Declutter Your Tech, Part 2

It’s time for more decluttering! Last month, we went over tips to better organize (or get rid of) the technology gear in your home. This month, it’s time to tackle virtual tech.

This kind of clutter can be especially hard to deal with, since you can’t see it—but more organized and streamlined tech tools make everyday tasks much easier. Use this list:

Declutter Your Computer

  • Audit space-hogging files. Use free tools like WinDirStat.net (for PCs) or Disk Inventory X (www.derlien.com for Mac) to identify file sizes so you can see which ones take up the most room—and decide whether to delete them or move them to an external hard drive.
  • Clean your desktop. Get rid of or move the files you downloaded to your desktop because you didn’t know where else to put them at the time. Make desktop folders for things that are “in progress” or even separated by simple titles like “work” and “personal.”
  • Clear unread emails. Sort into folders by year and mark them as read so you won’t panic about trashing them and can find whatever you need later using your email’s search tool. Use tools like Unroll.me going forward to minimize the dead weight in your inbox and easily unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t need.

Declutter Your Phone

  • Move photos to the cloud. Free tools like the Google Photos app (for iOS and Android) or low-cost IDrive.com allow you to store all your snapshots to the cloud so they’re not taking up so much space on your phone. Additional storage is available for a fee.
  • Cull your contacts. Scroll through your phone’s address book and delete any duplicates or former contacts you no longer need. iPhone users can do this all at once by logging into iCloud, while Android users can log into contacts.google.com (if that’s where you back them up).
  • Clean out your apps. Even if you don’t want to remove them from your phone entirely, create app groups or folders to sort similar apps (i.e. a “food” group for delivery apps or a “shopping” group for all your favorite stores). Search Google for “how to create folders on my (insert phone model).” Remove any apps you don’t use.