The clutter and dust that accumulates in our emails, phone, and via social media doesn’t exactly look like the same dust we see on our fans, windowsills, and shelves.
The clutter and clamor we speak on in the electronic realm accumulates over time, without us taking time out of our lives to simplify and clean. What are we talking about?
How about those 150+ friends on social media you don’t really and truly know? How about all those emails you keep receiving from a brand or product that no longer interests you? Are you the person who can’t take any more photos with their phone because it’s too full?
Here are some suggestions on how you can do some spring cleaning in the electronic space of your life.
Clean Up Your Email Inbox
Let’s start by suggesting that if you own more than three email addresses, it might be time to pare them down. Either delete old accounts, or have two of your three funneled into the one account. It’s a simpler mental process to check just one email rather than multiple.
If you’re like most of us, you’ve wound up on email blasts that you didn’t sign up for, or were added by companies after buying something. Perhaps you entered a competition or a fun run once, and now receive constant emailing advertising the next big event.
It will take just a few seconds from your day over the course of the next few weeks, but scroll down to the bottom of an unwanted email, and unsubscribe from the lists.
If you’re feeling generous, tell them why you are doing it! Otherwise, unsubscribe and that will be the last email you receive.
Do you have emails you haven’t responded to? Don’t let them pile up like cobwebs in the corner of a room.
Mark them with a star or color code as you open them, so you can return to them, and take an hour one evening or weekend afternoon, to write back and catch up with those that are important to you.
Free Up Space on Your Smartphone
Phones, like our lives, seem to pile up with information, some useful, others not so much. When our phones fill up, they’re too full to take photos or videos! Many of us have experienced snapping a photo and then realizing your phone never saved it.
If you’re not backing up your phone’s information and photographs, then today is the day to start. The best way to back up your photographs and allow yourself to clear space on the device itself is to offload them onto your hard drive. You could also offload them onto an external hard drive for extra protection and safe keeping.
It’s a misconception that storing photos and files in the cloud keeps them forever. It actually doesn’t store them permanently. The cloud only allows you to access your files from multiple devices.
Once you have backed up your photos, go ahead and delete them.
You can also take the time to sort through your old text messages, and delete those you no longer need.
Sift through your apps, and like a pair of jeans that haven’t been worn for 3 years, if you haven’t used your app in the last 12 months, then delete it. Apps can take up a lot of memory on your phone.
You can also flip through your contacts and delete those names you’re not all that familiar with. If it’s a name you don’t immediately recognize, then it’s a sure bet that you don’t need their information anymore.
Give Your Social Media A Clean Sweep
This is where a cleanup can be tricky!
With social media being a way many of us stay connected with friends and acquaintances, it can come across as a passive aggressive gesture when we “delete” people out of our lives.
If you’ve reached a point in your accounts where you’ve suddenly got more “friends” than you want, and tens or hundreds of them aren’t people you even know, then feel free to clean up shop.
Don’t feel guilty for not wanting a stranger to have access to your personal information, photographs, and online life. Keep a balance and group of people online you are comfortable with, and remove the rest.
If you are following too many people on Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, then take the time to disconnect. Do this especially if you notice their feed is no longer inspiring you, or it’s bringing you down.
Social media is something that should be uplifting, not the opposite. Don’t feel guilty about simplifying and cleaning up that side of your life.