What is digital clutter, and how did it get here?
Like physical clutter, digital clutter makes life much more complicated than it needs to be. It’s a habit that starts as something small, such as subscribing to newsletters when prompted, but before you know it, the habit gets out of hand, an your inbox is filled to the top with promotions from brands you forgot existed.
In an ideal world, digital clutter would be nothing more than a figment of our imaginations. However, because technology is ever-evolving, new, exciting things entice us every single day. At some point, digital clutter is bound to cross our paths.
How do I avoid digital clutter in the first place?
While it may be hard to keep digital clutter 100% away, a good way to stay on top of your digital space is by creating a regular schedule for decluttering. Weekly, monthly, or quarterly, pick a cadence that works for your and your lifestyle. While the task may seem daunting, here are a few ideas to help you get started on decluttering your screen.
How to Start – Practical To-Dos:
- Tackle Your AppsEveryone has apps that were downloaded spur of the moment months ago that haven’t been touched since. Take the time to go through your apps and delete what’s no longer useful. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used an app in 6+ months, it’s probably a good time to let it go.
- Silence Your NotificationsWhile you’re determining which apps to keep or delete, address if the ‘keep’ apps require notifications. For some apps, like email, notifications could be considered a necessity. However, other apps, such as photo editing apps, often only share promotions and don’t require on-screen notifications. If you’re looking to declutter, this is a great way to start!
- The dreaded ‘Downloads’ folderIf your ‘Downloads’ folder looks anything like ours used to, it could use some serious help. As tempting as it is to leave this space as is, frequently downloading pictures and PDFs files without giving them a proper home is a large contributor to digital clutter. To organize this space, create folders with names that are useful to you, and organize your downloads quickly to easily locate them later. Now, we would much rather you pick descriptive folder names, but we understand that decluttering is a process, so do what work for you!
- Freebies, Discounts, Sales, Oh My!As avid newsletter subscribers, we can understand the desire to never miss email updates from our “favorite” brands. However, even though many email subscriptions tend to make sense in the moment, they’re often forgotten about weeks, even days later. Make it a habit to unsubscribe regularly from emails that no longer serve the same purpose they once did. We know it can be hard to say goodbye, but we promise you’ll feel better once you do.
Treat digital clutter the same as physical clutter: tackle it now before it becomes too much. When both your physical and digital spaces are clear, you’ll tend to find that you breathe easier, and your stress levels are significantly reduced.
Let us know how you stay clutter-free!