No I don’t have a lot of stuff piled in the back closet, but I have a lot of links and this was cluttering my life and causing me stress. I had so many even when it was organized I found it difficult to find a recipe and choose one to try. The same thing happened when I went through all my cookbooks for recipes to try. I got overwhelmed.
I can easily spend too much time getting lost in Pinterest and Google searches for that perfect General Tso’s chicken or Oreo cheesecake for that special meal I’m making.
I’ll read reviews. I’ll compare recipe ingredients.
By then twenty minutes have gone by and I still haven’t started cooking.
I still haven’t picked a recipe.
And I’m overwhelmed. And I’m getting frustrated.
I don’t know what to choose. I want the meal to be perfect, or to at least come out well.
And I’m afraid of taking the leap.
And it feels silly.
So how did I go from 3 general tso’s chicken, 15 pork tenderloin recipes I never used, 10 Indian blogs and a bunch of curry recipes that never came out right to just a list of favorites?
Create a Go-to List
I made a spreadsheet of go-to recipes for each season and by category like quick or for a crowd. Now when I want to make my weekly grocery list and meal plan, I can just select from the list. This reduced my bookmarks as well.
I also did this for my kids activity bookmarks. I put them into categories like gross motor, letters, science experiments etc, and then put them in a chart so I could plan for the week and pull up the appropriate activities as needed.
You can do this for any topic you pull from frequently and have a lot of ideas you need to organize. I think I’m going to do it for workouts next.
Delete Bookmarks You Saved But Haven’t Used Yet (and It’s Been Years)
Just like weeding through your clothes to donate what you don’t wear, the same is true for bookmarks. If I haven’t tried that jerk chicken recipe in three years, I probably won’t anytime soon. If I want a jerk chicken recipe in the future, I can just look it up.
I had a lot of clothes sites saved when I was looking for new clothes. I’m all set now, so away they go. I kept a few of my favorite sites if I need new clothes in the future because as you know not every store’s clothes fit you the same.
Notice Trends on Websites You Go To
Dinner at the Zoo, Café Delites, 365 Days of Crockpot, and Damn Delicious are websites that I have multiple successful recipes I pull from. So if I’m looking for a new recipe like a peanut butter cheesecake for my husband’s birthday and one of those sites comes up – done. I look no further. I know it’ll be good. That saves me from going down the recipe rabbit hole.
See if there are any sites you go to again and again.
Add Emojis and CAPS to your Bookmarks
When I have a favorite among a lot of recipes, I add EXCELLENT in all caps to make it stand out to be easy to find.
Did you know you can also add Emojis? Not only is this fun, but can really make your favorite bookmarks stand out. There are plenty of sites that come up when you type in get emoji. I like this one.
Also, make sure the description is something you’ll find and want to reference easier later. Just like an untitled document is hard to distinguish what it is for the future, the same is true from some titles of bookmarks. Rename it so the most important information is in the front. Sometimes they put the recipe name at the end of the title and you see the blog name first. Not helpful when you’re looking for a recipe…
Create a Criterion to Help You Decide What to Keep
Good Reviews? Looks easy? Try it.
I’m indecisive. I’m particular. Maybe even a hint of perfectionist. So stopping the search and starting cooking is imperative for me. So create a criterion for yourself of the best recipe for you to try. Maybe even give yourself a time limit for finding one…
For me it’s gotta be well reviewed, simple ingredients, and under an hour (half an hour even better).
If it’s not recipes, you can still create a criterion. For workouts and fitness I had a lot of articles, playlists, workouts, and workout routines. I no longer needed anything beyond 30 minutes because I’m not going to have that time like before kids for years. Do I still need that information on the article? Nah. Can I get this workout on my favorite site, Fitness Blender, instead? Yep. It had to fit on the phone’s screen or be a video. So I deleted sites that would be hard to work through in a workout to get the exercises.
Over the course of a few weeks, editing and deleting here and there, I had whittled down my bookmarks substantially and finally felt liberated from my internet clutter!
Declutter Your Mind and Heart: Removing Unnecessary Input
Even ideas can cloud your mind and your heart. Pursing the internet took away valuable time I could’ve spent reading spiritual material, spending time with a loved one, or doing a productive task. Food is wonderful and creative recipes are gems, but we need to guard our hearts when interests turn into stressors.
I’ll be more aware of clicking the star bookmark button in the future. There will be worthy recipes to try, articles to keep, and resources to return to, and I don’t need them all.
Questions to Ponder:
- Am I stressed by the amount of bookmarks I have?
- Do I have a hard time finding items in my bookmarks when I need them?
- Which bookmarks do I use the most?
- Which bookmarks do I never use?
May you find ways to declutter media input so that you can focus on what fills your heart with joy.