Digital de-cluttering and house cleaning are not something you only have to do once. These days, our lives are intricately woven into the digital fabric. From emails to photos, documents to apps, our devices store tons of information. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the sight of an endless inbox or app library.

A clean and organized digital environment can help you improve your productivity. It also reduces stress. Here are some practical tips to help you declutter your digital space. A true decluttering process goes beyond regularly performed Defrag and Disk Cleanup.

  1. Begin with a digital inventory

Perform an assessment of your digital landscape before diving in. Take stock of your devices, accounts, and digital files. Knowing what you have is the first step toward effective decluttering.

  1. Concentrate first on your most-used digital spaces

You can declutter in stages rather than everything at once. Prioritize and start with the digital spaces that you use the most: your email, cloud storage, and social media. These are the key places where digital clutter can accumulate. As well as affect your performance and well-being.

Focus on your primary devices, like your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Decluttering these devices will have an immediate impact on your daily life.

  1. Organize your files and folders

With the proliferation of files and folders, getting them organized is one of the best ways to declutter your digital space. Create a systematic file organization structure. Use clear, intuitive folder names and categorize files logically. Color coding is handy for quickly identifying specific subjects or departments. This makes locating documents easier and prevents clutter from accumulating.

Archive or delete files that you don't need anymore. Back up your important data to a cloud service or an external drive.

  1. Clean up your inbox

Endless emails stacked up in your inbox can be a source of stress and distraction, especially if it's overflowing with unread or unwanted messages. This should be done as messages appear or no longer require action.

To declutter your email inbox, you can:

Unsubscribe from everything that you don’t need or read, like newsletters or promotional emails.

Use labels or filters to sort your emails by sender, subject, or priority.

Delete or archive old or irrelevant emails.

Set up a folder or label for the current year, quarter, or month, and move your emails there.

Refresh your email signature and make sure it has your correct information.

  1. Clean up your social media

It doesn’t take long for social media to turn into a cluttered mess. Although it can be a great way to connect with others, it constantly needs a little housecleaning - especially if you have too many accounts, posts, messages, or notifications.

To declutter your social media accounts, you can:

Delete or deactivate any accounts that you don't use or need.

Unfollow or mute any accounts that don't add value to your life.

Clear your message inboxes and delete any spam or unwanted messages.

Delete or archive any posts or photos that you don't want to keep.

Adjust your privacy and notification settings to suit your preferences.

  1. Take stock of your subscriptions

Reviewing your subscriptions and getting rid of things you don’t need is another way to declutter your digital space. You may have signed up for services that you don't use anymore, specifically when you replace an app. If you now use Teams, why keep getting those emails from Skype? Cancel obsolete items like streaming services, membership sites, cloud services, or mobile apps.

Decluttering in this fashion can help you save money besides streamlining your digital environment.

  1. Review and delete unused apps

Apps take up space and can clutter your device and drain its resources. Review your apps and delete the ones you seldom use. As mentioned, why keep Skype (or other messaging apps) when you’ve replaced it? Retain only essential applications to optimize device performance.

Old, unused mobile apps can also pose a Cybersecurity risk because they are probably not being periodically updated. Update any apps that you’re keeping to properly secure them.

8. Clear your desktop and downloads folder

Look at your desktop icons. You’re bound to see a few things you don’t recognize anymore. With the downloads folder, once you’ve downloaded something and moved it, delete it from the folder. A cluttered desktop and downloads folder can hamper productivity. Move files to appropriate folders and clear your desktop. This creates a clean, distraction-free workspace. It can also speed up your computer.

  1. Secure your digital identity

Take stock of your online accounts. If you haven’t used one in a year, do you really need it? Delete unused accounts and update passwords for security. Consider using a reputable password manager to enhance your online security. Almost any digital element (apps, accounts, etc.) that’s left to languish for a long time becomes a Cybersecurity risk.

  1. Evaluate your digital habits

Consider the viability of your digital habits. Identify time-wasting activities and limit them. Set boundaries for social media and focus on meaningful online interactions.

  1. Designate days for digital detox

Sometimes, you need to just turn it off and step away. Establish specific days for a digital detox. Disconnect from screens. Engage in physical activities and spend quality time with loved ones. Regular digital detox fosters mental well-being.

  1. Streamline notifications

How many notifications do you regularly receive that you do nothing with – short of getting rid of them? Excessive notifications can overwhelm and distract. You may feel like you’re not getting anything done because of constant interruptions. Customize app notifications, allowing only essential alerts. This minimizes distractions and enhances focus.

  1. Invest in digital tools

Take advantage of the available productivity apps and tools. Project management apps, note-taking tools, and calendars help streamline tasks and enhance efficiency.

  1. Practice regular maintenance

As we observed at the start, digital decluttering is not a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process. Schedule regular maintenance sessions to keep your digital life organized and clutter-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you defrag or Disk Cleanup first?

It’s best to run disk cleanup before defragmentation, because it can reduce the amount of data to be moved and speed up the process. You should avoid using your computer while performing these operations, as this can interfere with the operation and cause errors or slowdowns.

What happens when you archive data?

Data archiving takes data that is no longer active, but NOT a target for deletion, and keeps it in a place where it is out of the way for daily work, but can be retrieved at any time.

How do I recover archived files?

Simply right-click on the file and select ‘Unarchive.’

What are the 4 types of productivity tools?

Fundamentally, these tools are separated into these 4 types:
1) Communication and collaboration tools (Teams, Zoom).
2) Time and task management tools (Notion, Timegram).
3) Documentation tools (Document360, Nuclino).
4) Workflow and automation tools (Integrify, Zapier).

How secure is your network?

As a reputable member of the IT Support Los Angeles community since 2002, IT Support LA offers a FREE, no-risk network and Cybersecurity assessment. It is a non-intrusive scan that allows us to deliver a comprehensive report that is yours to keep. No strings, and no obligation to ever use our Managed IT Services.

The best defenses are expert Cybersecurity to protect your data from theft, and a top-notch Managed Services Provider to ensure continued reliability and defenses against newly emerging threats.

With our 100% Money Back Guarantee in writing, we offer a risk-free way for prospective clients to try us out. Because we do not require a ‘hard’ contract, our clients can fire us at any time with 30 days’ notice. We have to be good.

Among the Managed IT services we provide:

IT HelpDesk Service
Onsite IT Support
Cloud migration and management
Email migration services
Backup and disaster recovery
VoIP phone systems
IT disposition and recycling
Office moves
White label services (IT to IT)

IT Support LA is an award-winning Managed Services Provider (MSP):
o  3 Years awarded Best IT by the Small Business Expo
o  Awarded 2nd best company of any type in the US by the Small Business Expo SB100
o  Awarded Best IT in California by Channel Futures
o  Winner of Best IT in Los Angeles by Channel Futures
o  Listed as one of the world’s Top 501 Managed Services Providers by CRN and in the top 250 in the ‘Pioneer’ listing
o  4 years listed as one of the Top 501 Managed Services Providers in the World by Channel Futures
o  Listed as #21 MSP in the World in Channel Futures NextGen 101
o  Globee 2021 Bronze Award winner for Chief Technology Officer of the Year
o  Globee 2022 Gold Award winner for Chief Technology Officer of the Year
o  Named one of 2022’s 50 ‘Best’ businesses in California by UpCity
o  Named one of 2023’s 50 ‘Best’ businesses in California by UpCity
o  Named Best of IT Services winner by UpCity
o  Winner of Local Excellence Award for 2021, 2022 and 2023 by UpCity
o  Named Best of Cloud Consulting winner by UpCity
o  Certified as Top Managed Services Provider and Cybersecurity Pro by UpCity
o  Named Best IT in Los Angeles by

Want Help with Data Management Solutions?

Business requires a clear, focused mind and a more organized digital life. We can help you keep your data under control. We offer effective data storage, backup, and management solutions.

Contact us today to schedule a chat and take advantage of our FREE network and Cybersecurity assessment.