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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

It’s that time of the year again, and whether you’re graduating, returning in the fall, or preparing for a new start, you’ve definitely got clutter on your devices from all your hard work over the past year. And while it might feel good to shut everything off and enjoy the coming summer, leaving loose (digital) ends undone will haunt you when next semester hits like a ton of bricks.

We don’t want that.

So, here are a few ways you can maintain your sanity by doing a digital deep clean.

Delete everything you don’t use

You’ve probably accumulated countless PDFs, papers, and emails over the past year. If you’re anything like me, they’ve been strewn about in your storage with no rhyme or reason, so navigating all your saved files is a nightmare.

So save yourself the stress of muddling through all the nonsense and delete everything you don’t need. And I mean everything. Having a clean slate, especially for the next quarter, will feel so much more refreshing.

And for the files you want to keep, having a naming system and designated folders will make sifting through all of them less like a chore. Here’s a great article by the New York Times to get you started.

Protect Your privacy

We all use countless accounts over the course of a single day just to get work done. Logins become a chore, and this can cause us to use the same simple passwords for multiple sites. 

Data breaches, hacks, even identity theft are all liable concerns involving your personal data. 

So, take precautions by following password protocols to ensure the safety of your accounts. This guide by the Washington Post is a great resource on how to make and store strong passwords. 

Stop the Lag

Extra data and search history might be the reason behind slow loading times. Tackle the lag by clearing the history and cache in your browsers on your devices. 

Here’s a great resource on what cache is and why it’s beneficial to clear it whenever you get the chance to.

Clear the (Inbox) Clutter

Chances are you have thousands of unread emails with new ones piling up every day, leaving your inbox a mess. Taking the time to empty your inbox as well as store important correspondence will do wonders for your mentality. 

Unroll.me is a free service that delivers all your email subscriptions in one manageable daily email. It allows you to easily unsubscribe from services as well as see all your subscriptions in one place.

And here’s a great place to get started with email organization, with tips that’ll help you in undergrad and beyond.

Devices are a daily and integral part of our lives, and managing your digital footprint is something easily forgotten yet crucial to navigating the online world. Learning how to best use them in ways that make our lives more efficient can only help us, especially in a time where online work is essential. These tips are just the start of an essential process all of us should undergo with summer on the way – here’s a great article detailing even more ways on how to do a digital deep clean.

Alexa Tan

UCSB '25

Hello! I'm Alexa, a second-year Communication major. When I'm not writing, you can probably find me scrolling through Pinterest or shuffling my KR&B playlist.