3 Ways to Declutter your Digital Life
When your Inbox is overflowing, your phone constantly beeping and little red notification flags flashing everywhere you look, it’s easy to become overwhelmed in your digital space. Here are 3 ways on how to declutter your digital life, to get on top of it and manage it better going forwards.
Having read Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying and clearing my house of the physical clutter from top to bottom, I decided to extend her decluttering and discarding principals to my digital space too.
So if you only have an hour for now to clear up your clutter, that is enough to make a real difference to your digital space and feel less stressed.
My 3 ways to declutter your digital life:
Let’s start with the toughest one to tackle for many people – clearing that Inbox! Perhaps you’re like me and have the rule that you won’t ever let your inbox get long enough to require scrolling to view it. Or perhaps you’re like my husband, who never deletes an email. Ever. *shudder*
You can either start with the oldest emails first, or the most recent, but make a start on clearing them out. If it’s an email worth keeping, file it. If it isn’t, delete it.
If the email requires you to reply or act on it, then do so. Then file or delete it. While you’re at it, look at each newsletter that you open and ask yourself, is this really beneficial to me? What am I gaining from being on this mailing list. If you’re gaining nothing then unsubscribe. Not from my list of course, just the others!
It might take you an hour, a day or a week to get through your entire Inbox but once you do get to the end, having responded, filed, deleted and unsubscribed, don’t let it get out of hand again. It’s clearly dependent on how many emails you receive a day but find a method that works for you on clearing your Inbox out. My suggestion is to do it as each email comes in – respond, file, delete or unsubscribe.
2. Phone Apps
Smart phones apps are brilliant aren’t they – every day another 1000 apps are released that promise to make our lives happier, more fun, easier. Soon enough, we were swiping right, and right, and right again another 10 times to sift through all of our App Store goodies.
Then they went and created Folders which was wonderful, it means we could ‘file’ our apps away, become much tidier online. In actual fact, it just created more space for more apps. And more apps. Each one taking a bite into our storage allowance and zapping our battery power.
Every few weeks, put an hour aside to go through every single one of your apps on your smartphone or tablet. Take them out of the folders you’ve hidden them in and have them all on display. You’ll be surprised at how many apps you’ve had hidden away that you haven’t opened in years.
Now get deleting – anything that you don’t access often, anything you have never used, games you no longer enjoy. Delete, delete, delete. If you find in the following weeks that you miss something, you can always readd it but it’s unlikely you will.
When you’re happy with the reduced amount of apps you have left, find a way to organise them that works for you, makes them easy to find and not get hidden again. I like to keep to no more than 3 pages of apps and very few folders. My folders now are meaningful categories like ‘Travel’, ‘Health’, ‘Blogging’ whereas in the past I had a rather large folder called ‘Stuff’. Hmm.
3. Social Media
This one comes in 2 parts. First of all, I want you to think about what social media platforms you actually love and use. If you spend most of your time on Facebook and Instagram, think about if it’s worth keeping your inactive Twitter app on your phone.
Having unused social media accounts is just a distraction and waste of space. At the very least, turn off the Notifications of those social media apps or websites that you no longer visit.
The second part of this gets personal. I’m talking about friend lists. Or should I say ‘friends’.
I have a general rule that if someone isn’t in my current circle of family, friends or colleagues, I delete them. It started when I went through the ‘nesting’ stage of pregnancy – I logged into Facebook and deleted 200 people. I’ve never felt so liberated!
It’s an ongoing thing though and I declutter my social media friends every few months.
You might want to unfollow those you no longer speak to or, um, like. Perhaps you want to unfollow everyone on Instagram that doesn’t follow you back? Find what works for you.
Do not keep social media friendships going that are not benefiting you. Do not worry that they will contact you and ask why you deleted them. They won’t. Even if they do figure out that you’ve binned them, they’ll probably have been thinking about doing the same.
Decluttering my home and digital space has made me happier, calmer and more organised. It’s freed up time to spend with my family and I’m more efficient at work. I hope these tips work for you too.
How do you declutter your digital life?