Declutter & Reset Your Digital Life

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

{ Get your digital life under control in one afternoon using this simple method. }

One of the most over-looked categories in minimalist guides on decluttering is our online lives. Many of us have just as much digital clutter as we found in our living spaces, if not more! Whether it's 15 years worth of family photos on Flickr or old social media accounts like MySpace, it's time to tackle your digital life. Here's how I applied the Konmari Method from the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to decluttering my online accounts.


THINGS YOU WILL NEED:

  • something to write or types notes on

  • a way to back up your computer data

  • the devices you plan on sorting through and decluttering

  • a reliable power source and an internet connection

  • patience, resolve, and dedicated time to focus on this project


HAVE A BACK-UP | pick a primary method

  • Write it to a DVDR or CDR

  • Use an external hard drive

  • Put it on a flash drive

  • Upload it to the cloud

  • Reliable cloud storage

  • Print a hardcopy

  • Use any combination of the above if you need multiple backups


SAVE AS YOU GO | but delete as much as possible

Don't forget to save things via download, screenshot, .cvc files, or however best works for you as you go. At the end of this online decluttering project, get these files off of your computer and onto a backup.



DECLUTTER BY CATEGORY

just like the Konmari Method

  • online cloud storage

  • online photo sharing

  • online apps and web tools

  • social media accounts

  • friends and followed accounts

  • paid subscriptions

  • email accounts

  • saved emails

  • email contacts

  • hard files


DECLUTTER THE CLOUD

& streamline your online storage

  • Make a list of all of your active cloud accounts such as DropBox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Try to include accounts you know you have but don't use anymore such as photo sharing sites like Flickr.

  • Determine which accounts are redundant and/or are used the least, then cross them off your list.

  • Reduce the amount of active accounts you have by closing your unwanted online cloud accounts.

  • Delete, sort, and organize everything you have on the cloud accounts you choose to keep.



CLEAN UP YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNTS

& be selective

  • Write out a list the social sites you love and use most often.

  • Don't forget to include blogs, forums, and app sites you may have accounts with.

  • Jot down a list of sites you don’t love but need to keep for work, school, business, finances, or healthcare.

  • Thoroughly list any accounts that don’t fall into either category of "love" or "need".

CLEANSE

  • Delete or deactivate unused accounts like MySpace.

  • Create re-directs for sites you don’t use but want to keep by making your most recent post a link to your most-used social sites.

  • Take the time to unfriend and/or unfollow people and accounts that aren't working for you anymore.

  • De-clutter and delete any old posts or photos you don't like.

UPDATE

  • Upload a fresh profile photo and banner image

  • Update your description and links

  • Check your privacy settings

  • Change your password

GET RID OF UNUSED ONLINE APPS

  • Make a list of online apps you don't use anymore. This could be things like Giphy, Boomerang, VSCO, or other web tools you might have once used.

  • Delete or deactivate your unused accounts.

  • Update the accounts you plan on keeping.

CANCEL PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS

  • Write a list of all of your paid subscriptions. These could be streaming sites like Hulu or Netflix, channel add-ons like Starz or HBO, or apps and games that have monthly or annual payments.

  • Select which ones are most useful and most used, then cancel the rest.

  • Update your monthly bill pay budget and see how much money you are going to save!


ORGANIZE YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNTS

& take inventory

  • Write an all-inclusive list of the email accounts you have including work, school, business, or spam inboxes.

  • Scratch off the list the email accounts you are ready to let go of.

  • Before deleting accounts, forward contacts and any important emails to yourself on an account you will be keeping.

DELETE OLD EMAILS

  • Use the archive or save feature to secure important emails.

  • Delete everything that is left, including your sent, spam, and trash emails.

SORT AND UPDATE CONTACTS

  • Check your contacts for any duplicates or irrelevant email addresses that you can delete right away.

  • Add or update existing contacts.

  • Use groups or folders to sort contacts by category such as "personal", "work", or "doctors".

  • If possible, use a multi-inbox platform such as Gmail in order to sync and view all of your emails in one inbox.





A pleasant surprise I found after deleting all of my emails was when I logged into Gmail on my phone to see these cute little icons show up! Now I routinely delete my emails as I go.





DECLUTTER YOUR DEVICES

one category at a time

  • Pictures

  • Videos

  • Sound files

  • Documents

  • Apps & Programs

REVIEW, DELETE, DESIGNATE, & BACK UP

  • Gather together all of the devices you'd like to freshen up - such as your tablet, phone, PC, or laptop.

  • As you review all of the content on your computer, delete unwanted and unnecessary items as you go.

  • After purging files, programs, and apps that you no longer want, be sure to organize the remainder into designated filepaths & folders, and to back up your important files.

  • Disable, delete, or uninstall non-native programs and apps that you no longer use.



After I took the time to use these steps to declutter my online life, I couldn't believe how much stuff I had and that it was bogging me down! Now I have a very simplified and streamlined approach to my online use and it saves me so much time. I hope this guide helps you clear out the clutter so you can get a fresh digital reset.


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