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Article · Jun 27, 2016

It’s spring cleaning time! Five ways to declutter your digital life

Color illustration of woman giving a presentation using data from cloud storage devices.

Springtime is here and you know what that means: It’s time to bust out those mops, buckets and rags and give your home a deep cleaning from top bottom. The annual spring cleaning helps us feel refreshed and ready to take on anything after a long winter. Just remember that your home isn’t the only thing that needs to be decluttered and reorganized. Your smartphone, tablet and laptop probably need some attention, too. Here are five simple ways to get your digital life in order this spring:

1. Unsubscribe from useless email lists
If you love to shop – and you’re not careful – your inbox can easily begin to overflow with unwanted emails. Everyone from the big-box stores to mom-and-pop retailers wants your email address so they can bombard you with special offers. And sometimes it makes sense to sign up to get that great deal. But sorting through all those emails each day can be a stressful affair. The only answer is to take some time to unsubscribe. You can usually find the “unsubscribe” link at the very bottom of the vendor’s email. Or to speed up the process, consider a tool like Unroll.Me, which lets users unsubscribe from email lists in bulk.

2. Streamline contacts and notifications
Do you really need to receive an email notification every time one of your friends posts something on Facebook? Do you really need the contact information for that sales rep you did business with fifteen years ago? I didn’t think so. This spring, review your digital contact lists and notification settings associated with social media, banking, retail and other websites you use. Then simply remove the ones you don’t need. It’s a great way to free up some storage space and save a little bit of much needed time each day.

3. Clean up all those smartphone apps
If you’re anything like me then you’ve probably got a zillion apps on your smartphone. And who could blame us? Smartphone apps are fun – especially when they’re shiny and new. Of course, over time many start to lose their luster and we begin to ignore them. That’s why I’ve resolved this spring to clean up my smartphone, get rid of unwanted apps and categorize the apps I keep into folders. And I think you should, too. It’s another great way to free up space on your smartphone and gain a greater sense of control over your digital life. Bonus Tip: There are many tools – like LauncherPro and Smart Launcher – designed to help Android smartphone users organize their home screens. And iPhone users can easily organize similar apps into folders by dragging them together.

4. Uninstall programs you don’t use
Another great way to free up storage space and improve the performance of your laptop or desktop computer is to go through all of your programs and uninstall the ones you don’t need. Mac users can remove programs simply by dragging their icons into the Trash. Windows users can remove programs by navigating to the “Programs and Features” section of the Control Panel as shown below:

Add and Remove Programs

5. Delete unneeded documents
There are probably lots of documents on your laptop or desktop computer that you will never need to look at again. Take some time to go through your documents folder and assess which files you really need and which ones can go. Carbonite customers: While you’re at it, be sure to download Carbonite’s Anytime Anywhere Access app, which allows you to access any document, folder or file, from any device no matter where you are. All you need is an internet connection and your backed-up documents will be always be at your fingertips.


Mark Brunelli

Senior Writer

Mark Brunelli is a Senior Writer on the Corporate Marketing team at Carbonite. He blogs about Carbonite happenings and IT industry trends.

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