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And now, spring cleaning for your digital life

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Consumer business by Denisha Maxey

NOW THAT you have cleaned out your closets and garages, it is time to continue your spring cleaning with some tidying of your digital life. Most of us are addicted to using electronic devices. Whether it’s cellphones, laptops or tablets, we use them on a daily basis.
Just as we clean and organize our homes, it is essential to take the time to clean up our electronic gadgetry, so use these helpful tips to start organizing your digital life so you can de-clutter it and become more productive. Each of these small changes can help improve your device’s performance.
The first step is organizing your e-mail. If you are anything like me, you receive thousands of e-mail messages daily. It can be hard to keep up with them, making your inbox hard to manage. Start by sorting through the messages; delete all old ones that you no longer need and create a folder to archive the ones you want to keep.
Check who you are receiving e-mails from, unsubscribe from any advertisements or newsletters you no longer wish to receive. Doing this can greatly reduce the amount of spam e-mails you receive. To keep your e-mail system organized in the future, set up folders for coupons, personal and work-related messages.
Now it’s time to tidy up your cellphone! Nowadays, we use our cellphones for more than just talking and texting. They also work as an app manager and provide storage for pictures and videos. Check the apps that you have installed and uninstall any you are not actively using.
Removing apps you no longer use is beneficial in more ways than one. Apps use up the memory on your phone and also allow companies access to your personal data such as your location and contact list.
Indeed, you might also want to clean up your contact list. Remove old phone numbers that you no longer use or are no longer valid.
Review the pictures and videos you have stored on your phone and delete all those old selfies! There are apps available that allow you to print pictures directly from your phone or social-media accounts.
Talking of which, it’s also time to clear out those social-media accounts you are no longer using. We all use several different social-media platforms for networking or connecting with family and friends. However, creating an account for every social-media site is unnecessary, especially when you are not actively using them all. They can quickly fill your inbox with endless notifications, so do yourself a favor and remove any you no longer want.
Finally, now is the perfect to time to de-clutter the files you’ve saved to your PC, laptop or tablet. Check through them and see if they are needed. Clear up your desktop and create folders to organize the files you want to keep. You should also uninstall any programs that you do not use on these devices.
Denisha Maxey is director of dispute resolution at Houston Better Business Bureau.

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