Take a one-day (or part-day) break from posting on or reading social media. Did you catch yourself going to look before you stopped yourself? Taking a break from social media makes you more mindful of the times you go to look because you have the time. Without this automatic response, what did you do with your time?
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Click on the button below to go to past day’s tasks and see if there is a task that you missed or could repeat.
Empty the trash bin (and spam bin) on your email, particularly if older emails aren’t automatically deleted by your server. Don’t use your trash bin as storage. If you have old emails you want to keep, move them into archived folders.
Do you really need to every text interaction you’ve had with someone? Either delete conversations or pick and choose if you want to keep photos or links that someone has sent you.
If you’ve moved items to your computer’s trash bin but haven’t emptied it in a while, take a moment to do this.
It’s overwhelming to open your email and see all the messages that you need to respond to. However, when your inbox is full of emails from shops telling you about their sales and special offers and free shipping … for things you probably don’t need … the only response you need is to hit the unsubscribe button and save yourself from the temptation of 75% off clearance sale.
If you were encouraged to sign up for a social media account that you find you just don’t use, look through the account settings and delete the account.
You scroll through Facebook and save a recipe that looks good or a craft project you want to try someday or even a video that will cheer you on a dreary day. Look through to see what you have … will you really try that recipe or craft project? Did you save a page for future reference, but you no longer need the information? Hit delete.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Check your computer or smartphone for bookmarked pages you no longer need to reference.
I recently heard a professional organizer say that digital natives (those who grew up with computers and other devices), don’t feel a need to delete emails or any files that live in the cloud because, as they see it, there is infinite space and a search bar that will help them locate what they want.
I guess I’m old-fashioned in the belief that if I don’t need something, I’m not going to keep it. All those photos of kids’ craft projects from when I wrote for different (now defunct) websites – I don’t need them. Even if I don’t need the space on my computer or cloud back-up, I feel better when I hit the delete button.
You can spend fifteen minutes:
Old computers and laptops can be a bit more of a bother to get rid of because you want to make certain that your information has been wiped before you recycle it … and, then, you need to turn it in during special recycling days, which usually involve making a separate trip to a particular location on a certain day. Yep, a pain.
However, a few minutes of online research to find out the when and the where – and then the trip itself, won’t take as much time as you think. If you don’t know how to clear your files either learn through an online tutorial or ask a tech-knowledgeable friend, coworker, or family member to help you.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Organize the contents of one digital or physical file folder. Eliminate what you don’t need and keep what you do.
Rearrange the apps on your smartphone, so to group similar applications together. Do you have multiple apps that do the same thing? Are there shopping apps that make it a bit too easy to buy things you don’t need but buy in a moment of boredom? If there are apps that you no longer use, uninstall them. (If you want them back in the future, you can reinstall them.)
Also, go through your download folder and see if you have downloaded documents that you no longer need or that should be transferred to cloud storage.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.