“Clutter is chaos. It’s a suffocating presence that drains us of peace and joy and instead fills us with fear, hopelessness, shame and anxiety.” – Happy Organized Life
Clutter comes in so many different forms, not just physical things in your home. (I know, horrifying right?)
From emotional and financial to physical and digital, there are so many ways that clutter creeps into your life and can cause chaos.
Because of the beautiful and positive results I have seen in my life since opening up space in my home and pairing down the amount of physical items that I own, I recently decided to expand my decluttering efforts and have started working on digital clutter.
What is digital clutter?
When you turn on your computer, what do you see?
Do 150 emails pop up in your inbox as soon as you sign in? Do you have documents saved all over your desktop, making it impossible to see the background picture? Or maybe you have so many bookmarks that you wouldn’t even be able to find a website or blog if you wanted to go back and read it again.
This, my friends, is digital clutter.
Your computer, iPad, phone, tablet, etc can really be great sources of pleasure and fun. But when it is so cluttered, it can take that enjoyable experience away and make you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
I can honestly say that there have been days where I haven’t even opened my e-mail on my phone because I just didn’t want to deal with the influx of mail that I inevitably knew would be there. So days will go by which means that my inbox becomes even more full and cluttered. Sound familiar??
Digital clutter is just as negative and stressful as physical clutter.
Try these five ways of minimizing the digital clutter in your life and learn to enjoy your electronics again!
1. Keep up with your inbox and clean it out regularly.
I know how easy it is to pretend like you have no e-mails and ignore your inbox for a week. (I used to do it all the time to be honest!) But do you know what happens when you do that? It. Just. Gets. Worse.
The first step to minimizing your digital clutter is to keep your inbox cleaned out and go through it regularly. When you keep on top of it, even though that can be annoying, it really makes a huge difference when it comes to digital clutter!
2. Unsubscribe is your friend.
I will be the first to admit that I am a serial e-mail subscriber. I am constantly subscribing to emails and websites and then just deleting the e-mails when they come into my inbox.
Since being more intentional with digital clutter, one thing I have learned is that unsubscribe is your friend. Use it! If it doesn’t serve you and you aren’t reading or enjoying the e-mails then stop them from coming into your inbox. It is so gratifying to not receive such an abundance of e-mails!
3. Don’t bookmark everything.
Another place that I have taken a step back from is the amount of bookmarks I keep. What I have come to realize is that when you have so many bookmarks and so many sites saved, you honestly can’t even find the website you want to visit again.
If you have had an article or a blog that you saved 6 months ago and have never gone back to, get rid of that bookmark. It will free up so much space on your computer and make it easier to navigate and find the sites that really do serve you.
4. Keep your desktop empty.
When your desktop has so many documents and downloads on it that you can’t even tell what the background picture is, it is time to clean out!
I tend to save my photos that I take and then the edited copies on my desktop and that can quickly add up. (And makes me want to cry when I open up my computer.) If you are looking to eliminate your digital clutter, take some time and concentrate on your desktop and the amount that you have saved on there.
Once or twice a week, take 10 minutes and move or delete things off your desktop and keep it as empty as possible!
5. Organize photos and documents.
Last but certainly not least, creating folders and organizing the photos and documents on your computer will clean it up and make it feel way less cluttered.
One of the first things I did when I decided to start decluttering my digital space was to organize everything on my computer and phone and also delete these things. When you have your photos everywhere, even if it isn’t clutter, it can begin to feel like it. Organization is key when it comes to electronics and will make you feel way less overwhelmed.
Have you ever decluttered your digital space? What is one thing you can do to eliminate your digital clutter?