Winter Is... Going
Two months of 2016 and (hopefully) the worst of this year’s winter weather is over. If you’re like us, you’ve been longingly browsing through spring clothing catalogues, planning getaways and excursions for the warmer half of the year, and wondering where the heck all this stuff came from. For Team Tinsel, the stuff of the hour is the tech, toys, and trinkets from conferences, the gifts and goodies of the holiday season, and the birth or re-birth tools of the new year. For you, it may be worn-out tech, old clothes, or the “traveler’s extras” - random things still lying around from the last time you moved. Then there’s the piece that’s for all of us living in the digital world: the digital baggage we’re carrying in our inboxes and hard drives. The sunshine is coming and the junk it going: it’s spring cleaning time!
No New Friends
...At least until you’ve cleared out some old ones. One of the most satisfying clean-ups you’ll ever do is combing through social media and clicking “unfriend” or “unfollow” on some of your less-loved internet acquaintances. That guy you went on a mutually-awkward date with two years ago? Unfriend. Your best friend’s ex who has never taken a philosophy class but sure could’ve fooled you? Unfollow. All these casual classmates from undergrad whose last names you wouldn’t know if they went unlisted on Facebook? Unfriend! Severing one-to-one connections can elicit guilt, so we recommend doing those last. Warm up by deleting outdated contacts from your mobile devices, then move on to the one-way connections like Instagram and Twitter, and finally - when your unfriend-finger has gotten a good warm-up, try the heavy-hitters like Facebook.
What’s the Word?
One of the best but least-followed items of advice in the internet age is “change your passwords often.” Aside from employer-mandated changes, few internet users subscribe to the “every few months” rule of password change-ups, and that’s a crying shame. Especially if you’re still using the same passwords for certain online services, an often-criticized practice, you should take this reminder seriously and change things up! Our recommendation is to create a password algorithm that takes into account the date you last changed your password, then apply and re-apply that algorithm every spring. A yearly change is less frequent than recommended, but will put you leaps ahead of the average user.
Let’s Get Physical
All the digital cleaning in the world won’t make you comfortable if your real-life stomping grounds are plagued by clutter. Spring doesn’t officially start until the equinox on March 20, so try giving yourself until then to shape up. Pick two nights a week, and every week from now until then, pick a different room of the house to de-clutter. Kitchen tools you haven’t pulled out in years, extra bedding, old pens and knick-knacks… be gone! You can’t “unfriend” a pile of old sweaters or “unfollow” that veggie-spaghetti maker from your short paleo stint quite as easily, but if you take 6 boxes of “to donate” items out to the car throughout the month, by the time spring really kicks in, the extra room to breathe will feel phenomenal.