Digital Spring Cleaning: 5 Ways to Clear Cyber Clutter

Posted on March 20, 2020

Spring is upon us yet again. This time of year symbolizes a fresh start and is often associated with ‘Spring Cleaning’ – decluttering and decompressing to shake off the long winter months and kick off the new season rejuvenated. And while we often think to freshen up our physical spaces, whether it be an office, warehouse, home, car, etc., we might be neglecting a long-needed purge of our digital space. Given our current state of affairs and the need to develop a more digital presence, this could be a great time to focus on getting it done. Below are five ways to clean up your cyber clutter with digital spring cleaning.

Get your inbox clean

We are inundated with emails regularly, making it easy to let your inbox pile up with various messages. Start by deleting all messages that require no action/response or don’t provide information worth keeping. Then, make sure to read all unread messages and take appropriate action. Finally, create folders in your inbox where you can store specific emails to keep your inbox clean to accept new messages. Also, take this time to focus on your contacts, clearing out old contacts and spending some time updating stale contact information.

Update your passwords

In a world where virtually everything is just a few clicks away, from online auctions, to virtual building tours, to perusing the market for investment opportunities, there is a ton of sensitive information traveling through cyberspace. Protecting yourself from cyber hackers is as important as protecting yourself from germs. Go through your list of passwords and change any that you haven’t changed recently to protect your online security better.

Create a cohesive file structure

Can’t find that one file you were working on last week? Not sure where the company photos are from the summer picnic? Are files taking over your desktop? Make folders and create a file structure that is easy to follow, making sure to include archive folders to separate the old from the new. Knowing the location of your documents decreases time spent looking for them and more time working on them. Having an organized desktop makes for better productivity and enables you to work more efficiently.

Reassess your Feeds

Take this time to re-evaluate your social media and following behavior. The amount of content provided to us increases almost daily. Go through the accounts or blogs you’re following and unfollow the ones that no longer create a positive impact in your life. Also, take this time to research new feeds that spark your interest and freshen up your content intake.

Clean your devices

We live in a world where we are connected 24/7, anytime, anywhere, and usually through multiple devices. Don’t overlook the need to disinfect your screens, clear your keyboards of dust and debris, and freshen up any electronics you use with frequency. It may even be time to re-evaluate what devices you need and consider donating or selling those that are seldom used.  

We spend around 12 hours a day in front of our devices,  so it only makes sense to ensure that our digital space is just as tidy as our physical space.