The title of this post is taken from a comment I read a couple of days ago in a Facebook decluttering group.
My first task for the new year is not physical clutter but that insidious beast – digital clutter.
I have previously written on several occasions about trying to keep our emails under control. In fact, while re-reading past posts on the subject, I found mention of the ‘All Mail’ being between 1500 and 5000 emails at times. Over a number of years I have managed to consistently keep the total to less than 500, then 250 and even hovering around 150. The last few months have seen me cull them further to keep ‘All Mail’ to less than 100. Right now it is 66 which is very pleasing.
I found this post today which is a really helpful reminder of all the ways digital clutter can accumulate.
There are so many corners of your phone, computer and the internet where digital clutter may be lurking.
Every time I open WordPress to write a new blog post I am confronted by the fact that I have 73 posts in draft format. What?? But no more. Today I checked each and every one of those drafts that have accumulated over the almost 12 years of writing this blog and found that most of them were no longer even remotely relevant. The majority were not much more than a title or a few words. So, I had a great time deleting them all. I now have 3 drafts which I kept as I believe that they have the makings of posts worthy of publication in the future.
I do not keep thousands of photos on my phone as I regularly download them to the laptop and delete from the phone. However, I have not been as diligent as I could be with the next step of sorting and cataloguing them. The folder of ‘Camera Imports’ has multiple folders that have been downloaded in 2022 so I am working through organising them at the moment. Sorting a lifetime of photos is not a job for the faint-hearted so I try to break it into small blocks.
Keeping track of my ‘Contacts’ is another work in progress. I need to tidy and update them where necessary and check that the same information is on both my phone and the computer. Although it is not a digital issue, I do also have a physical hard-copy address book which I am not quite ready to let go of yet. I will cross-check the information in there with the digital contacts list.
I really think that the key to successful digital decluttering is a regular schedule of maintenance as outlined in in the post I linked above.
Do you have any particular tips to share on this topic. I would love to hear how you manage your digital resources.
Best tip of all is to delete after you’ve read the email if you don’t need or want to keep it – I’ve just deleted heaps of old receipts from accounts in previous years, these things slow down your computer by miles not to mention cluttering it up. I try to keep my emails down to around 20–25, with a few in drafts and a few in folders that I do need to keep – otherwise I get rid of them, particularly in the sent and deleted folders. I keep a lot of photos on the computer, very few on the phone as I rarely use it for photos, and my phone hasn’t got much clutter on it at all. Photos tend to have copies of copies so I always have to be diligent with those, but a lot of my bigger files are family history ones which I simply cannot delete as they’re needed for reference and proof of kinship etc.
Well done! It sounds as though we are both on the same page with this one. 🙂