6 Satisfying Steps for Doing a Digital Spring Cleaning
Taken from an article by Kristen Garropo
When I think of spring cleaning, I imagine myself opening up all of the windows on a gloriously sunny day, blasting an upbeat playlist, and getting to work on deep-cleaning my home. The energy of spring invites a fresh start, which oftentimes looks like spring cleaning your home.
But when I ask myself: Where do I spend a lot of my time? What needs freshening up? In addition to my home, what comes to mind are my devices. I spend a lot of time on my laptop and phone, and as I see the number of notifications, unread emails, and texts that have piled up, I know part of my spring cleaning should definitely be digital. If you’re looking to organize your cyber clutter, here are six ideas to help get you started.
Tidy up your inbox.
It seems to me that people generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to emails: those who regularly keep their inbox at zero, and those whose email boxes are in the triple, or even quadruple digits. I admit, I’m that person who has over a thousand — yes, a thousand — unread emails clogging my inbox. Even though all of them are marketing emails or spam, I know I’ll be diving in and mass deleting lots of emails this spring and returning to my unroll.me account — a free program that allows you to manage all of your email subscriptions at once. (Additionally, you can set up rules in Outlook or filters in Gmail)
Delete apps on your phone you don’t use anymore.
Taking stock of the apps you use and don’t use is a great way to free up some storage on your phone, as well as on your screen. While you’re at it, you could also take time to organize your remaining apps, perhaps by color or by category.
Unfollow social media accounts you're no longer interested in.
It’s so easy to hit the follow button on a whim, and sometimes I see accounts I don’t even remember following in the first place! Going through your social media and unfollowing or muting accounts that no longer resonate with you is a great way to not only declutter your feed but your mind, too.
Organize your desktop.
I recently invested in a new laptop and remembered the relief that an empty desktop screen brings. My old laptop had important documents, apps, and the menu bar across the bottom of my screen had become quite cluttered. It’s easy to simply put docs and apps away into folders and hide the menu so it won’t show up until you hover your cursor over it. Another option is to download a desktop organizer wallpaper, and place important docs and files into their designated spots on your computer screen.
Check in on subscriptions and cancel any you don’t use.
There have been a few times in my life where I’ve signed up for a free trial of something and then I’ve forgotten to cancel before it’s up. Cue the groans! We’ve all been there, and it can be hard to stay on top of subscriptions with everything going on in our busy lives. This season is a great time to check in on those automated payments and decide whether or not you’re using what you’ve been paying for.
Recycle old electronics and appliances.
Have a phone or laptop from a few years ago just hanging out on a shelf in your closet? Or maybe a pile of random wires or chargers that you don’t know what to do with? Part with these items by recycling them. Places like Best Buy offer recycling services for everything from laptops and DVD players to landline phones and vacuums. Before you recycle your items, just be sure to securely wipe your data. (You can also check with your town and see if a recycling day is offered for these.)