January 2015 - Prep Essentials

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The Ultimate Technology Cleanup Checklist

If you're Type-A like me, one of your favorite ways to spend boredom and free time is to get organized, make lists, and plan plan plan! With each new semester, I like to clear out everything from the past few months and start on a totally fresh page. 

This also means that when I'm stuck at home for the holidays instead of being at school, my options for organizing are much more limited. Thankfully, this gives me time to tackle my most time-consuming clutter - all of my little gadgets!

I've found that whenever I have a clean inbox, clear phone, and de-cluttered desktop, I'm much less likely to procrastinate on things during my daily routine. An email inbox is a lot less daunting when you know there aren't any scary and time-consuming emails waiting for responses or endless messages dying to be sorted into folders. Then there's that daily little reminder on my iPhone whenever I plug it in that claims, "Your storage is almost full"...I know. 

For the Type-A organizers like me, or even for the Non-Type-A people who need a little guidance, here is my master list of performing your very own digital de-clutter. 
Be sure to also check out my list of Social Media Spring Cleaning if you're feeling extra ambitious!


Email Inbox
1. First, go through and delete any random spam emails or daily subscription emails that you opened and were simply too lazy to delete. 
2. Next, flag anything that is important, needs a response, or that you're saving for a special reason. You'll want to keep these in your main inbox so they're easy to search for and don't get lost in the shuffle.
3. Decide what things warrant a category folder. If you have groups of emails of 5+ all regarding to a certain topic, it probably merits its own folder. Create each folder and move everything into its proper place.
*some sample folders might include bills, receipts or shipping confirmations (it's always good to save these for at least 2 months, which is when a return would probably expire anyway!), banking, travel, etc.*

Phone Storage and Clutter
1. Delete any apps you haven't opened in the last 6 months. If you aren't using it, you don't need it! (Besides, it will stay in the cloud so if you one day really want it back, it's just a click away!)
2. If you have an iPhone, you'd be blown away how much storage space old iMessages are taking up. It's a bit of a pain, but simply scrolling to the bottom of your messages folder and deleting old conversations will free up unimaginable space!
3. Sync up your music and photos to your computer, and then delete everything you won't need to access from your phone. Unless you're saving that picture for a #tbt, you don't need it on there! The easiest way to pick and choose music is to make a few playlists and only sync those to your device.
4. Just like Facebook friends, phone contacts from people you haven't spoken to since the 8th grade are really not necessary. If you're hoarding them - just sync it to your contacts on your computer and remove them from your device! 
*these seem like obvious tips, but most people tend to just delete apps or other valuable data and ignore these key trouble areas instead*

These simple little steps don't take very long, and believe me you will feel a lot less overwhelmed by your constantly-buzzing technology if you take the time out of your day to de-clutter them!

Hope this helps! Feel free to comment if you want more suggestions or have any additional tips!

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Resolution or Excuse?

First of all - HAPPY NEW YEAR! It has been another incredible year writing this blog, and I'm so grateful to all of my readers!



I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm really not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. Is it really a resolution, or are we just making excuses and reasons to further procrastinate things we should start doing right this minute? Sitting down and saying "Well, after January 1st I'm going to start working out. In the meantime, pass the cake!" might be fun (goodness knows I've been guilty of that exact statement about a million times) but why are we waiting until January 1st?

If you want to make a change in your life, the time is right now. If anything, waiting until January 1st makes you less likely to stick to it, because you followup with the logic that a lot of people give up on resolutions, not to mention you're in a post-holiday slump and not on your A-game. 

After the holidays, you're feeling extra lazy, extra relaxed, your routine is off-kilter, and you've been chowing down on holiday treats for weeks, not to mention spending triple what you normally do. I can't think of a worse time to try and make a positive change in your life!

Make a change when you're on top of your game, your routine is set, and your mind is in a clear and content place. If you genuinely want to do something different, I urge you to bypass this silly holiday tradition and figure out the best time for yourself to do something different. 

The more specific and practical you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Don't simply say, "I want to eat healthier". Be specific! Instead, say something like, "I want to cut out sodas" or "I want to try to eat fruit at least once a day". These are much more manageable, and less easy to cheat with. Make it something you can easily cross off of a daily or weekly checklist, where you can track your progress and visually see your goals. 

Don't make excuses this year - make 2015 the year that you actually make a change!

Happy New Year, and I hope that 2015 is the best one yet for all of you!

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