Admittedly, I’m not really one of those “Spring cleaning” kind of people. I’m more of a Spring-shove-a-bunch-of-stuff-in-a-closet type of person. However, this year I decided that my e-world was getting chaotic…chaotic to the point of collapsing in upon itself like a dying star. So, I decided to institute an annual “E-Spring cleaning” day in order to stave off a literal collapse of my virtual world. These 10 things created so much peace in my life that I-lacking a less nerdy outlet-decided to share them on my little blog. Do this stuff. You will be more peaceful. Or not. But probably.

1. Clear off your computer’s desktop and change your background image. Cleaning off my desktop felt a lot like cleaning under my couch cushions. “Oh, there’s that jpg of that walrus who loves his bucket!” “Oh, there are the pdf instructions to the Roomba!” Anyhow, it was surprisingly refreshing to turn on my monitor and it not look as though Microsoft and Adobe had thrown up on my screen (yes, I use a PC rather than a Mac for work reasons…apologies to all you cool Mac people). In addition, changing your desktop’s background image gives you an inner sense of renewal. It inspires your inner chi. It is a physical reminder of the renewed change in your life. Ok, so I made all that crap up…but, it is kind of nice to look at something different now that I can actually see my desktop again.

2. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read. I had grown accustomed to deleting 30-40 emails per morning without reading them. Taking the 30 seconds to unsubscribe from a bunch of stuff felt nice. I grow weary of email. I saved myself approximately 1 extra second per day by unsubscribing. That’s a little over 3 hours saved over the next 30 years. What will I do with all that time, you ask? I’m justifying a 3 hour nap next Monday after lunch.

3. Clean out your inbox. I took my inbox down to 3 messages. This hasn’t happened since the days when I had dial-up internet…bahrrreeenngg. .EEE…bahrrreeenng. .EEE…bmmmmmmmmm.. bahdumm. EE.. eerrrrrrtttt..bmmm ..shhhhhhhhhhhh. (that’s my dial-up impression). Anyhow, for me, this task meant taking almost an entire day to do the work required to delete email after email (i.e. reading long emails and responding, clicking through links, printing out documents, filing emails in a “reference” file, etc.). It was horrendously boring; but, man it feels good to only see three messages in my inbox. Worth it. Do it.

4. Organize and clean up your favorites menu. I hadn’t done this in 7 years. Wow. Tip: the favorites menu is pretty much worthless if most of the internet qualifies as your “favorite”. It felt good to de-junk my favorites menu. In other news, I discovered that my “favorites” pretty well fall into 3 categories: 1. work sites 2. becoming a bigger nerd 3. becoming a better nerd.

5. Update your social media profiles. If I’m going to stalk you, I’d like to have accurate information. Thanks. If you’re stalking me, my information is now up to date. You’re welcome.

6. Scan your computer for viruses and malware. Here are a couple great free resources: TrendMicro Housecall | AVG Free.

7. Change your passwords. From what I’ve heard, identity theft is a bummer. I’ve had the same password for personal stuff for almost 10 years. I figure that changing it periodically from now on will probably be a wise idea.

8. BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. I have talked to a surprisingly large number of people who have lost family photos due to a computer crash. Please take the time to back up your stuff. Carbonite is great if you don’t ever want to have to worry about it again.

9. De-app yourself. Go through your phone and delete the apps that you don’t use. Yes, I know that flashlight app was really cool 3 years ago; but, let it go man. Let it go.

10. Delete unused programs. Windows users: go to the control panel, then either “Add/Remove Programs” or “Uninstall a Program” (depending on your Windows version). Not only will your computer theoretically run a bit faster; but, you’ll have extra space on your hard drive for all those cool pictures of your FarmVille world.

There you have it. E-Spring cleaning brings peace to your virtual world. Spend a day working through these 10 tips. Thank me later…better yet…thank me right now in the comments section.