Spring cleaning is for your house, summer cleaning is for your digital life

I actually took a real vacation this summer for the first time in a really long time. It was a good refresh. However, my first two days of vacation, I didn’t go anywhere. Instead, I took those two days to rest up and get settled on things I have been putting off, but also used that time to update and clean out my digital footprint.

Like many of you, I use spring to clean out my closets and power wash my patio. However, there isn’t really a set period to update your digital footprint. So, I am declaring the dog days of summer as the perfect time to go through and update your digital footprint. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Update all of your passwords for every account you have. This tip applies for everything you have an online account for – email, social media, bank, credit card, utility, Netflix, mortgage, etc. It is just a good rule of thumb to try and do each year. My favorite part of this is trying to see how many passwords I had forgotten in the last year.
  2. Review your Facebook news feed at least once a year. I do this with my friends list. And there is no real way to do it, just what feels right to you. For me, I look at my friends list and decide that there are some people that I don’t really know that well or know well anymore. Nothing against them, but I am someone who likes to keep my friend list fairly tight. So if any of you are reading this and are still Facebook friends, congrats!
  3. I also do this with organizations and places I follow. Sometimes, I don’t go to places as much as I used to or my interests have changed. Other times, I realize that I don’t want to see so much from an organization so I change it.
  4. Review your email lists. OK, be honest. Are you on an organization’s email list and you automatically delete 95 percent of the emails you receive from them without even opening to see the content? Me too. Trust me, you will thank me for taking the time to unsubscribe to those lists that you no longer have time or interest in hearing from anymore. It will save you time in the long run and is one less distraction. And the good news is you can always subscribe again later.
  5. Backing up your files. Do you have an external hard drive to back up your important photos and documents stored on your computer? When is the last time you updated it? Have you checked to see how much space you have on it now? This is the time to do it.

These five tips, when done, will help alleviate some of the clutter and distraction we spend part of our life complaining about. By taking care of it now, you can relax (a little bit) later.