In most office settings, an overwhelming majority of any cleaning or organizing is spent clearing the physical work surfaces, drawers, cabinets, files, etc. But what about those "invisible" clutter collectors — like the inside of your computer? Believe it or not, cleaning up your computer can save you time and stress — and extend the life of your computer!

Here are 4 simple ways you can clean up your computer in just a few minutes! 

1. Clear your desktop.

I honestly only have 2 icons on my desktop. One is for business files I use on a daily basis. The other is for photos I'm in the process of editing — and it gets cleared out on a weekly basis after the photos are uploaded to Flickr.

A clean and clutter-free desktop will reduce visual distractions and force you to engage in a more organized filling system in your Documents, an external hard drive, or an online cloud storage like Dropbox.

Also, if you use a Mac, your computer will actually perform better and faster, as excess desktop clutter will slow your computer down.

2. Clear your trash.

Seriously, this is SO easy to do and only takes a few clicks of your mouse — but it can also help to speed up your computer by removing all that unneeded data in your trash.

I'm in the habit of emptying my trash at the end of each week, and I'm always surprised how many megabytes (and sometimes gigabytes) of storage it frees up.

3. Clear your downloads.

If you've never done this, don't remember the last time you did this, or don't even know how to do this, I guarantee you'll clean up a lot of invisible computer clutter by taking this one simple step.

First, you need to find your downloads folder — you can usually do this by clicking on the main menu (or Finder for Macs) and then scrolling down to the Downloads folder. Once you open that folder, there will likely be a massive amount of downloaded content — everything from pictures, music, and videos to documents, PDF files, ebooks, etc.

All of this stuff takes up a TON of space on your computer, so delete anything you no longer need (which, if you're like me, is probably most if it!)

4. Clear your internet history.

It's insane how much internet browsing history your computer saves on a daily basis. Any website you visit, any transactions you do, any searches you perform — it remembers them all. Sometimes this comes in handy (like when your computer automatically remembers your password) but other times, all this extra data can slow down your computer (or at least your internet usage) and potentially make it easier for hackers to target you.

If you know how to manually go in and delete your internet history, cookies, temporary files, form data, etc. great. If not, you can download a free program like CCleaner to help. I've been using CCleaner for years and love how quick and easy it is to use — and the fact that it's completely free!

CCleaner is a program you can download to your computer (any type of computer) and run on a semi-regular basis to quickly and easily clear your computer's history, cookies, cache, internet files, and more. You can set it to completely erase everything, or save some information, like specific passwords.

I run CCleaner usually once a month and smile every time it finishes and shows me how much data it cleaned from my computer.


While you're in the cleaning mode, take a few more minutes to clean up your email inbox, or even to clean your entire office!

Each of the 4 tasks list above should only take a minute or two to complete, and they can drastically clean up your computer and improve your performance — which means you can work better and faster! Plus, these 4 tasks are pretty mindless, so you can probably do them while waiting on the phone, waiting for a meeting to start, or even waiting for your food at a coffee shop.

What are your best computer cleaning tips and tricks?

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