Digital decluttering: an introduction


Clutter is stuff that gets in the way of other valuable stuff and it might stress you out. Digital clutter might not take any real space, but it does take space in your mind. It can be a burden on your life without you realizing it. All the files, downloads, documents, photos, music, videos, and so on, are just sitting there on a hard drive. It is easier to hold on to these things in a digital environment because it is not taking any physical space.

Decluttering your digital stuff is not just about deleting all the things you no longer need. It is an ongoing process of deciding if keeping on to it is necessary. Where will you store all this data? On a hard drive or in the cloud? What happens when the virtual space is full? Questioning these things now might help you prevent confusion tomorrow. Something that might seem important today can quickly turn into clutter the next day.

There is a difference between things that are important to you, and things you need. One does not automatically mean the other. When you no longer need the things that are important to you, like old photos, it’s easier to enjoy them. It can be overwhelming to declutter and to start organizing them. You have to decide on a system, an order, or a ranking. But that’s okay. It is the reason why you want to simplify things.

The best way is to backup all your stuff and to start fresh. So when you need something, go to your backup and reintroduce it again. After a while, it will be clear which things you need and what you can delete. Because, when in doubt, go without!

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