Written by: Samira Bulushi, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
When we think of clutter, our minds typically go straight to messy rooms, overcrowded garages, storage spaces overflowing with excess, and endless material things demanding for our attention. Yet, how often do we consider the impact of digital clutter, which can be equally, if not more, overwhelming than its physical counterpart?
In this age, with nearly all our work existing online, virtually everyone has some form of digital footprint. This footprint can become increasingly cluttered and disorganized due to the allure of countless new tools and trends – a side effect of our culture's endless hustling and attraction to the next shiny object. For those not mindful of their digital environment, the state of their digital clutter can quickly spiral out of control. So, what measures can we take to declutter and organize our digital spaces? The first step is to acknowledge and become aware of the clutter. Once we've done that, it's time to take action: declutter, purge, and organize. But remember, this isn't a one-and-done project that you can check off your list and forget about. Just as we need to regularly clean and organize our physical spaces, we must also maintain our digital ones.
Here are some simple tips on how to do so:
Assess Your Gadgets
Start by assessing the number of gadgets you possess. Ask yourself: Do you truly need all of them - multiple phones, computers, tablets, cameras, and other small gadgets? Or can you simplify your digital life by minimizing your device collection? Is it necessary to buy the latest gadgets, or do the ones you currently own serve your needs well? This isn't about the quantity of gadgets you have, but rather the mindfulness and purposefulness with which you use them. The fewer things we own, the fewer things we have to maintain and worry about.
Declutter Your Digital Gadgets
Next, initiate a decluttering process for the gadgets you do have, focusing on the ones we use most frequently – our phones, laptops, and any other primary devices. Make this a routine maintenance task that you incorporate into your schedule, whether that's monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Here are step-by-step checklists for decluttering your phone and laptop:
Declutter and Organize Your Three Main Digital Areas
Following your gadget declutter, target three primary digital areas that often succumb to clutter:
Start by locating all your photos and deciding on a central hub for them. Consider the type of experience you want when looking back on your photos, and choose a method that will make finding photos quick and easy. Remember, the fewer photos you have, the more likely you are to look back on them and enjoy the experience. Personalize your phone settings so that unnecessary photos aren't saved automatically and set up a realistic maintenance plan to keep your digital photos clutter-free. Photos should be captured to tell a story and capture a memory – so we should focus instead on living the moment instead of trying to capture every moment. And if you need a more step-by-step guide on how to declutter and organize your photos, here is a blog post I wrote on how to do so.
Begin by consolidating all your files in one central hub of your choice. Then, sort them into high-level categories such as Personal, Business, School, Work, Finances, etc. Then within each folder, organize them further into specific sub-categories, and rename each file with a consistent naming convention. Regularly clean up your downloads folder and set up regular maintenance. Here is a blog post showing you step-by-step more in-depth on how to declutter and organize your files.
Start by using a tool like Trimbox Chrome extension to quickly unsubscribe from and delete newsletters and emails that are no longer relevant. Use the search function to find and delete non-essential emails.
Turn off email notifications from apps that clutter your inbox and create a concise and clear folder system. After sorting through your emails, remember to maintain them regularly as suggested in this blog post.
By tackling these areas, you'll create a digital space that's less cluttered, more organized, and ultimately, less stressful. It's time to free ourselves from digital clutter and revel in the peace that comes with digital decluttering and organization.
And if you need further help, I am always happy to support. You can book a discovery call here.
Samira Bulushi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Samira Bulushi, founder of Digitally Decluttered, excels in helping clients streamline and organize their digital domains—and occasionally their physical spaces, too. Her expertise encompasses an array of organizational tasks, ranging from email, file, and photo decluttering to establishing streamlined systems with the help of no-code tools. Beyond the digital world, she applies her organizational skills to physical locations, organizing homes, inventory warehouses and small offices. Samira's passion for organization is more than a job; it's a natural talent that she eagerly cultivates. Multi-passionate by nature, she often engages in diverse projects simultaneously, but what ties them together is her love to turn chaos into order.