Two Steps to a Clean Desktop

October 19th is Destop Organization Day, a day devoted to creating order on your computer desktop screen. Think of it as spring cleaning for your computer! You may be feeling overwhelmed at how to go about starting the organization process, especially if your desktop looks like this:

messy desktop

With a few simple changes and about fifteen minutes of spare time, though, you can get your computer looking neat again. With these two steps, your desktop and computer will be organized and maybe even running a little faster.

Step One: Ask yourself do I really need this file?

Take a look at the files on your desktop. Do I need this file still? Why did I save it? If you need it, keep it here for right now. If not, delete it. If you decide that you need the file, find out if you need it on the desktop. Would this file fit into an existing folder in your Documents folder, or are there enough similar files to justify creating one?

This may seem like an odd part of the process, but you must understand why file storage on the desktop was created. You have the ability to save things to your desktop because it is easily available to you. As a result, these files are always “on deck” to open, even when you force quit out of everything. They’re not open, but they are ready to spring open at the first click. If you don’t use the file constantly, or if you don’t need it on the desktop, find the file an alternate location. Clearing out your desktop of these files may help your computer run faster because there are less files “on deck” than before.

If you have more than fifteen minutes, or if you breezed quickly through this, consider going through your software and/or applications and deleting any programs you aren’t regularly using. For example, taking a quick peek at my apps showed that I have a program called GoToMeeting, which I downloaded for a virtual meeting about four months ago. I never use it, so I will delete it. If I need it again, I will download it, but in the foreseeable future, it will have no purpose but to take up storage space on my laptop.

app screenshot

Once all files and apps are deleted, clear out your trash bin. This will permanently delete anything dragged into the bin, but it will also clear up the storage space that it is taking up.

Step Two: Organize what is on your desktop.

Now that your desktop is only home to the necessary files, it’s time to get those files in order. You can choose to do this by folders or with backgrounds. For your convenience, we’ve provided a few sample backgrounds for you:








If you’d like to create your own, here is a tutorial video on how to DIY these backgrounds:

The ultimate goal is to bring some kind of structure to your desktop, so instead of looking like a jumbled pile of clothes just taken out of the dryer, it looks like this:enhanced-buzz-wide-5410-1381270544-25








Do you have any other tips or tricks for organizing your computer desktop? Leave us a comment below.