Spring has sprung and people are cooped up inside their homes due to coronavirus. They’re cleaning every nook and cranny of their establishment, partially due to the time they now have, and partially in an attempt to ward off the encroachment of the virus.
With the world’s mass migration to the digital realm inside their home, it might be time to start thinking about how those spring cleaning habits can be applied to every nook and cranny of your digital world.
Below are five areas of your digital life that might warrant some of your spring cleaning attention.
Search the Couch Cushions of Your Digital Finances
With physical banks closed and call centers nearly unreachable, it’s a good time to give your digital finances a two-phased cleansing.
First, clean out the couch cushions (figuratively) by going through your online accounts to tease out every penny. Sweep through your old credit card accounts and see if you have any rewards points worth cashing in. Check your PayPal and Venmo accounts to make sure you don’t have any cash waiting for you (or owed). Take time to sign up for digital offers like Dosh, GetUpside, Rakuten, and Swagbucks. If you already have those accounts, cash out the rewards and invest or build out a digital savings account.
Second, move all your financial tracking to the digital space and consolidate visibility into your financials into a single app. Personally, I prefer Mint.com for consolidating my accounts, tracking my transactions, and getting visibility into my financial health. If you don’t have a budget, set one up using an app or online service. In addition to Mint, services like EveryDollar, Personal Capital, and YNAB are highly recommended.
Clean Up the Front Porch of Your Digital Lifestyle
There’s no electronic device more ubiquitous than a smartphone, so take some time to give your smart phone’s home screen (and it’s hundreds of apps) a spring cleaning. Move, or better yet delete, the apps you don’t need. Next, organize your home screen in a way that gives you immediate access to what you need.
In an attempt to simplify my digital lifestyle, I committed to keeping the total number of apps I had on my phone down to what would fit in the real estate of a single screen – no folders allowed. If there were apps I didn’t use more than once a month, I deleted them. If there were apps that I used but weren’t conducive to healthy living, I eliminated them. What remained was a small number of productivity and health apps that kept me focused on the things that were the highest priority in my life.
Clean Out the Closet of Online Storage
Many individuals have moved their digital possessions – such as photos, videos, and project files – into the cloud; however, there are still a number of keepsakes that exist in your life that could probably stand to be digitized.
If you already have everything digitized, take time to catalog all the content you’ve built up over the years, determine a meaningful organizational method for it, and start to migrate them to one of the well supported online storage locations – like Amazon Photos, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox.
Refresh and Recycle Your Family’s Digital Devices
With kids going back to school, but online, it’s time to re-evaluate the devices in your home and focus on a small set of electronics that meet the needs of your evolving stay-at-home culture. Recycle old cell phones, trade-in old tablets for new that support the educational needs of your children. Finally, look at shifting your digital subscription services from those focused on entertainment services to those that support the needs of your kids’ education.
Want to go farther? Check out Five Steps to Declutter Your Digital Lifestyle for more tips related to cleaning your digital clutter.
Take Another Look At Your Home Automation Needs
Security systems and smart garage doors may be less necessary if you find yourself quarantined at home, but getting smart lighting and smart speakers may still be a valuable investment. Re-evaluating your entire digital infrastructure may also be worth the time if it means updating an older router or trying out new games on the smart speaker in your living room.
If you’re new to the world of home automation, check out our Guide to Getting Started with Home Automation to build out the automated home of your dreams.
Being cooped up at home can cast a spotlight on the many home projects you’ve always wanted to complete, but don’t forget about those digital projects that are just as important as you shift what little remains of your life online.