Spring Cleaning: 5 Steps For Digital Decluttering

Alison Kessler
May 3, 2016

Newsflash: Spring has finally sprung! You’ve cleaned out your closet, tucked your coats away for next winter, and cleaned out the kitchen, ready for those sunny days ahead. Or so you thought.

You’re overlooking one major messy area of life: the digital side. Clutter is clutter, so whether it’s weighing down your wardrobe or your data stream, it’s time to clean house, baby. 

Step 1: Your Desktop.

A chaotic digital desktop can be just as unmanageable as a physical one, and even more disastrous for your work. Although there are lots of handy solutions for organizing your desktop (check out Hazel or Synchronize! Pro X), I’d start by setting aside 30 minutes to sort files yourself. Those screenshots of your ex or excessive selfies can go in the trash. Assess what should stay, what should go, and what can be moved to an external hard drive or cloud storage.

Step 2: Your Smartphone.

You’ve been ignoring those software updates for months now, and you’ve probably noticed how slow your phone’s become. For the sake of efficiency, productivity and security, install all those updates now. Take it a step further by organizing and syncing all of your contacts. While you’re at it, delete all those “Do Not Contact” contacts (you know who I’m talking about). Find your hidden stash of business cards and transfer them to your phone, either manually or with easy apps like CamCard or CardKeeper (for those of you who are less digitally savvy).

Step 3: Your Inbox.

If you’re like me, you spend the first few minutes of your day checking emails. And by checking emails, I mean deleting the hundreds of subscription or spam messages you receive. Unsubscribing from each of these can be tedious, to say the least, so let UnRoll Me do the work for you. Even better, go ahead and delete all those unanswered JDate/OkCupid/Match.com/Farmers Only messages – a de-cluttered inbox is the first step toward finding Mr. or Ms. Right.

Step 4: Your Social (Media) Life.

It’s the start of a new season. What better time to cut down on that annoying digital noise (and those annoying personalities). Begin by unfollowing and unfriending. If you’re not getting positive information, important updates or even just a laugh from someone on Facebook or Twitter, it’s a waste of your time to follow them. The same goes for brands and organizations. It’s time to clean house and only follow those that bring real value to you. Have a favorite news source or a businessperson you respect? Of course you do. Ditch the arrogant dummies and follow those who might open you up to intelligent and insightful info.

Step 5: Your Actual, IRL Social Life.

Lastly, put down your phone, step away from the laptop, and take some time to enjoy the fact that the polar vortexes and blizzards are long behind us. It’s springtime in Philly — you’ll have plenty to post about later. 

I’m serious! Go outside.