Your desk and filing cabinets aren't the only parts of your office that need decluttering. Your computer can also benefit from a good spring cleaning. If you keep piling programs and documents onto your hard drive, eventually it's going to get so cluttered that you'll never find what you need, or you'll run out of room.
Here are a few tips for organizing your computer:
- Create a filing system. Set up folders in a way that makes sense to you. You might have one main folder for your clients (and within that, one file per client), one folder for tax documents, and one folder for personal photographs.
- Toss out old files. Just like you throw out old papers, get rid of any files you're no longer using. Roll your mouse over the file to see when it was last modified. If you haven't revised or used it in the past six months, delete it. The only files you really need to save are personal photos, project files for current clients, tax information and legal documents.
- Back up files. So that you don't lose anything you need, back up all of your important files on an external drive or through an online storage service.
- Organize your e-mail. Your e-mail inbox can get just as cluttered as your desk if you don't have a system in place. Create folders to store messages by topic, sender or date. Go through your old messages and delete anything you no longer need.
For more information on home organization, see the links on the next page.