It’s that time again! Time to sweep out the cobwebs and the empty pizza boxes that got us through the cold winter, and breathe some fresh air into our homes and workplaces. And, when you’re finished alphabetizing the contents of your pantry, your technology (physical and digital) could use some featherdusting as well. Here’s how:
- Featherdust. Literally. Clean up your workspace by wiping down your computer and screens with a soft microfiber cloth and using compressed air to get into your keyboard.
- Untangle. Unplug that tangle of cords under your desk, remove any peripherals you don’t need, bundle cables together using zip ties, and plug the new bundles in to a surge protector. Organized, clean, and easy to know what you’re plugging and unplugging in the future!
- Recycle. Big box stores like Best Buy have dropboxes where you can leave old tech they will either refurbish, strip for parts, or dispose of responsibly. Make sure to wipe your hard-drive before dropping.
- Trade in. Check with your provider for trade-in options. This could knock a few bucks off your next phone or tablet.
- Donate. If you don’t really need the money (or the upgrade), reach out to a local school or library. They can always use computers and tablets, however old, for teaching, training, and reading e-books.
Your Digital World
- Uninstall. From the Start menu on PCs go to Uninstall a Program and see where most of your memory is being used. If there are programs you never use, delete. (Use the Launchpad on Macs.)
- Delete or back up. Go through photos, documents, and folders where temporary files tend to accumulate and delete anything you don’t love or isn’t saved elsewhere. Back up what you do want to keep with FileHopper, Google Drive, or iCloud.
- Freshen up your browser. A lot of digital detritus can accumulate in a year so use your internet settings to clear your cache, clear browsing history, and remove unused bookmarks. (Remember that this will delete any saved passwords, but it’s probably time to refresh those anyway!)
All done? Now go outside and enjoy some fresh air. Your computer (and all your work) will be there when you get back!