Clean Your Digital Clutter

March 31, 2022

My 5-step Plan To Reduce Your Digital Clutter

We complete many tasks now on our electronic devices – writing lists on our phone, sending emails rather than letters and creating word documents instead of filling notebooks. While this reduces paper clutter somewhat, it doesn’t take too long before our electronic devices run out of space and become as cluttered as our environment.

If we declutter our laptop superficially, our results will be temporary; so, it is important to take our time and do it properly. My advice would be to designate time to organise your digital clutter – set the timer for 20 minutes each day. Don’t get dismayed by the size of the task ahead of you, just concentrate on today’s 20 minutes.

Here is my 5-step plan to reduce your digital clutter:

1)   Start with your files.

Create 2 temporary folders – ‘keep’ and ‘delete’.

Now go to those folders already on your computer and look at each document one by one.

Decide whether it belongs in the ‘keep’ or ‘delete’ folder and place it there. At this stage storage is temporary and the documents will be moved into proper folders later.

At the end of the 20-minute session, save those documents in the ‘keep’ folder and delete those documents in the ‘delete’ folder.

Continue this everyday until have completed all your documents.

Once you have examined all your documents, move onto the second step.

2)   Organising the ‘keep’ folder.

This folder holds all your important documents, so we are going to sub categorise each folder and store similar documents together. For example, ‘home’, ‘business’, ‘clients’, ‘personal’ etc. but you can create folders that are specific to you.

Go through each document in your ‘keep’ folder one by one and decide which of the new folders it should go into.

Once you have examined all your documents, delete the empty ‘keep’ folder and move onto the third step.

3)   Focus on each new folder, one at a time

You might have noticed how many versions you have of the same document. This is the ideal opportunity to decide on the one you want and delete the extras.

Rename each document with something you will easily remember.

Create a system and continue this throughout- this will make it so much easier when searching for files later.

4)   Create sub-folders

Now is the time to create sub-folders that make sense to you. For example, in the ‘business’ folder you could have ‘clients’, ‘finances’, ‘invoices’ etc. Don’t over complicate it by creating too many sub-folders.

Continue until all files have found their permanent home.

5) Have them backed up

This step is vital! Sync your files to cloud storage or copy them onto an external hard drive for safe keeping. I know this from personal experience as I lost all my documents when my laptop broke. I now pay for a system that keeps my information secure and lets me access my files on all my devices.

There are plenty of cloud storage options to choose from like One drive, Google Drive, iCloud, and Amazon S3 to name but a few.

Moving forward, as new documents are made, name them logically and place them into their folders as you go. Reach out by email to

if you need further advice on decluttering your digital files and in the meantime best of luck with it.