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It’s time for spring cleaning. As we all begin to think about cleaning our homes, I want to encourage you to think about the clutter you’ve accumulated. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of clutter you have? Not the physical clutter but the digital clutter? It seems that as technology keeps evolving, the more digital clutter I accumulate.
Usually, your desktop is going to be the first thing you see when you turn on your computer. It also tends to be the place where digital clutter accumulates (much like an actual desktop!)
- Delete unnecessary icons & files.
- Sort files. My desktop ends up my dumping ground for everything I’m working on. When I’m decluttering my desktop, I always have a lot of files to sort.
- Only keep what’s truly needed. Do you really need all of the program shortcuts on your desktop or can you open them as needed?
- Pick an organizing wallpaper if you want.
- Make a “Temporary” folder to hold files you only need to access temporarily. For example, a memo that you need to print or a grocery list.
Cloud Drives & Hard Drives & PC
- Group files into sections.
- Put all pictures/music/documents/ect. Into their own folders. Do this for every PC/Drives you have.
- Choose sorting method. I prefer to sort via date so that is what I’m going to reference here. If you have a different sorting method, use that.
- Sort every picture into general dates. For examples, I don’t have every date sorted. Rather, I have a 2015 folder and months within that folder.
- Label pictures if desired. I tend to keep the file names as whatever my camera chooses. Some pictures I label if I want to remember specific dates or events.
- Delete doubles (or triples!) of the same picture. It’s so easy to saves thousands of photographs of the same shot when it’s digital. Don’t feel like you HAVE to keep every single picture. Yes, you can feel free to delete the pictures of your kids that didn’t turn out well.
- Open and label every document. I know you have “Untitled 1 and 2” on your computer. Before sorting, make sure you know what every document actually is.
- Send irrelevant documents directly to the recycle bin.
- Archive documents you will need in the future with Evernote or OneNote (or another program you prefer). Only keep documents that you are actively working with.
Software & Apps
- Go through all of your software programs and apps and delete the ones that you no longer use or the ones that are duplicates.
- Keep a folder for temporary bookmarks. I often save a bookmark to a site that I want to reference again but I don’t need it forever. For example, a recipe I want to try this week or a coupon I want to print.
- Sort all of your bookmarks into folders to make them easier to find. Delete any ones you no longer want or need.
- Sort all of your music files by name and immediately delete any duplicates.
- Ensure that all of your music files are complete. Meaning, do not have any files labeled “new music 2016” unless you like a mystery!
- Using your favorite media program, sort your files into playlists or folders.
- Reevaluate all of your accounts. Do you truly use them all or want them all? Close any accounts you no longer want or use.
- Go through your friends list or people you follow. Only keep the ones you truly enjoy seeing updates from.
- Unlike all pages that are no longer relevant.
- Consider unsubscribing from email notifications. All social media accounts offer to send you updates via email. This just adds to email clutter. If you do not truly need the email notifications, unsubscribe.
Of course, make sure that you keep backups of important files. Back up files by using an external hard drive or a cloud drive. Make sure you go through it once a week to keep it organized and up to date.
Once you organize all of your digital clutter, remember to keep it that way. Unlike physical clutter, digital clutter can easily accumulate without a visual remember.
What part of technology is the hardest for you to keep organized?