Marie Kondo Approach to Digital Decluttering
Trevor Woggon – Technical Support Agent
Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” has emerged in recent years as a cultural force, guiding millions of people through simplifying their attachment to possessions and getting rid of many of the unexamined objects that make up the clutter of daily life. It may seem like common sense, but digital spaces accumulate clutter just like physical spaces – the pile of miscellaneous papers on your desk at home or work is not so different from the array of files and folders taking up space on the desktop of your computer.
We tend to ignore the digital mess because it doesn’t take up physical space as a drawer full of junk does, but having clutter on your devices can affect your productivity and your peace of mind. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to address the problem, and soon you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, less stressful digital life.
Three Digital Decluttering Tips:
1) Track Down Old Accounts
Most things on the internet today require you create an account or provide some sort of personal information, whether it be to access a certain promotion or just access content on a site. In the age of data breaches, it can be daunting to think about what sites may have your personal information. Sites like deseat.me allow you to easily track down old accounts, request deletion, and feel more in control of your online presence.
2) Tidy Up Your Hard Disk
Over time, hard disks fill up – but it can be difficult to tell what’s actually on the disk, let alone what’s important. Thankfully, there are a few utilities that can take a look at your disk usage and display in a useful way what programs and files are taking up how much space. You can use programs like WinDirStat on Windows and Disk Inventory X on MacOS to review your files and get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy”. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean up transient spaces on your device, such as your Downloads folder. It’s easy to forget about something like a PDF flyer you downloaded a month ago, and those can add up over time. Keeping these spaces clear and emptying them regularly ensure that you can always find what you need.
3) Trim Deleted Files in CrashPlan
By default, CrashPlan retains all deleted files. However, this can sometimes make it difficult to tell what you need to restore in the event of a hard disk crash or other emergency. You can easily trim back how long deleted files are kept (every year, every 6 months, etc.) depending on what is right for you and your files.