Today we have a post by our sweet contributor Jenny from The Sweet Stuff:
How is you January going? How are those resolutions?
We’ve sent two carloads of stuff to the thrift store and tossed numerous items into the trash and it feels so good!
Decluttering our homes can seem like a natural goal or challenge in the month of January and it is most definitely a worthy one.
However, what we often forget is the importance of decluttering our minds. A fresh start doesn’t simply mean a clean home or an updated space. It means making room for new ideas, new connections, and more meaning in ourselves.
One way I do this is through digital decluttering. Much like physical decluttering, this can be done gradually over time, but it can make a big impact on our minds, and our schedules. It can free up time that we didn’t realize we were losing.
Here are my top tips for digital decluttering:
1. Remove apps from your phone.
Although apps can be extremely convenient, they can also be a huge time waster. It may seem like it only takes a few seconds to “check facebook”, but when you add up all those seconds over the course of a day, the time lost is more significant. By removing the app from your phone and only logging in to facebook while on your main computer, you will decrease the number of times your day is interrupted. This goes for many other apps as well. Many of these can be used on a home computer instead, or perhaps you feel like deleting it completely and not even using them anymore. Another benefit is a phone with more storage space and that works more efficiently.
2. Turn off notifications.
If you do have apps on your phone, especially social media apps, turn off most or all of the notifications. You will still see the notifications when you check in with that app, but you won’t have your phone or computer constantly beeping or buzzing at you throughout the day to distract you from more important tasks or people.
3. Unfollow, unfriend, unlike.
Did you follow someone on Instagram when you entered a giveaway? Did you like a business on Facebook and now their ads pop up on your phone? Take a few minutes to look through your friends or people you follow and delete or unfollow. This will shorten the amount of time it takes you to scroll through your social media sites and removes unimportant information from filtering into your life. I recently unfollowed about 30 people/businesses on Instagram. I couldn’t really remember who they were or why I had followed them in the first place. It took me less than five minutes, but felt so good!
Is junk mail clogging up your inbox? Don’t simply delete the email! Scroll to the bottom to click the unsubscribe button. You will stop receiving emails and save time whenever you check your email. An additional benefit is that many subscriptions are really enticements to purchase a product. By no longer receiving sale updates and emails, you will be less likely to purchase items you don’t need that would only clutter up your home.
5. Purge old files.
Still have your college essay on Pride and Prejudice on your computer? Delete it? Photos that are blurry or unwanted? Old downloads or programs? Delete them? This goes for your computer or your phone. Your phone will often store your Instagram photos, screenshots, images sent via text, restaurant menus you viewed, and more! It only takes a few seconds to go into your gallery photos and delete them in bulk!
6. Add new inspiration.
This may seem counterintuitive to digital decluttering, but there are some digital options that can be inspiring and time or space saving! For example, I use a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” app in order to get rid of the bulky book and spend less time looking at all the superfluous information in the book. The app takes about 1 minute to read through the update.
I also follow a few inspirational accounts that provide wonderful scripture and encouragement, so that when I am on social media it is a positive and purposeful experience.
I have also found digital podcasts to be a wonderful way to find encouragement while washing dishes or working on the computer in the evening.
Again, all of this may take time. Do it as you go! Are you scrolling through Instagram? Unfollow that business you no longer are interested in. Are you checking Facebook? Pop over to your settings and stop your notifications. Are you sending some emails? Unsubscribe from that company who sent you an ad today. Simply start somewhere. Digital items may seem to not take up any actual space, but they do. They take up brain and heart space and they take time away from what and whom we truly love. Take some time to declutter and you will feel less stressed and more free!
Happy digital decluttering!
Jenny is a wanna-be homesteader living in California with her husband, 3 daughters (and a baby on the way). She enjoys raising suburban chickens, baking bread, homeschooling her children, and adventuring in the outdoors. Her family is committed to living small in square footage, but living large and full lives!