As Diwali approaches, and spring on this continent almost every Indian household gears up to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, into their homes. It is a common belief that she blesses only those homes that are clean and well-lit. Even if you are not a Hindu, keep these tips and tricks in mind for that well-needed spring clean.
Diwali cleaning, which starts long before the festival, is a tradition that also signifies letting go of the old and ushering in the new. It allows us to de-clutter our surroundings, as we welcome the New Year and start afresh. People usually begin cleaning up their homes by discarding items that are no longer required, thereby making space for new things.
“Mobile devices are no different. Most people download apps and then don’t use them after a while. Generally speaking, if you have not used an app for about six months, you will not use it again. Instead, the icons sit there taking up space and making it harder to find the ones you do use. This is not only true of mobile phones — desktops and tablets can get quite out of hand, too,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software.
It’s true: the digital world generates a lot of clutter. Opera Software has come up with some tips to keep all your gadgets in order this Diwali and spring.
1. Go through all your cables, chargers and other device wiring. Many of us have a tangled mess of these and cannot remember what goes with what — or even if the device is in the house any longer. Check first, but if you have a cable for a phone, computer or even camera that you owned four years ago and no longer use, get rid of it.
2. Clean up your email. Not every one is fastidious about keeping their inboxes clean; this is the time to get rid of mail you do not need. Go to the last page of your inbox to start with your oldest messages that are usually least relevant now, or try searching the inbox for sources from which you regularly receive new messages that are now outdated.
3. Find a web browser that works for you. If you download and use any Opera browser, you will save time and money, which means more money for a great summer holiday. Opera also help you keep super-organized, with synchronized bookmarks, Speed Dial shortcuts and a plethora of other useful features.
4. Back up your data. While getting down and dirty with your devices, you might as well make sure all your photos, work and other important files are backed up somewhere safe. This could be on an external hard drive in a fireproof safe or in the cloud.
5. Cull your “friends” on social media. Do you really need all 10,000 of them posting on your wall? If you can’t remember how you met them, wouldn’t wish them a happy birthday or aren’t interested in hearing their latest updates, give them the sping cleaning or Diwali-cleaning flick.
6. Take a long hard look at your bookmarks. They may have seemed a good idea at the time, but when did you last use them? Now’s the time to purge some of them. If you’ve already tried that recipe or purchased that birthday gift, clear it out. Keep those cookies, though!
7. Clean up your temp files. This might also be a good time to clear out all the stuff your browser stores. In Opera, just click Delete Private Data (the second option under “Tools”) and it will show you what needs to go.
8. Run a virus/malware scan and take a look at the Opera browser extensions that can prevent dubious sites and links from infecting your device. There are several extensions for Opera, including WOT and Ghostery that are useful in this way. Find the ones that work for you.
9. Organize your hard drive content. Make folders, keep them organized and delete any files you no longer need; this will save you lots of time they next time you are trying to find something important.
10. Physically clean your devices. Yes, pick up the right cleaners and get to work making them look like new again. Your friendly gadget shop will be able to help you choose the right products. (No, do not use soapy water!)