Look at a person’s computer desktop and that will describe to you their state of mind?
What better place to start the process of simplification and decluttering than with our computers. After all, we look at for hours on end every day. And let’s face it, neat and tidy digital space is great motivation to tackle your physical clutter!
With the availability of unlimited virtual space for data storage, digital clutter has become become a silent problem, sitting on our desktop and causing chaos when we turn on our screens. It occurs when we keep on storing the new files and media without getting rid of or organising old and obsolete data. Digital clutter is also known as digital hoarding or e-hoarding.
Just like physical clutter, digital clutter can be hectic, time consuming and irritating. You don’t put much physical effort in rummaging through digital files but, it requires more attention and presence of mind to deal with. In order to search for a specific file or photo, one needs to dig it out through thousands of available files and photos, many of which that are incorrectly named or labeled. There are software and applications which can facilitate the searching process but filtering search results is itself a frantic job, especially when you need something urgently.
The most common reason behind digital cluttering is the fear of losing something important or something of sentimental value. Just like with our physical property, fear of deleting files which might be needed in the future is what is causing us to hold on. Or, the clutter is just so great, by the time you get around to organising it, the task is too overwhelming to start.
Digital Cluttering is inevitable, but can be managed. It is necessary to maintain your digital life just as it is you physical life. The key to conquering this is a implementing routine, or rhythm. Finished reading the email? Delete it or put it into a folder. Took 50 pictures at the park? Choose the best ones, send to computer (or hard drive) and delete the rest. Just like your home, designate a space (program or folder) for each item. Every file should have a home and be accounted for. Once you get into the rhythm of doing this, it will become automatic and it does not take up more time. In fact, you will save time because you will know exactly where everything is.
Stay tuned for our free 7 day plan to rid yourself of digital clutter for good!