Dealing with electronic clutter can be just as important as dealing with the physical clutter in our homes. Odds are pretty good that you use some sort of computer throughout the day or at least use one to store information such as pictures, contact information, videos, and odds and ends of useful information and web pages you have come across! Just as too much distraction and clutter in our home can be a bad thing for us, we can have too much electronic “junk” taking up too much space and wasting our time.
One of the biggest differences between electronic junk and physical junk is the amount of space it takes up. It's small! In the case of electronic junk it is more about wasting your time looking for something or distracting you from what you really want or need to be doing. We can keep a huge amount of information on computers today, but if we don't manage it correctly it can become a huge mess.
First things first – if you have a desktop on your computer that is filled with icons and documents, you should definitely keep reading this section! Start with three folders; business or work, reference or useful, and fun. Start putting everything into these three folders. We want to create a little space on our desktop so that we are not constantly feeling cramped. If you have an extra folder for something else, don't worry about it. The idea is to greatly reduce the number of items strewn across the “front” of our computers. Another good way is reduce the desktop clutter is to use the files provided by the operating system. A lot of operating systems have preset folders for pictures, videos, and documents. Go ahead and use those! Start getting in the habit of putting the new file you transferred or downloaded into the correct folder instead of dumping it onto the desktop – isn't this a lot like dealing with things coming into your home?!?
Now that you have the folders set up, get into the habit of using them regularly. If you need to change it to five folders, or down to two, then do what works best for you. The most important thing is to get in the habit of dealing with information, documents, and files by placing them into the correct folder when you first deal with them. It may be advantageous to make some folders inside of the main folders. Perhaps you can separate your pictures into family, friends, and other. Maybe your “fun” folder can have a section for recipes, a section for funny pictures, and a section for vacation ideas. Again, the most important thing to do is to get in the habit of using the folders.
Interested in reading more on digital and other specialized decluttering? Check out the ebook!