Declutter Your Digital Space In 7 Ways

Do the phrases 'your mailbox is now full' or 'your storage space is almost full' ring a bell? The onset of the digital age has brought about a bombardment of digital clutter that plagues our daily lives. General emails, newsletters, spam, Facebook notifications, Instagram posts, word documents, excel spreadsheets, shopping promotions... The list goes on. Our physical homes don't only become cluttered but our electronic lives as well. Luckily we've got a simple guide to keep your digital desktop free of clutter. 

1. Organise folders 

If your desktop is littered with documents then maybe its time to sort them into folders. A good place to to start is to sort them into their applicable categories. If there is a large number of documents per category then maybe subdivide the folder into dates. It is also a good habit to save work and personal stuff into separate folders. Don't harbour old documents that have become irrelevant, send them to your trash bin. 

2. Sort through photos, music and movies

Digital cameras and smartphones have enabled us to take hundreds of photos of ourselves. The days of limited film are long gone. For this reason, we accumulate hundreds of images that we don't even go through again. Do a monthly purge of all your not-so-great photos and see how much space you free up. This applies to music and movies. If you have tons of music you don't actually listen to or movies you've watched once and will never watch again, then delete. 

3. Back up to the cloud or external hardrive 

It is always a good idea to have a backup drive, whether it be in the cloud or on an external hardrive. Computers, mobile devices and laptops can crash, get replaced or stolen. Protect your important documents and memories by backing up regularly. You will also free up processing space on you device and effectively speed up your computer. 

4. Discontinue monthly services you no longer use

If you're paying for premium services, like Linkedin, Lynda.com or Adobe photoshop, then ensure that you are actually using them and can justify the cost. Perpetual payments can accumulate quickly. Discontinue your subscription if you are not using it, you can always resubscribe when you need it. 

5. Review social media sites you are active on 

Social media icons

Facebook, Instagram and the likes are great applications for keeping up with friends and family but sometimes we need to do an overhaul. If you have friends on Facebook or Instagram that share inappropriate content on a daily basis or post ignorant opinions or that you just plain don't like then remove them as a friend. Also review photos that you have been tagged on or uploaded on social media. Keep in mind that prospective employers will scour your social media pages to find anything incriminating. Make sure your pages are showing the best version of yourself. 

6. Clean up your emails regularly 

The first place to start when cleaning up you mailbox is to unsubscribe to monthly or weekly newsletters that you do not read. Shopping promotions and sales updates will also accumulate at a rapid rate if you don't keep them under control, either unsubscribe or delete. Archive emails that are important and allocate them to a specific folder. Otherwise delete. 

7. Delete unused apps and programs

Git rid of any random programs or apps you are no longer using. This will free up storage space and increase your computer's speed.