How To Do A Digital Spring Cleaning


Spring has officially bloomed and the sense of relief is overwhelming. In our rush towards the warmer months ahead it is tradition to take stock and give our lives a power-washing. Most of us will clean out our apartments, organize our bags, and weed out old clothes. But in 2015 most of us could use with a little digital spring cleaning too.

Delete old apps – The life cycle of an app can be startlingly short. Once an app has ceased it’s everyday usefulness for you there is no longer a reason to keep it on your phone. I don’t care if it makes you look like an old man or counts your steps or shows you live-action footage of cats from around the world. If you really need it at some point it will be available in the cloud. Also? Delete Candy Crush and it’s ilk. Have some self respect.

Clean out your social network log-ins – This is just practicing safe social. Go to the apps section of your particular social media account and just start deleting everything you don’t recognize. If you ever need to grant these permissions back you can always add them back. There is no reason to be sharing your private data with a bunch of companies if it’s all avoidable at this point.

Unfollow, unfriend, remove contacts – Dear god there are so many people in the world. We encounter so many randoms people in our day-to-day lives, add to that the randos we find on the internet? It’s complete overload. If you don’t know the person or don’t need them in your sphere just weed them out already.

Delete posts – We’ve all seen what can happen when an old or poorly worded post floats to the surface during a job interview or some kind of public spectacle. There is no reason to just leave that crap hanging out for the world to judge. Take a scroll over your Instagram, Vine, Twitter, and Facebook feed from the last year and delete anything that lost it’s shine out of context. Those old posts aren’t really doing much for you anyway.

Get to inbox zero – Email just keeps coming. If there are three facts of life they are death, taxes, and fucking email. You have two options here: You can take an afternoon and clear out your email one at a time methodically until you’ve wiped the entire inbox clean or you can go nuclear and just archive all that crap at once. The second option is much easier and I guarantee that the people who need to communicate with you will find you again. After that it’s just maintenance!

Unsubscribe – RSS feeds you barely click through, Facebook pages you Liked in a moment of weakness, advertisements overpowering your email, Twitter accounts of Brands: All of this is unnecessary noise in our already overstimulated digital lives. Just say no.

Organize your photos – Whether it’s Apple Photos, Google Photos, Flickr, or just a good old Dropbox account, there is no reason you need to be keeping files as valuable and large as your photo archive on old-fashioned and easily destroyed hard drives. Just throw them up in the cloud and put an archive on a thumb drive for extra security.

Move your music to the cloud – Similar to photos, songs take up a ton of unnecessary space. Now, I understand why a lot of people don’t find streaming services like Spotify to be their all-in-one answer for their music needs, so that is why I recommend uploading your music library to Google Music (it’s a free streaming service of your music!) and deleting the awful iTunes library we’ve all spent way too much time maintaining. Free yourself!

Cancel subscriptions – Hulu Plus, Netflix, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Prime, Cable TV, and on and on and on. There is no way you’re consuming enough content from all these places to justify the cost every month. If you’re watching/listening to a service less than an hour a month just bite the bullet and cancel that subscription.

Weed out your bookmarks – Some people don’t use bookmarks and some of us bookmark every single thing we like. If you’re like me and in the latter camp it is time to wipe out all the old bookmarks just for sanity’s sake. If you can’t part with things then at least stick them in a folder and just be done with it.