You know how it is. You collect files, pictures, documents, videos, e-books, favorites, the whole works. Slowly your hard drive grows fuller, until you notice you haven’t much free space left.
It doesn’t matter how much space you have on your drive, at some point you manage to create a lack of it. Cleaning out your computer time!
Order in chaos and more space
It’s the same as in your off-line life. Once in a while you need to get rid of clutter and (re-)organize the collectables.
Time to start digging, without needing a shovel. You need patience, determination and decision-making skills.
Remove and move
Get rid of everything you haven’t used in over six months.
Apparently you don’t really need it, so off it goes.
That doesn’t count for personal or important files. Those you best move to an external memory device, while you’re at it.
Where to start?
Get a program that takes care of temp files, registry a.o.
I use (free) CCleaner, downloadable on Piriform
Let it run once a week to delete temporary files, among others. You win back some space. Also use the registry button. Every time you throw something away or move something, there’s still a ‘key’ left in the registry. They can cause issues for your pc and you don’t need those ‘keys’. My last check removed 126.
Win back space
Now comes the hard part.
You have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. If you have a hard time with that for your home, you probably encounter the same issue with your pc or laptop. But it’s all for a good cause. You create more space to collect new stuff. Yes, you will. We both know it. If only you had the space. We will take care of that now.
Organizing and getting a system
The boring but afterwards rewarding part
You have to go through folder by folder, to check what to get rid of.
A question you could ask yourself. Do I really need this program, this image, this file? Can I easily get it on-line, if I would need it again? It helps you decide more easily. Don’t think too long about it!
If you don’t have ‘a system’ yet, start creating general folders.
For example, I created a ‘blog in the making’ folder. In there, I created new more specific folders for files I use here.
Most of my pc’s organized.
My problem is that I have too little space for my needs in general. The D: drive is approximately 500 GB. It’s not enough if you keep a media archive. It’s really not.
Overtime, doc’s, videos and images can be placed wrongly accidentally.
By going over the files, you’ll notice the misplaced ones. Put them in their right folder immediately. You kill two birds in one stone and don’t have to go over everything twice!
- Do the organizing in steps
To prevent falling asleep of boredom or getting cranky, because it’s such a tedious long task.
- More than 3 files of the same subject?
Put them together in one folder. Keeping things in a folder looks more neat than loose files.
- Check for doubles
Especially with video files, you can’t prevent downloading doubles at a certain point.
The same files get named differently and then your pc ‘thinks’ it’s a different file. Or it annoyingly decides you like to have more than one and just gives it an extra 1 in the title.
It’s useless to keep more than one of the same in digital life.
I gained 3GB, already only by just checking two bigger folders full with video files and throwing away the doubles.
- If you have big folders, rename files as short as possible
It’ll bring clarity in having doubles or not.
- Don’t forget your favorites folder, the websites you kept for later reference
If after a sweep of your drive(s) you still feel you didn’t retrieve enough space, you have to realise what’s the cause. Weren’t you strict enough? Is this a case of mandatory expanding space? If it’s the latter, it might be time to go shopping for an extra internal hard drive or an external memory device with one or two Terabyte.
Either way, good luck with the cleaning!