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New Year Resolutions: Declutter Your Computer

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Home-Based Business

New Year Resolutions?  Why wait?  At this time of the year many people start to focus on what they want to achieve in the new calendar year and so they make a list of their new year resolutions.  But as I started thinking about it, I wondered if it would not be more beneficial to start those processes right away.

The main advantage is that when 2011 starts, you will already have begin to implement the changes you resolve to make and would have strategies in place to get the desired results.

Reducing clutter important.  Experts confirm that in order to expand and grow, you must remove or reduce clutter in your life.  For those of us who work from home this can be clutter on your computer, clutter on your desk, and clutter in your home office in general.

Declutter Your Computer. Does your desktop look like a billboard with neon colors?  Do you have folders on your desktop that you have not opened for quite some time?

Many of us like to keep folders that we access frequently right on our desktop.  But it’s important to also keep in mind that having a lot of files/folders on your desktop slows down the process when you start your computer.  From time to time you can clean up your desktop and place all folders you have not used in a while in one marked “Unused Desktop,”  but do you even need to do that?  Why not delete them since you’ve not used them?

I recently found that I had a number of duplicate files on my desktop as I’d placed them there for downloading on a CD or to insert in a document then forgot to delete them.

Action Steps:

1) I spent about 45 minutes earlier this week moving folders that I wanted to keep, but did not use very often, from my desktop to the C: drive.

2)  I also moved some folders to an external storage device – a simple SanDisk, and made sure that I noted what I was storing on the disk.  It’s kept in a drawer next to my desk so it’s easy to retrieve when I need those files.

My desktop now looks a lot neater and organized in a way that’s more relevant to what I’m doing.

What about your hard drive? I create folders for various marketers, my own projects, topics that are relevant to my business, classes I’m taking or have taken, etc.  My goal for the next two days is to review folders and files on my C: drive, delete what I’ve not used in a year and store any large files I use only occasionally on the SanDisk.

Since I like to listen to training CDs while I’m driving, many of the MP3 folders on my hard drive are duplicates of CDs I’ve already made so those will go as well.

Action Step:

I deleted programs I’ve not used in at least two years.  Be careful when doing this as you don’t want to delete a program that supports other programs you’ll keep.  I did that will an Apple program that supports ITunes.  I’ll need to reinstall Itunes.

Your computer will thank you and you will be ahead of the game in reducing clutter instead of waiting until January 2011. Start now and that’s one new year resolution you wont have to make 🙂

What challenges do you face to declutter your computer and how do you deal with it?  Please share as we can all benefit from each other.

12 Comments to “New Year Resolutions: Declutter Your Computer”


  1. I just did a major clean up about 3 weeks ago. I went through every folder and reorganized. It has made all the difference in the world. I’m making a great effort to keep up on all my house cleaning tasks by taking a few minutes each day to accomplish the tasks.

    I like your idea of removing actual programs that I’m not using at this time and re-installing them later if I need them. There are a few I can eliminate… which will give me more “Gig” and make my computer run a little faster.

    Thanks gal.
    Kathryn Griffiths recently posted..The Trigger Word That Secretly Persuades People To Say Yes

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  2. Great idea! Just what I needed.

    Patricia
    P-A-McGoldrick recently posted..Remember the music

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  3. Kathy, I think my computer gave a sigh of relief as it had been getting slower and slower and my connection speed is pretty fast. Another case where we think alike 🙂 It does take time but it’s time well spent.

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  4. I know what you mean, Patricia. Sometimes we need a little nudge and reminder of what we need to do. 🙂

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  5. I know what you mean, Patricia. Sometimes we just need a little nudge and reminder of what we need to do 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder that the 8th was 30 years since John Lennon was killed (on your blog) and I remember that moment well when I heard the news, while in New York on study leave.

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  6. Sheila Atwood says:

    Yvonne,

    I like your idea for removing stuff to another location. Although I recently went through and organized my desk top it is looking pretty messy again

    I do know my computer runs faster when everything is put away.

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  7. Melanie Kissell says:

    Really good advice, Yvonne, and I’m surprised to land here to find you have a brand new “look”. 🙂 Seems like the end of this year is bringing on all kinds of changes for almost every one of my best online friends. Change can be very positive, uplifting, and motivating, wouldn’t you agree?

    I never make New Year’s Resolutions. I like to get things “resolved” as I move throughout each year, if possible. And I find that many people set themselves up for very unrealistic expectations when they make a list of resolutions and then end up feeling lots of disappointment.

    No doubt about it … my hard drive needs some de-cluttering bigtime! You’ve offered up some sensible and do-able tips to start the big clean up and clean out. Thanks!

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  8. What a great post! And something that I definitely need to take care of! Thanks for the information – and push!
    Judy Mick recently posted..Are You A “People Peson”

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  9. I think I’ve got an advantage here, i witnessed my computers death about a months back and haven’t bothered replacing it yet.
    I’m currently using an old computer which has a tiny hard drive and basically prevents me from adding anything new. About the best it can do is the internet 😀
    I think if people want to de-clutter their computers, they can always hit the dele…
    Peter J recently posted..The irony of being a typical blogger

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  10. Hi Sheila, Melanie, Judy, and Peter: Thanks for your wonderful comments on the benefits of decluttering your computer. You’ve shared your views, and we are all in agreement that it needs to be done sooner than later.

    Sheila: That desktop does get messy very quickly, doesn’t it? My new strategy is to check my desktop before I shut down the computer and if something is not in a folder it’s put in one or deleted because it was placed there for a one-time use, like sending as an attachment to an e-mail or making a copy on a disc.

    Melanie: I finally listened to my Mentor that the previous color scheme was geared more toward women and men would shy away from spending time on the site. She’s definitely correct as I proved within a few days. And yes, change can be all of those things. Rather than New Year’s Resolutions, I’m working on setting a schedule to give myself more time to build my business, including visiting the websites of my friends in the blogosphere and meeting new professionals as well. I know you’re doing the same.:)

    Judy: Thank you and you’re welcome 🙂 Anytime we can give each other a nudge in the right direction we help each other to succeed as I’ve been helped by you as well.

    Peter J: Ouch! I feel your pain and I hope you had a backup of the information on your computer. You know, deleting is easy. The problem is that many of us like to hold on to ‘things’ because we believe we’ll need them in the future and so we put off using the delete key. For people like myself and others we have to learn to use the principle that if we haven’t used it in 6 months get rid of it. Thanks for visiting.

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  11. @ Yvonne
    Haha, i didn’t actually have a backup which is why there is nothing left on my computer. Backups that are a year old, really don’t work 😀

    Gave me the fire to start again though, and re-write what i had lost.
    Peter J recently posted..Dominating the world- Even when everyone tries to stop you in your epic footsteps

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  12. I can relate because it was almost a year that my blog ‘disappeared’ from the Internet because I made some changes without doing a back-up first and I was in a frenzied state for days because it was the holiday weekend and I could not get in touch with my webmaster, who was also my host. I placed my SOS in every forum I was a member of and someone responded. Fortunately the webmaster actually used Hostgator who had a backup. I had to pay quite a bit of money but got it back. It was a frightening experience! I wish you all the best as you build back you website.

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