Last week, I shared the benefits of digital decluttering. Now that you know why you should keep your digital life clutter free, I thought I'd share how to keep it clutter free. Decluttering, whether it's in real life or digitally, can be a daunting task, so here are some steps to take to help you get started.

1) Work out WHAT you need to declutter
Depending on how much of your life you live online, on your laptop or in your phone, you will have different things that need a digital declutter. Before you begin, it makes sense to work out what you will be tidying up. For me, my list looks a little like this:

  • Desktop folders
  • External hard drive folders
  • Google Drive 
  • Dropbox
  • Google Keep app 
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BlogLovin)
  • Email (personal & blog) 

2) Set dedicated time aside to perform your digital declutter
If you've never really thought about decluttering you digital environment before, sorting it out can be a rather time consuming process. If you're serious about making your virtual life a more pleasant experience, I really recommend scheduling in real time to do it rather than putting it off until you have a "spare" minute.

3) Create a system
This isn't so applicable to social media clearing, but if you need to clean up your storage or email inboxes, having a system in place is vital. Identify what you use your storage/email for and create relevant folders and subfolders as necessary. Delete what you no longer need, and move existing emails and files into the relevant folders you have just created. Most email clients should let you set up rules so that certain emails are moved into the relevant folders automatically, allowing you to easily keep on top of things. To stay on top of storage, make sure you are doing things such as moving files you download into more relevant folders immediately, rather than having them hang round in places like the Downloads folder forevermore. Set time aside to periodically go through your emails and digital storage systems to ensure you're not holding onto things you don't need anymore.

4) Social media assessment
If you have a huge number of Facebook friends or follow an excessive number of accounts on Twitter, it can be very time consuming to go through your lists and trim them down - even more so if you need to be careful about who you unfriend or unfollow and need to utilise things like Twitter's mute feature. However, it's worth the time and effort. I personally like to dedicate time to going through my friend lists one by one to make sure I'm only seeing content from people I want to see content from. If you're pressed for time, I recommend just muting/unfollowing people as and when you see people pop up in your feed. This is useful for staying on top of your social media accounts. 
5) Regularly schedule time to review the situation 
Unfortunately, decluttering isn't a process you can do once and then never do again - for true effectiveness, you need to regularly review your clutter situation. Just as I recommend setting dedicated time aside for the initial declutter, I recommend doing the same periodically to make sure you remain on top of things. How regularly you need to do this will vary - as a blogger, I am regularly taking photographs, creating documents and receiving emails so I like to check everything is in order on a monthly basis, but someone who doesn't spend the vast majority of their time online would not need to do it this often. 
What are your top tips for digital decluttering?