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 gain a better understanding of 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 – unlike physical mess, 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, you must be ready for your clear out to be emotionally draining.
We think the best time to clear out your digital universe is before your next holiday. This will allow you to enjoy your time away with less stress. If you love social media it will help you share your special moments away with the most meaningful people in your life (and free you to share more as you won’t have to worry about the opinion of people who are not essential to your world).
To make all these daunting tasks a little easier we have applied the instantly lovable Marie’s rules to your digital world.
KonMari for your Digital Universe
*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.
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.
- Media files
- Documents/ Downloads.
- Programs / Applications
- Web browser
- Digital komono (Marie Kondo for miscellaneous)
- 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.
- 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
can’t actually be found in any calendar.
Human beings have an evolutionary need for social interaction.
People may ridicule the habit of sharing a picture of your lunch on social media… but when we all lived in villages knowing who ate what and where the best food could be found could become a matter of survival in a heartbeat.
We still congregate together. Our villages are simply international now.
What has changed is our accountability. Because it is much easier to be nasty when you do not have to look someone in the eye. As has been true through millennia some of us are better at coping with confrontation and negativity than others. It is important to protect yourself. And to understand that social media cannot replace what is missing from real life.
Start your Social Media cleanse by considering every app in turn and evaluating how it makes you feel. If it fills you with dread then the first step is for you to consider your community (is it time to unfollow everyone and fill your feed with adorable animals? or should you simply turn down the volume —did you know Facebook will allow you to unfollow people without unfriending them.)
Filter what you see on Twitter. Block, delete, mute as needed!
Instagram is associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying, and FOMO. But it can also offer a full, safe and productive experience resulting in positive mindset development. The secrets here are:
Having a clear, positive purpose through your own message.
Enjoying the artistic demands of social media and having fun with it.
Being kind and balanced. Like positive posts and build a community of like-minded individuals.
Always take time to consider the reality behind the post. And to remember that posting your victories is wonderful… but life is never perfect.
Unfollow all accounts that do not spark your joy
Images via rawpixel, Priscilla Du Preez, Clark Tibbs, Tim Marshall