Declutter Your Computer

A few years back, I managed and coordinated the IT needs for a consultancy. My colleagues would ring me up or pop-by my desk with all sorts of computer problems for me to troubleshoot. As consultants, client deliverables were priority number one, and forced downtime/loss of work time from a faulty laptop was frustrating and unacceptable.

Often the issues were simple enough to resolve with updates or removals of problematic applications. Having full access to someone’s computer is an eye-opening experience. I could see those that worked in chaos, files and shortcuts all over their desktops, and those who were impatient and just clicked on every button allowing dozens of applications to be downloaded, clogging up computer memory, slowing down their system.

Computers, for most of us, are fundamental to our working lives. To maintain our work productivity and valuable time we need to maintain good working computers. You don’t need to be a computer expert to do this, just follow these few principles for maintaining a functionally efficient, de-cluttered, and organized computer.


  • Install the latest updates for applications and programs to work optimally.
  • With every download and browser click you run the risk of accidentally introducing a computer virus; Run a virus scanner such as ESET Online Scanner
  • To optimize the disk space on your Hard Drive run the Disk clean-up/defrag program from your computer which can be found in system settings. Or download a free disk cleaner such as Piriform CC Cleaner
  • Clear your Temporary Files (File Explore > %temp% > Delete Files)
  • Uninstall unused applications and programs (see System Settings) you don’t use or need; bonus, it frees up more space on your hard drive.

Web Browser

  • Clear your homepage of distractions. Choose for a simple search engine homepage without the personalization, updates or news.
  • Clear your browsers cookies/browsing data regularly.
  • Delete most of your bookmarks. Keep only those that you use routinely. If you want to remember a website for future reference, consider web clipping and saving in Evernote.
  • Organize your bookmarks into a folder or if you only use a handful add the ones you use the most on to a bookmark bar.

Desktop & Folders

  • Clear your computer desktop of old and unnecessary files or shortcuts.
  • Have a simple desktop background image that will be inspiring, not distracting.
  • Organize your desktop into quadrants: work, personal, to file, tools. Consider using a desktop wallpaper that helps you organize such as the sorted. Desktop Organizer.
  • Create a good folder structure and file your documents for easy retrieval.
  • Remove as many desktop icons as you can. With a good folder structure, you won’t need shortcuts to your folders.
  • Delete old documents and extra versions.
  • Empty your download folder.
  • Empty your trashcan.

While you are working on your computer lets also do the same for your tablet and smartphone.

Tablets & smartphones

  • Remove unused apps from your devices.
  • Group and organize your apps into folders. Have all your apps fit on 1-2 screens.
  • Delete photos you really don’t need. Undo the autosave photo function from Whatsapp, Viber or other chat apps.

Are you, or your business, struggling to keep organized digitally? Bring order, structure, and efficiency to your digital life by contacting Melissa by email or phone for a Free Consultation. 

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