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Marie Kondo is saving the world…

one joyful, perfectly folded article at a time.

She has tackled our cupboards and sorted our paperwork and redefined our libraries. Apparently, all the physical aspects and spaces of our lives can be Konmari’d. (And every space or category you clear will solidify your decision-making skills and help you understand what you feel is important for maintaining the joy in your life.)

Unfortunately, our digital clutter does not have to fit into any physical constraints. Our storage options all seem limitless.

But just because you CAN save everything really does not mean that you HAVE to.

And hey – decluttering your digital disaster area can be done while drinking coffee and eating chocolate.

As is true of your physical space you will have to prepare to do some hard and difficult work, to work fast and be committed and finally, it might be emotionally draining. To make the daunting task a little easier we have applied the instantly lovable Marie’s rules to the digital world.

KonMari for the Digital Universe

Preparation phase

*Take a moment to think about how a streamlined digital environment will work for you. If you can formulate a sentence, maybe something along the lines of:

An organized and clean digital workspace will lower my stress levels and spark my joy at starting work every day.

Or

I will have more energy available if I don’t constantly fall into a digital trap of endlessly looking for things and/or spending time on social media that does not spark joy.

the following steps will be a little easier as your priorities will be established and you will understand your own motivation.

*Now empty your Trash

This will give you a clean slate to start with.

*Run a Just-in-Case backup

Because no-one is perfect and accidents can happen (even to the well-intentioned.)

*Now pause all backups until you are done with your organization and entirely happy with the outcome.

*Take a peek and make a note of your storage numbers (so you can feel really virtuous when you compare the numbers at the end of your clean up.)

Set it up Phase

*Save a really great desktop wallpaper to keep you inspired as you work.

*To Clean by Category (not location), you need to Create Categories. If you are cleaning a phone or tablet you can organize your apps by screen… and organize the screens by category (or time of day).

Give every file a Category home.

*Suggested Categories

  • Media files
  • Documents/ Downloads.
  • Programs / Applications
  • Web browser
  • Digital komono (miscellaneous)
  • Email
  • Photos
  • Social media

Ready, Steady, Spark Joy

It is time to organize your digital universe.

Initially you want to put everything from one category into a top-level folder.

Marie Kondo suggests always keeping everything within easy sight. This might not be true with organizing files but you can replicate her method by ensuring you don’t have many folder levels.

Once you have worked through all the main categories (you can take a break but try not to wait too long… there is a certain momentum to this tidying and organizing business that will be lost if you delay) don’t forget the sneaky parts of your digital universe:

You also want to check your Web toolbars and extensions.

Finally

  • The Physical bits orbiting your digital universe

Organize all your cords, chargers, old telephones and devices.

All that is left is for you to keep up your good work by processing data immediately. 

After all, we all know that

‘Sometime’

can’t actually be found in any calendar.

Images via Karim GhantousBench Accounting

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