KonMari your password manager

Is your password manager a total mess? Do you have hundreds of login credentials to websites you have not visited in a very long time? Are you even sure those websites still exist? Maybe it is time to close down your account at said websites and clean up your whole password manager.

Last month, I read The Life-changing Magic of Tyding Up by Marie Kondo and started experimenting with the KonMari method around the house. Her philosophy is that you should clean up you whole house at once, instead of cleaning up 15 minutes per day for example. By cleaning up 15 minutest per day, you will end up cleaning up your whole life. The goal is to dedicate an entire day to cleaning specific categories around your house and not to do it per room. I am not going to go too much in depth, but one specific part of the KonMari method I have skipped is the thanking of the objects before you discard them. I personally think it is quite odd to thank inanimate objects for their service before throwing them away. Of course, they have served their purpose and are not needed anymore. That is why you throw them away. Individually thanking every discarded object is something I leave out, while I am executing the KonMari method. It is the only part of the method that I have tweaked to my liking by skipping the thanking part.

Spending a whole day cleaning up the house is great! Only keeping the necessary stuff that you need really clears up your mind and minimizes the visual clutter in your house. Because I really loved the result of the KonMari method, I decided to also apply it to other parts of my life. One area of my digital life that is quite a mess is my password manager. I have been using a password manager since 2011. I first started using 1Password and have transitioned to LastPass because of its cross-platform support. Over the years, I have accumulated 363 login credentials. Do I use all 363 logins on a daily basis? I am not even that sure whether I would use all of them at least once per year. So it is time to KonMari my password manager!

Time to clean up your password manager!

Collect all your password credentials

The first step is to open your password manager and start looking at all the login credentials that are available in there. Check how many login credentials there are. Do you also have hundreds of login credentials? Be aware of all the logins you have accumulated and then start checking each and every one of these logins one by one. Go through the following few steps to know whether you can delete them.

1. Login credentials that do not work anymore

Are there online services you do not use anymore? Let’s say you have accounts for a couple of internet service providers, because you have had your internet provided by these companies at certain points in your life. If you are not a customer anymore of these companies, in most cases, your account will not even be valid anymore. This is also the case if you are not a student anymore. A lot of your student accounts will have been deactivated. Delete all the login credentials for the accounts that do not work anymore.

2. Websites/services that do not exist anymore

Technology changes at a very fast pace. Websites and services are introduced and disappear at lightning speed. Maybe you have signed up for one of these services that were all the hype, but there is a big chance that they are not operational anymore at the moment. While cleaning up my password manager, I encountered a couple of these websites that have gone offline. If the website or service is not operational anymore, it is an easy choice to delete their corresponding login credential in your password manager

3. Unused services

Did you sign up for that coupon website to save some money? Did you sign up for a calorie counting service, but have given up counting your calories or have switched to a more superior service? Perhaps you have signed up for a habit tracker app to track your healthy habits. Do you still use all these services? They are all sitting in your password manager, waiting for you to use them one of these days. Probably, you have not even signed into one of these services the past year. Maybe it is a good idea to check whether you still use these services. If you do not use these services anymore, maybe it is time to close your account. Find out on their website whether there is an option to close your account. If this option is not available, you can always contact the company’s customer service to request account deletion. After your account has been closed, you can delete your login credential for this website.

4. Security

The security of your passwords is also important. Are there duplicate passwords that you have used for multiple accounts? In the era of large data breaches, there is rather a big chance that one of your accounts could have been compromised. Several password manager provide a security check that you can use. Your mileage may vary depending on the password manager you use. LastPass provides Security Challenge, and Dashlane provides the Security Dashboard. Make sure to use this or a similar feature in your password manager to improve your password security.

De-cluttered my password manager

By following the steps as described, I have managed to delete 24% of the login credentials that I do not use anymore or are not functional anymore. Making sure that all your accounts are always up-to-date, I also did the security challenge and changed my compromised passwords and duplicate passwords. At the end of this password tidying event, I am left with a password manager that is cleaned up and contains login credentials that I use on a regular basis. Updating the passwords for extra security is also a good security measure.