*Singing* It’s the most wonderful time of the year! You may be thinking I am slightly confused but I promise you I’m in my right mind. Spring is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Let me tell you why. The weather is perfect. It is not too hot nor too cold, the birds come out and start chirping, and the trees and flowers start to bloom. See all these things point to the most wonderful time of the year. Right!? Spring has a way of bringing a fresh perspective and desire for renewal. What better way to start the season than to clean up an area often forgotten about…electronics? When most people think about spring cleaning, they think of everything except electronics, but spring cleaning electronically is so important and oftentimes necessary as well.
I am so guilty of being an electronic hoarder from files on my laptop, to my phone to my DSLR camera. I have so many files and software’s it is somewhat ridiculous. I am sure you may be able to relate. Whether you bookmarked tons of websites you had all intentions to revisit but have never gotten around to it revisiting or have thousands of photos you have yet to look through.
Spring gives you a great reason clean up shop so you can start the season out fresh…and this time electronically.
If you, like me, wish to lighten up your electronic files- this list is for you! Here is a list of the main electronics you may have and the questions you should ask yourself when spring cleaning your electronic devices.
A laptop is most likely essential for many of your work and entertainments needs. So, it is no surprise to have it filled with document after document and program after program. However, there are instances when you may have more files than you need and not even realize it. For this reason, you should do an inventory of every folder, download(s) and software. I know. I know. This may take a lot of time but it’s worth the effort and so are you.
What are you looking for you might ask? I will tell you. You want to make sure all the files you have are useful, will provide substance, and are working properly.
To do this you want to ask yourself the following questions for each category:
Files and Software
- Is this document a duplicate?
- Is this document incomplete? If yes, will I need this document for an upcoming project or has the time past?
- Is this document more than five years old?
- Do I foresee myself needing this document soon?
- Can I place this document on a hard drive, if needed for future use?
- Do I still need this downloaded file or picture? Is there a replicate of the file in my main documents folder?
- Is this software taking up unnecessary space? Is it essential for work, to run my business or for my leisure activities/hobbies?
- Is the software still compatible with my laptop and its updates? Or is it slowing my laptop down and potentially putting it at risk for viruses?
- Do I love this software or am I just settling?
- Do I need to keep my list of website favorites or have they served their purpose?
- Do I need this email for clarification or reference in the future?
- Is this pertinent to my business or records?
- Can this content be stored in another location (Dropbox, google drive, computer file)?
- Is this spam?
- Is this email more than 2 years old? If so, how am I benefiting by keeping this email?
- Are these emails helpful to my overall life goals (i.e. saving money versus loads of promotional emails)?
I think it’s safe to say you will not leave your place without your phone. Having a cell phone is quite helpful during times of emergency and when you need to communicate with your loved ones and the world…you know Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
But how many times have you received the storage box or iCloud full message. I must admit, I have received this message far too many times. After reflecting on the number of files I had on my phone I can know understand why.
So, while phones are necessary, they may have tons of unnecessary files that may slow your phone down or make it difficult to save future files. Like the future vacation pictures, you plan on taking.
- How often do I use this app?
- Is it adding value to my life?
- Does it entice me to spend money I am attempting to save?
- Does this app slow down my phone?
- Do I have replicates?
- Do I still need this photo? Has it been copied onto a hard drive/computer?
- Do I ever intend to print this photo out?
- Do I LOVE the photo?
- Does this image provide value or a meaningful memory any longer?
- Do I still have a working relationship with this individual?
- Do I have a healthy relationship with this individual?
- Within the next year do I see myself reaching out to this individual?
- By now you can imagine the types of questions to ask yourself when looking to see if you should hold on to your images or not.
There you have it a list of helpful questions to ask yourself when spring cleaning your electronics. Of course, you do not have to get all of this done in one sitting. But I think it would be helpful to create a schedule for yourself to keep your momentum going.
P.S. Do not feel pressure to get rid of everything. As with any spring cleaning, the point is to get rid of those things which add clutter. Additionally, you want to only keep those things that truly add value, peace, love and joy to your life. Remember you can achieve all the goals you set out to accomplish this year and beyond.
Happy Spring Cleaning…Electronically! 😊
Peace, Love and Joy!