In all the tidying-up books I’ve read, I don’t think I’ve actually seen a chapter dealing with decluttering your computer. Or tablet, laptop, etc. So here I am today, with tips on how you can get your computer in order – from documents to photos to programs, I have it all here.
Let’s get started!
Photos are very easy to accumulate on your computer. And to be honest, they’re hard to get rid of, given how sentimental they usually are.
My secret? Google Drive. Rather than have them take up valuable storage on my computer’s hard drive, all the sentimental photos I want to keep have been moved to my Google Drive, where I’ve organized them in neat folders. These are photos that hold special memories for me, or that I just really like. And yes, I actually do look at them. I also store photos I’ve taken for Instagram and Happiness Is Natural in certain folders on Google Drive. This way they don’t take up valuable storage on my computer.
However, this is not the solution for everyone. You need to first ask yourself if you’re ever going to look at photos you want to put into a cloud/online storage (e.g. Drive, Dropbox, etc).
If you’re particularly concerned about deleting any photos, you can always send them to people featured in the photos. But don’t get into a habit of this – only send the really important ones, as we’re trying to keep clutter to a minimum for everyone.
When it comes to organizing, you can either arrange your photos by date (e.g. 20 August 2015) or by category (e.g. 2014 Holiday, Dog, Kids Playing, Birthdays, etc). I recommend sorting by category, because it’s unlikely you’ll remember the exact date of an event. But if you do want to sort by date, I recommend dividing your files by month, e.g. July 2017.
If you’re sorting by category, try not to be too specific, but still make sure there’s some sort of precise system. For example, instead of “Polly’s 8th birthday” you could have “Polly’s birthdays” and stick in all the photos from Polly’s birthdays. Another thing would be if you have a certain category, make sub-files. For example, if you have a “Family Holidays” folder, you could add a folder within the folder called “Spain 2014.”
Tip with WordPress: If you use photos in your posts (headers/graphics/etc.) you can delete them from your computer once you’ve uploaded them to WordPress. They’ll stay within WordPress’s media storage, and won’t disappear from your posts unless you delete them from WordPress storage.
Downloads & Documents
A big storage-eater is your downloads folder. Scrutinize this area of your computer – often when you download something, you only need it temporarily. Go through and do a quick sweep of old files you only used for a short period of time.
You documents is a place where people often store files with large memory – class essays, school projects, stories, etc. If you have old school/work assignments in your documents – unless they’re current work, or you’ve been told that you actually need them – delete them.
Organization is key in these folders. Arrange everything by topic e.g. “School Projects” “Essays” “Book” (if you’re writing a book) “Management notes” “Business Ideas” etc. You can then create a few large folders and drop the other folders within them. These large folders should be very general – “School” “Work” “Home” “Current work” etc.
Again, unless they’re extremely important, delete them. The only video I have is a French film. I know that family/home videos are tricky, but really, how often do you make a family video night, where you just watch old home videos? Probably never.
If you want to go the extra mile, why not have all your home videos converted into one DVD? I remember my dad did this with his childhood home videos – by doing this it makes it so much easier to store them, and also view them in one sitting.
Ideally, you wouldn’t have too many videos on your computer – they take up a lot of memory that could be used for more important things. I would recommend purchasing a simple 2/4GB USB key to store videos if you have several. Otherwise, you can use the same filing system as with photos and documents.
Even if you have a PC, I’d say there are a few apps or programs you could get rid of. Evaluate your everyday computer work – is it for your blog, book, business, or just fun? If it’s for business/work, go ahead and uninstall all those computer games. Well, do it anyway, because they turn you into a mindless slug!
If it’s for your blog, check your photo editors. I’d say one would be just fine, or two if one has features the other doesn’t. If you use your computer just to browse social media, read articles and watch YouTube/Netflix, delete all those useless apps for money, analytics, etc. Why not try installing an app such as Deezer to listen to music?
If you have a Windows laptop/tablet like me, you can click here to learn how to uninstall default Windows apps such as Camera, Voice Recorder, Messenger, etc. I know how annoying it can be when you don’t need such programs but can’t remove them.
Let’s talk Drive
I mentioned earlier that I use Google Drive to store photos I don’t want to keep on my computer. Here’s a quick look into how I do this:
These are just a few screenshots of my Drive. As you can see, I have about eight or so “general” folders that contain several smaller sub-folders within them. Within those folders might even be another folder, but usually just the photos. For me, Drive so far is working very well – I can store photos without taking up valuable space on my computer.
I won’t be going into detail now, but please let me know if you’d be interested in a post about organizing/managing Google Drive.
And I guess that concludes this post! If you have any questions about computer organization/management, please leave them in the comments. I’ll answer them all!
Much love ❤
P.S. I know< I know, I promised frequent posts, but it’s exam season yet again, so your girl is off to study -_-