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2020 Declutter Challenge logo for week 5

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

For week 5 of the 2020 Declutter Challenge, we are tackling our Digital Clutter. This week’s Digital Decluttering Checklist has us focused on cleaning, decluttering and streamlining our computers, mobile phones, and tablets. So print off your Digital Decluttering Checklist and let’s get busy!

Can you see the light at the end of the Decluttering Tunnel? We are one week away from being DONE! Give yourself a pat on the back and know that I am over here giving you huge props!

If you are new to this Declutter Challenge and you want to, as Maria (soon to be Von Trapp) suggests, start at the very beginning, pop over to week 1 where we dive into our bedrooms and bathrooms.

If you haven’t joined the Declutter Challenge yet, you can do that here. Once you join, you will receive:

  • weekly emails with a declutter your home checklist for specific areas of the home. With these checklists, I feel that I am on a Decluttering Scavenger Hunt, which makes the whole process a wee bit more enjoyable!
  • additional tips, suggestions, and resources for your successful declutter
  • a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

So, grab your checklist and let’s start our Digital Decluttering.

BEFORE YOU DELETE ANYTHING, CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK THAT YOU DON’T NEED IT OR DON’T WANT IT! IF IN DOUBT, DON’T TOSS IT OUT!

laptop computer

Declutter Your Computer

Once again, our PCs, laptops and mobile devices are black holes of clutter. We are always putting stuff in them but rarely do we take the time to remove what we no longer need. The Digital Decluttering Checklist will prompt you to focus on areas of our computers that seem to get burdened down with clutter.

Remove unused/unnecessary/outdated items on your desktop

Look over your desktop. Are there items there you no longer need? And while you’re at it, think about how you want to use your desktop.

I find I am now using mine as I would a physical desktop, holding temporary items there that I am currently working with. With this desktop approach, the discipline to go back in and clean up items no longer needed is imperative.

Others prefer their desktop to be a blank slate, with all their icons and data in the appropriate files.

Choose what works best for you. But in any event, do make a plan for how you want your desktop to function and remove/rehouse the items that don’t belong there or are no longer necessary.

I give more info on cleaning up your desktop in this post on Digital Organization, it is item #2.

Remove unused/unnecessary/outdated items in your download folder

This folder can get very big, very quickly. As the name implies, anytime you download anything, it ends up here. In theory, this download file should just be a temporary holding spot until the data is moved to the correct location.

Go through your downloads and see if there are documents, files or photos there that you no longer need.

Clear out any unused browser extensions

Browser extensions do come in handy. I use my LastPass and Ebates browser extensions frequently. But, it is easy to add them and forget that they are there.

By their very nature, browser extensions are loaded and run every time you open a new browser window. If your internet browser has been sluggish, it is possible that browser extensions are the culprit.

If you have any that you really don’t use, now is a good time to delete them. You can always add them back later.

Delete unused programs

Last year I switched from Carbonite Backup to using OneDrive for my Backups, but I didn’t think to delete the Carbonite program at the time. Go through your computer programs to see if there is anything in there you aren’t using anymore.

On a PC, go to your Control Panel>Programs and then scroll through the list. On a Mac, open your Applications folder and drag the unwanted app to TRASH.

Once again, if you aren’t sure what it is, then don’t trash it until you have 100% confirmed the importance (or lack of importance)

Delete unused bookmarks

Do you bookmark pages? Yikes, I am so guilty of bookmarking everything that I think ‘may’ interest me 26 days from now.

Once again, while bookmarks do have usefulness, they can quickly get out of control. Got through your bookmarks to determine what you still want to keep there.

In Chrome, click the star on the address bar or the 3 vertical dots on the upper right corner of your screen to access adding or managing your bookmarks

In Firefox, Tap the menu button, tap Your Library, tap Bookmarks to find the bookmark that you saved

On a Mac, In the Safari app  on your Mac, click the Sidebar button  in the toolbar, then click the Bookmarks button 

Unsubscribe to junk emails

While I regularly go through and delete and unsubscribe from unwanted email, now is a particularly good time to do so. If you did any online shopping over the holidays, those vendors have your email address and are regularly sending promotions to you.

I use Unroll.me, which is a free service, to do bulk unsubscribes when undertaking a digital decluttering.

Delete duplicate/unwanted photos/videos/music

This may take a while!

And photos…wow…where to begin. I mean, it’s easy to delete blurry and duplicate photos. So start there. But after that, it gets really hard. If you don’t need the space on your computer, just organize your photos so that you can find what you are looking for easily. You might do it by date or event.

But if you need space on your computer, consider transferring your photos to a Memory Stick. Depending on how many photos you need to transfer, you might consider different sticks for different date ranges, events, etc…

Delete unnecessary files in your documents folder

We moved in June but I still had so many documents and files related to our old home still in my documents file. It was cathartic to delete them all!

In this process, I also found all sorts of school documentation from when my children were in middle and high school that we just don’t need now.

Go through those files and see what you need and what you can trash.

Clear Cache

Your browsers store all those keystrokes and sites you visit every day in their cache. It is important to clear the cache on a regular basis to protect your security and keep your browser performing better.

On a Mac, click Safari in the upper left-hand side of your screen. In the menu that appears, click Preferences. In the next window that appears, click the Privacy tab. Click the button Remove All Website Data and Click Remove Now in the pop-up window that appears.

In Chrome, click the little three dots on the upper right-hand corner, click More Tools, Click Clear Browsing Data. I clear my data ‘from all time’, but you do what makes you comfortable.

Empty recycle bin

Once you have confirmed that everything that you have ‘trashed’ is not important to you, empty that Recycle Bin! I take great joy in emptying that trashcan on a daily basis! If you have CCleaner or something similar, now is a good time to run that as well.

Mobile Devices

Declutter Your Mobile Devices

Let’s take our Digital Decluttering Checklist to our mobile phones and tablets now.

Delete Apps you don’t use

declutter your mobile device by deleting unused apps

Do you still have the Words with Friends or Angry Birds apps on your phone? If you are using them, then no judgment here. But…if the last time you used them was when you were on that 5 hour plane flight last year, then maybe get rid of them to free up some space on your phone. You can always add them back before your next flight! 😉

Go through all your apps…they take up a lot of space on your device.

Delete blurry, duplicate or unwanted photos

If you are anything like me, when I am taking a picture I often snap 2-3 times just to be sure I get the perfect photo. I regularly need to go through and delete those duplicates.

Speaking of photos, consider backing them up to any number of cloud storage apps out there. I use Google One, which has dramatically lightened my photo storage

Then empty your trash folder

When photos are ‘deleted’ from your camera, the make a stop in a ‘trash’ folder. Check that folder.

Delete downloads/documents that you don’t want or need

Check your files folder for downloads and documents you no longer need/

Limit the notifications you have enabled

Is your phone constantly beeping at you? Under Settings>Notifications, decide which apps or programs you really need to hear from on a real-time basis.

Delete unnecessary text threads

Edit your contacts

Are there folks in there who you really don’t have an idea who they are?

What have I overlooked? What needs to be added to the digital declutter checklist?

I’d love your input. I plan to add to the lists to make them even more comprehensive and greatly appreciate your suggestions.

So, armed with this motivation, grab your Digital Declutter Checklist and let the Decluttering Scavenger hunt begin! Pop back in with your successes or challenges! How many items were you able to check off of your list?

Digital Declutter Checklist for Computer and Mobile Devices

About that $50 Amazon Gift Card…

Leave a comment below answering one of these two questions. On February, 28, I will randomly draw one comment from all 6 of the posts for the gift card. That way if you fall behind, you can still catch up. You can enter twice for each post if you would like, answering each of the questions related to each post.

  • What is missing from these declutter checklists for the kitchen and the laundry room? I want to continue to add to these lists so I would love your input.
  • What is your biggest decluttering or organizing challenge? I want to tackle some of the challenges our readers have!

Want to refer back to this information on Digital Declutter in the future? Bookmark this page or pin the following image.

hands on computer

Please know that I welcome each and every comment that comes my way.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss future content, pop your email in the beige box up on the right or click here.  I usually send out 2-3 emails a week, so I won’t inundate your inbox. Believe me, I’m sensitive to an overflowing email inbox!  

By subscribing to Nourish and Nestle, we will only use your email address to send you emails, no more than 2-3 per week. In addition, you will have access to my growing library of knit & crochet patterns, as well as other printables, so check back often as this library will continue to grow.   Please know that you can unsubscribe at any time by emailing me or clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of all emails.  

And, you can access many of the products I refer to on my Nourish and Nestle Amazon Page. You can access it here.

So, if you’d like to get in on the ‘subscriber benefit’ action, simply subscribe to Nourish and Nestle here or using the form on the right sidebar. It’s towards the top a bit.

I have sent all my subscribers the link to the Subscriber Benefits Library. If you missed it or misplaced it, drop me a line.

Until next time…


12 Comments

  1. Gouldin, Deborah

    February 7, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I love the decluttering lists! My family has been in a near constant state of flux for the past 5 years and we have decluttered and downsized multiple times to meet the needs of ever-changing challenges with grandchildren and retirement and caretaking for aging parents. My digital life is frightening and this week’s challenge is just what I need to do most! One caveat and reminder to all. MAKE BACKUP COPIES OF ALL IMPORTANT DIGITAL DOCUMENTS. STORE BACKUPS IN A FIRE AND HEAT-PROOF LOCATION. Digital files can easily be compromised by heat that does not damage paper. There are small wages available that can help to protect your digital files—and they are well worth the investment!

    Reply
    • lynn

      February 7, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Deborah,

      What a great suggestion! In fact, we stored a back up copy of all of our photos in our safe deposit box in the bank. But we don’t have a fireproof box in our home, something we probably ought to look into. Thanks for the great suggestion my friend.

      Happy Decluttering!

      Hugs,

      Lynn

      Reply
  2. Karyn

    February 11, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Still loving the lists, but taking my time with them. My favorite is “empty trash folder”!
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • lynn

      February 12, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      Right! And it is so cathartic!

      Reply
  3. Maureen

    February 11, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    After crashing my computer recently I was reminded just how important back ups are! But, I really need to go in now and do a thorough clean up of my system! I have no doubt it would improve the performance and speed!

    Reply
    • lynn

      February 12, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      Always a great idea to back up! I’ve recently switched from Carbonite to One Drive.

      Reply
  4. Sheila Fox

    February 15, 2020 at 10:39 am

    I can’t believe how many times I have forgotten or just didn’t take the time to delete sent messages out of my email! That clears up a lot of space! I am going to go through all my saved recipes I keep on the computer and see if I still think I want to keep them – I am pretty sure I will be able to delete some of them! Thank you for the guidelines! These checklists help to remember all the things we might want to think about when decluttering! I also pick up tips when I read through the comments!

    Reply
    • lynn

      February 17, 2020 at 6:54 am

      Good Morning Sheila!

      I am soooo glad you find these checklists helpful…I know I do too. And man, that email inbox gets filled quite quickly, doesn’t it? Keep on keeping on my friend! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

      Hugs, Lynn

      Reply
  5. Sherry Denise Cole

    February 15, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Thank you for sharing this checklist. Today will be a perfect day to work on this!

    Reply
    • lynn

      February 17, 2020 at 6:57 am

      Hope it was a productive weekend my friend!

      Reply
  6. Julia M Cabrera-Woscek

    February 18, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Hello and good day!

    Manuals, warranties and old taxes and bills file cabinets.
    Also, people use their vehicles as a some sort of office, laundry holder.
    I am having a hard time of letting go of furniture and books and I am starting to hoard yarn, to my dismay… How can I de-clutter a yarn room (well, I have taken over a closet and my husband wants it back) ? I am gasping at any thought you may throw my way. LOL I am a slow knitter and the yarn I do already have is not bought at mega stores

    Reply
    • lynn

      February 18, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Good Morning Julia!

      Those are all challenges. Have you considered tossing those manuals to use the online available versions? And scan those warranties?

      While there are exceptions to every rule, everything I have read states that you can trash your tax docs after 3 years. Of course, if you use an accountant, I’d double-check.

      And soooo appreciate that observation about using our cars as storage!

      Oh my friend…YARN! I’d be flat out lying if I said I didn’t still have a yarn stash. And like you, I am a yarn snob so I have nice yarn as well.

      I have gone through and taken out the bits and bobs that I know I won’t be using and donated that yarn to our local senior center. The residents there knit caps for newborns and homeless. So, even though it is painless to part with, you know it is going to a good place.

      In addition, I’d go through and look at balls/skeins that you don’t have enough of to knit anything. You know, you bought 5 skeins but only needed 4?

      Then, I’d plan on how I was going to use the remaining yarn and stick to it. Don’t buy anything else until you work through those projects. If you can’t come up with a project for some yarn, then that might be a good indication that it is time to let it go.

      If you are so inclined, you might be able to sell unused skeins on Ravelry, Etsy or eBay. Someone may be looking for that exact colorway for a project. You never know!

      Hope this was helpful! Keep up the good work! You (and your hubby) will be so glad when you are done.

      Hugs, Lynn

      Reply

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