If you’re a student, or have a blog, or a job that requires a lot of work online, your computer can be a scary place. Decluttering that crazy monster can be a really useful way of clearing out the junk in your life and making your day that much easier. So crack open your laptop (unless of course you’re reading this on your laptop, then just do what you were doing) and we’ll get started!
- Desktop. The desktop is the man drawer of the digital world. You see it every day, and it’s often the default place that files save to, so if you’re not carefully it can become a whole pile of crazy in a very short space of time. I know it’s appealing to use the Desktop as an easy access centre, I remember as a kid looking at my dad’s work computer and literally not being able to see his wallpaper, but it’s time to move on. Now I only have my recycle bin on my desktop and that’s only because you can’t delete the place that holds the thing you delete. If you have programs you use all the time, pin them to your bottom bar or start menu, but keep your desktop free. If you like, this could become a processing centre, where unread articles, photos that need to be backed up or unfinished school work can be held until completion, just be careful it doesn’t become a dumping ground again.
- My Documents. This tends to be a relatively easy process.
- Create an ARCHIVE folder (this is a place to store all the files that you can’t really delete, but you don’t need easy access to. I’m talking old school work, your CV, revision notes etc. You may even want to move this file to cloud storage so it takes up even less space on your computer.)
- Create your mother folders. (These could be SCHOOL, WORK, BLOG, YOUTUBE, KIDS, IMPORTANT, whatever you need to organise your files in.)
- Drag and drop. As you file your documents into these new mother folders, make sure that anything unimportant is deleted or moved to your ARCHIVE, only currently needed documents should be kept in these folders. Subdivide as your wish!
- My Pictures. This one can be much tougher, especially if you never had a system to begin with! I like to keep my photos in an online storage space. I can have access from anywhere, and I don’t use up half my hard drive. I’ve tried a few different places; Picasa, Dropbox, Shoebox, OneDrive, but currently I’m using Google Photos and I’m loving it. It’s really great because it automatically sorts them by date, or place, or people, depending on what you search – it saves you a lot of time in the long run (especially if you’re a fan of the childhood-photo-birthday-Facebook-message!
- Music and Video. I never keep music or videos on my computer, but if you do, now’s the time to strike. Make sure that what you’re keeping is really necessary, is it something you could easily download again in the future? Could you utilise your online storage for this?
- Downloads. Your Downloads folder should remain pretty clear, but I understand how easy it is to get out of control. 90% of the stuff that enters my Downloads is never looked at again. Take this opportunity to move what you need to your documents and get shot of the rest.
Congratulations! You have just completed your first part in the digital declutter. The following two days are similar to this so I really hope you found this useful! Please let me know how you’re getting on, even if you’re picking and choosing which days to do I’d love to hear from you, or if you’re just reading the posts! See you in the morning!