Clear Out Your Computer Day

Happy Clear Out Your Computer Day! I'm coming to you early this week to celebrate.

In this age of plentiful hard drive space and even greater quantities of cloud storage, it's easy to hang on to every digital file you ever created. I think that people hang on the computer files "just in case" at an even greater rate than they keep physical clutter for the same reason. But just because you've got the room to store it doesn't mean that it isn't clutter that will get in your way. So take some time on clear out your computer day to purge a few of those files!

Things to say goodbye to on Clear Out Your Computer Day

Music you don't listen to

Be honest...do you still listen to ALL of the music on your phone or iPod? If you find yourself always skipping a particular song, album or artist, don't keep in on your device just because you can. If you're never in the mood to listen to it, make like Elsa and let it go!

Old versions of finalized documents

It's not unusual or even unwise to hang on to multiple versions of a document when you're still working on it. I create many revisions of these blog posts as I edit them so I can go back if I decide I want to put something back it. You may do the same thing with papers you've written or documentation you are putting together. Once you've gotten far enough to consider a document final, though, there is probably little reason to hang on to version 1.

Pictures that capture memories you no longer need

Have you ever snapped a photo to ask your significant which brand of fancy crackers to get at the store? What about where you parked in the downtown garage when you were out of town? Those photos can be very helpful in remembering unusual things in the short term, but chances are that parking spot doesn't matter 3 months later. Take a few minutes to go through your phone and delete pictures that you took for a need in a passing moment of time. Unless it's your cat. Keep the cat pictures.

Software or apps you no longer use

It's so easy to download new apps to try out. Maybe you even used them for awhile and just don't anymore. Take a few minutes to go through your phone or computer and uninstall software and apps that aren't relevent to you anymore. Apps are especially easy because, usually, the app store and Google Play will have a record of what you installed, so you can find and re-install things if you decide you miss them. Windows will tell you how long it's been since you used a piece of software, so that's a good hint of what you can get rid of, too.

Do a bit of file organizing today, too!

Now that you've cleared out some files, don't forget to take a few minutes to evaluate what's left. Start renaming things for easier findability or sort things into folders of like files. You don't have to get your whole computer done. Even spending 5 or 10 minutes on it periodically will get you on your way to a less cluttered digital life.

This is also a great time to perform another file backup! You should make it a point to regularly back up your files no matter what. But now that you've put in such good effort on cleaning thing up, make sure you take a few minutes to do a special "clean up your computer day" backup to celebrate.

What files can you delete today? Share in the comments!

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