Digital Spring Clean In 5 Easy Steps

August 29, 2014
digital decluttering, digital clutter, organise your computer, clean inbox

Imagine coming into spring with a sparkling clean inbox, a to-do list that you can actually find and a computer running at a super speed after shedding all the needless clutter from its hard drive. It feels as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, doesn’t it?

If you’d love that feeling, but you’re overwhelmed just thinking about facing your digital clutter, here’s how to break down your digital spring clean into easy steps:

1. Clean up your inbox

Do you keep every email you haven’t had the time to read in your inbox? If it’s been there for a couple of weeks and you still haven’t read it, it’s probably safe to delete. But before you do that, take the time to unsubscribe from all the newsletters you’re not reading. I like to do it manually, going into each of them one by one, but there are also free mass unsubscribe services you can use like

2. Delete your bookmarks

Most of us end up with a list of bookmarks so long that we can’t find anything and we end up googling what we need anyway. So why not start fresh? Only keep a handful of bookmarks that you’re accessing all the time and delete everything else. If, like me, you’re collecting bookmarks related to different projects you’re working on, put them in separate folders for easy deletion once the project is finished.

3. Free up your hard drive

I can understand if you don’t want to go through tons and tons of files and look at each one to determine whether you want it or not. Who’d want to do that? So here’s what I suggest instead. Backup everything on an external drive. Then only keep the files you’re currently using and delete everything else from your computer.  Give yourself a time frame of, say, 6 months or a year to see if there’s anything else you’ll need from your hard drive. Whatever you haven’t needed in that time, you can probably get rid of for good. Obviously, there’d be items that you don’t look at regularly, but you need to keep for longer periods of time (financial and legal documents, for example), so make sure those are safe before the big delete.

4. Look at any other areas of your digital life

Do you have too many books on your ebook reader? Do you get posts in your Facebook feed from people who look unfamiliar? Or maybe, you can’t get any more podcasts onto your iPod, because of all the files from 3 years ago that you haven’t listened to yet, but you might want to one day (that would be me). Do have too many apps on your iPhone that you never use (that’s me, too)? Look at all these areas one at a time and cut the clutter.

5. Set up systems going forward

Your digital space looks bright and fresh now, and wouldn’t it be nice to keep it that way? Spend some time creating systems that will help you, which may include email filters, regular cleanup schedule and changing some of the habits that don’t serve you.

Image by kropekk_pl via

By Tatiana Apostolova

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