Spring Clean Your Computer

The calendar tells me that it’s not spring quite yet – although there are pink blossoms on the tree outside my window, and the temperatures are in the 60s in Southern California – but I’m already starting my Spring Cleaning. I’ve always been a disorganized person, so two weeks ago, I decided to experiment and see if I could keep my place clean. And, for the most part, it’s worked. Dishes are washed as soon as they are used, clothing is kept off the floor, and most mornings, I’ve made the bed. This past weekend, I had a last minute call from a friend who was in the neighborhood, and I was able to say, “Come on by!” without rushing around to tidy up. It was a great feeling; one that I wanted to expand on, so this spring, I am undertaking Spring Clean in as many areas of my life as possible.

The other night, I noticed that many of the files on my computer were duplicates that were cluttering up the hard drive.  I made a back-up (always make a back-up before deleting anything), and, using a dupe-cleaning app, I found almost 5GB of wasted space. Yes, it was a serious pain to laboriously click on each file that I no longer wanted, but it got the job done. My electronic world was a little cleaner, but I wasn’t done, yet. I went through and deleted everything I didn’t need to have for the next month or so. Even though I knew that I had a backup, it felt uncomfortable to delete the files, but I did it. As Susan Jeffers says, "Feel the fear and do it, anyway."

After clearing out my cache, browser history, and some apps that I never used, I restarted the computer. I was surprised at how fast it booted and opened programs. Success! But, what about the computer itself? You may not think about it, but those CPU fans attract a lot of dust, which can shorten the life of the computer. Once in a month, if possible, open up your computer and use a can of air to blow out the dust, food crumbs (laptop users, I’m looking at you!) and pet hair that can accumulate.  Never touch the components or use water or any solvent to clean them. To wipe off the outside, use a damp (not dripping, just moist) cloth and clean that screen. Plain water is best. Got sticky keys? You can use an old condiment bottle as a tiny nozzle over your vacuum cleaner hose to suck out all of the gunk that gets trapped in your keyboard.

Your computer will thank you.

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