Although my closets are still disheveled and not the best organized, my digital life is in ramshackles. It is years in the making. Years of digital pictures, switching email accounts, and collecting social media profiles like I was getting paid for each one has left me with a huge amount of clutter. I have made efforts in the past as I got new devices to clean up my computer files. It is just as important to manage your intake of content and information you keep. You become what you are exposed to! So here are my tips to get started with me decluttering your digital life!
Sort Your Picture Files
This is the easiest way to start your digital makeover. First go through your pictures and delete any that are fuzzy or random. For example, I have a lot of random pictures from screenshots and random memes. If it is not worth keeping, I delete it. Then create folders based on dates, events, people, or however you feel you are best organized. Assign those photographs to their respective folders. Do not forget the pictures off of your cell phones and tablets. I find it easiest to have them automatically uploaded from my iCloud. This is a great place to start because I find looking at the photographs remind me of the happiest times in my life, and love reliving the memories.
File Folder Madness
Make sure to find homes for your files as well. I have a few important folders on my desktop for quick access related to employment. The rest are in the documents file clearly labeled. Do not be afraid to make sub folders as needed too.
Clear Out Old Emails
This is something I have years worth of as well. Create folders for important emails, and delete the rest! You can even mass delete by selecting batch delete through your email provider. I am a longtime Gmail user which is good and bad. They have unlimited storage, but do I really need to keep it all? Definitely not!
While You Are At It Unsubscribe
Another useful activity is hitting “unsubscribe” from email lists as you lean out your inbox. If it is something you are still into, you can usually select a lower frequency of emails. I use this as a tactic to avoid spending money online during my No Spend months. It also makes the volume of emails you receive considerably less daily. Therefore, it is time saving!
Run a Virus Scan (Even Mac Users)
This past year, I discovered my Mac had cooties! I had long believed my MacBook was immune to viruses, and I seemed in the clear for years. Then one day my Safari browser would not stay on Google and would jump to Bing. This was spamware that had found its way on to my “uninfectable” device. I downloaded the App Antivirus VK for under 8 bucks. It did the trick scanning my computer and deleting the problem files. Make sure to do this before going onto my next step.
Backup Your Computer
Now that you have done all this, you need to back up your computer. I do this with a 1 terabyte external hard drive that plugs into my USB. You can choose a fancier airdrop model or cloud service. You just never know when you may turn on your computer to the black screen of death and the sound of a broken fan blade.
Now Let’s Talk About Your Social Media
I am ashamed to say that I let social media consume a massive amount of time and energy. However, there are some amazing connections and awesome experiences thanks to it as well. I have made friends I talk to daily on Instagram and been able to share so much of my teaching knowledge with fellow VIPKid teachers. On the flip side, it is a breeding ground for negative people and false information. Here are my ways to tidy things up a bit.
Unfollow Negative or Toxic People
I started doing this all the time across all social media accounts especially FaceBook. This is something I never regret! There are lots of negative things in the world, but to an extent we can CONTROL what we consume. Do not feel obligated to follow anyone who promotes hate, false information, or downing posts. Now this is different from unfollowing people you do not agree with. I am happy to live in a country and time where we can have our own opinions. I just can only handle so much fake news sharing!
Delete Unused Apps
Some studies say that only 1 in 4 apps are actually used on our phones. Go through and free up space! Your storage statistics will also give you recommendations on what to delete. Also be aware if you are paying for an app that renews monthly or yearly. (Check your card statements for these sneaky money leeches.). Be sure to disconnect payment and renewal before deleting the apps.
Clear the Pinterest Slush Pile
My pins have reached the tens of thousands. I love spending time cruising all the clever ideas and tips on Pinterest. This year marks my 9th year on the website. However, not everything is popular anymore. (I mean, does anyone really make t-shirt headbands anymore?) It was useful to go through my how to boards like my blogging board and checking the pins. Turns out, a lot of my older pins were no longer available or had broken links. So I would take it a board and a time in order to delete ‘dead’ pins or things that you are just not into anymore.
Think of ALL the Things
There are so many electronics probably hidden around your home. You may have CDs that need loaded onto a hard drive or 500 pictures on your phone to transfer. Make a checklist and begin decluttering your digital life. A clean desktop will feel just as good as an organized closet!
How do you declutter your digital life?
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