21 Jan #KonMari Your Digital Clutter
If you have a Netflix subscription (or free trial), or you have seen the thinkpieces and jokes on the internet, you might have already heard of the KonMari method of decluttering. Founded by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing consultant and author, this method of decluttering is most known for the question: “Does it spark joy?”
KonMari first gained fame through the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011) and has gained traction through the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo released on January 1, 2019. Just in time for the new year.
While it’s often mistaken as a minimalism movement, it’s all about keeping what’s necessary and brings positivity in your life. This applies to physical belongings and tidying up your household, so we created a guide for digital clutter.
It would take time, but it’s still cheaper than paying for unlimited storage that you don’t really need. Enjoy the increased “Free Storage” on your computer or cloud storage accounts after this!
Applicable rules of KonMari
- Sort by Category, not Location. We are always tempted to clean up our Desktop first, or Downloads folder. This is the equivalent of cleaning by collection. Group together similar items first and then start deleting.
- Designate Folders. Keep it simple. The more complicated it is, the harder it is for you to tidy up regularly. If you do digital work, file types may not necessarily be the way to go. You can start categorizing by either Client, or Type of Work.
- Eliminate your “Junk Drawer”. For most of us, our one big dump is our Desktop, Google Drive, or whatever cloud storage we have. It would be hard to find anything and most likely you’ll forget it’s there.
- Empty Your Pockets = Process New Data Immediately. We all know that “later” means “never”. Once you do a new shoot or start a new project, organize your files immediately. Keep only those you feel are worthy of keeping.
- Delete Everything and keep only those that “spark joy”. That’s the default. You will think “what if I realize I need it later on?” The truth is, you won’t even miss these files. Video files take up the most space so if you want to keep them for “future use”, then you better set a realistic deadline and storyboard if editing is ever going to happen.
- If You’re Not Sure… sort the files by “last accessed” or “last modified”. You will be surprised how many of these items are things you wouldn’t really be proud of or have no current informational information. Take stock of what’s there and consciously choose what you should keep.
A lot of us are already fans of “inbox zero” or keeping a clean inbox. The basic rule is to categorize it into one of four: Instant Delete, Quick Reply, Keep in Inbox, or Archive.
Quick replies are five sentences or less, because that’s all you really need. You can choose to keep important emails through your Archive, such as receipts or really important information – emails that “spark joy”. Another thing to do is to decide on which emails require action. If the conversation exceeds three emails exchanged, book a call.
Newsletters are another thing that plague our inboxes. If you don’t actually read these newsletters, the Unsubscribe button is your best friend.
All of this email decluttering can be fixed by automating the “Empty Your Pockets” rule through filters available on GMail or through free tools like unroll.me.
Focus on the connections you truly want to keep. Unfriend and unfollow the rest, your social media experience will be drastically improved. For this part, it might be useful to have different social media accounts for your personal and professional life.
Finally, enjoy your work! Admire the free space and the peace of mind. Enjoy how you can find everything quickly, easily.