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Why You Should Get Rid Of Digital Clutter + 5 Tips To Do It

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Source: Unsplash

If you’ve been feeling weighed down by unorganized apps, web page downloads, and countless unopened emails, it might be time to plan out some cyber-spring cleaning. Combing through old outbox drafts and bothersome notifications may seem tedious, but you can clean up your devices and minimize digital clutter with just a few computer mouse clicks and tips! 

Digital clutter is described as documents, images, apps, and photos that take up a lot of space on your personal devices. Computers and phones sometimes suffer the consequences of digital clutter when they slow down internet service or lag during video calls. Work success, organization, and motivation are just some of the major benefits of clearing away online clutter. Clearing clutter has also been shown to reduce stress levels and increase online concentration. 

There are a ton of online platforms, documents, images, and other virtual helpers that are essential to our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, these things can quickly cloud up your online workspace. Whether you are overwhelmed by a crowded desktop or need a clean slate, use these 5 helpful strategies to cut down on digital clutter. Each one will help you quickly reset and reorganize to improve your productivity and motivation. Before you know it, you’ll notice long-lasting benefits not only for yourself but also for your device. 


1. Personalize Your Inbox

We all know how quickly emails can pile up. A cluttered inbox can bog down your computer and even cause it to lag. If you are missing important emails from high-priority clients or an urgent message from a new boss, it may be time to reorganize your inbox. 

Think about how you remove letters from your mailbox every day. The same idea can apply to your email inbox. If you can prioritize answering an important email as you receive it, you will be less likely to forget to respond. If an email may require a longer reply, create a “work in progress” folder. At first, it may take a bit of discipline, but this tactic will become more natural with time, and before you know it, your inbox will feel more organized.

Adding additional “To Dos” or “Needs Reply” labels to your inbox will allow for a managed flow of emails. You can categorize your more important messages with different colored flags to represent urgency. Oftentimes, people use red and yellow flags for their pressing email chains. You may also want to mark emails as “Important” that you may need to refer to in the near future – whether they have a Zoom link in the message or a new client’s information. 


2. Clean up Your Desktop

If you have folders upon folders blocking your background, it’s time to organize, delete, and consolidate. Sifting through these folders, documents, and icons may take a bit of time, but you will be much better off in the long run.

Start by looking through folders that you haven’t visited in a while. Do you really need files that you downloaded to your computer a year ago? Are there newer applications and platforms that can replace older ones? Tidy up your desktop by deleting unnecessary files. Less clutter will free up a lot of storage and quickly increase your computer’s speed.

Another tactic to sort your files is to place them in labeled folders. Add titles to these folders to enhance productivity. Label folders with the titles “Important Documents” or “Photos” to find your content more easily. This will allow you to access a work folder without having to search for what you may need.

Source: Unsplash


3. Assess Your Phone Organization

Ever wonder why your texts take what seems like forever to load and your internet skips out on you from time to time? Digital clutter might just be the answer. Messages, old apps, photos, and more, can take up more storage on your phone than you may realize.

Delete apps that you do not regularly use. You can always re-download an app and recreate an account if need be. Additionally, if you want more privacy about the apps on your phone, you can always try an app hider to organize your apps so no one can see them.

Search through texts that have been sitting in your messages forever and purge the ones you don’t need. Set a timeline for which texts get trashed to help you be ruthless about decluttering. For example, any messages from over a month ago may need to go. This can clear a lot of clutter and leave room to download more important applications. 

Scroll through your camera roll for any photos that you may not need. Cutting down on useless photos and accidental screenshots will make you feel much more organized. By cutting down on this digital clutter, your phone speed and battery life will improve. 


4. Ditch MP3 Music Files

If you happen to have MP3 files, you may not be aware of how much storage they are using on your mobile device. Afraid you won’t be able to stream your favorite music? Don’t worry, there is an easier way to access the music you enjoy without clogging up your phone.

There are a ton of music streaming apps out there that can replace space-hogging MP3s! The cost of different app accounts range from $0-15 a month depending on what you are looking for. Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and Soundcloud are great options that take up very little storage space. 

This simple change will free up a ton of mobile space that you can use for other personal or work-related needs. You’ll be rocking out to your favorite songs without the hassle of a slow-loading device in no time!

Source: Unsplash


5. Use Cloud Storage

It’s always a good idea to save memory on your mobile device and back up your information to the cloud. By assessing your highest areas of memory usage, you can store your photos, documents, and video files in the cloud instead of on your phone.

Look into what kind of cloud storage best suits your device. If you are an Android user, Dropbox, Amazon Drive, and Google Drive serve as helpful storage tools. iPhone users most commonly use iCloud and OneDrive. Research how to optimize your storage space on online platforms.

The size of your files may require a common monthly fee. But, some cloud services are downloadable without cost. Despite fees, cloud storage is a very helpful resource for people who may need some extra space on their mobile devices.

Digital decluttering can transform your online organization and make everyday tasks stress-free. Minimizing the number of unnecessary apps and folders you have will allow for productivity and accessibility in and out of the workplace. There will be a ton of benefits to decluttering in the long run that will make you feel more confident and comfortable online.

For more ways to cut down on digital clutter, click on the picture of the printable below to download a 10-day digital minimalism challenge from The Zebra to jumpstart your digital deep clean today.

Printable + Image Embed Code:

<a href=’https://cdn.thezebra.com/zfront/media/production/documents/10-day-digital-minimalism-challenge-printable.pdf’><img src=’https://cdn.thezebra.com/zfront/media/production/images/10-day-digital-mini.format-jpeg.jpegquality-70.width-960.jpg’ width=’540x’ border=’0′ /></a> 

Download printable here.

Author Bio

Pia De Los Reyes

Pia is a content marketer with an M.A. in Communication and B.A. in Psychology. She has experience writing for the business, career, tech, personal finance, insurance, health and wellness, and lifestyle industries. Through her writing, she aims to inspire and inform everyday audiences so that they can improve their lives. 

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