Give Your Computer a Clean Sweep

Ever have a hard time trying to locate something you saved on your computer? If you find yourself opening a bunch of different files just to see what they are, chances are you may be guilty of being a digital pack rat. Just like paper documents, digital file clutter has a tendency to build up over time and take up valuable space. And without proper management, the amount of files can get out of control and result in files that go missing or are hard to find—especially when you need them most.

Whether you need to clear space on your computer hard drive or just want a better file management system, consider giving your computer a clean sweep on a regular basis. Check out these tips on how you can clean up your computer and better organize your digital files.

Don’t use it? Lose it

Remove software programs you don’t use, recommends the National Federation of Independent Business in the article, Delete Your Clutter: Cleaning Up Your Computer. For PCs, just go to your Control Panel and click on “Add or Remove Programs.” For Macs, a free utility program called WhatSize can tell you how much space your files are taking and help you delete any unnecessary files.

Keep it simple

Make it easy to manage your files with a system that’s simple to use and maintain. In Microsoft’s 7 tips to manage your files better, the article suggests separating ongoing work from completed work, storing like files together (such as keeping images in one folder for easy reference) and keeping file names short and easy to read.

Move over, old files

Move files you hardly reference onto CDs or DVDs, and organize your discs using Avery CD or DVD Labels so you can easily find files you need. Labels can be easily customized with free Avery Templates.

Make sure you back it up

Keep a backup copy of all your computer data. With an external hard drive, DVDs or CDs, you’ll be able to restore your system in case of a disaster, file corruption or accidental deletion of information. Be sure to back up your files regularly to capture the most current data.

Cleaning up your computer files not only helps you manage all your important data, it can also help your system run more efficiently. And by staying on top of your files, you won’t lose track of an important document again.