Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the big cleanup. I have a fun Spring Cleaning theme week planned in March that I’m very excited about and am sure you’ll enjoy, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t start decluttering and cleaning right now. Actually, I’d like to point you towards an area of our lives that is often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and decluttering, and that is technology. And I don’t mean the technology itself, I mean what’s on it.
We spend so much of our time using technology nowadays, that it’s become a very real and substantial part of our lives. Like any space you own, your virtual space will feel so much better, fresher and lighter when you give it a good declutter. A clutter free space is a clutter free mind, and that goes for your virtual space as well! Plus, having all your files and programmes organised can boost your productivity.
Today I’m going to share a few tips on how you can declutter your cellphone, tablet, computer, and your online life. It’s time for a digital declutter.
Phone & Tablet
– Sort through all your apps. Delete any apps that you haven’t used in the past month or two, and try to categorise all the apps that you keep into folders so they’re easier to find and your device looks less cluttered.
Also reconsider your notification settings. What notifications do you want to keep receiving and which ones could you definitely do without? Now’s the time to go into each app and turn off unwanted notifications.
– Go through your photos. Delete any photos that are blurry, almost identical to another photo, or otherwise undersirable. Download any photos that you do want to keep onto your computer as a backup. After doing that you could even consider deleting all photos off your phone to clear up a lot of memory.
– Go through any other files you have. Downloads, memos, messages… Delete anything that’s not relevant or wanted anymore.
– Delete unused files and junk. I like to use an app called CleanMaster which helps with that- it deletes unused files and cache from your phone, making it a lot faster.
– The biggest source of clutter on your computer are probably files. The way to declutter files is to sort, purge, organise, repeat. First, delete any files you no longer need or want.
Categorise your files into folders, into folders inside folders inside folders. I like to get pretty specific with my folders so I always know exactly where to find something, but you can take this as far as is convenient to you. I have a folder titled “high school”, which has folders for all my subjects inside, which have a separate folder for every year. The folder of the year will often have separate folders for big projects that I did that year that involved a lot of files. Yes, I kept all my digital files from highschool, and I sometimes look back at them for fun. It’s a whole lot of files but since they’re all in one big “high school” folder, they don’t make for visual clutter at all.
– Organise your photos. Purge any doubles, blurry photos, or pictures that are otherwise not worth keeping. Categorise the photos you do want to keep into folders.
Consider making a selection of your favourite photos to print out. There’s something about having tangible photos to look at that just has a certain magic we tend to miss nowadays, plus it’s nice to have a real-life backup of your favourite photos in case you ever lose your computer.
– Clean up your desktop. I use Windows 8, so I like to keep my desktop completely empty and keep my most used programmes on my start screen. You can arrange your most used programmes and files on your desktop neatly, but be sure to only keep essentials on there.
– Uninstall any unused programmes, apps and games.
– Don’t forget to empty your recycle bin when you’re done.
Delete or file away any old messages.
Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters and mailing lists that clutter your inbox. You don’t need an email from Facebook every time someone likes your photo, especially when you get a notification on your phone as well. You can use Unroll.me to unsubscribe from many newsletters at once.
Remember that anyone can access your social media. Employers, teachers, your parents, exes, government institutions, creepy guys… Keep that in mind whenever you post something. Go back to your old posts and delete anything (written or photos) that could come back to bite you, or you aren’t comfortable with having online anymore.
Set your accounts to private so only people that follow you can see your posts, and delete any old accounts you don’t use anymore.
Unfriend or unfollow any people that you don’t want to get updates from anymore.
So, are you ready? Doing all of this will, like any type of cleaning & organising, take up a few hours. But you’ll be so happy you did it afterward. Good luck!