickly converted.

Each year when I changed teaching positions or schools, instead of transferring all my digital files & photos etc to an external hard drive, I would just put it all on the new laptop. It was organised chaos (and often disorganised) - there was just so much on there, I didn't have the motivation or time to do it, but now I really wish I did! 

As you can see my Hard drive was completely FULL! I even got the pop-up message prompting me to delete some items (a few times actually), to make space...now if that's not a sign to de-clutter your computer, I don't know what is. Don't put it off until tomorrow...start today!

Like the other KonMari categories, I have decided to break DIGITAL CLUTTER into sub-categories - this ticks the box of 'Sorting by Category, not by location'.

The sub-categories for Digital Clutter are: 
  • Programs/Applications 
  • Media Files 
  • Web History 
  • Bookmarks 
  • Email 
  • Documents/Files 
  • Social Media 
  • Photos

Programs / Applications

This category was pretty quick and painless, I went through my programs and applications, purging any I have not opened or used in the last two years. I regularly check my updates and when the notification pops up, I let my laptop do its thing. I am currently running Mac OS Sierra (Version 10.12.1).

Media Files

I don't actually keep a lot of media files on my laptop. I tend to listen to the radio, CD's or YouTube. I do have an iPod, but my daughter has claimed it as her own - I might need to invest in another. For the media files I did have on my laptop, I only kept the ones that sparked joy...the rest went into the Trash. I KonMari'd my CDs a while ago, you can read all about it HERE...one day I hope to transfer all of my CDs to an iPod and discard the CDs once and for all, but for now I am happy with the system I have.

Web History

Delete...Delete...Delete! Go to your history and delete your browsing data from the 'beginning of time' - that's what I did and you know what - it feels great! I deleted over 40,000 items in my web history! How crazy is that? Now I clear my browsing data and cookies/caches regularly - this means if I do come across a site I want to see again or refer to, I will either PIN IT or save it to my bookmarks - which are now organised. 


My Bookmark Manager was a hot mess. I bookmarked websites and blogs regularly but didn't have a proper system in place. This made it really had to find things. So like my documents (see below), I saw a pattern in the pages/blogs I was bookmarking, and created folders for each. I went through ALL of my bookmarks - there were over 800 (since 2012) and I have purged 3/4 of those pages - some were no longer available or were broken links, so they were deleted straight away. For some of the pages I pinned them on Pinterest instead of having them in my Bookmark folders, the remanding pages are those I refer to regularly, so they are easy to find and open. I have limited each Bookmark folder to have no more than 30 websites, otherwise it becomes overwhelming. 

I have my frequently used pages e.g. bank, social media and blog etc, on my Bookmark Bar for quick reference. 


I have had a love/hate relationship with my my email inbox for quite some time. At one stage, I had over 1000 unread emails and it became overwhelming very quickly, until I came across Unroll.me - this was an absolute game changer for me. You simply sign up with your email address, Unroll.me goes through ALL your emails and splits all of your subscriptions into alphabetical order.

I went through the list and managed to unsubscribe from 233 emails subscriptions (eek) that no longer 'sparked joy' or were relevant to me anymore. I decided to keep 3 in my Inbox and rolled up 37...now whenever I get an email from any one of those 37 subscriptions, I get ONE email from Unroll.Me with a snippet of the newsletters etc - it only sends you something when the subscriptions have something to share.

Now I don't feel overwhelmed when I open my emails, Unroll.Me lets me know if they find any more subscriptions and I go through the process again, whether to 'Unsubscribe, Roll Up or Keep in Inbox' - it's great and has made life so much easier. If you haven't already, give it a try! You will love it.

Documents / Files

This task was overwhelming to begin with because I had random files and folders everywhere. My folders were originally organised by YEAR then MONTH and within each month I had three sub-folders - Home, Personal and Blog, however as months went by those folders quickly became "TO SORT" folders and I pushed them into the 'too hard' basket, that is until I decided I was going to KonMari my laptop.

The first thing I did was set up folders that I would use regularly - BLOG, DIGITAL LIBRARY, HOME/PERSONAL, PLAYCENTRE AND WORK. Now, doing the KonMari method on a laptop with over 60,000 items isn't going to happen over night (well not for me anyway), it's an ongoing process...and I had been working away at it, on and off for about two months. There are still a few documents I need to purge, however at this moment in time, just having the new system in place has helped me immensely and I am able to find documents quickly and easily.

I purged any documents that I had not opened for a couple of years, and/or didn't appeal to me or my life. Knowing that those documents are no longer taking up space in my digital world, makes me happy. The simplest way of doing this is - go to Documents and order by DATE MODIFIED. I had documents dating back to 2011/2012 when I first got my laptop, so a lot of them were deleted.

Now I have a better system in place, it's a matter of making sure I save documents/files etc in to the correct folder or sub folder. When I need something, for example, for my blog, I know it's going to be in the BLOG folder, instead of wrecking my brain to figure out what month I created it! 

Social Media

This category was a tricky one for me, especially as a blogger because I use social media daily. That being said, I now have systems in place that I am using each day to purge anything that no longer sparks joy. 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been scrolling through my newsfeed and unfriending or unfollowing any pages that no longer appeal to me, as a blogger and personally. Because I am a blogger, I follow quite a lot of blogs, however these tend to take up majority of my personal newsfeed and I miss out on important statuses and photos from my friends and family. I have a selection of my favourite bloggers that I get to 'See First' and the rest I have these set on 'Default' or turn notifications off and will view all the PAGES via https://www.facebook.com/pages/feed - it's the one stop shop for all the blogs I love & follow. 

I have used the CrowdFire app on my phone to filter through accounts who a) don't follow me, or b) no longer appeal to me e.g. following pages for giveaways etc. This is going to be ongoing process, and my goal is to go through each and every person/page I follow and make a decision whether or not they still spark joy.

Oh I could spend hours on Pinterest, pinning and perusing the amazing boards. Pinning is good, however having hundreds of random boards is not. Last year I actually took the time to sort out my boards so I can find things and pin. It's more pleasing on the eye when everything is in order. My boards are ordered alphabetically, with my BLOG board and current events (e.g. Christmas) at the top (this will change throughout the year).


Saving the best til last - well, should I say 'saving the hardest til last' - 5 years of photos sitting on my laptop, over 50,000 photos...I didn't know where to begin.

The first thing I did was buy a new external hard drive just for my PHOTOS - to use as another form of back up (using my birthday money from my parents - thanks Mum & Dad). I currently use Time Machine and iCloud (although I'm not 100% how iCloud works - all I know is that my photos are there and I pay a certain amount per month for 1TB) - I can't put a price on my photos, so I am willing to pay whatever it takes to keep them safe.

A while ago I made a start on organising my photos - creating a main folder called 'DIGITAL LIBRARY' and then creating a folder for each year 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Within each of these folders, I created sub folders for each month of the year, numbering them first so they were organised in numerical order. From these folders, I started to create folders for specific events, so it's easy to find photos to print or share. 

Then I realised something - I have two Digital Libraries - 1) in Photos (on Mac) and 2) via Finder. Are these duplicates? I was on the verge of an anxiety attack. So I walked away from the laptop and took some deep breathes! After a few days, I finally got into the right headspace to get stuck into these digital photos once and for all. I moved the photos from Finder to Photos (on Mac) - so I had ALL my photos in ONE place! (I deleted the empty folders once it was done).

On the 16th September, I had 51,324 photos stored in Photos (on Mac). 

I remembered Kondo's rules...
1. Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible
2. Sort by category, not by location
3. Selection Criterion: Does it 'spark joy?'

Just like the folders I created in Finder, I decided to make ALBUMS for each year in Photos (on Mac) - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The Albums 2012 and 2013 were fairly small, so all the photos were dragged into the album, not folders. For the Years 2014, 2015 and 2016, I created sub folders for each month (1/ January, 2/ February...) and simply dragged and dropped all the photos that belonged in the corresponding folders.

This is what I was working with...
2012 - 434
2013 - 1,922
2014 - 18,556 (Birth of my son & new DSLR camera)
2015 - 22,525 (New home, Milestone birthdays and iPhone 6s)
2016 - 7,887 (as of 16th September 2016)

TOTAL - 51,324

2012 - 387
2013 - 1,342
2014 - 12,370
2015 - 13,840
2016 - 5,810

 TOTAL of 33,749

Please note: this was a very time consuming task. I was working on this task, on and off, for almost two months and I needed to get through 50,000+ photos - I was very proud of myself to getting it down to 33,749. I know I have still got more to purge, but for now - I am happy with what I accomplished - it's work in progress!

I backed up my laptop again, using Time Machine - with the new changes to my Photos, then I started moving each album to my PHOTOS External Hard drive. Once all the albums were moved from Photos (on Mac), I moved them to the Trash! Eek This was really hard for me to do, however I knew it needed to be done. I had to step away from the laptop a few times because I was getting really anxious and overwhelmed by it all.

Once all the photo albums (2012-2016) were moved to the external hard drive, I then clicked EMPTY Trash! It was overwhelming and liberating at the same time. I kept reminding myself I was doing the right thing - I had my photos saved in 3 places (External hard drive, Time Machine back up and in iCloud.

Once everything was removed from my laptop, and the Trash was empty - I restarted my laptop and checked my Storage stats again....

Wow! Look at all that available space. I am so proud of myself, for finally letting go of the digital clutter. It's an amazing feeling and I know my laptop is thanking me too. 

This category has been really hard, simply because it has been time consuming - finding time to sit and go through 60,000+ items isn't going to happen overnight, unless you have no interruptions whatsoever. I did what I could, when I could and it has finally paid off. 


I have finally completed 'My KonMari Journey'  - WOOHOO! I would love to pop open a bottle of Champagne to celebrate, but instead I am going to take a moment to look around my home and admire the 'life-changing magic' that has truly taken place over the year. 

I want to THANK YOU all for following and supporting me throughout my KonMari journey. I have had moments where I wish I didn't blog about my journey, because it was actually more time consuming than the categories themselves...however I am really glad I did, as it has inspired so many of my readers, new and old and that 'sparks joy' for me! I love hearing all about your KonMari experiences, and seeing your progress, your journey - it means a lot.

x Until next time,

Coming Up Next: New series - 'KONMARI WITH KIDS' starting in January 2017.

Stay tuned as I work my way through the KonMari method AGAIN, however next time it will be with my KIDS items! (Note: I have an 11 year old daughter and a 2 year old - so this is going to be interesting)

You can read all of my KONMARI posts HERE.


I am super excited about this journey and I would love for you to follow along in this process, better yet, join me - Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post and together we can tidy our homes and change our lives, once and for all. I will also be sharing my journey on my Facebook page, and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there too.

If you would like to give the KonMari Method a go, but don't have the book - You can view and print/save all of my KonMari checklists HERE. Here is the printable for Digital Clutter



First Name
Email Address
Select Your Email Option Below


12 Days of Christmas - 2016 Blog Collaboration Round Up

Are you looking for some Christmas inspiration? Well, you are in for a real treat! Today I am sharing a round up of this years '12 Days of Christmas - 2016 Blog Collaboration' by Kiwi Mummy Bloggers. 

In this collaboration, you will find a great range of ideas to inspire you and prepare you for Christmas. From Mulled Wine, creating a wreath and Christmas in a Jar gifts to taking Christmas on the Road and sharing family traditions, plus everything in between - we have got you covered. 

So, grab a cuppa, get comfortable and let US inspire YOU this Christmas. Enjoy!

Simply click on the images or links below to be directed to the original post.

12 Days of Christmas 2016 - A Blog Collaboration

Back to Top