Spring Cleaning Your Technology… Offline
With the change in the weather, the birds sing, the snow melts and homeowners and business owners everywhere think about spring cleaning. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be only for your home. Sure, you can get rid of clutter by donating old clothes, clearing out the garage or throwing away old magazines and newspapers, but what about your office? If I were daring I would post a photo of my office, but, um, no! Now is not a good time. It seems like organizing my office is a constant work in progress. Here are a few things that you can do to spring-clean your technology.
Organize your workspace.
If I am working at my desk consistently it usually stays fairly neat… sometimes…. maybe. But, when I’m cleaning other areas of the house or unpacking, I have a way of just coming in and dumping everything that belongs in my office on my desk. Sometimes I cannot see the desk at all. And when this happens I cannot work. I have to take 20 minutes or so to clean off my desk and put everything in its place or I feel very disorganized.
Clean off your laptop.
I don’t mean clean your files. I mean get a towel and some safe cleaner and clean your computer! As someone who sometimes does technology repairs, I have touched many a laptop. And what is the first thing that I do? Why, clean it off with a Clorox wipe. I have seen some laptops in public and on the Internet that look like they have been used as plates. Seriously, part of keeping your tech in working order is keeping them clean. Wipe off your laptop – often! Not doing so can cause crumbs and other nasty things to get down in your keyboard, or worse. This can cause problems with the function of the laptop.
“Decrumb” your keyboard.
Just like cleaning off your laptop, if you use a desktop computer it needs to be kept clean as well. When working, we are sometimes guilty of eating at our desks. Grab a can of forced air or a portable vacuum and get all of the crumbs out of your keyboard. Do the same to your desk.
Clear the dust out of your tower.
The thought of doing this can frighten some, but it’s actually pretty easy. Dust has a way of collecting around the components in desktop towers, especially the fans. It can cause overheating or slow performance. But you can fix this. Turn off and unplug your desktop. Remove the side panel. Grab your can of forced air or portable vacuum and get rid of the dust. Just be very careful – you do not want to break anything.
Clean your monitor.
In this new world of touchscreens, our computers are now designed to have fingerprints all over them. But that does not mean that it has to be that way all the time. When you are cleaning off your laptop or desktop, clean your monitor as well. You’ll be able to see much better.
Organize your files and photos.
I am a huge proponent of this. Organizing your files into folders by year and month, or event name, can help you find just what you are looking for when the time comes. If you take a lot of photos, consider investing in a large external hard drive to organize and back up your photos. You can also move photos and videos off your phone. And if you are guilty of using USB keys to temporarily store data, consider going through them and cleaning off the files that you do not need. That way, when you need to use one you can just grab it and go without worry of having to stop and see what’s on it.
Organize your cords and cables.
Sometimes the area under my desk looks like an experiment in cord twisting. I have one PC desktop, three monitors and an all-in-one on or under my desk. Add to that a couple of external hard drives, phone chargers and laptop chargers and it can become a lot. There was a time when all of the cords were nice and neat. But when swapping out hardware or adding something new, the cords get messed up again. Grab a few cable ties, or even twist ties, and organize your cords.
Clean the floor in your office.
Once you have all of your cords organized and out of the way, grab the vacuum. Get all of the crumbs and dust bunnies! You will be surprised what a difference it can make. It will make you feel good about working when you sit at your desk.
Keeping your technology organized and in good running order can make you more relaxed and make your job easier. If you take just a little time each week to “spring clean,” it will save you a harder cleaning job in the long run. Your computer, laptop and other devices will thank you.