Monday, February 15, 2016

How to Digitally Declutter

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When is the last time you decluttered your digital life? Never? Then you will be glad you came along on this great mission! Today I am going to give you some tips to declutter your digital life.

The tools you will need:

⦁ Burnable CDs and DVDs (go for the HUGE pack with or without the cases, but if no cases grab the paper sleeves) Or Thumb Drives.

⦁ labels and a permanent marker ( get a couple of packs and a multipack of the markers)

⦁ A shoe box that CDs and DVDs will fit into.Any craft store has them or if cash is an issue the dollar stores have plastic ones for you guessed it a buck. (Grab a bunch if you have tons of online photos and data!)

⦁ Thumb Drives - optional if you prefer these to CDs and DVDs. Avoid ones that retract or do not have covers. These have failed me in the past! I do like these for my bookmarks & recent photos that I want to


⦁ Paper and a Pen (or if you are lazy just stick with the permenant one you are already using.

⦁ All of your digital devices: Phone , Computers , tablets , Ipod , etc

⦁ Labels for the box you pick.These can be sticky flags , cardstock , or I am sure you can buy them to fit the boxes from a craft store.

First let's tackle digital photos.These are so important to all of us and what if your cell phone or computer was lost or stolen right now.Or if it just died and the IT guy could not save your images.What if your external drive just died or someone smashed it to bits. Would you have copies?Are they only digital? If the answer to any of this is yes it is time to declutter and save these memories! Anywhere you see CD you can replace with thumb drive.Tip - You can even print them all now so you have physical copies.Grandparents and the kids will love these.

Step 1:

⦁ Organize them.You can do this in many ways by year , month , subject , holiday , etc.However you do this DATE them.I can not stress this enough.One day you will thank me.This goes for all phone , Facebook , Instagram , etc photos! Send them to your PC.Do NOT delete them from your devices until you check them and know they are safely saved.

⦁ Do you love this photo?Is it worth keeping or was it a photo you rather forget? If it doesn't mean much put it in a file and label it as: What the was I thinking?

Step 2:

⦁ Burn onto not 1 ,but 2 CDs or DVDs. Why two? One will be yours and in your box at home.The second is for a fireproof box , safety deposit box , your moms , or any place that is safe if your home was to burn down , flood , tornado , hurricane....ask me how I know fireboxes work.We had a devastating fire and lost everything.Our fire box survived and by some grace 1/2 our photos and all the Bibles in our home.It was a total loss so a pretty sever fire! Use your tabs by year , month , event , holiday.There is no right or wrong to this.It is what works for you! Congratulations! You just decluttered tons of digital data.You can now delete all those pictures from your devices and start fresh for 2016! You can easily find and share old photos from the CDs and videos from the DVDs. Later when we tackle paper clutter we will be backing up all those printed photos.

Next on the list Email.If the photos are too much right now or you need to make a run to buy supplies skip on over and start with your email.You will need a couple of CDs to complete this , but you can do most of it with out them.

Step 1:

⦁ Clean your inbox.Delete all the old and unneeded junk.If it is important make a folder and save them based what it is a great example: Emails from my BFF aka Best Friend. You know the ones you cherish.

Step 2:

⦁ Okay now that the inbox is empty , the spam is empty , the deleted emails are empty we are off to a great start.No doubt you have many folders with junk you don't need. Or folders that can house the same items in one folder.Example I have a Junk folder and it is where I throw emails I want to look at again or just don't want to find the folder.This is like those days you have 1000 emails and 10 are important so I toss them in Junk and then delete all the spam or emails I just don't care to read.Maybe sales or things I signed up for like product newsletters....Some day I just don't care or have time to look at them and treat them like junk mail = toss.You want to go folder by folder and delete outdated or unimportant information.When in doubt screenshot and save it as a photo for later.You can then put all the screenshots on a CD.

Step: 3

⦁ Okay , Now you should only have important emails or ones you love in neat folders named so you can easily find your stuff. I am going to go one step further and say to snapshot all of those sweet emails from loved ones and place them on 2 CDs.Just like the photos these are important and you do not want to lose them.This goes for business emails too! Once a month copy them and save offline.

Step: 4

⦁ Finally , finish up unfinished emails and delete them.

Now this one is going to be scary! Are you ready?Bookmarks.Do you have 100,000 and they are a mess not organized and you can never find the one you want?Better yet they are so old the URLs are not even there anymore? Me too! Again grab your CDs.I know we are using a lot of CDs , but I promise this will make life easier and your online time much more enjoyable.

First digitally organize. Here is an example of my old categories:

1. Homeschool

2. Homemaking

3. Digital

4. Pets

5. Worksheets

6. Junk --- yes when i was lazy i just tossed it here. BAD idea don't do it.

7. Blogs

8. Food

9. Crap -- yes another lazy attempt

10. Games

11. Look at later -- I never get back here since I have no idea what is even in there

Verse my new ones.

1. Crap --- okay old habits die hard and I will probably throw stuff in here.It is empty now.

2. DIY

3. Food

4. Games

5. Homescool

6. Pets

7. Social Media

8. The Home

9. My daily views

I have lots of subfolders in each main categories.

Step: 1

⦁ First I want to tell you ,youcan get rid of the bookmark blogs and still keep all your blogs.Plus get a weekly or daily update.Does this sound great to you? They have a blog website kind of like everyone's favorite DIY site Pinterest! How great does that sound? lets you make categories for all your favorite blogs and you can see them all in one place.The other great thing is you can search for new and exciting blogs you may not even know are out there right on the site. Bam one less bookmark , but just in case I would back all my favorites to a CD or 5 in my case.

Step 2

⦁ Next re-vamp your bookmark folders and their names to fit what you need right now. Make new folders and drag the old content into the new folder if that is what you need to do.Click every link.Is it still active? If it is not then delete it. Is it important now or something you love and want to keep? Great save it in a folder.

Step: 3

⦁ Do you have baby , breastfeeding , babywearing , new mom as separate folders? Or some combination maybe dog food , dog names , dog training , cat names. You do that is great.You can make one folder for each of the above example: Dog/Cat or Pets and Pregnancy/Infants Mommyhood and then drag the folders into the main idea folder! This makes finding a page a snap!

Step: 4

⦁ Now save them to a CD. You can either keep them on your computer or just pop in the CD when you need them. I know CDs and DVDs seem like clutter verse digital. It is a little clutter , but contained in pretty boxes.It makes printing ones you love so easy since you can grab the disk and print as you go.Photos are NOT clutter one day it is all someone will have of those loved in the photographs.This makes them priceless gems!


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