Day 2: Digital Declutter

Welcome to day 2 of the 5 day reset challenge!

If you missed day 1, where we worked on decluttering our physical space, you can catch up by clicking here.

Today we’re focusing on a digital declutter. This kind of clutter is sneaky because we don’t see it all the time, but it’s still taking up space in our lives. But don’t worry. I’ve got a 5 step attack plan to get your digital spaces and devices feeling good as new for 2019.


Photos / Camera Roll

Open up the camera roll or gallery on your phone. Chances are you’ve got hundreds of photos of who knows what just chilling there taking up valuable space. Figure out which (if any) of these photos you need to keep on your device. Upload any sentimental pictures you want to save to the cloud storage of your choice (I use Microsoft OneDrive) or onto a USB stick or your computer – whatever you prefer. Try to get into the habit of culling your saved photos on a weekly basis to not only save space but to also save you time. It’s annoying to have to scroll through 150 blurry cat pics to get to the one you’re looking for – or so I’ve been told!


Apps

While you’ve got your phone out, take a minute to review your apps. I’m not just talking about the ones on your home screen, I mean all of your installed apps. If you haven’t used something in the last month, it’s safe to say you can get rid of it. Plus, you can always go back and download it again if you need it. This is also a good time to re-evaluate the apps on your home screen. Make sure anything you use regularly – or want to use regularly – is easily accessible. For me, that’s Keep Notes, my meditation and fitness apps, Spotify, Instagram, and Crave TV.

If you’re trying to limit the time you spend on social media, consider hiding those apps a few screens over, or deleting the shortcuts all together to reduce the temptation. That way you’ll only be interacting with the app when you make a conscious decision to do so and won’t be a slave to the notification badge.


Friends list / Followings

Of all the tasks on the digital declutter list, I guarantee you that this one will have the most immediate positive impact on your well being. It can be a bit time consuming, but I promise you the payoff is worth it. Start with your most used social media platform. For me, it’s Instagram but these tips will work for any of your social networks.

Scroll through your feed and look at the posts you’re seeing. How do they make you feel? Unfollow anyone whose posts evoke feelings of inadequacy in any way. While social media is an awesome way to stay in touch with friends and family, be inspired, learn things, and have a laugh, it’s also very much a marketing platform. Brands and influencers are constantly selling to you. I’m not against that on principle. I market things from time to time.┬áIt’s the way you’re being marketed to that you should be aware of as well as how often accounts are trying to sell you things.

My personal rules for this are as follows: if an account is promoting diet culture, makes me feel inadequate in order to push me to buy something, or does nothing but try to sell me things, I’m unfollowing. It’s up to you to decide what your limits are and set your own rules accordingly. This is also a great strategy for getting toxic people out of your life or people whose posts annoy you. If you’re going to spend time mindlessly interacting with a social media app, the least you can do for yourself is curate content you enjoy.

While most apps don’t notify users when you unfollow them, you may have people in your life that are using a third party app to track follows and unfollows. In the event that you can’t bring yourself to remove a toxic person from social media because you’re worried about potential backlash, consider muting their posts. That way you don’t have to see their content and they’re none the wiser.


E-mail

Ah, the elusive unicorn of inbox zero. If you’re not familiar with inbox zero, it’s the concept of actioning e-mail when you open it so that it doesn’t just live in your inbox indefinitely. It’s a real thing, you can get there, but it takes a bit of work.

Open up your email and scroll through your inbox. Do you have a bunch of unread messages or opened messages just hanging around? Are any of them really important? How many of them are marketing emails or mailing lists you don’t even remember signing up for?

UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THOSE MARKETING EMAILS.

Seriously. Right now. Do it. Not only will it clean up your inbox, it will also prevent you from shopping for stuff you don’t need just because it’s on sale. Instead, seek out those deals when you’re ready to shop for a specific item. Your bank account will thank you.

Next, action any emails that need to be dealt with. Is there something you need to reply to? A bill you need to pay? Action the item and then get it out of your inbox. If it’s something you need to keep for future reference, consider archiving it or putting it in a folder. That way you can easily retrieve it at a later date.

Once you’ve gotten down to hopefully less than 10 items in your inbox (bless your heart if you’re at zero), you need to keep it that way! Set aside time each day to intentionally check your email and action each item as you touch it. Most email apps have a schedule function so if it’s something you need to deal with but not right now, you can schedule a time to review it. Easy peasy.


Document / Downloads

Finally, take a minute to cruise through your download and document folders Do you have things kicking around that you don’t need anymore? Delete them. Move anything you need to keep to a folder and give it a name that makes it easy to find.

That’s It! You’re Done!

Enjoy your now streamlined and organized digital devices and scroll through social media knowing you’ll love what you see. Got any tricks or tips for keeping your devices organized? Let me know in the comments below!

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