During spring cleaning don’t forget about your computer and other digital devices. Take the time to clean up and organize your digital workspace as it is as important to your productivity and well-being as your physical workspace.
Start with cleaning up your Desktop. The Desktop can become a catchall for all those miscellaneous files; the dining room table of your computer that collects odds and ends files. Other common area are the My Documents and My Pictures folders. Apply the age-old rule, “if you haven’t worn it in 2 years, toss it” to your digital space too. Get rid of all the programs and apps that you no longer use. Consider downloading a disk utility such as CleanMyMac, CleanMyPC, Disk Inventory, or Disk Space Fan to clean up system files and analyze space usage.
Organize Photos: Clean up photo files and organize them according to your folder system. Keep originals and delete duplicates. Tag your photos to easily search them later. You could also get them printed for display or share them with family.
Organize Music: Go through your music and reorganize. Fill in missing album artwork. You could also transfer them to an external hard drive or burn to an archival CD.
Fire up your browser and clean out those bookmarks. Delete everything you don’t want and organize the rest into folders. Clear your browser’s cache, temporary internet files, and the downloads folder.
Don’t forget your e-mail inboxes! Depending on how much e-mail you’ve accumulated, this may take a while to sort through. Unsubscribe from all those mailing lists you don’t know how you got on. Better yet, setup multiple accounts: a personal account, one dedicated to banking and finances, and a “throwaway” address to use for signing up for services, social media, and online purchases.
Consider integrating your digital life with the Cloud. Move to-do lists and other resources online where other family members can access them. There are a wide variety of online management tools and programs that sync across devices depending on your family’s needs.
Empty that recycle bin and watch your free space increase. Use a screen cleaner and lens cloth to wipe down your displays, clean your keyboard, and give your computer and devices an overall cleaning.
Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be just about cleaning and organizing. For your effort, give your computer and devices a little facelift with a fresh new wallpaper, new folder icons, or download some new music.
As with all cleaning and organizing, you have to build and maintain good habits or else the digital clutter will come right back.