Do you ever get an overwhelming sense that you need to clean out your computer, but you don’t know how? One of the most overlooked sources of clutter in our lives is the virtual variety.
Virtual clutter can weigh heavy on your mind, but don’t worry it’s also one of the easiest to declutter! Read on for five ways to organize your digital life!
Digital clutter is like any other: creeping in little by little. You may not see piles of it around the house, but it’s there – taking up your time and energy. Clearing up room on our electronic hard drives can make some space on our mental ones, too!
How to Declutter Your Virtual Life
1. Start with Your Email
If you find yourself scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through hundreds (if not thousands) of emails – and even multiple accounts – to find the one you’re looking for, you’re not alone. Email clutter takes up your time and can leave you feeling disorganized. There are a few things you can do to get it under control that will take only a few minutes!
Consolidate – Many of us have more than one inbox. Consolidate all of your email addresses into one account. No more checking multiple boxes. One and done!
Take out the trash – Sort your inbox by name and delete entire chunks at a time. Or (if you’re a Gmail user and can’t sort by name) click the box to select all of your emails and delete them all at once. An empty inbox is a beautiful thing.
Stop more junk from coming in – If you frequently purchase items* online or subscribe to email lists*, you might see a huge build up in your inbox. Take a few moments to unsubscribe to these services. Most email hosts have one-click unsubscribes, and this will only take a few seconds. If you still want to hear from these companies, you may be able to change your preferences to receive one email per week or month. Take control of your inbox!
*This is different than spam! Don’t just add these to your spam folder and hope they go away. This can cause issues for the companies that you love. Every email is required by law to have an unsubscribe option. Look for it in the small print and use that instead.
2. Clean Out Your Social Media Accounts
Social Media clutter builds up quickly and can take away from the relaxing, positive experience you want when you get online. Take a few moments to clear some of the clutter and customize your social media platforms.
Here are some tips for Facebook:
Groups – One of the most annoying features on Facebook is the ability for your friends to add you to groups without your approval. Go through your groups and delete the ones you don’t use. Unfollow others so that you can visit them on your own time rather than seeing every post on your wall.
Focus on Friends and Family – We all want to see what our friends and family are up to when we hop on social media, but it’s likely that most of your list is made up of acquaintances. Change your preferences to see less of your acquaintances’ posts or just unfollow them completely. When you unfollow someone you can remain friends, and they will never know!
3. Declutter Your Phone and Tablet
Our phones and tablets are always at hand. You can’t see it, but they are collecting all kinds of clutter inside. Clutter you have to sort through and scroll through every time you open your device. Don’t let it slow you down!
Delete – Get rid of those unused apps. They’re taking up space, and might be slowing your device down.
Organize with Folders – Use the folders feature to sort your apps on your main screen. No more swiping back and forth searching for an app or scrolling through them all. Long press any app and pull it on top of another app icon to create a folder. A few ideas to get you started:
- Entertainment: Your Roku remote, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime apps
- Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest all in one place
- Camera: Camera app, Photo editing, and Gallery icons all together
4. How To Clean Out Your Computer
If you use a desktop or laptop computer, you likely have clutter there. Items that stay in our lives for years at a time are bound to collect it. We have to continually manage it – especially with digital photos, videos, and other files that you don’t want to lose!
Cloud – Customize your cloud settings to make sure you are always backed up. Once you have it set you don’t have to mess around with external hard drives or do this manually. Consider a cloud especially for your photos. I love Prime Photos because it syncs photos from all of my devices, so I never have to think about it.
Clean Out – Sometimes we need to do an old-fashioned declutter on our computers. You just aren’t using all of the same stuff you saved two years ago. Clean out your download folder, empty your recycling bin, and delete all of the bookmarks you no longer need. Move bookmarks, apps, and programs that you use regularly to your taskbar.
5. Disable Your Notifications
Do you find yourself constantly pulled in by notifications? You see that little circle with in the upper corner of your icon, and you have to check it right now or it will taunt you all day! You probably want to clear all your notifications, even if you know they aren’t important.
This is purposeful. App creators know that the more notifications you get, the more likely you are open the app multiple times a day. That’s big business! Every time you open an app a business gets the opportunity to put more ads in front of your eyes which means revenue for their company. Don’t get sucked in! Use your programs and apps on YOUR terms.
Turn all of your notifications off. Don’t let that little dot tell you what to do! Get on when you want and don’t be distracted by notifications and pop-ups on your devices.
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