This post was most recently updated on April 28th, 2023
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[This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.]
How often do you perform digital decluttering?
Read these tips so that you can enjoy more productivity and less stress in 2021.
I’m not really an organized person, but… I’m not that bad either. Overall, I try to schedule one day per week to declutter my digital devices.
I have five emails that I need to check every day (except on Sunday), so you know how big a deal it is to check and respond to every email in my inbox every day. I try to respond to all emails, but sometimes it can still get out of hand and feel like a never-ending list.
As you know, physical clutter can be harmful to our well-being and it’s easy to detect it: closets full of clothes, a pile of junk paper, and stuff lying around your home. But digital clutter is trickier. Why? because it’s less visible.
You have to check them every single day. Every email you receive, the photo you save, the app you use, the file you create, and the attachment you download have the potential to accumulate as digital clutter. Digital clutter lives on!
It can overwhelm us and lead to blogger burnout. The overflowing inboxes, the shrinking storage, the annoying beeps of a thousand notifications, the annoying feeling that you’re unable to find anything, etc.
I believe that it’s easier to manage and keep up an organized order than to start from scratch every single time. Unfortunately, digital clutter is impossible to be completely eliminated.
However, with a little practice and some intention, it’s quite easy to manage, and once you’ve formed the necessary digital decluttering habits, it doesn’t even seem like a time-eating chore anymore!
Digital Decluttering Checklist
- Delete the apps you don’t use anymore.
- Organize rarely used apps into folders with a clear category name or delete them.
- Put the most often-used apps on the first or second home screen. I prefer to organize all apps into folders and put them on the first home screen (I don’t like having more than one screen actually).
- Delete duplicate or bad-quality photos.
- Close the internet tabs and run apps.
- Check your phone storage data and check whether you can delete apps and files that take up too much space.
- Delete music you don’t listen to anymore (always stream them instead of downloading them).
- Empty the trash regularly.
- Delete or move files from the Downloads folder. This will make your drive roomier and again potentially speed up your system.
- Clean up your desktop, organize all the apps into a folder – try to keep it as minimal as you can. Personally, I hate that my desktop is completely covered by random files.
- Delete/uninstall unused programs and apps. Not only will this give you more valuable storage space, but it is likely to improve the speed of the device in question.
- Check for updates and install them as soon as possible.
- Clean the monitor and the hardware.
- Unsubscribe from any email subscriptions or newsletters you don’t read anymore (you don’t find interest or value). Once a week, go through your promotions/social tabs and unsubscribe from newsletters.
- Use labels, flags, and folders to create an email sorting system.
- Create a specific folder for important newsletters and make filters that automatically sort those emails into the folder.
- Delete old emails you don’t need anymore. and save emails you actually need.
- Clean up your inbox until ZERO.
- Unfollow everyone with content that doesn’t interest you anymore.
- Mute or block people if necessary.
- Update social media profiles with any new info.
- Declutter your blog reading list.
- Close open tabs at the end of the day.
- Clear caches and history.
- Declutter your bookmarks. Delete what you can and create folders for the ones you keep.
- Review your filing system – is everything easily findable and scannable?
- Put everything into folders and subfolders.
- Make your most-used folders easily accessible.
- Delete old versions of documents.
- Give clear names to your files.
- Back up files (to the cloud and/or an external hard drive).
- Sync your phone and computer photos.
- Delete duplicates or bad-quality photos.
- Organize photos by date or event.
- Back up photos to multiple places (to the cloud and/or an external hard drive).
How often do you declutter your digital life?