“Digital Decluttering” of computers, pads, and smartphones is 14th in a series of articles that feature techniques for decluttering the home and office—one room at a time. As owner of Joyful DOWNSIZING and a Sun Lakes resident, I am passionate about helping boomers and seniors declutter to simplify their lives, organize remaining items, and downsize unwanted stuff.
Make space for yourself in life. Clear your clutter. The Small Business Administration reports that 80% of the papers or email are never referred to again. That means we are sifting through 80% of clutter looking for 20% of information that really matters. According to The Wall Street Journal, the average worker wastes 2.5 hours a week looking for documents missing in poorly organized electronic files.
Approach your electronic clutter and email clutter in the same way you would treat your closet or family room. Instead of physical boxes, create folders labeled “Save,” “Later,” and “Trash.” Consider organizing files by “Personal” and “Business,” or have files with labels such as “Save for Later.”
Tips for Computer Clutter:
* Clean up your hard drive and create space. Get rid of unused programs and applications.
* Go through all your contacts. Those you are no longer in contact with should be deleted from your email address book.
* Rather than just deleting unwanted email, take 20 seconds longer to unsubscribe.
* Create a list of all major folders. For instance, insurance can be a major folder with subfolders being auto, business, health, and home. Keep a printed copy handy and consider using this same system for your printed files.
* Unsubscribe from useless email immediately.
* Don’t let social media, email, or blogs clutter interfere with your valuable time. The average American spends about two hours (118 minutes) a day on social media. Just think of what you can do with that time if you reduce time on Facebook and Instagram.
* Review all apps on your phone and remove any that are not used, loved, or needed.
* Consider purchasing the Evernote app to keep everything in one place and access it instantly. Productivity can increase when organizing your personal or professional life.
* Purge photos and delete those that are no longer wanted. A future article will focus on photo storage, addressing how to organize, save, and share with other devices.
Think digital minimalism and choose a focused life in a very noisy world where so many people, organizations, businesses, and politicians want your attention. Don’t let your clutter reappear. Avoid the rut of sifting through 80% of clutter looking for the 20% you really need or want.
Future articles will feature hobby and craft rooms, digital photo storage, and moving preparation. Stay tuned.
Call me to learn about my free 30-minute consultation at 480-720-8566.