Time was when clutter referred to tangible things that gathered actual dust in homes, offices, cars and storage lockers as the case may be. But for all who believe that the digital age is a cleaner, leaner and less cluttered time in history – think again. Digital things may not gather dust from mites but they do cause clogs and clutter. And we’re not talking excess of digital devices here. In the good old days no one would have said that you had too many books or music CDs. Digital clutter is about the overwhelming amount of e-mails you may be saving in a web mail account. The digital trash bin you haven’t emptied. The photos, word documents, presentation files, old databases and what not, that hang around long after their usefulness. Unlike physical things they’re not staring you in the face and begging to be set free.
No one says you can’t hang on to this stuff but a little organization could really streamline your digital life. For the photos on phones, in e-mails and in IMG files on your numerous computers, you might consider something in the Cloud or in the home. A Picasa, Flickr, Dropbox or some other account. An external hard drive, flash drive or other drive that you constantly update also gets it done. The same goes for all the other types of files that you used and now may want to keep for reference. File by date, by subject, author, device or whatever suits your needs. And if you have 3,000 items in your trash e-mail file, they may not smell, but you’ve got to take them out – but not to the local coffee house.
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