Wednesday 5 April 2017

Make Life Simple

Back on Day 96 I wrote a post on de-cluttering and an idiot's guide to feng shui (click here).

It's quite common for the newly sober to become obsessed by cleaning and de-cluttering. It keeps our hands busy and off the wine bottle, and it gives us back a sense of control over our environment and our lives.

Plus, in the early days it really helps if you can keep your life as simple and uncluttered as possible, that way you can focus on you, and the important stuff, like not drinking.

So it helps to evaluate your life mercilessly, to work out what makes you stressed and, therefore, want to drink and ditch it, perhaps just for a few weeks, or - if possible - permanently.

I decluttered my house, pared down the wardrobe so it only contained the stuff I was actually likely to wear, went through the fridge and freezer binning anything past the use-by date and any duplicates (why three jars of redcurrant jelly?), then said 'no' to any additional work, school or charity commitments that weren't absolutely necessary.

Then I found that, once you've simplified everything down to the essentials, you can see what's really important, and what's needed. You discover you're missing a pair of black trousers, butter and a fitness regime.

Over the last two weeks I've taken exactly the same principle and started applying it to my e-mail inbox and it's changed my life!

I used to get hundreds of mails a day, but most of them were just trying to sell me stuff I didn't want or need. Every single company I'd ever bought anything from or shown interest in felt able to bombard me with endless junk.

Am I the only person in the world that hadn't worked out how easy it is to UNSUBSCRIBE?

Just in case the answer to that query is 'no', here's what you do: just scroll down to the very bottom of the junk mail until you find the word 'unsubscribe', then click it and follow the (usually simple) instructions.

I've been doing this about fifty times a day for the last two weeks and, as a result, I've completely de-cluttered my inbox.

Instead of receiving hundreds of junk mails a day, I now get a small handful. The vast majority of mails I receive are proper ones. Ones from people I've actually met, or at least spoken to.

This means that now, for the first time, I can see what's important. And I can see the gaps. I suddenly realise that I'm not half as busy or in demand as I thought I was. It's given me the incentive to mail some friends to organise stuff and to tout for more work.

I'm totally addicted to UNSUBSCRIBE (once an addict, always an addict). If only I could use it for the rest of my life. Competitive parenting: UNSUBSCRIBE! Refereeing sibling arguments: UNSUBSCRIBE! Endlessly loading the sodding dishwasher: UNSUBSCRIBE!

If you've received this post by e-mail and it's just cluttering up your inbox and irritating you, please feel free to UNSUBSCRIBE.

If, however, you'd like to join my e-mail list then go to the home page of my main website (if you're on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on 'view full website') and you'll find a box in the top right hand corner saying 'subscribe my e-mail.' Just stick your e-mail address in there.

(All mails are blandly titled 'A New Post From SM', rather than anything embarrassing like DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ALCOHOL?)

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. I'm a year in now and still horrified at how much 'stuff' I've accumulated and how little I've accomplished over the last decade. It's like my life has been paused without me realising. It's so liberating to be stripping away the layers of madness. Thanks for continuing to blog, it's good to know that there are others who were also lured in by wine. x

  2. My inbox had about 2100 emails unread, most of them junk. I am getting rid of as much junk as possible. However, I went to your link about decluttering and Feng Shui, and now find I must switch immediately to cleaning my closet. Thanks for all this motivation to purge!

  3. Love this post! I've been through the same declutter process and I embrace my new minimalistic life. Keeping things simple is what helps me focus on the stuff that really matters. Like my family and staying sober. Thanks SM x

  4. Love this! I haven't done a mass unsubscribe in a while. It's time! And I agree. Clutter always made me uncomfortable but even more so now that I'm not drinking. If only my husband felt the same way!

  5. It's funny you mentioned that. I I subscribed to so many emails last week. I got fed up, emails used to be from friends. Now they are all from businesses trying to make me buy stuff I don't need. It feels good. Problem is I'm still getting emails from some I I subscribed from! Decluttering is great. Enjoy having less emails to wade through :)

  6. Ha yes it would be nice to unsubscribe to some things in life. I found out about that from a young person and also use it all the time. Now the ones I do get are for things I'm interested in which is lovely. I did that de-cluttering thing in my early dry days - so satisfying.

  7. How interesting, I was just doing this, this morning. I have so many more to go! And I will add you to my email, as your writings are something I LOOK FORWARD to always.

  8. Yes! Next time you get stuck in a jam just wind down the window (or, if you have one, stick your head out of the sun roof) and yell "UNSUBSCRIBE!" Simples :-)

  9. LOL I love this! Yes, there are many things I wish I could "unsubscribe" from ... tiresome work meetings, endless trips to the grocery store, laundry, cleaning ... the list is endless! :-)

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  11. Maybe the next time someone asks if I'm an alcoholic I'll reply "No, I've just UNSUBSCRIBED.." ;-) Much more empowering too! We're not alcoholics, we're unsubscribers! X

    1. Brilliant!! I do enjoy being up subscribed from alcohol :-))

    2. Ahhh !!! I mean ... Unsubscribed.

  12. I have a mail app on my phone that makes it easy to unsubscribe. You don't need to go into each email and do it. It does it for you! Very convenient! That being said, I haven't opened that app in months!!!!! xo

  13. I would love to unsubscribe from work today! Hiding in my car for a bit of a cry and this is good advice - thank you as always

  14. Morning sm!

    I've saved your post about decluttering because I've still got my parents living with us so at the moment everything is everywhere and there nothing I am do about it!!!! When I think I've managed to stop drinking whilst they've been living with us, I ant quite believe it!! Go me!!

    I did change my email address in January so I've unsubscribed to a lot of emails and somthing so small has such a big impact. Wouldn't it be nice if certain people came with an "unsubscribe option!" ;-)

    Hope your enjoying the sunshine xxxx

  15. I need to do a serious de clutter of the house and inbox clean. One thing I have managed to do is I made my own little mediation space in my bedroom. It’s only a small table with candles and pillows. This is my haven from the barrage of toys and man stuff that creeps over every other surface of the house.