October 20, 2012

Just doing a little fall cleaning

Of the electronic version that is.

While by no means obsessive to an unhealthy point, I'm something of a compulsive cleaner. I detest mess and disorder and as a result don't mind housework and actually look forward to certain chores and seasonal cleanings. This week however, no elbow grease was involved, as what I've been tidying up is the pages upon pages that I keep in (neatly categorized) Word documents on my computer to links (sources) of online images and topics that I may want to post about in the future.

From day one back in 2009 when I began this blog, I started putting together such inspiration lists, as well as lists of ideas for future posts (other than deleting those ideas I've already written about, that list rarely gets touched and is a vital element, I find, to successful blogging). As a result, some of the entries are now well over three years old. Not all that aged if we were talking about a real world item perhaps, but in the realm of the interwebs, a lot can happen in that time.

About once a year or so, I like to take a few days and weed out certain links that I suspect or already know are no longer applicable or which are now long gone (e.g., etsy listings that have sold).

Sometimes Flickr users shut down their accounts and thus images there that I'd once hoped to use disappear as well. Other times people change their Flickr settings and cease to allow their images to be used by others, and again that potential image source dries up. The less of these kinds of links one has to hand, the speedier (and more enjoyable) it is to quickly find the type of image you're after for a given post.

While Pinterest has certainly opened up the image playing field - and is a marvelous place to store images that you may use in future posts - I still like the quick ease of use that comes from having these kinds of lists, where a simple "search and find" in Word will pull up the links I'm after, based on the descriptions and/or keywords I partnered them with.

1950s woman cleaning, homemaker, housewife, Chronically Vintage

{There’s nothing like a little housekeeping – be it on your computer or in the kitchen to make things feel fresh and tidy again. Image via fidgetrainbowtree}

Much as I literally get antsy if I know something is messy in my house, so too do I like to try and keep my archive of links and vintage inspiration neat and tidy, no matter how lengthy it has become after years of blogging.

Thus, throughout this lovely mid-October week, when not celebrating family birthdays (three in a two day period!) and our wedding anniversary, I've been devoting some of my time to (proverbially) sweeping, dusting, and sorting through my achieves documents and, while it's sad in a way to see any link cease to be useful or available, I'm happy about knowing that I'll now be able to head into the wildly hectic fall and winter holiday season with considerably fewer unusable entries kicking around.

If you keep similar lists (and/or use an online bookmarking service, which I do too, but only a minute fraction as much as I use my Word documents), I highly suggest you do an annual cleanup up, too. You can work at it here and there, when time permits, or intentionally devote a weekend or few days to sorting the "keep" from the "toss”, as they used to say on the TV show Clean Sweep.

One of the perks to this kind of tidying up spree is that it reminds you of some of things you found previously and thought were noteworthy/cute/cool/useful, but which in the ensuing months (or years), you forgot about.

Don't be surprised, as I often find is the case, if you go on a post writing spree in the aftermath of this type of housekeeping, especially if you're still left with oodles of great, totally useable sources of inspiration and images.

Cleaning, I find, is good for the mind, body and spirit, no matter what you're tidying up. There's a sense of satisfaction that comes when you wrap up and admire what you've just done and the order you've brought to the world around you.

So why not join me this month (feel free to don your favourite vintage apron just for fun while doing so) and engage in a little bit of autumn inspiration file straightening up -  it sure makes spring cleaning your house seem like a massive breeze by comparison! Smile


  1. Your post definitely struck a chord with me. At home and on the computer, I'm a neat freak, and I make no apologies for it. I organise by having seasonal deep cleans, where I cast off the redundant, unusable and unwanted: files, folders, snippets. Otherwise when searching for stuff everything gets overwhelming and what should be pleasant and painless becomes a joyless chore.

  2. I try and do this every few months. I save things I *think* I'm going to make but I don't. It keeps the laptop a lot cleaner.

  3. My husband and I just cleaned out our closets, two garbage bags ready for goodwill.

  4. Ahhhh we have so much in common! I am the same! I do not like disorganization and I know with three young children it is harder to do that but I do, just not as often. I put their toys in bins and am trying to teach them how to clean up and where it goes. I think learning how to keep clean and esp organized is a powerful tool to learn. And once you do you can apply it in so many areas of your life. My dad is VERY clean and organized and if you saw him you would be in awe. His moustache is neat and trimmed, he tucks in his shirt and he always carries a hankie-but thats another story hehe I'm glad you got the chance to do things for your blog-doesnt it feel great afterwards??

    Happy Saturday mama! xox

  5. I clean up my pc every once in a while too. Usually I keep so much on my usb stick and RW cd's now that I hardly have anything on the pc. Mine isn't very organized, but it's organized for someone like me.

    I'm the kind of person who loves to organize other's things, but when it comes to my own stuff I feel lost. :-/

  6. Hello dear Jessica,

    My husband would appreciate this post. In our home, this computer is used by seven family members and each has their folders of documents, creations and photos. That gets to be a lot of stuff. If people don't keep certain areas cleaned up, such as the desktop, general document or picture folders, he will go on his own cleaning spree; and if one hopes to find something after that, they better check the trash in the next few days or those items will be gone forever. He has, however, provided generous amounts of storage for everyone by giving them their own flash drives.

    I hope you and Tony are enjoying a wonderful weekend.


  7. This is a great idea I could use for my sewing inspirations. I so often get behind on projects because I get inspired to make something else, and then something else... Thanks for the idea, I might start a list and make sure I keep it updated!

  8. After reading this, it reminds me of the many links of blogs I have saved on my computer that I thought I would visit later, but never have. I truly need to organize and clean these files, but for some reason, I am procrastinating. I spent alot of time yesterday going through my old blogger files. I accidentally deleted some photographs, so I had to put all those photographs back that were missing into each post. It was a tedious task, but it feels good that it's all done, and that I am rid of all those horrid and ugly black boxes (with the exception of two photographs).

    As for house cleaning, I am slowly getting caught-upon that as well. I spent a good amount of time in the kitchen the other day getting everything organized and tidy. It looks so nice now, and it makes me smile (as well as my husband). :)

    Blessings to you!

  9. I dislike mess and disorder too but my sorting out is taking place in the real world (the garage to be precise)rather than the cyberworld:) I'm also trying to sort through some drawers and cupboards so that I can get rid of things I no longer want or need. I must admit that I've never thought of keeping a Word document of blogging ideas - ot's something to consider.

  10. A computer can be a wonderful organizer can't it? Mine is more like a messy closet these days, so I should probably heed your advice! I still rip pages from magazines, jot down ideas on random slips of paper, etc. although an old-fashioned approach. However, I am trying to work on the basic A-B-C's (attic, basement and closets) for that's where I find all the forgotten treasure!

    Many congratulations on the Quail Bell coverage and the glove post was super! The elegant opera gloves are so fun!

  11. This is a great idea -- a lot of folks have lovely clean homes but their computers/files are a mess! Right now I'm trying to organize & update a handful of digital things -- images, music, old school papers. I'm pretty sure it will go easier if I dig out my apron... :)

  12. Well, we have a pretty neat and clean house here, but cleaning is definitely not something i enjoy. I tend to procrastinate doing it. But i feel quite a sense of satisfaction when it's completed. And yes, my laptop files need a good cleansing too! :)

  13. Oh me too! I started my seasonal cleaning just a couple of days ago. The bug hits about every six months or so, or around spring and fall. Of course we chronically ill gals have to acquire help to do this, which makes it an extra challenge. But I too like my house to be organized as possible because it does help bolster the mind and spirit. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend dear Jessica! xoxo

  14. Oh, I need to do some cleaning too (in my home and on the computer!!). I recently re-organized most of my messages in my e-mail, and it is just so satisfying when you open it up and see everything in it's proper place!! :D

  15. I'm just the same--every now and then I have to go through and clean up and organize all my files and photos. I usually let things get out of hand for a few months, saving things willy nilly to my desktop or in random files, and then it just get overwhelming and I have to clean it all up! I very impressed that you keep lists of future post topics and such--what a great idea!

  16. I love "to do" lists, which I have for every part of my life.
    nevertheless I'm often a bit chaotic. ;)
    P.S. thank you for the comments.

  17. Nice ideas! I'm in the middle of my fall cleaning and your post gave me some more ideas for things I've forgotten to care of. Thank you for your post!