We all know the obvious clutter in our homes to declutter but we usually oversee the digital clutter that is in our lives. Digital clutter is something we don’t really think about but it is very important. This clutter is the type of clutter that is found on our phones, laptops, iPad and even on our external hard drives, any electronic devices really.
Digital clutter makes our computers and electronic devices slower and not to mention that anything on cloud storage actually affects the carbon footprint too. Think about it for a sec, anything you save on emails or cloud storage is using the internet which uses energy. Therefore, decluttering will also help with your own impact on the carbon footprint.
You may not even realise just how much clutter there is on each device until you get started and please do try to get some of these done if not all. Just start with one and move your way through the list slowly so you don’t get overwhelmed. But in all seriousness, how many times have you ever taken the time to clear anything off of these gadgets?! I know that for me it takes me too long to get to it for sure. The last time I did this was 6 months ago.
Here are just a few tips on what to look for when you start to declutter your electronic devices.
Declutter the following
- Look for any documents that you downloaded for a specific reason and that reason no longer calls for this document.
- Duplicate photos. Nowadays there are apps that can help you with this. I have not used any for this but do your research before downloading any app and of course once you are done, delete it.
- Apps you no longer use or are no longer necessary. For instance, in point 2 we talk about downloading an app to find the duplicate photos. Once your done though you should delete it so that you don’t clutter your electronic device.
- Delete your older backups and only keep the most recent ones. You do not need to keep all your backups from way back when. Each backup already backs up those older files. You should keep a routine in place for the backups and keep maybe the last 4 backups at any given time.
- Old games on your phone or iPad that you never use.
- Clear the history section of your browser.
- Clear the cookies on your computer.
- Go through your download folder and get rid of everything. This folder is not a storing place, it’s a download folder. It helps you find what you have downloaded. Having said that, go to your download folder and clear it out. Save whatever you need to the specific folders or external hard drive and the rest please delete.
- Clear off your screen and organize it. This goes for all devices.
- Keep everything organized in files with clear names.
- Go through your emails and check which emails you do open and actually read. Then get started to unsubscribe from those that no longer serve you any purpose. They are only cluttering your email inbox and making you waste time deleting them anyway.
- Make email folders to organize your emails or better yet automate them.
- Go through your hard drive and check for anything, photos, documents, pdf’s anything that you no longer need to keep or save. Then also organize it so to make it easier to save anything and find it later.
- Social media accounts. Go through them and unfollow anyone you are no longer interested in or doesn’t serve your life at the moment. You don’t need to keep following people you do not want to. It is ok to unfollow.
- Cloud storage like Google Drive or Drop Box. These areas just a place to store more stuff you may never need or use. So check these out and declutter them too.
- Once you are done then I suggest you do de-fragmentation on your computer so as to optimize it as much as possible. Some computers do this automatically while others need you to do it.
These are my 16 tips on what to declutter from your electronic devices and declutter that digital footprint while you are at it to. I hope these are helpful points that you can start and tick off each one you get done.
Take it one at a time as I said earlier and if you need any help, I am here for you. Let me know in the comments below how you found these tips and what you managed to get done.
If you are interested in a 5 day declutter challenge to declutter your entire home with me then sign up on the wait list so you’ll be the first to know when we start. Sign up here