It is amazing how your digital life can become as cluttered as your home can now!
There are now so many things that used to be on paper that are now stored online and when you close out of the account, app, file, etc you don’t see them anymore unlike piles of paper laying around your home.
But that clutter is still there and it can seriously add up to being a major time waster that is holding you back!
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To understand this and how to perform a digital declutter it is important to first know what is digital clutter?
What is digital clutter?
Digital clutter is anything that lives on a digital device in your life. Digital clutter can be seen in almost every aspect of the technology you use daily like apps on your phone, emails, pictures, documents, online accounts, and so many more things.
Digital clutter is seriously everywhere! So now that you can visualize what digital clutter is you have to learn why it’s important to declutter and how you can do it!
Why do I need to digitally declutter?
Digital decluttering is so important because just like every aspect of your life clutter slows you down and holds you back. Think about this, when you are trying to show an important picture to your friend, do you have to scroll through thousands of pictures of useless screenshots to find it? If so then that clutter is wasting your precious time.
Also, more so than other areas, digital clutter can also provide a large distraction that can really hinder your productivity and happiness.
How do I digitally declutter?
In order to start your process of digitally decluttering we will break it down into 10 important places that you can start
Emails can be a daunting place to start but once you perform a full digital declutter of your emails you will feel great!
Step one of emails is to go through and purge irrelevant emails. Anything out dated or that you know you will never need then delete.
Step two is to create folders (and sub folders) to organize the emails you do need to keep. The goal will be to mainly get your inbox empty because majority of emails should go into the folders or be deleted.
Step three is to unsubscribe. This will help keep emails from cluttering up in the future. Unsubscribe from stores you rarely shop at, restaurants you don’t go to, newsletters you never read, etc.
Digital photos are amazing for looking back at memories and do not think that you need to get rid of pictures just to feel organized.
However, there’s a good chance you have a lot of photos on your phone, tablet, and computer that are not memories and are just taking up space.
Step one of decluttering your photos is on your phone. Delete any photos that you don’t want or need, especially focus on screenshots that are now irrelevant.
Step two of decluttering your phone photos is to create some albums so you can easily find important or sentimental photos when you want to find them. This can save you a lot of time in the long run.
Step three of decluttering photos is to also declutter any that are saved on your computer. Follow the same steps as your phone and delete any you don’t need and then create albums (or folders) to organize the ones you want to save.
Note: make sure to also back up all your important and sentimental photos so you never lose them if something happens to your phone or laptop! Here’s the best device for doing that!
Apps can clutter up your phone easier than anything else. They take up storage space and use up your battery. Apps can even use your battery running in the background!
Step one to declutter your apps is to just go to your home page and look through your apps. You can probably spot some apps right away that you don’t use. Uninstall those right away.
Step two (I only know the exact steps for an iPhone!) is to go into your settings > battery > last 10 days. This will show you what % of your battery life is being used by which apps. There could be apps you barely use that are using lots of battery time in the background. You can then go into that app and switch to not allowing it to run in the background.
Step three is to create folders for all the apps you want to keep. I like to not keep more than 10 apps outside of folders and those are the apps I use all the time!
A big step I had to take after graduating college was to purge old academic work. I really did not need every single weekly paper I handed in since freshman year that was still saved on my computer! Just like actual paper organizers you can get your digital papers just as organized.
Step one is to go through and delete any documents/files that you don’t need anymore.
Step two is to create folders and organize the files that you do want or need to save. If a folder has more than about 40-50 documents then it is worth trying to create sub-folders to really keep your computer organized.
You will be shocked at how many programs are installed on your computer that you never use! These programs can take up precious storage space and they can run in the background without you knowing and use up your battery life.
I recommend doing this digital declutter manually though there is programs you can use to clean up your PC. Here’s the steps to do it manually though:
Step one is to go into the actual programs list and start looking through the installed programs.
Step two is to uninstall any programs you don’t use. If you don’t recognize a program name then don’t immediately delete it! Do a little research and make sure you aren’t deleting something you need to use your computer!
Subscriptions are one of the biggest ways that digital clutter keeps coming even after you perform a digital declutter which is why this is such an important area. You want to ensure that all this hard work stays easy to manage and by monitoring and addressing what subscriptions you get then you can control the clutter better.
Step one is tied to the step in the emails section but go through your emails and look for subscriptions, not just email subscriptions but also confirmations of subscriptions of any sort. This includes free things!
Step two is to determine what subscriptions you have that you actually use and value. Even if you have a free subscription to say a recipe a week app that send you a notification every Saturday but you never use that recipe? Then unsubscribe from the alerts!
The final important area of a digital declutter is your computer and phone browsers. Browsers can get cluttered with open tabs and chaotic bookmarks that slow you down and make it difficult to find things you are looking for.
Step one is to take a good look at your open tabs. On my work computer I used to keep like 8 tabs open all the time with different things I would use throughout the day. That was slowing down my work because I would click on the wrong tab and it just looked chaotic.
I switched to making each of those tabs little favorite icons that I could open and close easily and it helped me feel much more organized at work.
Step two is to go through your bookmarks. Delete any bookmarks that you no longer need! Then go through and create folders for the remaining ones so they will be easier to locate when you need them in the future.
Looking for more to declutter? Check out these 50 items you can declutter out of your house!
Have fun improving your life and productivity through this digital declutter. Leave any questions below!