Guest Blog: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

I've been on a mission for quite some time (read: a couple of weeks) to reduce the amount of clutter in my life. To date, I've taken approximately two car loads of items to Goodwill, sold $80ish in stuff on Craigslist, and gifted a bag of funky flavored k-cups to my friend Maegan. Interestingly enough, it has been so refreshing to open my closet and not have to be worried about what I'm going to knock over as I look for today's clothes, or to know exactly where to find that Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon that came in last week's mail. 

However, it never occurred to me to extend this minimalist life to my digital world until speaking with Missie (of Missie from Mississippi) today. Besides having the distinction of being a close friend longer than anyone else in my life, she also frequently functions as my sounding board, life coach, therapist, advice columnist and financial advisor. I invited her to share her experiences with such, mostly so I could feel important enough to announce a guest writer on my blog! Here's what Missie had to say:

With two moves in my recent memory (to Blacksburg, and across town last summer), I have this ache to get rid of stuff that I don't use regularly. I've committed to seriously thinking about the items that I own but never use. One of the principles that I read about in one of the many blogs I stumbled upon on the subject asked the question (Thanks Sarah or Josie, I'm sure one of y'all pointed this article out): "Does this item bring joy to my life?" Most of the time the answer is "no". And a scary high percentage of the time, the items that I find actually stress me out because they remind me of something that I want to do or should do, but don't have time to do. So getting rid of them is a relief, especially when I can sometimes sell them for a couple of dollars! 

I recently decided that I'm going to be cleaning up and de-cluttering my digital life as well as my possessions. It's felt refreshing to offload some of the stuff that I've accumulated. For example, I started with 6871 duplicate songs on iTunes. That means I have the same song stored in multiple places. How silly is that? I've pared it down to 2915 items but it's still definitely a work in progress. My next project is looking at my pictures. With cell phones and digital cameras, we often take hundreds of pictures on trips and then never look at them again. Well if that's the case, I just won't take pictures. But I love reminiscing, so I'm going to actually look at these pictures and sort them (deleting duplicates) and get rid of those weird/awkward/ugly/nonsensical pictures that make me cringe a little when I see them. Then I can actually do something with the use them as my screen saver so even my spare moments can be filled with happy memories.

So by now you're probably wondering what on earth the title is about. Well, I have a bunch of movies, and I never watch them. So I've decided to watch them, and then after I watch them I have to make a decision. Does this movie bring me joy? 

I watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters over a year ago - when I was still unpacking from my move into my first VA apartment. It was an action/adventure type movie with a fairy tale/magic twist. I thought it was so odd, and chances are I'll never watch it again. This movie goes in the junk pile! 

Since our conversation, I've managed to delete approximately 19GB of documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos from my overstuffed computer tonight. Or, better said, I'm 19GB closer to only having digital files in my life that bring my joy. Progress!

Pathetically, 19GB of space is the most I've had in months!

Oh, I forgot to mention: Missie is also the reason I started the blog. Thank/blame her for anything this becomes!

- #hartzogswag