Just like the clutter around the house, computers can also have an accumulation of unnecessary data. It’s important to get rid of computer clutter because some of it may cause your computer to run more slowly.
Declutter your inbox
Going through email every day can be a chore. The longer you wait in between email checks, the more it will be there for you to sort.
You can start by going through the oldest emails first and working your way up to the new ones. Old ads and offers usually expire after about a week. Some expire even more quickly. Trash those right away.
Don’t save emails for later. Deal with them as you go through them. You can set up folders in your email software if you need to save things like bank statements, Amazon receipts or other money-related emails. Just get them out of your inbox and into the proper folder.
Never click on links from emails that look suspicious. Case in point, you might get an email from a bank where you don’t have an account. That is probably someone trying to get personal information from you. If you are not sure if it’s a real email from someone you know or not, err on the side of caution.
Unfortunately, checking through emails is something you need to do on a regular basis. Schedule a time to go through the backlog at least once a week.
You probably have a folder called My Documents where anything you save will go. Go through these and make sure you still need everything you have saved. If you have multiple versions of one file, check to see which one is the one you need. However, usually the most recent version is the best choice.
People often save files to the desktop so they can be easily accessed, causing computer clutter. When you save any file, be sure to pick a name that will help you find that file later. “Untitled 14” is not a good name.
Once you finish working on them, those files should be removed from the desktop and put into a folder within My Documents so you will be able to find them again. Name the folder something appropriate that will let you know exactly what is inside.
Just like physical files in your home, you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for folders and files on your computer. For example, if you have copies of medical tests or related papers, put them in a folder called “Medical.”
Organize the folders in a way that makes sense to you. You want to be able to locate them when you need them.
If your computer is running slowly, it might be because you haven’t updated software. It’s a good idea to do that whenever you are able. Many times these updates make your files more secure or run more efficiently. (The same is true for your cell phone or tablet.)
It’s important to have an organized computer to make it work at its best. For many people, especially during the pandemic, computers are the way we keep in touch with friends and family, take classes or do work.
Please contact me if you are feeling overwhelmed by your computer clutter or other organizing issues. I’m happy to help you get organized this spring.