Unless one of your resolutions was no Netflix this year, you’ve likely watched, or at the very least heard of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. And while she’s inspired me to go on a purging rampage and evaluate each item that I own to see if it sparks joy, I still have a bunch of digital ‘stuff’ that needs to be decluttered. Photos, emails, files on my laptop, social media posts – I’ve literally run out of space on every piece of technology that I own (multiple times), so I know I have to go through everything and clean it all up. This can be a tad overwhelming, but you’ll be SO organized by the end of this, I swear it’ll be better than opening a drawer of clothes folded using the Marie Condo method. Here are my 5 steps to a digital declutter:
clean up your inbox
This one is easiest to do on your digital declutter journey. I check my inbox multiple times a day, so if it’s a mess I can’t tackle it properly and respond to everyone on time. Create folders for the different types of emails that you get (shopping, meetings, work, tasks, events, etc). Put emails in their corresponding folders right after you’ve read them, or delete them if they’re not needed. This will make it easier to find emails when you’re looking for something specific, and keep you at 0 inbox – something I strive for all the time. On top of this, unsubscribe to everything you don’t care for anymore: places you don’t shop/don’t want to receive emails from, newsletters you don’t read, and anything you subscribed to that you no longer need.
delete your downloads
More likely than not, if you looked at your downloads on your computer right this second, you’d have things sitting there that you don’t need. DELETE them. I’ve started getting into the habit of going through my downloads every few days and deleting almost everything. For the files that I need, I move them into their corresponding folders. Keeping your downloads from piling up means you’ll never see the dreaded ‘storage full’ again on your laptop and you won’t have extra files sitting on your computer, wondering why everything is so slow.
make space on your phone
I have a love/hate relationship with my phone’s storage. I have 64GB, which any sane person would consider enough storage, but not me. I’m constantly in a staring match with the ‘storage full’ message when I try to take photos, download a new app, or when a new software update arrives. I have around 20,000 photos on my phone right now plus multiple apps, and downloaded music. Why does this human have 20k photos, you ask? Aside from my own photos/videos, I also have tons of my clients’ photos sitting on my phone taking up so much space. So now I make it a point to go though it once a week. Delete what you don’t need and if you really want to keep photos for work purposes or just for memories, upload them to Google Drive / Dropbox. Which brings me to my next point ….
use a cloud based storage system
Using a cloud based storage system will change your life. I got myself a subscription to DropBox last year and am obsessed. All my blog + Instagram photos & my client documents/pitches/photos live in different folders on Dropbox. It helps keeps me organized and everything is easily accessible without actually living on your device. I put EVERYTHING on Dropbox – concert videos I don’t want to delete, vacation photos, even the odd snapchat photo will make it to the cloud. Point is, put everything nonessential on Dropbox (or another cloud based storage system – Google Drive has 15GB free), and never run out of memory again.
social media cleanup
Cleaning up your social media feeds can be a variety of things – unfollowing accounts, deleting old (inappropriate) posts, or archiving older photos. It can also mean setting a time limit for yourself on using certain apps. It’s easy to see how much time you spend on your phone these days, specifically which apps. Set a limit and instead, read, work out, go for a walk – there’s more to life than having your eyeballs glued to your screen.
Only keep what sparks joy – do a digital declutter, and get rid of all your virtual ‘stuff’!
Photography by In Your Wild Photography