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February always brings mixed feelings; it’s just that time of the year. Except for me, it’s not over Valentine’s Day… No-no, it’s because on February 10th I face my greatest nightmare: National Clean Out Your Computer Day.
It’s the day I spend cleaning off my hard drive and clearing up my desktop. It’s a day full of digital decluttering that challenges my inner hoarder.
Well, in short, it’s a day to clean out your computer. You go through your files and programs that are on your computer (or computers) and clean it up. Cleaning your computer keeps you organized and prevents you from building up overwhelming clutter.
It also works to sort out what you need and what you don’t. Trash what you don’t and keep what you do – and you can organize anything in the middle in dated folders to check again at a later date!
Not sure where to start? Here are a few tricks and tips:
1. Delete all junk files. Anything that you can OBVIOUSLY trash, do it. This will save you time later down the road. “Junk files” also refers to any duplicate or spam files that your computer has gathered throughout the year.
2. Sort through emails. This includes deleting any that are no longer needed in both your mailbox and archives. Afterward, archive any emails that may be important at a later date.
3. Delete old programs. Any program that you have not touched in the past 3 months – delete it. Old programs are slowing down your computer and hindering its performance. Plus, you can always re-download it if you ever need it.
4. Organize your files and folders. Organizing includes moving and renaming your documents, folders, and leftovers (those bits that you’re not sure where they came from and can’t remember if they’re important or not) to make it easier for you to find them!
5. Removing sensitive information. I get it, we all have passwords saved and cards hooked to our accounts and frequently visited websites. That’s okay. I’m talking about those memos and sticky-notes you’ve got stashed in a folder. You need to clear those out. I use a password notebook to keep everything together! Not only do they help organize your online life, but if your computer ever crashes, your information is right there!
Don’t stress out if you can’t get it all done in one day, the purpose is really to make sure you set aside some time to get part of it done. The goal is to get everything set to have less stress later.