Like the entire world, I’ve been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. As the “Storage Full” notification popped up on my phone for the sixteenth week in a row, it got me thinking: could I take Kondo’s methods to my digital life?
Don’t be fooled by her cheery demeanor; Marie Kondo means business. On the show, she makes her clients confront their mess directly by piling every single piece of clothing they own and assessing one by one if the item sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank the item for its service and part ways.
Going through your digital footprint can be overwhelming, especially because this is a mess we can’t see outright like the ever-growing junk drawer in your kitchen. But, digital cleaning is an important task that should be done regularly. Cutting your digital clutter not only makes you happier -it also makes you more secure by keeping your personal data safe and preventing identity theft. Use these Kondo-inspired tips, grab your phone, and start organizing!
For Your Phone
- Identify apps on your phone you don’t use anymore. A good rule of thumb is if it hasn’t been opened in at least three months, delete it.
- If the app has any personal information on it, go in and clear out as much personal info as you can before closing the account and deleting.
- Organize your home screen by sorting apps into folders.
- Delete old contacts you haven’t talked to in a few years. “Spencer Group Project?” Goodbye!
- Scroll through your inbox. Unsubscribe from newsletters and companies you haven’t bought from in a few months. Don’t be afraid to go a little crazy here. Remember you can always resubscribe.
- Finally do that software update you’ve been pushing back.
- Review your phone’s location settings. Do all the apps that currently have access really need it?
- Make sure your passwords are secure. If your password is some form of your name, birthday, street name, pet name, etc., it’s probably not very secure.
- For an extra layer of security, turn on two-factor authentication whenever you have the option.
- Two-factor authentication is a more secure way to allow access to important accounts with sensitive information, like your email. There’s a multitude of ways this could be set up, but a common one is with your phone number. First, you’ll enter in your normal credentials. Then, a unique code will get texted to your phone. You will gain access to your account only after you’ve entered in the username, password, AND the code.
- Go through and clean out your camera roll, especially the screenshots. If the photo doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, delete.
- Use a cloud service to organize and keep your photos safe, like Verizon Cloud. Personally, I like Google Photos.
Other Digital Cleaning Tips
- Take a look through your friends list and purge. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Unfriend people who you haven’t interacted with in years.
- If you can’t bring yourself to unfriend Kathy from high school but don’t want to see her constant stream of posts about her pyramid scheme, just hide her from your feed!
- List out all of the services you’re paying a monthly subscription fee for and reevaluate.
- Clean up your computer desktop. Put all the random files cluttering your desktop in folders where they belong, and drag the rest in trash.
- Empty your downloads and trash folder. (Make sure nothing important is in there before you permanently delete!)
- Back up important photos or documents in an external hard drive or cloud.
Do you have any tips that make organizing your digital life a breeze? We’d love to hear them in the comments below! Learn more about Marie Kondo's methods here.