Tech Personal Care for the New Year: A Guide

Was the term “personal care” coined by the beauty industrial complex to sell more bath bombs? Probably, but that doesn’t mean that setting aside time for self-care once in a while is a bad idea. This also goes for the technology in your life.

Do you pretend not to see a nest of cables behind your desk? Does the three-digit unread email notification make you cringe every time you look at your home screen? Or has that once transparent phone case taken on a dull yellow hue? Look, I’m not here to shame you. But maybe it’s time to take a look at the tech you use every day to see where a little storage effort can go a long way. If you are looking for a starting point, you have come to the right place. (Unless you’re looking for bath bomb recommendations – I can’t help you.)

I speak from experience when I say those silly little adhesive cable clips from Amazon can make all the difference on your desk. If you, too, are constantly untangling cords or fishing for them on the floor when you need to plug something in, please meet my lord and savior: cable management. This set comes in a range of sizes, all with non-damaging adhesive on the back. Stick one to the side of your desk and you’ll have a place to stash cables out of the way when you’re not using them.

Before you are caught off guard by the dead batteries of your gadgets, check them in advance. This voltage checker costs $5.99 and has the advantage of not needing a battery itself. Give your future self the gift of not having to scramble to replace the batteries in your wireless mouse before an important meeting.

If you don’t take anything else from this guide, do yourself a favor and buy a can of compressed air. You won’t believe the crumbs it can dig up from your keyboard or the corners of your phone case. If you’re cleaning your laptop, be sure to shut it down first – we’ve got more tips here. In fact, it’s also time to pull out the old-fashioned dusting cloth and get to work. It’s a good idea to make sure the area where your electronics are plugged in is free of dust.

While you’re at it, also grab a microfiber cleaning cloth and cleaning spray. Take a minute to clean the screens in your life – phone, car, TV, whatever you watch a thousand times a week. Just make sure you’re using the right tools for the surface; leave the Windex in your closet and get this $12.95 cleaning and microfiber kit from Calyptus. It is Edge Approved by the photo editor, so you know it’s legit.

Now that your phone screen is smudge-free, take a close look at your home screen. Maybe you’re like me and start out with good intentions of putting apps in folders, then at some point drop the whole charade, just letting them pile up page after page of pure chaos. This could be a complete guide on its own, but here are some quick tips for decluttering your home screen:

Oh, and one last little personal care? Just delete those 30,482 unread emails. If someone gets upset about this, remind them that texting is the new email and they should just message you next time.

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