As the weather continues to perk up a bit and signs of spring are everywhere, it’s safe to say that the urge to spring clean is in full force. From the attic to the basement, purging and organizing have been a must! With your home and physical belongings all in tip top shape, there is one place you probably forgot to clean: your digital space. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you sort through the years worth of emails, photos, pdfs, and more!
Step 1: Purge Your Inbox
I don’t know about you, but I still don’t understand the cloud. I have been receiving messages for at least two years now that my cloud is full. It turns out, my gmail account has been sucking up a good amount of my digital storage. When it comes to actual mail, I go through it as soon as I open the mail box. I look through the flyers, the bills, and whatever else, and strictly keep or toss. I don’t leave mail lingering around my counters, and I shouldn’t leave my electronic mail lingering either.
Before deleting, make sure to utilize your folder options within whatever emailing service you use. Go through and place important messages within those folders.
After a quick Google search, there were quite a few websites that gave you step by step instructions on how to delete your thousands of emails at one time. I sat and deleted probably 4,000 emails before sharing this tip with all of you! This part of the digital spring cleaning felt so good!
Step 2: Revisit Photo Storage
From precious memories to everyday moments, my phone is the memory box for my family. It has thousands of pictures on it. If it were to get broken or die, I would be so upset to lose all of those photos. I have no more cloud space and my photos stopped backing up to that platform two years ago. If you’re like me, have no fear! There are a few great options for backing up your photos or transferring them from your phone altogether.
For all of you Prime subscribing mamas out there, Amazon Prime offers unlimited photo storage for their Prime customers via Amazon Photos. It also brags 10GB of storage for videos. Doing this is as simple as downloading the Amazon Photos app, syncing your phone to it, and boom! All of my photos from my phone (3,091 of them to be exact), were backed up and saved for quick and easy access. Therefore, if I drop my phone for the millionth time or accidentally drop it in my glass of milk while eating cookies (that’s a story for another day), I won’t have to grieve the loss of baby’s first spaghetti face or the pictures from our epic girls weekend a few years ago!
Step 3: Purchase an External Hard Drive
If online digital storage isn’t your cup of tea, I also recommend purchasing an external hard drive. These vary in price, but are totally worth the investment. Think about it — if you have to pay monthly subscription fees for additional cloud storage, or don’t want to pay for an app, a one-time purchase fee could save you money in the long run.
We have bought one and every so often will do a digital dump of our phones and computers of things we need to hold on to. It’s as simple as connecting your phone, tablet, or computer via a USB cord, and then transferring the data to the hard drive. Once you transfer it, you can do a mass delete from your device to really clean up that digital footprint.
We choose to store our external hard drive with our important documents in our fire proof safe. This way, if tragedy strikes and everything else is destroyed, we can still access our passports, birth certificates, AND all of our digital info.
Step 4: Update and Modify Your Social Media Pages
I have been a social media user since the ripe old age of 16. Yes girl, I have lived many fabulous lives on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.! While I only use just a few of those now, I look back at some of my posts from my college days and cringe. Why did I document every night out and visit to the piano bar? Because I looked dang good, that’s why! However, I set all of those photo settings to private quite a few years ago when making my way into the professional world.
Here’s the deal: while we have the liberty to post whatever we want, updating privacy settings and cleaning out old posts/photos/whatever on our social media accounts is indeed, the responsible and safe thing to do.
Regardless of the platform you use, be sure to take some time to poke around the privacy settings within it. The words public and private are important to look for ANYTIME you make a post.
Last but not least, seriously take some time (and it takes TIME) to clean up your accounts. Delete old posts, photos, shares, and tags that no longer represent who you are in this phase of life. Unfollow or unfriend accounts that stress you out or no longer bring you joy. If that’s too stressful, you can always DELETE the accounts that you’ve been using for years and start new accounts for the ultimate digital spring cleaning.
Your current and future self will thank you later.
Step 5: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Explorer Yourself
My mom always told me that what people say about me is none of my business. However, nowadays, reputation is everything. If you haven’t done so yet, do yourself a favor and search your name online. Don’t just Google yourself, use a few search engines to see what Lady Whistledown, I mean what the internet, has to say. If what you find is less than desirable, see step four. Edit all of your socials and sift through old content. Start producing new content. Yesterday’s news can be just that if you post new, positive content.
Spring is the time of rebirth and eliminating the dust and dirt from the winter. Let this spring be the time that you give your digital footprint a pedicure by cleaning up and clearing out your accounts, devices, and overall online presence.