Do you remember the day you bought your current computer? Unboxing a shiny new machine is always a delight. Today it might still look like new on the outside, but the inside is another story. Computers collect and store all sorts of digital clutter, from unnecessary files to outdated or unused software.

This week’s tips deal with ways in which you can cut down on the masses of clutter on your PC and your workstation, from organizing the stuff you have stored to dealing with unnecessary peripherals you probably have lying about. To optimize your computer, have a clear-out.

Organize Your Workstation Files and Network Drive

A computer full of digital clutter is like an overflowing closet. It takes longer to find what you want. You need a file and open it, only to discover it’s an old version that should have been put in the trash ages ago. A few minutes of time wasted each day adds up. An organized workstation is about maximizing productivity and reducing hassle.

If you use a shared network drive then your digital clutter can get in other people’s way as well. Business owners can benefit their organization by drawing up guidelines for storing files (and getting rid of them) before uploading material to a shared drive.

You can work with the business technology experts at Quikteks for help if you feel your current system needs decluttering. Whether you need to better organize how you store data or manage user access, we can assist to make sure it’s well planned, centralized and backed up.

Remove Unnecessary Programs and Applications

Your desktop is a good place to start. Check out all the icons and files on your screen. How many have you actually used recently? Even more importantly – how many have you never used at all? With time, and as needs and work practices change, some applications lose their usefulness. Often it seems like a good idea to leave an older program in place when a new one overtakes it.

Old programs can take up valuable network space and, even worse, can become a security risk if they aren’t kept updated. We recommend performing a network audit to determine exactly which applications are being used and how often they’re accessed.

Dispose of Unwanted Devices Properly

Computer accessories and peripherals outlive their usefulness because the user needs change, or because they’ve been outclassed by new models. It’s tempting to hang on to them just in case, but usually that day never comes. Decluttering doesn’t always mean dumping it in the trash. Devices that still work can be useful for charities, schools and other worthwhile recipients. If really useless, dispose of electronic goods responsibly, in the interests of caring for the environment. It’s crucial to wipe all the data first – that’s essential computer housekeeping.

If you want to optimize your computer and work practices, don’t forget the other stuff that can clutter up your workstation. Even in the days of downloading, computer equipment still comes with CDs and printed manuals that hang around in drawers taking up space. If you donate old tech, it’s helpful to the receiver to have the accessories. If it’s bust and going to the trash, sort out the old manuals and send them to the recycling.

For more great tips and tricks be sure to subscribe to Quiktek’s blog. For help with your decluttering project, including wiping old data, reach out to Quikteks at (973) 882-4644.