For most people, spring means it’s time to clean -- hence the term spring cleaning. While meticulously cleaning your house is probably a good idea, don't forget about your computer and your physical files. Just like your home, your computer can get pretty messy. You need to take the time to clean it up at least once a year.
One of the best things to do every spring is to sort all of your files into the appropriate folders -- whether on your computer or in your filing cabinet. Throughout the course of a year, your files can become very unorganized. The best way to sort all of them is to use or create folders. There are many different ways to sort your computer & physical files, and you need to find a way that best suits your needs. Here are some options:
For certain documents and files, you may want to create folders that correspond with the date of creation. The folders can be done for any increment of time, but consider monthly folders. A month is usually the best length of time to work with. If you feel that you need to get more specific beyond that, you can create other folders inside of your monthly ones.
Another great way to sort files is by type. This can be useful if you have several different files but only in a few different formats. If you know what kind of file it is, it will be easier to find it when you need it.
Most people have a variety of subjects that their files revolve around. Sorting your computer or physical files by subject can be extremely helpful. Create some folders and then move files around accordingly.
Not every one of these sorting options will be perfect for everyone. In fact, your best bet is to use a combined approach. By combining all three of these sorting techniques, you’ll have your computer cleaned up and sorted in no time.
Have hard copies of documents that need to go onto your computer? Scan them! Scanning documents is a great way to digitize all of your files and free up some much needed space in your home. Physical files take up space. If you can scan them onto your computer, you'll no longer need the hard copies.
Any hard copy documents that you don't need due to scanning (or otherwise) should be shredded. You can take your documents to a place like Stop and Shred
or you could buy a shredder and do it yourself. Shredding documents is especially important if the documents have important personal information on them.
While shredding is great for getting rid of unwanted documents, the documents that you do
want to keep need to be secure. The best way to keep important documents safe is to help keep them in a locked fireproof box or safe
. These boxes can be picked up at almost any large retail store, and they’ll help keep your important documents safe under most circumstances.