Digital clutter tips and a bonus gift for you

April 24, 2023

More Spring Cleaning tips this week as we look at digital clutter!

And to help us help YOU, please reply to this email and let me know you got itand as our thank you, we’ll send YOU my guide for getting rid of unwanted emails!

Beyond paper clutter and those pesky dust bunnies, a lot of readers ask about tackling digital clutter.

Whether you grew up typing on a manual typewriter, an IBM Selectric (!), or a computer keyboard, there’s no denying that we are now living in a digital age, right?

You might not like it but technology is here to stay.

And with all of these machines, we accumulate an immense amount of digital clutter in the form of old files, emails, and apps. 

Not only does this clutter take up valuable space on our devices, but it can also lead to a feeling of overwhelm and disorganization. 

And in some ways, because they’re small compared to things like clothing, furniture, and gardening equipment, they’re easy to overlook until you really need to find something or they stop working at a critical moment, like when an important call drops or the GPS conks out, right? 

So here are some tips for dealing with digital clutter:

1) Delete old files.

Go through your Downloads folder, your desktop (!), and any catchall folders you’ve created to just park stuff “until you have more time to sort through them” and delete any things that you no longer need. Be sure to empty your trash bin afterward to free up space on your device.

2) Unsubscribe from emails.

If you find yourself receiving too many emails, consider unsubscribing from any that are no longer relevant or important to you. Our free gift to you will help with this!

3) Organize your apps.

Take a quick scan of your phone and tablet and delete any apps that you no longer use. I create a folder for apps I download so I can keep them all together and then test them. Once I review the apps, I toss the ones I don’t like and put any that are staying with their siblings in labeled folders. 

Use the 2nd leg of the Organizational Triangle, Like with Like, to help you group like apps together. Some easy categories are FINANCES, TRAVEL, FITNESS, FOOD, SOCIAL MEDIA, and NEWS. Organizing all the apps you actually use into folders will make them easier to find.

4) Use cloud storage.

Consider using cloud storage services like iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox to store important files and free up space on your device—after you’ve deleted the files you don’t need. You could also use cloud storage to backup important files so nothing valuable is lost when a device is lost, stolen or just fails.

5) Set up a system for dealing with incoming digital files.

Create a simple system for dealing with new files and emails so you don’t just recreate the problem with new clutter. By setting up a few rules for how and when you’ll handle incoming files, they won't pile up and become overwhelming.

By taking these steps to deal with digital clutter, you can free up space on your device, reduce overwhelm, and create a more organized digital life.

P.S. If you want more help decluttering your digital life, check out [Mastering Your Digital Life], one of our most popular classes at Unstuff University.

Here’s to more love and less stuff!


Declutter Your Life Podcast by Andrew Mellen. Available on iTunes!