9 Ways to Downsize Digital Clutter


Mar 03 2015

Gold Tape

9 Ways to Downsize Digital Clutter

As we explored in last month’s Minimalist Challenge, digital clutter takes up just as much energy as physical clutter – and it’s easier to get rid of! No charity shop runs or special recycling instructions, just the satisfying paper-crumbling sound of an empty garbage bin on a Mac. [i love that sound].

When you get a new computer, start fresh with no files.

Instead of importing everything right away, only transfer files when you miss/need them. Getting a new computer helps me refresh my music collection, for instance. I keep old computer backups on Carbonite, and recently said goodbye to my high school laptop’s backup. It felt really good to let go of things I was only keeping “just in case”.

Delete old lists.

Do you have a massive list of books to read or movies to see? Be honest. Do you ever look at them? If such lists make you stress and feel like you’re soooo far behind, the choice is simple: delete them. You’ll feel accomplished just for letting go of the responsibility. Ask yourself, do I want to read/watch that this year? If you don’t want to make time for it now, don’t put it on the list to begin with.

Delete apps you don’t use.

Sometimes I go on free app shopping sprees just to try stuff out. Every now and then it’s good to get rid of the ones I don’t love though!

Don’t overuse folders.

Whether on your phone, laptop, or anywhere, really, don’t get caught up in overorganisation. Especially since it’s so easy to search files these days! On my iPod, I have three pages of apps, but no folders. I find it easier (and more fun) to swipe through screens than tap on folders.

Clear your desktop every night.

Before you go to bed, unclutter your desktop and turn off your computer. You’ll wake up to a nice clean desktop!

Use only your bookmarks bar. And clean it up.

Check your bookmarks folders on your browser and clean it up ruthlessly. In fact, unless you actually use it all the time, I recommend sticking to a bookmarks bar only. And for extra credit, hide it!

Delete songs you don’t like.

Do not hold onto songs you don’t love just in case. Just in case what?? A carefully curated collection is the dream. No settling for extra stragglers. There is a world of amazing music just waiting to be discovered [like on this playlist of hidden jams!]

Clean out your inbox.

Organised people work on their emails daily. Did you take on the Inbox Zero challenge I set in February?

Have one Scribbles page in notes app.

In Evernote, I have one note called “Scribbles” for, well, random scribbles. I used to start new notes for each new thought, but this keeps all randomness in one place so each item does not get lost in the shuffle!



Pick one of these tasks and GO FOR IT! Share your results [feeling good and organised I hope?] in the comments and I’ll send you a virtual high five.

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