The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My Digital Spring Cleaning Checklist

Photo courtesy of STIL on Unsplash

With Spring being here, there's a good chance you're probably thinking about Spring cleaning; if you're not already either in the process or possibly even done with your Spring cleaning already! I personally find Spring cleaning to be very satisfying, even if some chores and tasks can be a bit tedious, or not fun at all. The end result of a clean room or a clean home, and getting everything reorganized, decluttered, and back into order, is always super satisfying regardless! And as you're going through your Spring cleaning checklist, why not also consider giving your digital life a little TLC as well? Especially if you spend a lot of time on your computer, phone, or tablet; or possibly all of the above. 

Personally, I pretty much live on my devices, to the point that I'm probably a little too dependent on them (but that's beside the point), so I know that my digital life could use quite a bit of TLC from time-to-time; just like my home. So as I start thinking of doing some Spring cleaning in my room, I'm also thinking of digital Spring cleaning as well.

For The Devices Themselves

Like I said before, I pretty much live on my laptop, phone, and tablet, so over time, I do accumulate a quite a bit of stuff on them; and sometimes I find that they start running slower than they normally would, and it can be a little harder to find the stuff I need, among the things that I've accumulated that I no longer need. So I like to take some time to go through the stuff I have on all of my devices to get them organized, free up space, and just have less clutter on them. I also like to take the time to take any steps I can to care for them, and possibly make them run a little faster again.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

Uninstall programs and apps you don't use anymore - There's a ton of great novelty apps out there that can be fun to play around with for a little while, but let's face it, most of them you aren't going to use very much after the novelty of it wears off. There are also a lot of apps that say they are free but are only free to download, and you may not want to pay a monthly subscription to use them. Then there's also the apps and games you simply no longer open, so why keep them? Even if they don't take up a significant amount of memory, there's really no need to keep something you don't use on your laptop, tablet, or phone. 

Go through your pictures and videos - There's a good chance you have a lot here that can go bye, bye. Selfies that didn't make the cut, random memes/pictures you saved from the internet, screenshots you don't need anymore (and accidental screenshots), and a ton of stuff you don't even remember why you felt the need to save. If you're a blogger, you probably also have a large collection of stock photos you've either already used and won't need again, or probably won't even use, on your laptop. So just go through all the photos and videos you may have saved carefully, and delete stuff you don't really want or need. 

Photo courtesy of Ella Jardim on Unsplash

Back up the photos and videos you do care about - This especially goes for any photos you may have on your phone, as not only do you not want to potentially lose those photos you really care about if your phone takes a nasty fall or something happens to it; but we all know that storage space on your phone is precious. So if you can save space by either printing it, or moving it elsewhere, that's never a bad idea.

Go through your documents, notes, and other files, and do the same - I personally find that I can accumulate quite a bit of other stuff I no longer need on my devices, just the same as I can with photos and videos; but this depends on how you use your device. I personally find that I build up a lot of notes, one-time alarms, old reminders, and little things I don't really need to keep; even if they don't take up any memory at all, they do clutter up the app a little bit, and just aren't necessary. It may also not be a bad idea to delete any old homework assignments you don't need anymore, and old class projects that have already been graded as well! And don't forget about any music you don't listen to anymore, as old songs can be a major memory hog; don't worry, you can always download it again if you want to or simply stream it when you want to listen to it.

Don't forget to tidy-up up your games - If you're a gamer, don't forget to clean up your games! The process of this, and what you may need to do will vary from game to game, so do a Google search on what you need to do for all of your games (if you don't already know the process, that is).

Photo courtesy of Laura Olsen on Unsplash

Delete bookmarks you don't need anymore - This is rather small thing just to clean up some clutter in your browser, but if you have any bookmarked sites saved that you don't need anymore, just clear those out. 

Clear your browser history - Again, this is mostly another small thing to clear up the digital clutter, but it actually can potentially make a difference in how fast your browser performs. Bookmark any sites you may want to find again later, and just delete your browser history! When I do this, I like to clear my browsing history, download history, cached files, and application cache. I don't always clear the cookies because I don't want to have to sign back into everything, but it's a good idea to clear them as well periodically. For my digital Spring cleaning, I like to delete everything I can from my browser's history, aside from maybe my saved passwords.

Photo courtesy of Moose Photos on Pexels

Run a full anti-virus scan - Although I have a MacBook, and Macs are generally aren't as prone to viruses, it's still not a bad idea to have anti-virus software installed on your Mac. I personally use Avast (no, this is not sponsored) and even the free version of it is great! Now, I know that running a full scan can take quite a bit of time, but it's definitely worth doing just so you can be sure there aren't any harmful files on your computer. 

Take any other steps necessary to care for, and speed up your computer - I'm not going to go into full detail on this, as the process varies a bit between Mac and PC, and that's a whole post in itself. But in general, running repair disk (Mac), defragmenting (Windows), and running any additional system care software you may have installed often does wonders when your computer begins to slow down. 

UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE - I have a terrible habit of putting off OS and iOS updates because again, updating can be super time-consuming, and you can't even use the device while it's updating. Still, it's important to get your software up to date to keep your device as secure and stable as possible and to get any new features the update may have to offer. Who doesn't want those new emojis?! You can always do this one device at a time so you can still use another device while another is updating, or update them all at once and get to the rest of your Spring cleaning while you wait! And don't forget to update all those apps afterward as well if they haven't auto-updated.

Check and update your settings as needed -  Sometimes software updates offer new settings, or your preferences may just change over time. So just check the settings on your device, and adjust them as you feel you need to. Even if you're just changing up your background and a few small things!

Social Media (And Such...)

If you spend a lot of time on social media, a lot of stuff you don't really need (or even want), can start to accumulate and pile up over time too, so it's not a bad idea to do a little Spring cleaning of those as well. How much you choose to deep clean your accounts is fully up to you, but here are a few of the things that I like to do... 

Photo courtesy of Charles on Unsplash

Declutter your inboxes - Although I'm not that big on deleting messages on a regular basis, especially from friends and people I talk to regularly or care about, I do like to clear my inbox of the clutter that can accumulate over time. Leave those old inactive group chats (and the ones you never wanted to be part of, to begin with, it's honestly a huge pet peeve of mine when someone adds me to a massive group chat full of people I don't even know, without even asking; seriously, stop it), delete chats and messages you no longer need or want, and don't forget to clean up your email inbox! Do you really still need all those old receipts from online purchases that have already arrived, promotional emails, social media notifications? 

Unsubscribe from mailing lists you don't read - If you're not even opening most of them, there's no sense in getting them, as they'll only clutter up your inbox.  You can use to help you do this quickly, without having to go through all of them one by one. It's also not a bad idea to check your email notification settings in your social media accounts and only keep the most important ones to you. I actually recommend doing this before clearing out your email inbox so you catch everything; as it seems to be based on emails that are currently in your inbox. 

Unfollow people and accounts that don't interest you - This is another one that depends on what you want to do, but if seeing someone's content (whether it's someone you know, someone you don't know, an influencer, or even a company) isn't making you happy or you don't like what they are posting, why keep following them? 

Photo courtesy of Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

Go through any drafted posts you may have - If you have any drafted posts, either make plans to finish them up and post them, or just delete them if it's no longer something you're interested in posting.

Check your settings on your social media accounts, and update them as needed - It's never a bad idea to check up on your privacy settings, and set them as you need or desire. It's also not a bad idea to check any other settings on each site or app you use, and adjust them to what you want or need. 

Don't forget to check your paid subscriptions, and potentially save money!!! - If you're not using a service, why keep it, and especially why keep PAYING for something you aren't using?! If you've subscribed to a lot of apps, or streaming services, be sure to go through those, and cancel the ones you aren't really using, or use so little you could probably live without it. 

There is a lot you can do to declutter and organize your digital life and to maintain and speed up the devices you use every day, and although going this process can be a bit time consuming, it's definitely worth it to go through the whole checklist from time to time, and not just for Spring cleaning. I like to do a lot of these things regularly, some even almost daily; but that's just my personal digital cleaning schedule!

Do you like to tidy-up your digital life as a part of your Spring cleaning? What steps do you generally take to care for your devices and your digital life? I'd love to hear any additional ideas you may have for tidying up your digital life as well!
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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