Declutter your digital life – part one

Does it take you forever to find that Word document you were meant to email your boss two weeks ago? Do you get a twinge of anxiousness every time you look at your phone and see 25 notifications waiting for you? Do you spend a good chunk of your lunch break scrolling through Instagram looking at photos of people you haven’t met in real life for over 5 years? If you answered yes to any of the above, it may be time to declutter your digital life!

How to declutter your digital life

These days we spend so much time either at our computer or looking at our phones that it can be easy for all this unnecessary stress and digital junk to build up over time without us even noticing. In this two-part series, I’m going to show you how to cut down on all that extra noise and help you feel in control and focused. So let’s start with your computer.

Clean up your Desktop


So many people use computers at work and then have their own laptops at home. It can be easy for files and folders to accumulate on both and really have no clue where anything is.

  • First up, start by deleting old files and remove unused desktop icons. Staring at a cluttered computer desktop is not going to inspire anyone first thing in the morning!
  • Next, organise your files. We are all guilty of having a junk folder where we just pop everything into. Try and avoid this. Organise files into related folders. Makes it so much easier to find things. And always name the file! There is no way you’ll remember what sdyebdiwqsd.pdf is in a month’s time.
  • Something like Dropbox or Google Drive makes accessing your files so easy and lets you access your documents even if you aren’t on your own computer. So embrace the cloud!

Sort out your Smartphone

At any GirlCrew meetup, if you asked how many girls are addicted to their phones, I’m sure a few hands would go up. Don’t let your smartphone be the boss of you. A few tweaks and you’ll be back in charge.

  • Delete unused apps – If your home screen is cluttered with apps that you don’t use anymore. It’s time to say ‘buh-bye!’ Not only will your phone look less cluttered but you’ll also free up some memory – essential if you want to take photos at your next GirlCrew event.
  • Speaking of photos, use an app like Google Photos to store your pics. This lets you keep the photos you want without using up all your memory!
  • If you find yourself always scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, take them off your home screen and move them deeper into your phone. It makes it more difficult to absentmindedly open them the next time you are on your phone.
  • Another way to avoid being sucked into social media apps on your phone is to turn off notifications. Persistent notifications break your focus and leads to wasting time on Snapchat, Twitter etc. Sometimes that’s okay, but when you have shit to do and a deadline looming – you need to focus. Plan on checking your phone every hour or so instead of being on alert all the time.
  • Use an app like Forest if you have poor willpower and a constant need to check your phone. Whenever you want to focus, open the app and plant a tree. The tree will grow in the time you set. But the tree will be killed if you leave the app to check your phone. The best part of this app is that when you grow enough digital trees, it will plant an actual tree in the developing world. This app has helped me stop checking my phone when I get into bed at night. So no more late night scrolling for me!

Next week I’ll be showing you how to tackle your emails and clean up your social media profiles.

Comment below if you have any other strategies for decluttering your digital life. I’d love to hear them!

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Sinead has three passions in life - blogging, books and booze. She is the owner of sineadsocial.com, a website that helps new bloggers build and grow their own blogs. She runs a monthly blogger meetup in Dublin through GirlCrew Bloggers.

One comment

  1. Sinead, I think you’ve been looking over my files 🙂 I’m definitely in need of a digital decluttering! I need to send my laptop in for work, and don’t have a desktop, so it’s a little extrinsic push to get everything onto iCloud, and clean out first and second drafts of articles I wrote years ago…

    Thanks for the timely reminder!

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