You already know all about spring cleaning as a way to start fresh as the seasons change, but have you ever considered spring cleaning your digital life?
Odds are, you have numerous online accounts, newsletter subscriptions and random files that you haven’t gone through in forever. All this digital clutter adds up.
There’s even a digital minimalism trend making a case for a cleaner digital life.
Don’t worry, cleaning up the digital mess isn’t much different than cleaning up your home. You just don’t have all the dust or cleaning supplies to deal with.
1. Clean Up Your Desktop
Whether it’s your phone’s home screen or your laptop’s desktop, clean up the desktop. Too many shortcuts and files strewn about is chaotic. It makes it harder for you to focus on what you need to do. Instead, get rid of the excess and only place your most important shortcuts on your desktop.
2. Go Through Old Files
When was the last time you went through the files on your computer, phone, tablet or cloud storage service? Been a while? This is always one of the top spring cleaning tips when it comes to your digital life. Hoarding files is no better than hoarding physical items. Delete what you don’t need. Organize what you want to keep to make it easier to find later.
3. Clear Your Browser
Browser tracking is nothing new, but how often do you think about everything stored in your browser? Start by clearing out your browsing history, cookies, trackers and more. Use this guide to learn how to do this for your particular browser. If you want to reduce digital clutter in your browser, consider installing a privacy plugin to reduce how much websites can track you.
4. Unsubscribe From Everything
It’s so easy to subscribe to services, newsletters, notifications and so much more. These just keep piling up until spend hours every week deleting or ignoring things you no longer want. Part of spring cleaning means getting rid of things you no longer want. Go through all your digital subscriptions and unsubscribe or cancel anything you no longer need. This also means deleting accounts on websites you no longer use.
5. Reorganize Your Inbox
This isn’t just a great spring cleaning tip, but a great office cleaning tip. Inboxes turn into disasters in no time. Take the time to set up folders or filters to organize your inbox. Delete messages and contacts you no longer need. Back up old messages you may still need, but don’t need cluttering up your email.
6. Eliminate Old Software/Apps
Want a cleaner device? Uninstall any software or apps you never use. Get rid of the junk that’s just hogging space. The fewer apps and software on your devices, the better they’ll run. Plus, it’ll be easier to find what you’re looking for when you need it.
7. Go Through Social Media Profiles
If you’re like many people, social media makes up a large part of your digital life. It’s time for a social media spring cleaning. Go through every social media account carefully. First, if you rarely use the site or don’t enjoy it, delete it. Go through every profile to see if anything needs to be changed. Delete old pictures and posts you don’t want others seeing anymore. Go through your friends or connections to eliminate the excess.
As an office cleaning tip, ensure your social media accounts don’t contain anything that would hurt your job or professional career.
8. Backup Everything
Sadly, many people don’t think about backing things up until it’s too late. Don’t let this happen to you. After you have a cleaner device, back it up. Back up your files, device settings, apps and anything else. Then, set a backup schedule to back up your files regularly. Ideally, do this after any major changes and at least monthly.
9. Go Through Your Passwords
No one likes changing their passwords. In fact, there’s a condition many suffer from called password fatigue. Trying to remember everything and changing passwords regularly is an extreme mental exercise.
First, delete accounts you no longer use so you don’t have to remember those passwords. Second, find a way to organize your remaining passwords. Since they should all be unique, consider using a password management tool, such as LastPass or Keeper. Or, you can use a password protected spreadsheet, such as WPS Spreadsheets, to store and organize your passwords. Just be sure to place it on a USB drive instead of your main device for extra security.
10. Update Everything
Updating might not seem like one of the best spring cleaning tips for a cleaner digital life, but updates provide more security and better performance. They also keep your digital life running more smoothly. So, update your operating system, browsers, apps and any other digital-related items.
Spring is here and it’s time to start spring cleaning not only your home, but your digital world too.