Winter Wrap-Up: 3 Tips to Clean Your Desktop

Happy Clean Out Your Computer Day!

While most wait for Spring to come around to do some tidying up, today’s obscure holiday encourages the act of cleaning at the tail-end of Winter. However, the most notable difference between the world famous Spring Cleaning and Clean Out Your Computer Day is in the name.

Spring Cleaning is about cleaning up your space after a rough winter season. This means taking your no longer needed shovels and bags of salt and tucking them away into the attic or whatever closet you use for storage. It can mean taking your winter wardrobe and replacing it with a more lightweight spring one. While for others it’s simply an excuse to take out your heavy duty cleaning supplies and making sure that all the dust bunnies in your household are taken care of.

As this holiday’s name implies, your computer is the target of your cleaning frenzy.

While this concept may sound strange to some, in this digital age, a clean computer is just as important as a clean home. For those of you who don’t already routinely make it a habit of tidying up your folders, you may need more than a day to fully organize your files. If that’s you, then start with your desktop. It’s one of the first screens that you view when you turn on your computer and you’ll find that the less cluttered screen may help you, in the long run, to find files and generally feel less stressed.

Winter Wrap Up: My Desktop | 15MinutesofCreativity.com

As you can see, my desktop has a handful of folders, a program, and the famous recycling bin. While one could argue that I could clean up my files even more by taking logo ref January3651 and putting them into folders, that’s why we have days like today to take those small messes and finding the right spots for them.

Is your desktop like mine? If not then here are some tips and tricks to try and minimize the number of files on your desktop and make it tidy.


Pick a Desktop Background Image

I’d suggest going on Google or through your own image files to find a new background image for your desktop. A brand new coat of paint for your screen may do wonders to help you feel as if there’s been a change and there are plenty on the web to comb through.

Spend about 15-30 minutes on Google Images. If you can’t find anything that suits your fancy then stick with the one you currently have. Before searching, here are some nifty ideas for your new background.

  • An inspirational quote

There are plenty of inspirational or motivational images online for you to use for your wallpaper. Find something that makes you smile or that puts you in the mood to work.

  • A calendar

There are some nice backgrounds that also happen to have a small calendar of the current month (or even year) in the corner. If you can’t find any, then grab a pretty picture, on an image editing program and make your own. Sometimes being able to quickly glance at the calendar can help you remember what day it is and what upcoming projects you need to start working on.

  • Shelves

There are several creative wallpapers that incorporate drawers, tables, or shelves. These backgrounds are clever since once you have it up, all you have to do is line up your files, folders, and programs along with the image and ta-da, everything looks sorted in an organized fashion.

If you take a look at my background, this was the option I went with. I have a nice clean white box to put my files in and the image is beautifully put together to inspire me at the same time.

Separate your Files

Without dropping anything into the Recycling Bin, really take a look at your Desktop. You could drag all your program icons on the upper left-hand corner, your folders in the upper right-hand corner and your files on the bottom half of the screen.

If there are any programs you use often, like on a daily/weekly basis, pin those programs on your Taskbar. If you were like me and had a bunch of games from Steam, then instead of cluttering your productive Taskbar, make a folder and put all those files in there. Continue finding common themes and groups that your files share and put them into folders that are named appropriately.

You may also find duplicate files during this process. This is when you start deleting the duplicates or creating a new folder called Back Up so you can have a spare file in case the original one becomes corrupted.

Create a Misc Folder

If you at any point feel burned out from the sorting process, create a Misc folder and shove all your unorganized files inside there. Instead of having that unorganized clutter on your Desktop, create a miscellaneous folder that you can go back to on the next rainy day. There’s no reason to feel bad for not being able to clean up your desktop in one go. Depending on how cluttered your desktop is, it may take several days to comb through all your information.

Usually, I’ll just shove whatever inside of my Misc folder and whenever I have the time to clean up my computer, that’ll usually be the first folder I’ll go to.

You can name this folder whatever your heart desires. I used to name my folder Junk, but it kept making me think of deleting the folder since I associated the word junk with ‘trash’,


Do you have any tips or tricks that you use whenever you clean up your computer? Perhaps you have a different method to clean up your digital workspace.

I’m always interested in finding out the workflows and workspaces of others so feel free to share!

One thought on “Winter Wrap-Up: 3 Tips to Clean Your Desktop

  1. Pingback: Site Spotlight: The Creative Gym NYC | 15 Minutes of Creativity

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