3 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life

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Spring has arrived!  Unless you live in Missouri, where spring was here for literally a day and we continue to exist in eternal winter.  But despite the cold temps and windy af days, the sun has been shining, flowers are blooming, and I can’t breathe out of my right nostril, so I have evidence that spring has not forsaken us completely.  And nothing puts me in the mood for cleaning quite like spring! Okay, nothing puts me in the mood for cleaning, period. But I have discovered one way to declutter my life that I can do from my bed while watching Real Housewives, and that’s some spring cleaning I can get behind.

Even if you don’t have an hour to dedicate to digital decluttering, a few minutes here and there can free up precious memory on your devices as well as clearing your mind and inbox from a bunch of junk.

Unsubscribe from email.

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If you’re like me you get a bajillion emails to your inbox each day.  When browsing online I always give retailers my email address if they offer an additional discount for signing up.  But I've learned that it’s not doing my wallet any favors in the long run!

How many times has a company pushed an amazing sale to your inbox, prompting you to visit their site and purchase items that you could have otherwise lived without?  They know what they’re doing, those tricky marketing execs.

So not only will unsubscribing from emails save you precious minutes deleting spam each day, it will also save you money!   If there’s a company that you love and you’re always on the lookout for sales, stay on their email list. Otherwise, get rid of them. 

Delete duplicate photos/grocery lists/etc.

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If you’ve ever handed a toddler your iPad or cell phone, chances are you have something like this in your photo album:

Girlfriend  took 43 pictures of the back of the passenger seat.  I also have numerous photos of junk I’ve tried to sell online, pictures of shopping lists, and screenshots of things I wanted to share with someone and no longer need.  These photos would never make it into a physical album, so why do I allow them to take up space on my phone? Even if you store photos in a cloud or have unlimited storage, you’re still having to wade through all the garbage to find the photos you truly enjoy.  Take 5 minutes next time you’re waiting in line somewhere and delete some of the crap from your photo albums. If you want to carve out a bigger chunk of time for this project, do it on the subway during your morning commute, or while you’re waiting in the car line.  In a couple of days you will have deleted all the pictures you don't want, and I’ll bet you’ll be surprised just how many unimportant photos were stored in your albums. Going forward, take 2 or 3 minutes in the evening (maybe while brushing your teeth) to delete any photos you took that day that you don’t intend to keep.

Streamline your social media.

Are you Facebook “friends” with people you haven’t spoken to for 15 years?  Do you still have a Pinterest board with ideas for your bestie’s bachelorette party even though she’s been married since 2012?  Clean. It. Up. Think about why you really use each of your social media platforms. For example, I enjoy Facebook to keep up with family and friends that I know in real life, and to be involved in groups and pages that are relevant to my interests.  Go through and unfriend (or at least unfollow) people that you don’t know or don’t care about. Look through your groups. Are you constantly seeing updates for a friend-of-a-friend’s sales group, but you really have no interest in the products they’re promoting?  Leave the group! There’s no need to feel guilty, because if you have no intention of purchasing, you are not their target customer anyway.

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Trust me, I know how easy it is to make excuses for holding on to clutter, digital or not.  But I promise you are going to feel so much better when you rid your life/phone/computer of things that are not serving you.  It’s super annoying for me when I have to scroll through 7,000 pictures of junk when I’m trying to find that one photo of my daughter to show her grandma.  It’s frustrating when I just want to see what’s going on with my friends and family, and instead, my newsfeed is overflowing with posts from groups that I no longer enjoy.  

So join me in carving out the time to make our lives more efficient in the long run. And, if for no other reason, digital decluttering is a good excuse to procrastinate actual, physical spring cleaning.