New Year’s Resolution: Clean My Desktop

This one is rather easy to accomplish, though it may be harder to keep! Did you know that leaving files on your desktop can slow down your computer’s performance significantly? I do, and yet I still put them there for easy access. This year, my resolution was to clean off this space and start afresh. It’s an easy resolution to do, at least in the initial stages. Dealing with all of those files can be a bit of a challenge.

I tend to download some files to the desktop or move them there so I can find them easily. This may be photos that I want to drag to a web page’s drop zone or documents that I need to look at once or twice and then discard. The desktop seems ideal because it is visible and I won’t forget them. But then the files add up and pretty soon there is clutter.

The easy solution is to move them all into a folder. Create a new folder on the desktop. Call it 2013 Desktop Files (or name it whatever you like). Select all, then deselect your new folder. Drag the selected files into the folder, then move the folder off of the desktop to your Documents folder or some other location on your drive. Voila! Your desktop is clean.

I hate to admit it, but when I did this, I moved 863 files that took up 20 GB of room. I should see a significant improvement with them stored in a new location that the operating system doesn’t have to worry about as often as the desktop. But that’s also a lot of junk to clean up and file appropriately. Most will probably go in the trash. Some should be archived in the right folder. That’s the harder part of the resolution to keep!

The hardest part is to keep it from getting this bad. For me, this will mean cleaning off my desktop every semester (at least) and at best once a month or so. I can keep the things I’m really working on and move everything else to a temporary folder for filing. But I know that in the thick of things, this can be hard to find time to do, and so it builds up. That’s what makes it a great New Year’s Resolution, to at least start the year with a clean desktop and then try to do better in the coming year.

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