How to Declutter Your Tech Life

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past month cleaning up my digital files and found this blog post I wrote in the early days of the pandemic, but never published, on how to declutter your tech life. 

I know right!? I’m decluttering and found a post on decluttering that I’d never published.

Decluttering your tech life can feel overwhelming and tedious but it’s worth it – maybe you’ll find an awesome nugget in your files like I did!

tech life - woman with headphones working on a laptop

How to declutter your tech life

These days, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with tech between virtual meetings, school from home, staying connected with friends, entertainment, and more. I know I feel it, and that’s what prompted my own tech life declutter recently (and again here in 2022😉). Be sure to declutter your tech life slowly to avoid any overwhelm or boredom.

Start Decluttering Your Tech Life with the Inbox

Your inbox is likely one of the fastest-growing areas of your tech life. For students, it’s the course notifications and multiple online platforms. For parents, it’s work, newsletters, and more. You receive dozens of emails a day, so stopping that flow is the first step to decluttering your tech life.

For this step, commit to opening each piece of mail as it comes in. Based solely on those contents, unsubscribe or adjust your subscriber preferences. You want to end up with only emails you will read almost every time they come in. I ended up unsubscribing from over 30 email newsletters (make that 50 in 2022), I didn’t even realize I had that many email subscriptions in the first place!

Be Ruthless with Apps

Your phone is another place you can clean up and feel freer. When I examined my app usage, I found that I had around 60 apps on my phone – most of which I hadn’t opened in three months. Once I uninstalled those extra apps, I felt much better about using my phone, and I’m sure you will too.

I’m also a big fan of keeping a clean home screen and having all my app folders on the second page. I don’t get distracted by all the notifications every time I unlock my phone.

Clean Out Old Files

People tend to be digital packrats, and that takes a while to declutter in your tech life. I know I still have some old school papers hanging around that I will never need again. You can free up space and make your computer easier to navigate with a little time deleting files.

It’s also essential to make sure you clear out your downloads folder and organize your desktop. This is a big one for me, I cannot tell you how many vital documents I found hiding in my downloads folder during my tech life declutter sessions. Now I have everything in highly organized folder structures so I know where to find every important document when I need it.

Go Through Photos

Photos and videos take up more storage space than other files. While sentimentality is fine, you do not need images where your thumb covered the lens or where you have a couple of photos that look exactly the same. I recommend starting with the newest photos to get a feeling for the process, and then working your way backwards. Screenshots are a great place to start too, as we often take them to capture and send information in the moment and don’t need to keep them at all.

Declutter Your Tech Life on Social Media

Over time, you and I both accumulate things we follow that continue to pop up in our newsfeed. However, if you’re like me, most of it is not highly relevant to your current situation, or you never unfollow pages, groups, or people that you are no longer interested in. I’m still working on this one, but I’m already finding my social media more useful without all the irrelevant newsfeed clutter.

Recycle or Donate Unused Tech

Once I decluttered the digital aspects of my tech life, I also checked the technology itself. I found broken and unused devices scattered around my home. I was able to donate the ones that still worked (after a memory wipe) and dispose of the rest at an electronics recycling center. After all, no one needs five screens to themselves.


What little nuggets of awesome did you find during your decluttering?

Share this post on Facebook and leave a comment to let me know!

declutter your tech life - 6 easy ways to organize your digital life

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