While I’m still sorting out paper work let me take this time to mention culling out computer files while you are organizing your home office as well. This project can be done doing rest periods while you are at the computer and in the long run will simplify your life even more.
If you happen to be at your computer take a time to look at your file folders. Do you still need the book report Johnny Jr wrote for his third grade class? After all he is graduating this year.
Or copies of warranty papers for items that have long since gone the way of the do-do bird?
Or the really hard one. All those blurry vacation photos you took five years ago that you can’t even remember what highway you were on or why you thought you could snap a photo out of a car window as you went speeding down the interstate at 75 mph?
Or if you are a mystery shopper, you only have to keep copies of your photos and paperwork for 99.99% of the companies you work for a maximum of 6 months, most are 6 weeks, the max is one year. All those copies take up a lot of space on your computer. I know, I know, out of sight, out of mind.
If culling files makes you EXTREMELY nervous, then back it all up before you start and then once you are satisfied you have cleaned it up and everything valuable is saved, back it up again.
Having them gone will make finding the right warranty paper even faster if you don’t have to look under computer and discover you have warranty papers in there for five different computers to find the right one—you really should be able to tell by the purchase date on the file.
You may want to reorganize or re-label some of those files too. How about combining files?
When I was working on the photo segment of my computer I discovered I actually had photos in two different main segments of it. Not sure how that happened, but it did. Most likely because I created a file after my husband already had and I didn’t know he had.
Worse yet I found I had photos of my son in three different folders labeled just enough different it made it very hard for me to find the exact photo I wanted when I wanted it. By combining all those photos into one folder, with subfolders for various events I no longer had to do a system wide search for the exact photo I knew I had, but had a dickens of a time finding it.
This combining of files speeds up scrapping tremendously.
A side note here on photos, especially old family photos. Don’t be afraid to pull them into a photo editor and tweak them a bit. Save a copy of the original, and mark it as such. Then work some photoshop magic and you might just be delighted in what you find.
A prime example of this was an old black and white photo my husband’s aunt gave me of various generations of his ancestry. The photo was badly faded, tattered and not real clear, but Gary worked computer magic with it and not only did he sharpen it to the condition we could easily see family similarities he discovered a small boy peaking around the edge of a quilt that had been hung as a backdrop for the photo.
When he asked his aunt if she knew who it was she was VERY excited. She named the uncle and said that was the only photo to her knowledge of him. So save a copy of the original, but have some fun with the computer copies and you just might find treasure as well.
While you are at it, how many photos are on your phone, your tablet, or your camera memory card you’ve been meaning to transfer? Do it now, get them filed and then when you are ready to scrapbook you can print exactly when you want easily and perfectly without a all out manhunt through all those different pieces of equipment. Don’t forget other family member’s devices while you are at it.
Just like paper clutter there is no reason to keep excess clutter on your computer, eventually too much on there could possibly slow the system down. So purge files. Then empty your trash bin.
Once you’ve done that if your computer doesn’t automatically compact files, do a compact files, defrag the computer, and while you are at it run a complete scan of the computer.
Then back it all up, off the computer if at all possible. Just in case lightening fries your computer.
While this project won’t remove actual physical clutter from your home or office it will remove it from your life and simplify your searches in the future.
Jan who really did find some very, very old files from when a friend was in college and she did some typing for him in OK