A Basic Checklist for Digital Decluttering

Do you regularly declutter and organize your home? Then you should also do the same with your digital spaces. A regular digital decluttering is a boost for your productivity and well-being. It brings down the distractions and the stress, clears out a lot of unnecessary extras, and makes it easier and more pleasant for you to be in your digital domain. We cannot escape the digital world that is upon us, but we can certainly control how much we see, what we see, and how often. Use our checklist and make digital decluttering a regular part of your task lists.

Computer Desktop

Is your password an entry to a desktop that is cluttered with files, folders, photos, apps, zip files, shortcuts, screen shots, and other digital detritus? It’s actually not much different from having an actual desktop that is also cluttered and disorganized. Use our article with a step-by-step guide on decluttering your computer desktop, and your file folders and documents will be better organized and easier to retrieve.


  1. First, sort your Inbox by Sender. This makes it easy to see all the emails you get from a particular Sender. Scroll to the top and start with the A’s. This could be tedious if your Inbox is massive—be sure to take some breaks!
  2. Unsubscribe to every email you are receiving that you never open, let alone read. Anytime you order anything, inquire about anything, and sometimes, even just browse something, you end up subscribed to a marketing email. If it just sits there or you just delete it immediately, hit that Unsubscribe link.
  3. When all the emails are sorted by Sender, it makes it easier to bulk delete groups of emails from one Sender. You’ll be amazed to see some very old emails you didn’t even know were still in your Inbox.
  4. By the same token, it is also easier to see groups of emails that you DO wish to keep. Select them all and put them into the Archive or Save folder of your mail program. Make it even easier on yourself by creating subfolders for these emails, such as “Medical,” “Rockwell Elementary,” and “Receipts and Warranties”. As you receive future emails from these categories, move them out of your Inbox and into their subfolders.
  5. Once you’ve decluttered and organized your Inbox, return it to its usual sort by Date order.

Downloads Folder

Do you regularly clear out this folder on your computer? Most people don’t—we download something, retrieve it, and then forget about that folder. Deleting all your unwanted files in this folder will add storage space and possibly improve speed.


  1. Close all non-essential windows and tabs.
  2. Manage your bookmarks by deleting unneeded ones and organizing them more efficiently. Tech tips for Safari and Chrome/Firefox/Edge.
  3. Delete Cookies.
  4. Clear your Cache.
  5. Close your browser and restart your computer.


  1. Look at your device and evaluate each app you have installed. Be honest with yourself!
  2. If you can’t remember the last time you used it, delete it.
  3. If you use it infrequently, such as when you are on vacation, create a folder and group other similar apps into it.
  4. The goal when decluttering apps is to get rid of what you don’t need, and then organize what’s left.
  5. It will neaten up your device screen, and also make it easier to find apps.
  6. Do this for each of your devices. Bonus: Doing this will clear up storage space on your device, and possibly improve its speed!


Is your Smart device constantly lighting up or vibrating with notifications? Manage these so you’ll only receive the ones you want, and end the constant distraction of non-essential notifications. You’ll focus better without your thought process being constantly interrupted, and your battery life will be extended.


Decluttering and organizing digital photos can feel like an enormous task. We have them on so many devices: cell phones (old and current), old SD cards, hard drives (on all your computers), photo CDs, tablets, photos in your Cloud storage, flash drives, social media uploads. This in itself is a larger project, and lucky you, we’ve already got a step-by-step guide on organizing your photos!


Like any other area of your home and professional life, your digital space needs periodic decluttering. Doing it more often, such as every month or so, will keep things more manageable and organized.



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