Wednesday, February 13

Minimalism For Your Computer: How To Declutter Digitally

Reformatting a computer is exciting and challenging all at the same time. I recently did this because of the new Windows OS, and am loving it so far. It makes for a fresh start because everything is wiped clean from the machine, and one can begin again. Minimalism in all forms is wonderful because it makes one truly appreciate the things they already have, is a huge money saver, inspires a person to be happy with less, encourages one to find the beauty in simplicity, and makes life easy to manage.   


Here are 5 ways to keep your computer clean:

1. Stop buying and installing things. I'm very selective with what I put on my computer. My rule is, "Add one, subtract one", and that applies to most things in life. If a new file or piece of software is necessary, then find an existing one that isn't and delete it. Isn't digital great! It's as simple as that. 

2. Let go of old files. I call this housecleaning of the mind. Going through old files and deleting the ones you don't need is therapeutic. It also frees up a lot of hard drive space. So take the time to go through every folder and discard anything that you haven't used or that brings up bad memories. Detaching is as easy as pressing the delete key, and revel in the fact that you're better off without it.  

3. Get rid of documents that are older than seven years. If that business or tax document is ancient, then you probably don't need it any longer. Seven years is the magic number for most items with the exception of birth/adoption/death certificates, marriage/divorce papers, year-end summaries of loans/mortgages, military records, retirement related tax forms, and files that pertain to an asset you own like a home or stocks. With this, always check twice before discarding something.

4. Folder organization. So now that the files are cleared out, it's time to organize. Personally, I like to keep a clean desktop. That means no files, and no taskbar shortcuts. Sleek and sexy! That way, if I leave a file out on the desktop I know that it needs to be handled right away and eats away at me until the task is finished. As far as folders are concerned, I use the built-in Windows folders to organize most of my belongings accordingly. Then I have a separate partition for my personal storage which includes an artwork, fitness, and learning folder. This is where I store huge files, especially my digital artwork. I choose to separate them so that I don't have to recopy them if I reformat my system. Everything should have a place, and chances are if there's not a folder for it then it's probably not necessary.     

5. Clean up the system regularly. At the beginning of each month I do system maintenance. Just like every well-oiled machine, one's computer has to be cared for in such a manner to run properly. Updates, anti-virus, disk cleanup, defragmentation, and anti-malware are the things that I run to insure that my PC is at it's best. In doing so, this keeps the computer clean and gets rid of any temp files that might be lying about.

 If you have any special tips and tricks to stay clutter-free, please do tell. 
I always enjoy hearing from you.

~Claudia

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