Tidy Up Your Digital Files: Marie Kondo Style
If you’ve been awake at all in 2019, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Marie Kondo. The Japanese organization consultant, author and star of Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has helped inspire a wave of decluttering and minimization in the homes of virtually everyone who watches her show.
While we’re all for cleaning out our closets and organizing the disasters hidden behind cupboard doors, there seems to be a major oversight in Marie’s system. Two words: digital clutter.
In an age where one can sign up for limitless amounts of social media accounts, newsletters and more; upload virtually anything online at any time to any platform, or pay to store hundreds and thousands of files in the “cloud,” digital decluttering is something that needs recognition.
Since the queen of clean missed out on this crucial part of the tidying process, we thought it was a perfect time to recite some of our top Marie Kondo esque tips to declutter your digital files.
1. If it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go. This philosophy applies to essentially everything you’re tied to digitally, but especially social media. If Twitter is taking up too much of your time, bite the bullet and delete the app off your phone. If you’re noticing that a lot of your online “friends” aren’t real life friends, unfollow them. Speaking from experience, the same tranquil feeling you get by living in a clean space is the same feeling you’ll have once you do a spring clean on your social media accounts.
2. Tackle one area at a time. Let’s talk emails. For many of us, the idea of organized conversations, a clean inbox and an empty junk folder seems like an excruciating process. We justify not even touching our digital mail because it’s bound to bounce back to chaos in no time. So how do we tackle this?
Start by setting a realistic goal. Rather than trying to sort through everything at once, save your sanity and tackle one area every day. If you have one email account for both work and personal, subfolders will be your best friend for organizing. Create as many folders as you need and spend 5-15 minutes each day sorting until there’s nothing left floating in the inbox abyss.
If an email is more than six months old, consider moving it to the trash (unless it’s important, obviously). Once you sort everything, you can finally empty your trash can, which yes, will feel as good as it sounds. If you find yourself getting bombarded with marketing emails, we recommend using this tool: https://www.deseat.me/ This website is great for cleaning up all online accounts, not just the ones that send you those pesky emails.
3. Ditch the fancy storage systems. For physical storage, Marie Kondo recommends saving your money by not spending on fancy storage systems. For digital storage, we recommend the same. It’s SO easy to go overboard with how you’re storing your digital files. It might start with paying a little per month to increase iCloud storage; then your Dropbox account has filled up, so you purchase a bigger plan, not to mention the USBs and hard drives laying around at home filled with random forgotten files. It can get a bit crazy.
Our suggestion is to keep your digital storage simple. Just like a well-organized closet, keeping your digital files arranged systematically will help keep them safe, intact, and accessible. The easiest way to achieve this is to keep all of your data in one place – so how do we do this?
One option is cutting down on your files and sequentially cutting down the number of ways you store your files. This option is excellent for those who are holding onto files that hold no value or emotional significance; digital hoarders, if you will. By taking a good hard look at what you’re willing to let go, you may find that just one storage system is perfect for you. If so, you will save you money and keep things simple.
Another option is to invest in a cloud alternative like Kwilt. This is a great option for those who have too many valuable files to part with, take a lot of photos and videos, or who want a safe, organized way to access the files they do have. By purchasing a Kwilt device, or one similar, enables you to stop spending monthly storage fees, curate all of your files into hard drives connected to Kwilt, and even access all of these files on your smartphone from anywhere. Save money, keep things organized and access these files from anywhere. That sounds Marie Kondo approved to us!
Do you have more ways to help tackle digital clutter that we missed? Let us know!