I love a good decluttering spree in any area of life, but one area that we spend a ton of time in, but often still neglect is our digital spaces.
You’re welcome to do these all at one time, or break these up into the weeks leading up to the New Year. Or, opt to just do a few that will make you feel the best.
Why should you digitally declutter your life before the new year?
I think I’m in the majority when I say that I love a good decluttering session at the start of a new chapter. And even though you can reset your life at any point in time, it’s the perfect excuse to start off with a fresh slate.
We spend a lot of time on our phones and computers, but often forget how much our virtual spaces affect our moods. There’s science behind this too! Clutter can increase our stress, decrease our ability to focus, and can cause us to lose sleep too.
Let’s start 2023 with digitally decluttering, so you can be more stress-free, productive, and sleep better knowing that you’re organized and put together.
1. Clear your desktop
If you use your desktop as a way to hoard your downloads, it’s time to give it some TLC. Get rid of things you don’t need and get everything else organized in files.
2. Sort your files
Speaking of files, let’s sort find them some appropriate folders!
I finally got good at doing this when I bought a new computer a few years ago and started from scratch, but I still know there are some files that are messy, like my downloads folder. Delete files you don’t need anymore and sort the ones you do. Make it so that you have a place for everything, so you can always easily find your files! I swear this one will change your life and it’s worth the time!
If this feels way too overwhelming because all your files are all over the place, create a massive folder for all your past files and create new folders for the system you plan to use going forward.
3. Sort your inbox with filters
I love having certain filters on, so that newsletters will automatically go into a folder that I can go through later when I have time. It’s a simple way to help your future self by setting things up for automation.
4. Delete & unsubscribe to junk emails
Did you know that digital pollution is a thing? Get rid of those emails you don’t need. Something that I do to make it less overwhelming is to throw all my old emails into a folder to go through the deletion process. And then anything new that comes into my inbox that I don’t need, I’ll unsubscribe each day as they come in.
It can be kind of daunting to go through thousands of emails but if you’re just looking at that day’s mail, it’s easier to tackle! But, don’t forget to come back to that folder to delete existing emails too!
5. Reset your weak passwords
If you’ve gotten those notifications that you have weak passwords, it’s time to reset! Plus, it’s good to change out your passwords every few months.
6. Go through your bookmarks
I’m a big “bookmark” girly on my Google Chrome, especially with my “things to buy” folder. But soon enough, it becomes irrelevant. Time to go through those lists and keep only what’s useful.
7. Unsubscribe to some of your following/subscriber lists
Sometimes who we follow gets a little stale. Go through your following list and see who you still follow who you haven’t engaged with in awhile. Maybe you’ll rekindle your love for their content and tell the algo that you do still love their content! Or, maybe it’s no longer a good fit for you and it’s time to unfollow or unsubscibe.
Platforms to do an unfollow spree:
8. Go through your paid subscriptions
It’s easy to just let them keep going when they’re automated, but really ask yourself – how much use out of this am I actually getting? How many Apple TV+ shows am I watching? Or do I really need this video editing app for my business? Maybe explore alternative, cheaper options. Or, maybe on the opposite end, it’s time to invest in some upgraded subscriptions – especially while they’re on sale!
9. Delete apps you don’t use
Downloaded a game you haven’t played in a while? It’s easy to forget about those apps on your computer or phone that you’re not using anymore! Try to find at least 5 apps that you don’t use often and get rid of them! If you really need it again, you can always add it back.
10. Categorize your apps
Make things easier to find, so it’s a better experience for you! Sort them into folders if that’s your vibe! There are also really cute widgets you can add like the Pinterest widget allows you to add images from boards you follow.
11. Organize your life with an app
Whether it’s ClickUp or Google Calendar, or I use a combination of both, get your life digitally organized. Maybe you’re still a paper planner, but I’m telling you, it’s essential to have a project management tool as a business owner.
12. Find a new background
I love starting every month off with a new background. The Everygirl has really cute monthly wallpapers.
13. Get rid of notifications
I hate notifications on my phone. I’m that person who has to look at them, so that they go away. If you’ve been getting really distracted, take off your notifications! Or set “do not disturb” times on your phone and computer.
14. Set app and screen time limitations
Along the same lines, set some screen time limits, so that you can get alerted when you’ve reached the time. Even if I dismiss the notification for the day, I’m more aware of how much time I’m spending on TikTok which is better than just mindlessly being on your phone for hours.
15. Update your apps
Is everything up-to-date? Do a computer and phone update.
16. Clean your computer & phone screen
Nothing feels better than a freshly clean phone and computer screen, right? Also, if you have a keyboard & mouse, give those some love too.
17. Finish a digital course you bought
Throwing this in here, because I know some of my fellow biz besties and friends need this reminder! Use the extra downtime over the holidays to complete that course you bought!
18. Go through your Google Drive
You might have a lot of shared files that you don’t have control over, but chances are that you also have a lot of files that need some sorting.
19. Clear your cache
On both your phone and computer. And while you’re at it on the phone, make sure you close out all those browser tabs!
20. Go through your camera roll
And last but not least, this one’s a doozy. Let’s back up your photos and get rid of the ones you don’t need anymore!
Once you’re digitally decluttered, it’s officially time to move onto the physical clutter – yay!