Digital clutter, while it does not occupy physical space, definitely occupies mental. Email spam, Facebook group notifications, digital photos, files, apps... it can be very overwhelming (and seemingly impossible to escape)! For most people, decluttering digital seems so unattainable that they simply do not try. However, a simple strategy and commitment of time is all that is required.
The liberating feeling of not being inundated with marketing, notifications and multimedia options is one worth putting effort in to achieve. Read on to learn how to regain control of your digital affairs.
DECLUTTERING DIGITAL STEPS:
1. As with other categories of the KonMari Method, addressing digital with one sub grouping at a time will keep you focused and ensure you are thorough with your tidying.
2. Predetermine what digital areas of clutter you need to address. You may find it beneficial to order these categories by easiest (or least effort) to hardest (most effort).
3. Take your time. This is one category that for most takes a series of sessions and sometimes even months to work through. The important thing is to not overwhelm yourself with pressure to complete this project by a certain deadline. You may even find it beneficial to hold-off on working through digital until the very end of the method or throughout the process as downtime allows.
CATEGORIES OF DIGITAL:
- SOCIAL MEDIA:
- Take a good inventory of all the platforms you use, how they make you feel, the level of benefit they bring to your life and ultimately which, if any, you could remove yourself from.
- For each platform you plan on keeping, assess what is working and what isn't. Reduce the amount of unnecessary notifications you receive, followers which you do not engage with and groups/apps that you no longer use or want.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters and promotional emails that you no longer wish to receive. This can be a frustrating task without assistance, but a wonderful program I recommend is Unroll.Me. This software will do a quick scan of your account(s) and provide you with a list of all the corporate email accounts you receive correspondence from and then you can select the ones you wish to unsubscribe from.
- Take a look through all your mobile devices to determine which Apps are no longer useful, wanted and in what ways can you streamline. Perhaps you are using several similar Apps and could simplify to only using one for each purpose.
- This is a big undertaking and one that I wish I had a simply solution for addressing. In my experience the only way to par down your files is to go through each device you have material stored on and remove unwanted ones manually. As much work as it is to do this task, in the long run it does pay off. It is nice taking stock of your files, organizing and creating a system for moving forward is also very rewarding.
- DIGITAL PHOTOS
- This is the big one. Most of us walk around with a decent camera on our person and so collectively we tend to be snap happy. Those photos add up though, both in digital mass but also in storage. Like files, going through all devices and manually deciding what to keep and what photos can be deleted is the best strategy. This labour some exercise is one that will absolutely curb old "shutter ready" habits.
After you have put the (long) hours into sorting your digital; apart from feeling very well accomplished, you will undoubtedly want to establish a new system for maintaining digital order. My simple advice is to keep things easy and safe. Invest in software that will store your documents in an organized fashion for you (ie, Apple's iCloud) and be mindful of what you are signing up for, joining or taking photos of.