I have an end of year process that I go through to clean up my PC, so when I come to work at the first of the year, it is like I have a new computer. I feel like the year has a fresh start and for at least the first couple of days, I know where all my files are!
It starts with the desktop. If you are one of those people who has their desktop covered with 50 files or programs, you are a digital hoarder! Clean that up. Really, how many of those icons do you really use? Take some time and delete some of them. You don’t have to empty the trash can right away, and in case you need it back, you can simply hit recover and it is there again. If you really use an icon a lot, pin it to the task bar at the bottom of the screen. Depending on the OS you are on, you can just drag it to the bottom and away you go!
The next area I have is your C: drive. If you don’t have all your documents under the “My Documents” folder, now is a great time to get things moving. As far as I’ve seen, all computers have My Documents, My Pictures, My Music and My Videos. Use those folders, they are the easiest to find. The next layer is if you have folders within that you don’t use much, I create an “Archive 2015” Folder and move them there. I can still search in the future for these and I know where they are if I simply have to review something. I now have archives for the last decade. Hard to believe it has been that long. Most interesting thing is, it is almost like clockwork that each year the archive folder is ten times larger than the previous year. So 2016 should be 250 GB!
If you have a server, cloud storage or backup, you can move the archives to these services so you don’t use all your hard drive space. Yet most of these services still integrate with Windows search to find old documents.
Don’t forget your Internet browser. Sure, you thought it would be interesting to know how many people are in space right now, but really I haven’t used that site in quite a while (six of you are wondering while I am writing this!). The Archive folder in favorites works or you could just hit delete. And of course, if you are like me, you have to clean up several browsers such as Chrome and Firefox along with Edge!
And last but not least, now is a good time to clean all the finger prints off the monitors, wipe down the keys and remove the unused USB drives you forgot about a long time ago. I was told several years ago that a clean desk is a clean mind. While that hasn’t exactly worked out for me, a clean computer sure makes you feel better at the first of the year. And don’t be a digital hoarder!