I have not yet read the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I have read just about every blog post written on the subject. I struggle with the concept of “if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it” in my day to day. If I were to follow this method at home, my children would have nothing but clothes, books and art supplies. I wouldn’t have all the kitchen utensils that I only use once in a while but really need them in those moments. I have to adapt what I understand to be the KonMari method. I don’t have it all figured out. I am nowhere near the minimalist lifestyle I have been trying to achieve over the last couple of years.
Recently, I realized I could use the life changing magic of tidying up in my digital life.
My phone screen was completely disorganized. I looked at four pages filled with apps I’ve never opened, games I don’t play, all strewn about my phone with no rhyme or reason. My Facebook is filled with people I genuinely like but hardly know, and the unfortunate reality is I don’t have time to build relationships with all of them. My newsfeed was being clogged up with notifications from groups I joined but don’t participate in and pages I no longer have use for. My inbox is overflowing. I had a recurring event on my google calendar that notified me every Tuesday about a weekly meeting that ended two years ago. My computer’s desktop was overrun with screenshots and articles that needed to be filed away. I nearly maxed out all the space on my phone with over 13,000 photos, none of which have been printed and most of which are useless.
It was time to embrace Digital KonMari.
Using the basic premise of the book and keeping only what “sparks joy,” I went to work on my phone and computer.
I deleted 3,000 photographs in one swoop, and upon closer examination I’m sure I will be able to get rid of hundreds or thousands more.
I deleted emails from 2015 I was hanging onto for no good reason.
I cleaned up my phone’s home screen and instead of having four pages of apps, I now have two and I use each and every one. Except those few my phone won’t let me delete.
My computer now has folder upon folder upon folder for my files and photos. I can make sense of my workload, my writings, and even the funny memes that bring me joy.
I know I have too much stuff in my house. I know it affects my emotional health. I did not know, however, that e-clutter could have such a profound impact on me as well. I felt lighter. I didn’t realize how out of control my digital clutter was nor that it was negatively affecting me.
Do you have digital clutter?
Let me encourage you to carve out some time and apply the “if it doesn’t spark joy get rid of it” mindset to your email, phone, laptop, tablet or whatever devices you use.
Though tedious and time consuming, cleaning up your digital clutter won’t require storage bins, trash bags or trips to Goodwill. Simply look at the app, photo, or file and if it doesn’t bring you joy or serve a purpose, delete it. If it does, classify it then organize it accordingly.