Started in 2000 by Business Institute of Technology, the second Monday in February is National Clean Up Your Computer Day. As the years progress and digital technology cements itself as a mainstay in every facet of society, professional digital organizers like the team at OXO Digital Organizing now dedicate the entire week to the cause.
How can you clean and de-clutter the most clunky portions of your computer and get your files down to a manageable level? We explain how just one week of work in your computer chair can help lead you to total organizational bliss.
A Week to Organizational Bliss: How to De-Clutter Your Computer
Monday – Make A Plan
Begin the process by double checking your software. Is your antivirus up to date? How is your information being backed up? Are you saving your files to the Cloud, an external hard drive, or is there no method to your organization at all? Reflect on your file and software management, make notes about the tools you need, get your software and file saving strategy up to date, and clean up your trash can and Internet cache.
Tuesday – Organize Your Desktop & Files
It’s Desktop Tuesday! After you determine your software needs, it’s time to check through your documents and programs on your desktop and get rid of those that no longer serve you. If it hasn’t been used in six months, it’s safe to say you can delete it. If you have programs strewn about that you still use, create folders for them so you can keep likeminded programs and files together. Create a general folder for Marketing, for example, then separate your marketing programs into separate sub folders, like one for photo editing software and one for social media tools.
Wednesday – Clean Out Your Inbox
Emails get cleaned and sorted out on Hump Day. Don’t forget to check spam and junk folders and remove anything old or unnecessary. Delete old or outdated email contacts, create folders for non-urgent communications, and establish a process for keeping all of your emails organized. If you no longer need an email newsletter or are bothered by constant marketing pieces, remove yourself from their email chain and watch yourself stress less.
Thursday – De-Fragment Your Files
Defragment your hard drive and your computer so it’s almost good as new. The defragmentation process is easy to do and will boot up processing speed, making for a quicker computer in no time. Usually, when left idle, Windows will defrag the system automatically, but sometimes it’s just better to do it again to make sure all fragmented information is gone.
Friday – Final Touches & Planning
When Friday rolls around, it’s time to evaluate your progress and plan for the next week. Depending on where you are in your overall desktop and file organization process, you can continue your work next week or take this time to plan a weekly maintenance review. You can also take this time to rid your computer of dust bunnies and dirt. Make sure your screen and ports are clean with these safe and handy technology cleaning tools. Don’t forget to stay with it! The most organized computers and inboxes receive regular maintenance.
If you have an exceptionally cluttered computer, try D. Allison Lee’s 3 weeks to organization. For even more digital organization tips going into spring, read our guide on digital calendar tools that can organize your personal and professional life.