Fall Cleaning: Tips to Organizing Your Desktop

Kids today are digital natives, having been exposed to technology oftentimes before they could walk or talk. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are groomed for becoming good digital citizens. Armed with smartphones, tablets and computers, children are able to access a lot of content and people quite easily and quickly. Setting expectations for digital guidelines is not only a matter of keeping your child’s safety intact; it will help preserve your family’s privacy and security.

From toddlers to teens, kids are using devices for everything from games and learning programs to, in later years, social connectivity and schoolwork. The Internet is the world’s largest library and it offers a nearly infinite amount of material and numerous ways to create our own content. As children age, the responsibilities of using technology grow. While the benefits of technology are vast, it’s important for parents to help kids become good digital citizens by laying the groundwork for what’s appropriate, positive and valuable online behavior.

Tips for Parents:

  • Set rules or guidelines for your child’s internet usage
  • Regularly check your child’s Internet history
  • Have weekly conversations about Internet manners and behavior as well as school happenings that might cue online after-math
  • Know your child’s log-in credentials for email and social accounts until they are 18 years old

According to Pew Research Center, 92% of teens report going online daily, with 24% going online almost constantly. People tend to express themselves with more candor and bravado when behind a screen. There are many reasons why people act differently online, yet the fact remains that social platforms have become the new playground for bullying and bad behavior. Following precautions about healthy social interactions online will help your child become a smart and good digital user and give you peace of mind.

Hoarding files on your desktop makes it challenging to locate something when you need it. With too many icons on your desktop – making your background invisible – it is time to de-clutter and clean your computer. Here are five easy ways you can organize your desktop, just in time to store your holiday photos.

Get Rid of Duplicates 

It is very easy and common to save multiple copies of a file. These unnecessary files can waste a lot of space on your hard drive and can make it difficult to locate the correct and most recent one. With the help of duplicate cleaning software, your hard drive will be free of repeats and will have more space for new files. Duplicate Detective is a quick and affordable application for Macs. For just $3.99, this application downloads directly to your computer and will scan your hard drive for duplicates. Before deleting them, it shows you a list of the files so you can selectively choose which ones to keep and delete. An option for Windows is Duplicate Cleaner,  a free tool that will clean out your downloadable music, videos and files to maximize ultimate space.

Take Advantage of Folders 

Folders are the backbone to organization and orderliness on a desktop. Use folders to group similar files – work files, school papers, and tax returns can be segregated by making folders. Properly labeling folders is the key to a successful organization. Categorize folders with dates, seasons or the type of work that each folder consists of. For example, college students can segregate folders into semesters – Fall and Spring – and make sub-­folders for each class.

Use Google Photos 

Over the years, the photos you can collect on your computer can reach a very large number. In this tech savvy era, we do not print out photos for keepsake anymore. Instead, we store them on our desktops and post them to our social media accounts. However, once our computers start getting old, the chances of losing those precious memories increase. Take advantage of the free photo storing software, Google Photos. Using folders to segregate events, occasions or years, Google Photos will store all of your photos for free as long as you continue a Gmail account.

Put old, Must-­Have Files on USB 

Files like your resume, wedding photos and birth certificate documents are important forms that you want to hold on to. However, storing these files on your desktop is wasting precious space. When you do not necessarily need these documents on a daily basis, you do not need them on your computer. Purchasing an inexpensive USB can hold many documents and files without taking up the space on your desktop. Simple to use and easy to carry, USB’s are a great alternative to racking up files on your computer.

Continue to Organize with File Juggler 

Once your files are organized and arranged, continue the orderliness with File Juggler. File Juggler is a free to download application that automatically manages and monitors your files. Based on the rules you set up, the software will move and rename files that best match your criteria. From organizing bills and invoices to moving a downloaded movie to your film folder, File Juggler helps you keep an organized, clean and simple desktop.

With the holidays right around the corner, be prepared to store your precious photos and memories on your desktop. Cleaning and organizing your computer can be a lengthy process, but with the help of these five simple tips, your computer will be ready to store, post and print pictures with a few quick clicks.


Stuart Goldstein, father of three tech savvy teenagers, is a tech product fan who has been reviewing and writing about products for three decades. Products that can be used to enhance sports performance and manage analytics are his favorite coverage subjects.