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How To Do Digital Spring Cleaning and a Giveaway

I told you last week I was pausing – taking a step back and prioritizing life.  In my home, I’ve started Spring cleaning ( a little late, I know).  I’m “redin’ up” and cleanin’ out.  One thing the fire taught me was that stuff is so insignificant and too much of it is unnecessary.

How To Do Digital Spring Cleaning

Part of my spring cleaning includes digital spring cleaning.  It’s hard to be organized when you’re overrun with stuff bot physically and digitally.

Digital Spring Cleaning Explained

Digital Spring Cleaning involves going through your electronic devices to realize, organize and delete.

Step 1 – Realize what you’ve got

If you’ve collected a ton of ebooks from bundles and Amazon freebies chances are you’ve got way more books than you realize. What about cell phone pictures?  From 2009? Really?  Are you ever going to post, print or scrap that picture of your dog laying on her back looking dead with a smile on her face from 2009? (True story)Chances are, probably not.  So press the little trash can icon and feel good that you’re less cluttered.  If you are, then email it yourself or better yet, if you have one of these nifty printers print it on the spot for scrappin’.  I have that printer and I love it!

In my current declutter realization process I’ve found  several duplicate copies of some awesome ebooks, ebooks that aren’t relevant to me anymore, pictures I do want to keep and about 1,000 that I don’t.

Step 2 – Organize what you want to keep.

Here’s how I organize my digital media:

  • File names – for easy searching it’s important that your file names are “normal”.  Normal to you and normal to me are two different things.  I like my files for ebooks to be the exact title of the book. For pictures, some programs allow you to name a group of pictures like “Beach 2014” and then each picture gets a number “Beach 2014 1,” “Beach 2014 2,” etc. If that sounds exhausting to you, skip it and simple organize by folders (see below).
  • Folders, folders and more folders!  I have a broad category: Ebooks.  Next I have subcategories: Food, Homeschool, Parenting, Birth and Babies, Home Management.  Sometimes I go one step further too like in Food for example.  I have a few categories: Paleo, Desserts, Snacks.  These are simply to help me find certain books faster.  For digital music you can categorize them by artist and/or genre.  I separate my pictures by month and then by event if necessary. Example “May 2014” then inside that folder I have “Zoo Trip.”  This makes it easy to find stuff when I’m ready to scrapbook.
  • Storage space – I like to use Google Drive and I have this portable external hard drive.  I like portable because I can take it with me when we travel, it doesn’t require a power source and it’s a great size for being on the go.  Google Drive is also good for things you may want to access on multiple devices.  There are several cloud storage sites so research and ask your friends for recommendations.

Step 3 –  Delete what isn’t necessary

I know, delete is a hard word.  Delete is almost as bad as throwing something away isn’t it?  If you hate to get rid of stuff I know how you feel.  I used to hold on to stuff too.  Some for sentimental reasons, some for practical reasons and some who knows why but I had it.  But your stuff does not define you.  Your digital collection of memes you saved off Facebook is not necessarily going to come in handy one day.  (A Google search will provide you with the same information and more.)

When you have less stuff you have less to mange.  When you have less to manage you have more time to do what you want to do and you have a clearer mind.  Our stuff weighs on us.  Subconsciously it’s there waiting to be looked at, gone through and moved.

Step 4 – Giving Away Your Digital Content

If you’ve got a sweater your sister would love you’d give it to her.  Did you know you can do the same with ebooks?  Integrity comes in to play here but you an give away your ebooks so long as you delete the file from you storage once you’ve gifted the book.  Authors work hard to publish books, even self published digital media and it isn’t right to pass out copies like free popcorn.  Please, be a woman (or man) of integrity and delete books you’ve gifted.

Other Ways to Clean Up Your Digital Devices

Unwanted/Unnecessary Programs and Apps – Removing programs and apps can help increase performance.

Use Chrome –  I’ve seen much faster browsing on my laptop since I switched to from Internet Explorer to Chrome.  Plus, you can integrate your G+ account and cloud drive for easy access right from your browser.

Change Your Start Up Programs – Here’s a Windows 8 how to and here’s a Windows 7 how to.  If you’ve got a Mac I found this from MacWorld.   Never remove programs from start up until you know the impact.  Some have very little impact on performance and some are absolutely necessary to start your machine properly.  Do your research!

 

And Now…..My Digital Giveaways!

If you were local I’d tell you to drive by every few days and see what I had sitting out for free or check out the pile ready for the Rescue Mission.  But since (most) of you can’t do that I’ve got some digital stuff for you.  Over the next few days I’ll be doing quick giveaways of some awesome ebooks starting today.

Since we’re talking about reddin’ up and cleanin’ out today’s giveaway is about living with less.  Pre-fire I started reading about minimalism, the concept of living with only absolute necessities and parting ways with most of your stuff.  The is extreme minimal living where people own 15 or 20 things (literally, 15 or 20 items in their apartment).  That life style isn’t for me but the concept of minimal living does strike a chord with me.  So to get you motivated to Spring clean and do some “reddin'” I’ve got a Minimal Living ebook Pack for you.

Minimal Living eBook Giveaway

One lucky winner will get my personal pdf copies of the following ebooks:

  • 101 Ways to Simplify Your Life
  • Smalltopia
  • Getting Rid of What You Own
  • One Bite at a Time
  • The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Be sure to check back on the 11th to see if you’ve won and find out what the next giveaway will be!

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