It’s the 21st century and a lot of what we do is digital or online. Just as you might have a big box or old filing cabinet full of “important” bits of paper, I’m willing to bet that many of you have numerous bulging email accounts, a computer full of files, some old USB drives or external hard drives as well as online storage. All of these are reasonable places to store information but what if it gets out of hand? The truth is that for most of us, it already has. It’s time to think about some digital decluttering.
First of all let’s talk about storing electronic documents. In reality we all know someone whose lost all of their files when laptop died or was stolen. We lost a laptop and backup drive when we were burgled a few years ago. As a result all of our digital photos were gone…forever. And that hurt a lot. USB memory sticks are notorious for being misplaced or having their data corrupted and remember that external hard drives have a lifespan as well. Our advice is to store or at least backup your important files in the cloud.
Online storage options
There are plenty of free and paid services you can use. Here at DECLUTR we love Google Drive. Our work files all live there and therefore we can all access them from anywhere using Windows, Mac, Android or iOS devices. They show up in the file manager just like any other folder. But most importantly, Google automatically backs up all our files and that’s a very good thing!
What do you really need?
The other thing about file storage is working out what you really need to keep. Learn how to look at the last saved date on your files. Seriously; if you haven’t opened or used it in a year then chances are it belongs in an archive or the trash! Have a decent naming system for your documents. Computers are really good at searching through files but using short, clear filenames makes this as easy as possible. Try to save files as you go into folders with names that make sense. And don’t have a new folder for every document; most of us should be able to get by with only up to ten or so folders. If you have more it gets confusing and unwieldy.
Do you need assistance in decluttering your digital life?
To take advantage of our experience in digital decluttering please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.
Keep an eye on our blog here for more updates and photos!