I’m a professional organizer, but I’m not a neatnik. I’m actually a naturally messy person, though through the years I’ve managed to create habits that have kept me a bit neater. For some years, for example, I’ve managed to clear off the top of my desk at the end of each workday.
My computer desktop was another matter. I use a Mac and its robust search capabilities have meant that I never paid all that much attention to where I stored files. So my computer’s desktop was typically a cluttered mess of items that happened to land there. It didn’t bother me particularly, since I didn’t even see the desktop once I had a program or two open.
But one day last summer, I decided to clear it off. And what a difference that’s made! The process of clearing it off was really helpful. I actually found some genealogy-related files among the clutter in my desktop and I dragged them to the appropriate within my genealogy folder (the one truly organized folder on my computer). By the way, it took me only 30 minutes to go from truly cluttered to clear.
Now that my desktop is clean, it’s become a place where I can temporarily store files so I can easily find them. That’s really helpful for parking photographs that I need to upload to this blog or my Peace of Mind Organizing blog (or to Rubbermaid’s blog, where I’m a regular contributor). It’s also a helpful place to temporarily store a downloaded genealogy document until I can enter into Reunion, my family tree software.
At the end of the day, when I turn off my computer, I either file or delete the few files that landed on my desktop during the day. It’s much like how I tackle my day’s worth of clutter on my physical desktop.
If your computer desktop is cluttered up, I urge you to go through it and delete and file. I hope you find it as helpful as I did!